Kalani Hilliker on What It's REALLY Like to Be a Reality Star
Want to know what it's really like to be a teen reality star? We asked "Dance Moms" standout Kalani Hilliker to spill fun facts you'd never hear about on TV.
What's the worst thing about having cameras in the studio?
"They sometimes get in the way. The cameramen don't remember the choreography, so sometimes I'll do a grand jeté to the left, and they're standing right there!"
What's one myth you'd like to bust about "Dance Moms"?
"People think we have a week to learn dances, but we don't even have that. Pyramid on Wednesday means a whole day of just standing there—which only leaves time for about two eight-counts of choreography. We learn most of each dance on Thursday, and on Friday, we have an hour or two to run it before getting on the bus to competition."
What do you think of all the mom drama?
"Honestly, the kids are there because we love to dance, and the drama stays between the moms. We know the moms are just fighting because it's a TV show, and we try to remind ourselves that our parents are always trying to stick up for us so we look our best onstage. We tune it out the best we can, and we never let it affect our friendships."
Do you watch the show?
"Nope! I can't watch myself on TV. Plus, sometimes we don't hear the drama when it's happening, so we'd rather pretend it didn't happen than see it three months later. Instead, we'll go on YouTube just to re-watch our dances."
For more on Kalani and her plans after "Dance Moms", click here.
A version of this story appeared in the September 2017 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Secrets from the 'Dance Moms' Set."
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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.
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Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe
It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.
But is this jet-setter lifestyle really the most effective road to take? Can weekends of dancing with top talent truly replace the bread and butter of daily work at your home studio? The answer, according to most industry experts, is no. We asked five pros to explain why.