Tapper Josh Johnson Goes from the NYC Subway to Madison Square Garden
We're kind of spoiled here in NYC. OK, we're really spoiled. Case in point: We all complain about riding the subway—but odds are good that, on any given day, we'll encounter an incredibly talented subway performer during our morning commute.
Until recently, Josh Johnson was just one of those hundreds of talented subway artists, showing off his tap dancing skills inside the city's trains. But Josh wasn't just hoping to make an extra buck: He was hoofing to help fund his college education.
Now Josh is studying business at Penn State University, and his star is on the rise. He's performed on "The Ellen Show" and "Dancing with the Stars," and he appeared on ABC's "World News with Diane Sawyer" last year.
Next Wednesday, Josh will perform for one of his biggest audiences yet: the sold-out crowd at the first Knicks game of the season at Madison Square Garden. He'll dance alongside four other great tappers and a crew of Knicks City Dancers.
Click here to check out Josh's website. And for a preview of the awesomeness to come on Wednesday, here he is doing his thing on "DWTS" (along with our friends Chloe Arnold and Melinda Sullivan!):
(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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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?