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As hundreds of thousands of students across the country participated in school walkouts and marches over the past few weeks, protesting school shootings and gun violence in America, one group of young comp kids decided to take a stand through dance. And the resulting video is truly powerful.

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Dancer to Dancer

(Photo by Jake McWilliams, courtesy the Wilkins)

Twelve-year-old Jaycee Wilkins has a spunky, acrobatic side, a persona that’s served her well on screen. In 2012, she and partner Dylynn Jones won Disney Channel’s “Make Your Mark: Ultimate Dance-Off”—and their grand prize was an appearance on an episode of “Shake It Up.” Her TV success continued in 2013, when she and four other girls from her studio made it to the final audition for “America’s Got Talent” Season 8. But tricks and sass are only one side of Jaycee’s coin. On the competition scene, she’s won recognition through her softer lyrical solos, where she uses a masterful balance of tension and fluidity to convey a story. In 2014, that ability earned her first runner-up for Junior Best Dancer at The Dance Awards, in addition to a Top 12 spot at Youth America Grand Prix.

"While precision is really important to me, it’s when I push myself outside of my comfort zone that I feel fully dedicated to the movement."

Fast Facts

Birthday: November 24, 2002

Hometown: Queen Creek, AZ

Studio: Club Dance Studio

Nickname: “Baby Jay…or just Jay.”

Favorite song: “Blank Space,” by Taylor Swift

Favorite Instagram filter: “You can never go wrong with black-and-white.”

Dance BFF: Tate McRae

Dance mentor: Kim McSwain. “She trained at a ballet school forever, but she also loves hip hop—so her classes are technical and funky at the same time!”

Non-dance hobbies: Watching magic shows, skateboarding and wakeboarding

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