Hip-hop phenomenon Phoenix Lil'Mini is a girl on fire, with ultra-precise animation skills and larger-than-life stage presence. So it's no surprise her resumé lists one dream gig after another, like hitting the “So You Think You Can Dance" stage with her mentor Cyrus “Glitch" Spencer, dancing in Missy Elliott's “WTF (Where They From)" music video and winning the gold medal with her team at the Hip Hop International world championships.
The 10-year-old trains with Greg Chapkis and Melvin Timtim as a member of Chapkidz at Chapkis Dance in Suisun, CA. She studies hip-hop styles from krumping to grooving, and that amazing versatility helped her win battles with TURFinc and Monsters of Hip Hop.
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Something nobody knows about you: “I make recycled art and play competitive soccer."
What are you listening to right now?: “A lot of Adele"
Who would play you in a movie?: “I think I would play myself!"
Favorite performers: Michael Jackson, Missy Elliott and Cyrus “Glitch" Spencer. “But I don't really have a favorite because everyone inspires me in different ways."
😎 😂 😃
Describe your Dancing in Three words: “Intricate, musical and passionate"
(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.