5 OG Disney Channel Dancers Who Grew Up to Be Stars

Zendaya as Zoe Stevens in "Zapped" (David Bukach/Disney Enterprises)

The Disney Channel has launched tons of young performers' careers. Some of our favorite celebs started out as dancers on the platform back in the day. Here are five OG Disney dance kids we're still obsessed with.


Zendaya

Zendaya, our Queen, got her start by showing off her dance skills on the Disney Channel's "Shake it Up," and went on to have a super high-profile acting and singing career.

Alyson Stoner

Singer and dancer Alyson Stoner was appearing on the Disney Channel even before her breakout performance in Missy Elliott's "Work It" video. We really fell for her moves in the 2008 Disney Channel movie Camp Rock.

Allison Holker

DYK that one of Allison Holker's first jobs was dancing in the High School Musical films? Cleary, that experience was the start of something big!

Carlena Britch

Dancer Carlena Britch got her start in the Camp Rock films, eventually leading her to star in popular shows such as "Charmed," "The X-Files," and "Supernatural." See if you can spot her in the clip above!

Shamier Anderson

The Camp Rock films were clearly packed with stunning dancers. CR alum Shamier Anderson went on to star in shows like "Dear White People" and "Pitch."

Just for Fun
Gabriel Figueredo in a variation from Raymonda. VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.

This week, over 1,000 young hopefuls gathered in New York City for the Youth America Grand Prix finals, giving them the chance to compete for scholarships and contracts to some of the world's top ballet schools and companies. Roughly 85 dancers made it to the final round at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater on Wednesday. Today, the 20th anniversary of YAGP came to a close at the competition's awards ceremony. Read on to find out who won!

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Dance News
After a string of ballet-company rejections, Jennifer Sydor (here in Laura Peterson's "Failure") found success in other areas of the dance world. (Stephen Delas Heras, courtesy Jennifer Sydor)

In her senior year at Butler University, Jennifer Sydor auditioned for more than a dozen regional ballet companies—and got a string of "no, thank you" responses. "I have an athletic build, and my movement quality isn't the typical ballet aesthetic," Sydor says. "But I'd been laser-focused on ballet. When I didn't get a ballet contract, I was heartbroken."

Her one job offer came from Kim Robards Dance, a small modern company based in Aurora, CO. After attending KRD's summer intensive, Sydor ended up accepting a yearlong position with the troupe. "I was relieved and happy to begin my career," she says. She's been working as a contemporary dancer ever since.

In the dance world, rejection is part of the package. That doesn't make it any more pleasant. But whether you didn't get the Nutcracker role of your dreams or you weren't picked for a job despite feeling like you aced the audition, you can emerge from even the most gut-wrenching "no" smarter and stronger.

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Mind
Ballet West principal Beckanne Sisk as Kitri (Luke Isley, courtesy Ballet West)

Guess who's baaaaack?! Your resident Dance Spirit astrologers! And on the eve of the Youth America Grand Prix awards ceremony, we thought it was the perfect time to pair each zodiac sign with a variation commonly seen during the competition. After many painstaking hours spent researching, consulting the stars, and staring wistfully into the sky, we compiled our data and present you with the definitive list of each star sign as a YAGP variation! As we said last time, don't @ us if you're not happy with your pairing—the stars don't lie, baby!

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