Dancer to Dancer
Illustration by Dniella Ferretti

For 16-year-old Amanda*, dance is everything: her passion, her escape from the daily grind, and her career goal. Her parents see things differently. "I have siblings who are active in sports," Amanda says, "and my parents would rather I play soccer or basketball. They don't see dance as something I can earn a stable living from in the future. They often tell me I should just quit."

Some parents aren't able to, don't know how to, or choose not to give you the kind of support you need to thrive in the studio. And when your parents are adding stress to your life, rather than alleviating it, there's a lot at stake. "Dancers who don't have the support of their parents might struggle with self-doubt," says Dr. Linda Hamilton, a former dancer with New York City Ballet and a clinical psychologist specializing in the performing arts, "while those whose parents are too involved can crack under the pressure." Whether your parents aren't there when you need them or they're always there, practically smothering you, try these tips to improve your situation.

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Dancer to Dancer
Courtesy Camryn Bridges

When Camryn Bridges burst onto the "Dance Moms" scene in 2016, she made immediate waves. Sure, there was the inevitable reality TV drama that's bound to happen whenever a new cast member joins the crew—but then there was the fact that Camryn was good. Between her explosive jumps, her total commitment to each routine, and her ability to wring herself out every time she hit the stage, Camryn quickly became a force to be reckoned with.

Though "Dance Moms" has since closed up shop, Camryn is still crushing the dance scene, the convention scene, and her Instagram game. (A quarter million followers can't be wrong!) Here's what else you should know about the St. Louis, MO, native.

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Screenshot via YouTube

You may not have heard Rachael Sage's name before, but you definitely know her music. Sage's songs have been featured on "Dance Moms" a record 22 times! Breakout star Maddie Ziegler even danced to several of her tunes.

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Dancer to Dancer
Molly Long (photo by Lee Gumbs, courtesy Long)

Molly Long is the rare prodigy who grew up to be even more brilliant. At the ripe old age of 16, Long (now 25) took charge of the minis at her home studio, Dance Precisions, in Southern California, leading the team to big wins at Nationals. It wasn't long before she was traveling the country to choreograph and teach. Long's infectiously musical, explosive yet clean style has been seen on "Dance Moms," "America's Got Talent," "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition," "Raising Asia," and at New York Fashion Week. Since 2015, Long's been touring with Revel Dance Convention and growing her Orange County–based company Project 21. Read on to find out where Long finds inspiration for her many winning numbers. —Helen Rolfe

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Dance News
Kalani, Kendall, and Chloe (courtesy Anne Watkins)

Our favorite drama-filled, dance reality show may have ended this past fall, but "Dance Moms" stars Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall aren't about to let that end their dance careers. In fact, these dancing kweens are taking their moves to a city near you with their Irreplaceables Tour! The girls are going all out for the three-week dance production, which is taking them across the country. And these dazzling dancers aren't just content with showing off their dance skillz—they want to pass along their tips and tricks in a dance workshop where they'll lead fans in stretches and dance routines from the show.

Dance Spirit caught up with Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall to find out what they love about tour life and where they see themselves five years from now.

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Popular
Via Youtube

Sure, we love a good over-the-top music video. But sometimes it's refreshing to find one that goes back to basics. And that's why we're obsessed with Grace VanderWaal's new music video, "Moonlight."

Relying solely on the song's unique sound and some phenomenal choreography by Kristin McQuaid (whose work has appeared on "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dance Moms"), the vid proves that you don't need 15 costume changes and a fog machine to make something powerful. To top it off, the song promotes a message that gives us all the feels, pointing out that while people may seem OK on the outside, you never know what they might be struggling with internally, and that it's important to accept people no matter what. So check out "Moonlight"—and don't be surprised if you suddenly feel like you have to drop everything and dance.

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Dance News
(From left) Nia Sioux, Kendall Vertes, Chloe Lukasiak, and Kalani Hilliker (via @chloelukasiak)

Hey, "Dance Moms" die-hards: Are you obsessed with The Irreplaceables? Well, four members of the elite team—Kalani Hilliker, Chloe Lukasiak, Nia Sioux, and Kendall Vertes—are coming soon to a city near you.

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Dance News

You probably know Ava Cota as the lovely, leggy dancer who was rejected from the Abby Lee Dance Company, on "Dance Moms," because she was "too tall." Now, that lanky frame is propelling her career as a model. Ava just made her New York Fashion Week runway debut, and we're guessing it won't be the last time the six-foot beauty graces NYC's catwalks.

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