Toronto Comp Kid Amanda Cleghorn

Amanda Cleghorn, 15, is a leggy lyrical dancer who seems as comfortable performing soaring split leaps and fast à la seconde turns as she does being tossed into the rafters by her partner. In The First Time, one of 16 dances Amanda took to Co. Dance Nationals in Orlando this past summer with her Toronto-based studio Performing Dance Arts, she stood out from the rest.


In this amorous duet with Ethan Lafleur, Amanda, clad in white chiffon, floated through tender lifts, speedy chainées and even an onstage kiss that garnered approving hollers from the audience. “In the dance, [Ethan and I are] thinking about acting [like we] love each other,” says Amanda, adding that once onstage, she concentrated more on feeling the dance than worrying about technical aspects. “I just felt free.”


During comp season, Amanda dances every day after school and on weekends, up to 20 hours a week. To keep up with her schoolwork, she uses her lunch periods and time spent commuting to the studio to complete assignments. To young competitors, she offers this advice: “Everyone wants to win, but don’t think about first place. Think about doing your best and doing better than you did [last time.]”


Fast Facts
Age: 15
Studio: Performing Dance Arts
Location: Woodbridge, Ontario (suburb of Toronto)
’06 Awards: Senior Performance of the Year, Senior Duo/Trio
Class Actions: Trains in jazz, tap, lyrical, ballet, acro, hip hop and partnering
Comp History: Amanda has been competing since age 6, in such events as Starpower, Dance Masters of America and American Dance Alliance.

Latest Posts

Because there's never been a better time to binge-watch "Bunheads" (via Freeform)

5 of the Danciest TV Shows Streaming Right Now (and Where to Stream Them)

We're about two months into #SocialDisDancing, and let's be real—while we all wish we were spending every spare minute stretching, cross-training, or taking online classes, sometimes we just need to Netflix and chill.

We figure, if you're going to be watching TV anyways, why not make it dancy TV? After all, watching pros dance on-screen is basically dance class homework...or at least we'll say it is. Here are five of the danciest TV shows for you to watch—and where to find them.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Larry Saperstein on "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" (Disney+/Fred Hayes)

Celebrate National Tap Dance Day with "HSM" Star Larry Saperstein

Happy National Tap Dance Day, friends! We're marking the occasion by catching up with one of our favorite talented young tappers: Larry Saperstein. The "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" star began taking tap classes at 12 years old, studying at the American Tap Dance Foundation, where he quickly discovered his love for the art. These days, he's putting his skills to good use as Big Red on "HSMTMTS." (Who could forget that iconic moment at the end of season one where he broke out into a tap routine that shook us all!)

We chatted with Larry about why he loves tap so much, and why the art form needs more and better representation in the dance world (and the world world).

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

2020 Dance Grads: We Want to Put You on Our Cover!

Hello, all you members of the great Dance Class of 2020. With the world on lockdown, this hasn't been the graduation season you expected. You likely weren't able to go to prom; your commencement ceremonies have probably been delayed or canceled; and you might not have been able to take your planned-for final bow onstage.

Since you're missing out on so much, we'd like to give you a virtual ovation, to recognize all you've accomplished. And what's the highest honor we can bestow? The cover of Dance Spirit!

Here's the plan:

  • If you're a high school or college senior dancer, use this form to submit your information and dance portrait.
  • Each day during the month of May, we'll create a digital Dance Spirit cover starring one of you, chosen at random—31 covers in total.
  • At the end of the month, we'll create a "commencement video" featuring even more of your submitted dance photos.
  • 100 of you, selected by lottery, will also receive free one-year subscriptions to the print magazine.

Merde, 2020 graduates, as you dance your way into the future!

High School and College Senior Dancers: Submit Your Photo Here

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search