She's dominating contemporary routines and hip-hop combos. She's booking jobs in L.A. and NYC. She's slaying onstage at conventions (she's a lifetime assistant with Artists Simply Human) and on set with the Suga N Spice crew. Basically, 17-year-old Kerrynton Jones is everywhere, doing everything, all the time.
If you've seen her nail heels choreo by Yanis Marshall or breeze through an intricate routine by Janelle Ginestra, it can be hard to imagine that Kerrynton didn't always love hip hop. “I actually started out taking contemporary, and thought I would never need hip hop," she says. “But when I was 11, I attended The PULSE—and once I saw the kids assisting onstage, I wanted to be up there too." Kerrynton added street jazz and hip-hop classes to her schedule, and eventually achieved her goal: She was named a PULSE Elite Protégé for the 2013–14 season. “Now, I use the muscle control I learned from hip hop in my contemporary classes," she says. “Each style makes me stronger in the other."
Kerrynton is currently a trainee in the Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Program in NYC. The Maryland native has become a bona fide New Yorker: She lives in a dorm on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is homeschooled to accommodate her hectic schedule. When she has time, she squeezes in extra classes at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center.
For the moment, Kerrynton is focused on her Joffrey School traineeship, and dreams of booking a gig with Disney and eventually moving to L.A. “I think I'm leaning toward a more commercial life," she says. “But I also think I could work well in a company. I can't say where I'll end up yet." It seems possible that Kerrynton really can, and will, do it all.
“As a PULSE Elite Protégé, Kerrynton set the bar for how assistants should work for their teachers: full-out, with exquisite technique and ferocious passion. She's the ultimate role model for young female dancers, and girls in general. She grows with each passing year—she's unstoppable!" —Brian Friedman, choreographer
Birthday: March 12, 1999
Dream gig: “Dancing for Beyoncé!"
Favorite food: Cookie butter
Dance idol: China Taylor
If she weren't a dancer, she'd be: “A personal trainer"
Biggest fear: Spiders
Her dancing in two words: “Powerful and emotional"
Go-to stress reliever: Foam-rolling
Advice for DS readers: “If anybody tells you that you can't do something, do it and prove them wrong."
(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.
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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.