Images by Norelle, courtesy Jennifer Falcione

Why You Should Know Rising Star Kiarra Waidelich

When we asked what her proudest accomplishment so far is, Kiarra Waidelich paused for a moment. That's because she has so many to choose from: In the past two years, Kiarra's earned Mini and Junior Female Best Dancer at The Dance Awards, snagged Youth America Grand Prix's Hope Award, and made it to the divisional finals on Season 2 of "World of Dance." Equally gifted in ballet ("I love the mental and physical challenge") and contemporary, it's the latter that made Kiarra realize dance was her passion. "If something bad or stressful happens in my day, I use contemporary as a way to express and release what I'm feeling," she says. "Dance is a way for me to emote and let things go."


"Never give up! Even if you have a setback, keep going: It might be a new beginning in disguise. There's never a reason to stop trying." —Kiarra Waidelich

Heather Magliarditti, courtesy Falcione

Fast Facts

Age: 14

Birthday: January 15, 2005

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Trains at: The Rock Center for Dance in Las Vegas, NV

Nickname: "My friends and teachers call me Ki."

Who would play her in the movie of her life: "Keira Knightley is a big inspiration for me. I really liked her performances in Pirates of the Caribbean—and all her other movies! She's a really good actor, and so pretty."

Favorite dancer of all time: Tate McRae. "The way she tells stories through her dancing is just amazing. I would love to be a storyteller like her one day."

Best dance trait: "I'm really strong, so even though I have long legs, I can move quickly."

Favorite choreographers: Travis Wall, Talia Favia, and Lauren Adams


A version of this story appeared in the February 2019 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "You Should Know: Kiarra Waidelich."

Latest Posts


Because you know you've always wondered... (Getty Images)

Sounding Off: Here's What Your Favorite Musicians Think of Dance Routines Set to Their Songs

In the competition world, a small group of musicians has attained almost cultlike status, with choreographers turning to their tracks over and over. We know how we feel about these bangers—there's a reason we can't stop dancing to them—but how do the musicians feel about us? We caught up with three contemporary artists whose music has dominated the competition scene recently, and gauged their reactions to the dances set to their life's work.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
King Kong on Broadway (Joan Marcus, courtesy Bonneau/Brian-Brown)

Follow the Path of a Broadway Musical from Concept to Opening Night

The curtain rises, the crowd goes wild, and the bright lights of Broadway shine down as you make your debut on opening night…it's every Broadway baby's dream. But you may be surprised to learn that a show's journey to the Great White Way can be months, or even years, in the making. How does a production go from concept to curtain call? We spoke to industry veterans about what happens at every stage.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Jordan Fisher (center) in a dance scene from Work It (Brendan Adam-Zwelling/Netflix)

Here's Why Jordan Fisher Thinks You Should Be Excited for Netflix's New Dance Film, "Work It"

If you're looking for a sign that 2020 might *just* be turning around, look no further than Netflix's new dance-centric film Work It. The movie comes out this Friday, August 7, and the hype is real. ICYMI, the film follows high school senior Quinn Ackerman, played by none other than Sabrina Carpenter, as she attempts to lead her dance team to a competition win in order to bolster her chances of being admitted to the college of her dreams. One small challenge: Quinn isn't a dancer.

Enter Jordan Fisher as Jake Taylor, a talented-but-troubled choreographer and dancer, to help Quinn lead the team. We had the chance to speak with Fisher about his experience on set, and why Work It just might be the dance movie we've all been waiting for.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search