Maddie Hanson

Maddie at The PULSE on Tour in 2012 (photo courtesy The PULSE)

Sixteen-year-old Maddie Hanson transitions seamlessly from the quiet, quirky grace of a Mia Michaels contemporary piece to the hard-hitting, in-your-face power of a Lando Wilkins hip-hop routine—and those chameleon-like abilities earned her the title of Intermediate Elite Protégé with The PULSE on Tour in 2012. Maddie is one of the hardest-working teens in the business. She splits her time between Canada and the U.S., attending school full-time in Toronto and training at Karpov Ballet Academy and Soul Motion Integrated Arts in L.A. She also assists William Wingfield’s The meta’fizikal, performs as a Monsters of Hip Hop Show cast member and keeps a popular blog, Now a high school junior, Maddie hopes to attend The Juilliard School and to one day start her own contemporary company.


Fast Facts

Birthday: July 4, 1998

Nickname: “Lando Wilkins gave me the nickname ‘Mad Dog’ at the Movement Lifestyle Tour.”

Hidden talent: “I’m a Lego master builder in training!”

Dream job: “Dancing with Kidd Pivot…or for Justin Timberlake.”

Nondance hobbies: “I love to read, especially fantasy series like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.”

Favorite dancer: Mishay Petronelli

Advice for DS readers: “Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on your own path.”

"If I had to choose between a career as an onstage or on-screen performer, I’d choose the stage every time. Nothing beats the rush you get when performing for a live audience"

Dancer to Dancer
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to 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.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

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?

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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.

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