Why You Should Know Dance Darling Elliana Walmsley

Photo by Eva Nys Photography, courtesy Yolanda Walmsley

When you hear Elliana Walmsley's name, your first thought is probably "Dance Moms," but that's far from the tween's only claim to fame. Since first appearing on Season 6 of the show, Elliana's won Youth America Grand Prix's Hope Award and starred in the off-Broadway musical Dance Divas Nutcracker. Most recently, she won the title of 2018 Mini Female Best Dancer at The Dance Awards—and started work on "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" the following day.

Winning 2018 Mini Female Best Dancer was a dream come true. I used to watch the dance-offs and solos, thinking it would be so cool just to get to the improv round. But a teacher told me that it was out of my reach, that I'd never be able to do it. I never forgot that comment, and I'm so glad that I proved her wrong.

Fast Facts

Age: 11

Birthday: June 23, 2007

Hometown: Boulder, CO

Trains at: Master Ballet Academy in Scottsdale, AZ; Michelle Latimer Dance Academy in Greenwood Village, CO; EDGE Performing Arts Center and Millennium Dance Complex in L.A.

Favorite Instagram filter: "The bulldog you put on your face"

Nickname: "One of the producers on 'Dance Moms' once asked my middle name. The first thing that popped into my head was Shakoofa—though it's really Kathryn. But now everyone calls me Shakoofa!"

Pre-performance ritual: "The Llama Squad—Brynn Rumfallo, Maesi Caes, and I—made up a chant where we basically jump around in circles and act like llamas. We get a lot of weird looks at conventions, but we don't care!"


A version of this story appeared in the December 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "You Should Know: Elliana Walmsley."

Dance News
It's a Ziegler Zamboni! (screenshot via YouTube)

Everyone loves the multitalented Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler. Everyone loves Olympic figure skater (and pop-culture icon) Adam Rippon. Everyone loves when dancers ice-skate, and vice versa. So what could possibly be more lovable than the latest episode of the YouTube show "Break the Ice with Adam Rippon," in which Rippon teaches the sisters Ziegler to skate? (Nothing. NOTHING is more lovable than this freakishly cute video.)

Keep Reading Show less
Just for Fun
Three of our Insta faves (Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy, Robert Roldan, and Gaby Diaz) in one photo!

It's safe to say that we're obsessed with the "So You Think You Can Dance" All Stars. Over the past few seasons, we've loved seeing them up on that "SYT" stage, guiding each new batch of contestants. Unsurprisingly, many of the All Stars are as charismatic online as they are onscreen. While we wait to hear which All Stars will be involved in Season 16, here are six from years past that you should totally be following on Insta.

Keep Reading Show less
Just for Fun
Sage Humphries rehearsing "White" (Brooke Trisolini, courtesy Boston Ballet)

It's been an eventful few months for Sage Humphries, to say the least. Last November, the Boston Ballet company member made her (very well-received) choreographic debut with a piece called YOU, part of the company's BB@home: ChoreograpHER program. Just one week later, Humphries sustained an injury that kept her offstage for a couple of months. But she didn't have much downtime: Artistic director Mikko Nissinen soon asked Humphries to make a piece for Boston Ballet's first-ever appearance at Boston Calling Music Festival. Now that Humphries is back in the studio, Dance Spirit caught up with her to talk about making ballet rock, working with her composer brother, and what it's like to see her name next to William Forsythe's.

Keep Reading Show less
Choreography

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Giveaways