Easton Payne didn't even walk into a dance studio until he was 12, but word of his talents has spread quickly since then. He's choreographed solos for comp-circuit standouts like Lucy Vallely and Ruby Castro, while also performing his own work and creating group pieces for studios like L.A.'s Project21Dance. Now, 21-year-old Easton has his sights set on the Great White Way—he says he's "dying to set a Broadway show, as well as be in one."
"We live in a time when dance is so very accessible, but don't confuse inspiration with duplication. Life is too short to be anyone but yourself!" —Easton Payne
Birthday: February 11, 1997
Age: 21 ("as well as 85 and 11")
Training at: Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education in Atlanta, GA; Dance Town in Doral, FL
Hometown: Brasstown, NC ("The smallest town known to mankind!")
Favorite quote: "The world needs what you've got."
Three words that describe his choreography: "Is he kidding?"
Favorite step: A grand step-touch
Listening to: "Patsy Cline or 'Cool It Now' by New Edition—five times a day"
Favorite dancers: Emma Portner, Jason Parsons, Bob Fosse, Lucy Vallely, Sylvie Guillem
Best thing about choreographing: "Freedom to build the structures and images I've always imagined."
Most challenging thing about choreographing: "Consistency. Pushing through when I just don't feel like it is difficult, but it's those times that define your true strength as an artist."