Dance News

Meet Three "Young Marvels"

One of the best parts of this job is discovering super-young dancers who are super-duper gifted. And these days, the Ovation network, which devotes a lot of airtime to next-generation talent, is a pretty great place to do that kind of scouting.

Next week, Ovation will debut a new series following eight accomplished artists under the age of 15. "Young Marvels" premieres Wednesday, the 16th, at 10 pm EST/7 pm PST. The show includes three dancers: Sophia (13), who trains at Millenium Dance Complex in L.A.; Duncan (14), a student at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School; and Lev (8!), a national ballroom champ.

While you're waiting for Wednesday to roll around, we thought you might like to get to know all three a little better. Take a look at their "fast facts" below—then click here to watch the series trailer.

Duncan McIlwaine

Birthday: December 15th, 1999

Nickname: Dunc

Most-played song of the moment: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin

Dance idols: Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, Polina Seminiova, David Hallberg

Favorite foods: pasta, artichokes, "all kinds of berries and cherries"

Hidden talents: piano playing (a little bit), gymnastics

Who would play you in a movie? "Hopefully me!"

If you were a superhero, what would your power be? "Transportation, so I could get everywhere I need to be, on time."

What's the last thing you do before you go to bed? "20 push-ups."

What's the strangest thing in your dance bag? Japanese dictionary

Three words that describe you: energetic, positive, fun

Three words that describe your dancing: "work in progress"

Sophia Jahadhmy

Birthday: October 1, 2000

Nickname: Soph

Most-played songs of the moment: "Come with me now" by KONGOS, "Automatic" by Iration, "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus

Dance idols: Will "Willdabeast" Adams and Brian Friedman

Hidden talent: "I'm really good at doing manicures and makeup."

Who would play you in a movie? "Halle Berry would play the future me."

If you were a superhero, what would your power be? "I would be able to disapparate, like Harry Potter."

What is the first thing you do in the morning? "Make chocolate chip pancakes."

What is the last thing you do before you go to bed? "I listen to 8-tracks as I go to sleep."

Non-dance hobbies: "I really like reading dystopian and mystery books."

Strangest thing in your dance bag: "A silver troll with light blue hair that my dance teacher, Jess Warfield, gave me."

The best advice you’ve ever received: "Jess Warfield told me to 'get out of my head' when I dance, which means I shouldn't overthink everything—I should just dance freely."

Lev Khmeleva

Birthday: October 11, 2005

Nicknames: Levushka, Dancing Machine Lev

Most-played songs of the moment: "American boy" by Estelle, ''Skyfall" by Adele

Dance idols: "My coaches—Samantha Safir, Leonid Proskurov, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Derek Hough."

Favorite dance movie: Pulp Fiction

Must-see TV shows: "Scooby-Doo" shows, "Dancing with the Stars"

Who would play you in a movie? "Derek Hough or Brad Pitt."

If you would be a superhero, what would your power be? "Controlling time."

What's the first thing you do in the morning? "Kiss and hug my mommy."

What's the last thing you do before going to bed? "Read a book with my mommy."

Non-dance hobbies: ice skating, Pokémon, magic

Strangest thing in your dance bag: "My favorite Pokémon card—it's a good luck charm."

Three words that describe you: emotional, happy, "open to the world"

Three words that describe your dancing: well-acted, emotional, focused

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