Rhi Lee Photography, courtesy Ayden Nguyen

Why You Should Know Rising Hip-Hop Star Ayden Nguyen

When a dancer's resumé includes winning "World of Dance," appearing on both "Ellen" and "The Kids' Choice Awards," and dancing with Justin Bieber, N.E.R.D., and Lil Wayne, that dancer isn't usually 10 years old. But hip-hopper Ayden Nguyen, affectionately known as the "mini Sean Lew," has already managed to captivate audiences all over the world with his explosive yet nuanced style. Catch Ayden appearing in music videos and events throughout the year in his latest gig as a featured Kidz Bop Kid.


Ayden poses on top of a sculpture in the middle of the park. He stands on one leg, with the other foot kicking up towards his back, with one hand on his forehead, and the other extended behind him. He wears black Vans sneakers, black socks, checkered pants, and a long-sleeved, black graphic tee.

Rhi Lee Photography, courtesy Ayden

Fast Facts

Full name: Ayden Thanh Nguyen

Age: 10

Birthday: August 28, 2009

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Trains at: The Dance Xperience convention (touring in multiple cities,) and Centre for Dance in Dallas, TX

How he started dancing: "When I was little, I would always watch videos of Michael Jackson and the Jabbawockeez and try to copy them. I finally took my first class when I was 5."

Favorite performance: "Competing on 'World of Dance,' with The Lab, because we won the whole show, and it was so cool to meet Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo."

Three words to describe his dancing: Textured, sharp, strong

Ayden poses up on his toes, like Michael Jackson's signature move. He stands in a train station, next to a bright yellow train. He wears black and red Nike sneakers, black sweatpants, a white t-shirt under a denim button down, and a brown beanie. His face is in profile, and he is smiling down at his feet.

Rhi Lee Photography, courtesy Ayden

Favorite thing about dance: "Going to class. You get to meet new people, see your friends, and just dance.

Nondance hobbies: Soccer, basketball, and football

Place he'd love to visit: "Japan, to see the cherry blossoms there"

Dance idols: Michael Jackson, and the Jabbawockeez and Kinjaz dance crews

Dream dance job: Backup dancer or choreographer for Justin Timberlake, Shawn Mendes, or Chris Brown

Dream superpower: Telekinesis

Something no one knows about him: "I'm double-jointed in my right and left thumb."

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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