The "DWTS: Juniors" Young Pros Roster Is STACKED
The wait is (sort of) over, people: "DWTS: Juniors" has finally revealed this season's young ballroom pros and their mentors! To say that this list is star-studded is probably the biggest understatement of the year—these kids are no strangers to the competition scene. (In fact, we've already profiled four of them!). We're eagerly awaiting part two of the reveal, when the celebrities are announced. But in the meantime, get to know these mini superstars!
1. Rylee Arnold
Mentor: Lindsay Arnold (her sister!)
We're all about a sister duo. Whichever celebrity lands with them is certainly in capable hands—Lindsay's got the Season 25 Mirrorball Trophy to prove it.
2. Hailey Bills
Mentor: Jenna Johnson
Hailey's a comp-circuit regular, with a ton of titles on her resumé, and Jenna Johnson is the Season 26 Mirrorball Trophy winner. It's safe to say this is an unstoppable combo.
3. Sage Rosen
Mentor: Gleb Savchenko
Sage is a familiar face on the L.A. commercial scene, popping up in class video after class video, not to mention tons of music videos, from Sia's "The Greatest" to Leona Lewis' "Fire Under My Feet."
4. Lev Khmelev
Mentor: Keo Motsepe
This kid can WORK a ballroom. (Seriously, peep that Insta post. 🔥) Lev's a jack of all trades, having appeared in Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling" music video, an Old Navy commercial, "Little Big Shots," and "SYTYCD: The Next Generation," where he made the Top 30.
5. Brightyn Brems
Mentor: Cheryl Burke
When we profiled Brightyn for our "You Should Know" column a few months back, we knew she was destined for greatness. Looks like our predictions were correct! She's paired with "DWTS" mainstay Cheryl Burke, and we're sure this will be a dynamic duo.
6. Elliana Walmsley
Mentor: Emma Slater
Elliana is no stranger to the world of TV dance: she's been a Dance Moms regular since 2016, and just snagged the title of Mini Female Best Dancer at The Dance Awards in Las Vegas.
7. Tristan Ianiero
Mentor: Artem Chigvintsev
Tristan's got not one but two Best Dancer titles under his belt, as well as tons of mileage on the comp scene, including a place on the 2018 Beat Squad at Dancerpalooza. He's a super versatile mover, so watching him step into a ballroom role will certainly be exciting.
8. JT Church
Mentor: Alan Bersten
JT stole America's heart on "SYTYCD: The Next Generation," where he was runner-up. Since then, he's grown tremendously (both in size and style), claiming the title of Mini Best Dancer at the 2017 Dance Awards, and 2018 Core Performer at Radix. We're eagerly anticipating his return to TV!
9. Kamri Peterson
Mentor: Witney Carson
When Dance Spirit first profiled Kamri, it was back when she was in Paris competing at the World Amateur Ballroom Championships. This wunderkind can really do it all—not to mention, she's basically a mini-Witney, so this is a pairing we're doubly excited about!
10. Jake Monreal
Mentor: Sasha Farber
Jake's another "SYT" alum, having made it to the Top 7. He's got a super-strong ballroom background, and an A+ mentor to boot—Jake and his celeb partner will definitely be a pair to beat.
11. Artyon Celestine
Mentor: Brandon Armstrong
You may recognize Artyon as one half of Artyon & Paige, the dynamic duo we profiled for our May/June "You Should Know" column. This kid's got moves in all the genres, and we're so amped for his turn on the "DWTS" stage.
12. Kameron Couch
Mentor: Hayley Erbert
Kameron, better known as Kami on the comp circuit (and Katie's twin!), is a standout member of Molly Long's Project 21 and a stellar contemporary queen. She's made the Top 10 and 20 at Radix and The Dance Awards, respectively. This is Kami's first time dancing on TV, so we're extra-excited for her debut!
In our "Dear Katie" series, MCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm 14 and have been studying ballet seriously for about three years. Even though I feel ready, my teachers haven't put me on pointe yet. Am I doing something wrong? Should I ask them about it, or is it pointe-less?
Samantha Figgins is currently in her fifth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (and was a Dance Spirit cover girl back in 2013!). But what many people don't know is that the gorgeous dancer suffers from single-sided deafness. As a baby, Figgins contracted spinal meningitis, which caused her to lose all hearing in her right ear. She never gave up on her dance dreams, though, and fought her way through uncomfortable situations, never missing an opportunity to learn and grow. Now, after getting her first pair of hearing aids, she opens up about her path to success. —(As told to Courtney Celeste Spears)
Sara Esty's ethereal grace and sophisticated charm have won over ballet and Broadway audiences alike. The bunhead-turned-Broadway-baby began training near her hometown in Gorham, ME, at the Maine State Ballet's School for the Performing Arts (with her equally fabulous twin sister, Leigh-Ann). She enrolled full-time at the Miami City Ballet School in 2004, and joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2005. In 2006, Esty won the Princess Grace Award, and she was promoted to soloist at MCB in 2011. After leaving MCB in 2014, she made her Broadway debut in An American in Paris as the understudy for Lise, and went on to share the role of Lise with her sister on the show's national tour. Most recently, she was seen in 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Marie, Dancing Still in Seattle, WA. —Courtney Bowers