Nick Silverio (Kevin Wang, courtesy Silverio)

Meet the Competition Judge Behind the Most #Relatable Dancer TikToks

If you're on #compkid TikTok, odds are you've seen a post by Nick Silverio (@nicksilverioo). Silverio was a competitive dancer with Elite Academy of Dance in Shrewsbury, MA, before studying business at the University of Pennsylvania and continuing to dance throughout college. Now he works as a professional dancer, choreographer, and competition judge in NYC, and—like so many of us—turned to TikTok to fight quarantine boredom. His account has grown to almost 40k followers and has garnered over a million likes.

We asked Silverio to tell us a bit about his new creative outlet.


Make sure to get all 4 corners of the room ##ballet ##balletbarre ##compkid ##dancer ##dancecompetition

♬ original sound - nicksilverioo

Dance Spirit: When did you join TikTok?

Nick Silverio: Oh my gosh, I joined TikTok in quarantine because I was losing my mind. I had always said that I never would, because I was like, "I'll never dance on TikTok," which is still true. I have yet to dance on TikTok, but I wanted to make people laugh.


She’s “in the pipeline” for shaping sound ##dancer ##compkid ##dancecompetition

♬ original sound - nicksilverioo

DS: So no "Renegade" for you?

NS: No! No "Savage," no elbow hits. I don't want to. But I do want to make people smile, especially dancers, since that's sort of my brand.


Mom can you push my leg up? ##dancecomp ##dancecompetition ##compkid ##stretching (song: “Stretch” by Louise)

♬ original sound - nicksilverioo

DS: What inspires your TikToks?

NS: I literally lay in bed at night and think about all the little details that come along with being a dancer that we don't think twice about, but then if you really think about them they're hysterical. [And] I'll wake up at two in the morning wearing my retainer and [I'll] record voice memos of my ideas, and then I'll play them back in the morning and record them as TikToks.


Competing against literally no one ##dancecompetition ##dancer ##compkid ##dance

♬ original sound - nicksilverioo

DS: How long does it take for you to create one, from start to finish?

NS: I'd say about an hour, but some take two to three hours. I always end up spending more time on it than I expect.


In the adult jazz division ##dancer ##dancecompetition ##dancecomp ##compkid

♬ original sound - nicksilverioo

DS: Are you surprised by how popular your videos have become?

NS: Yes! I didn't think anyone was going to watch them, and my sixth video has over a million views. I'm surprised because I thought only dancers would get it, but I think a lot of other people also relate to the humor.

Lots of dance moms share them on Facebook. The moms have been so supportive—Maddie Ziegler's mom Melissa reposted my dance moms TikTok on her Instagram, and I was like, "What is happening?"

DS: Who is your favorite person to keep up with on social media?

NS: One of my most recent videos, "The dancer you don't want to run into at nationals" was inspired by Caitlyn Reilly (@itscaitlinhello). For dancers, I'm obsessed with Christopher Davis (@iamchrxstopher). He's from L.A., and he's the funniest but also the sickest dancer.

You can follow Nick on Instagram and TikTok @nicksilverioo

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Photo by Brooke Fera

Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer

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