5 Quick Questions with “DWTS: Juniors” Pro Sage Rosen
Sage Rosen performing with partner Mackenzie Ziegler on the premiere of "DWTS: Juniors" (photo by Eric McCandless/ABC)
Ever since it was revealed who the inaugural cast of "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" would be, we've hardly been able to contain our excitement for the show. Seriously people, this group of tiny humans is TOTALLY stacked! And on the docket for the partnership we're most excited to see this season, is none other than L.A. commercial scene fave Sage Rosen and singer/actress/dancer/goddess Mackenzie Ziegler.
Of course everyone knows that Mackenzie is the little sister of dance superstar Maddie Ziegler, but what you might not know is that Sage and Maddie have actually been dancing together for years. Their first gig together was an Apple Watch commercial when they were only 12 and 13 years old, and in 2016, they both performed in Sia's music video for the hit song, "The Greatest." Here's hoping Sage and Mackenzie will have just as much chemistry when they take the "DWTS: Juniors" stage this season.
(photo by Ed Herrera/ABC)
Check out our interview with Sage below to get the inside scoop on the upcoming season. And make sure to tune into ABC this Sunday at 8 pm EST to watch the pair dance on the premiere!
Dance Spirit: Where were you when you found out you booked "DWTS: Juniors"?
Sage Rosen: I was at Radix Nationals. I went back to my hotel room after assisting, and while I was there my mom told me there was something at the door for me. When I got there, there was this robot that the hotel uses to deliver things to the rooms, and it had a piece of paper on it that said I was a "DWTS: Juniors" pro. My mom had set the whole thing up for me. I was really excited!
DS: What did you learn from your mentor, Gleb Savchenko?
SR: He really helped me grow as a dancer, and taught me how to be very manly. Mackenzie and I wanted to separate ourselves from the younger kids because we were the oldest in the competition, and he really taught us how to be mature. He was a great mentor all around.
DS: How was dancing with Mackenzie Ziegler?
SR: She was amazing. Really, the best partner I could have asked for. I was wishing for her, and when she walked through the door for the first time I was so excited. We became very close friends. She danced when she was younger, but had never done partnering before so there were a couple steps we struggled with. She's very competitive and worked really hard, and we had a great time.
DS: What was your schedule like during filming?
SR: Mackenzie was shooting for her Youtube show while we prepared for the season, so we only worked about three or four hours a day. It was stressful because we wanted to get to the top of the leaderboard but didn't have a lot of time. We just had to make up for it by working hard. Plus, Mackenzie picks up choreography fast, so that helped. Usually dancers are allowed to rehearse six hours per day for the show, but can't rehearse on Sundays. We all worked from Monday through Thursday or Friday, then had camera blocking and shows on the weekend.
DS: What's something you loved about your time on "DWTS: Juniors" (other than your stellar partner)?
SR: Learning from the judges. They know a lot about the industry, so I was taking every single correction I could get from them. I was listening closely the whole time, which helped me grow as a dancer. Working with Mandy Moore in particular was insane. She's such a great choreographer. I mean—she has two Emmys. Val Chmerkovskiy is a two-time Mirror Ball Champion, and Adam Rippon is also a Mirror Ball Champion who is absolutely hilarious. They were great judges.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
We also want you to
get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.