Meet the 11-Year-Old Who Chose Ballet Over Brad Pitt

Lucky girl: Lucy with Brad Pitt on the set of "World War Z" (photo via "Bromley Times")

(...well, sort of.)

Little Lucy Walsham, whom you might recognize from such small films as World War Z (hence, Brad Pitt) and Les Misérables, recently decided to give up acting. Why, you ask? Because she earned a place at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London.

Lucy, who is apparently brilliantly gifted at whatever she does, was one of only 12 girls chosen to join the school this year. (Ballet is in her blood: Her mom was a dancer, too.) This month she moved into her RBS dormitory in Richmond, Surrey, and started her intensive ballet studies.

“I want my name to be something people associate with dance," Lucy told Great Britain's Bromley Times, "and for ballet to become more popular with everyone.” Right on, little lady.

That said, it might be a little easier to leave the acting world once you've already worked with its biggest stars. What was it like hanging out with Pitt on the set of World War Z, Lucy? "He was a regular guy. He was very funny and I got to meet his kids and Angelina too."

Best of luck to you, Miss Walsham!

(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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Amblin Entertainment

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