You Should Know: Madison Penney

(photo by Eva Nys Photography)

Madison Penney's pristine technique and natural stage presence have earned her a place at the top of the ballet competition world. She began her ballet training at age 8, at Master Ballet Academy in Scottsdale, AZ, and quickly racked up a list of accomplishments as jaw-dropping as her extreme extensions. In the last two years alone, the 12-year-old scooped up the 2015 Gold Medal at the World Ballet Competition and the 2016 Youth America Grand Prix Hope Award, and was the co-recipient of the 2016 American Dance Competition | International Ballet Competition Grand Prix.


“I don't have a favorite part of ballet class because it's always challenging me in different ways. But I do love that hard work pays off." —Madison Penney

Fast Facts

Age: 12

Birthday: April 16, 2004

Hometown: Mesa, AZ

Studio: Master Ballet Academy

Coaches/teachers: Slawomir and Irena Wózniak

Favorite dancer: Svetlana Zakharova

Favorite foods: Pepperoni pizza and Caesar salad

Go-to stress reliever: Hot bath with bath bombs

Dream company: Bolshoi Ballet

Dream role: Kitri, in Don Quixote

Her dancing in three words: Strong, precise, passionate

Non-dance hobby: “I love to decorate!"

Advice for Dance Spirit readers: “Stay humble and believe in yourself."

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 by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

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.

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All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.

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