Luke Spring

The first thing you’ll notice when you see 9-year-old Luke Spring is that the pint-sized tap dancer loves to smile. He grins from ear to ear in a way that’s completely infectious. In fact, Luke says if he were a superhero, he’d want his superpower to be “making people laugh.”

The second reason you won’t be able to take your eyes off Luke: He’s a really, really good dancer, and not just for his age, but for any age. Last May, Luke opened the show at the Fred and Adele Astaire Awards in NYC, and his furiously fast tapping brought the crowd to its feet. The solo he performed? An all-improv, a capella number. “I was nervous,” Luke says of the Astaire Awards. “There were a lot of people in the audience. But I just went out and made it all up. I was proud of myself, and I was excited people stood up for me.”

It’s no surprise Luke’s got rhythm­—he comes from a dance family. Luke has two sisters: One is a dance major at George Mason University and the other performs with the professional contemporary company marInspired. It wasn’t just his siblings who inspired a 4-year-old Luke to put on a pair of Capezios, though. “When I watched the movie Happy Feet, I thought it was really cool,” he says. “So after I saw it, I found some tap shoes in the lost and found at the studio and started tapping. I didn’t know I would be good at it.”

Luke started taking tap classes at Studio Bleu Dance Center in Ashburn, VA, soon afterward, and a year later he added jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary and ballet to his repertoire. He also began competing in solos and group routines, as well as a tap trio with his sisters. He performs up to 14 routines at each competition he attends and is in the studio six days a week. His signature tap step is over-the-tops. “They come naturally to me,” he says. But it’s when there’s no set choreography that Luke truly shines: He’s an improv pro. “I learned a lot of steps from my teachers, and then I put them all together to make new beats and noises,” he says. “I can make easy steps into harder steps by adding more sounds.”

Luke hasn’t even hit double digits and already he’s performed on “So You Think You Can Dance” (alongside executive producer Nigel Lythgoe) and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” While he’s got plenty of time to think about the future, Luke already knows what he’s after: “I want to perform on Broadway and TV and in movies, and I want to teach.” For someone who was born to entertain, these goals seem well within reach.


Luke performing with Nigel Lythgoe on "So You Think You Can Dance" (Frank Micelotta/FOX)

Birthday: April 10, 2003

Most-played song on his iPod: “They Don’t Care About Us” by Michael Jackson

Favorite actors: Jim Carrey and Steve Martin. “They’re both really funny.”

Must-see TV show: “Happy Days.” “I like The Fonz.”

Favorite dancers of all time: Jason Samuels Smith, Gregory Hines, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Chloé and Maud Arnold

Favorite food: Hamburgers. “I put ketchup, pickles, lettuce, tomato and cheese on them.”

Something people don’t know about him: “I like football, basketball, playing the drums, drawing and designing tap shoes.”

First thing he does in the morning: Eats breakfast. “I like pancakes.”

Three words that describe him: “Funny, fun, happy”

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search