Lilliana, or 'Lilly,' is a 10-year-old dancer from California who trains at The Royal Underground.
"Dance is my passion," Lilly said. "When I dance, I love to work hard towards a goal and it’s taught me how to be disciplined and confident."
She trains about 30 hours each week in contemporary, hip-hop , jazz , lyrical and musical theatre. She won scholarship awards at Rainbow Dance Competition and Starpower Dance Competition. She also earned the title 'Miss Star System 2018' from Star Systems Talent.
She is consistently inspired by her dance teacher, Ms. Joanna, who she also considers her 'second mom.'
"She pushes me to be better every time and encourages me to be someone in life ... not to ever be scared off anything," Lilly said.
Her dance team mates have also have a major impact on journey.
"These girls work so hard and have the same goals," she said. "When you surround yourself with positive people, you can accomplish everything and more. I love them so much."
She encourages others to never give up.
Her Picks, Lilly Barajas
Rainbow Dance Competition
Starpower Dance Competition
"She identifies my strengths and grows my potential," Audrina said of her teacher.
Audrina loves to try new things and have fun in the process. She trains about 6 hours a week in ballet and jazz. She's conquered her one-handed cartwheel and is working on her aerial. She also loves how dance allows her to express herself and gain self confidence.
She received her first dance award in November of 2018 — the 'Newcomer Award' — from Dance aTak Convention.
"Dance has taught me that I am very brave and highly capable!" Audrina said.
Audrina loves being a big sister to her 3-year-old twin brothers and 1 year-old brother.
"My family means everything to me and they motivate me to be my best every day!" she said.
Her Picks, Audrina Mossembekker
Featured dancers share some of their favorite dance-related picks.
Dance aTaK Convention @danceatak
Miss Rachel Ruhe @rachelruhe
Miss Candice McCarty @candice_mccarty
Miss Rachel Miller @missrachelmiller.com
Miss Lyndsie Olson @lyndsleeo
Miss Shannon Gilbert @darceygilbert
5280 Dancewear @5280dancewearshop
Five Dancewear @fivedancewear
Chelsea B Dancewear @cbdancewear
Kandi Kouture @kandikouturedancewear
Jo + Jax @joandjax
Kristyn Dodge @kristyndodge
KNK Miami @knkmiami
Dream Duffel @dreamduffel
Stretch ladder @stretchladder
Dot 2 Dance @dot2dance
Bosu Ball @bosu_fitness
Aubree is a 10-year-old dancer who is in an exciting transition in her dance journey. She began dancing at the age of 4 and trained in many styles. But as she grew older, she realized that ballet was her passion. She recently moved to a Classical Ballet School for more intense ballet training.
"It has been a huge change, but I am excited to work towards new goals," Aubree said. "I am attending conventions still, but hoping to return to competing next year."
Aubree knows that she will be fulfilled as long as she is dancing.
"I love being able to be creative and express myself with dancing," she said. "The beauty in ballet to the sass in jazz is magical. I also love being inspired and then challenging myself to learn new things."
Aubree feels blessed to be able to work with and represent dance companies like Dinelia Noel Photography, Tiger Friday, Gomee Girl, Purple Pixies, Ballerina Boxx, DNC Mode, Strive Girl and Fly Dance Competition.
This season, Aubree received a full scholarship to Dupree Dance Convention. Last season, she placed 3rd overall for her solo at Dupree, Legacy, and Move and 4th overall at Rainbow and Headliners.
"It was my first time performing a ballet/contemporary and I really enjoyed it," Aubree said. "I also auditioned and performed in Sacramento Ballet's The Nutcracker which was amazing!"
When asked who impacted her dance journey the most she gives credit to her mom for her endless support and encouragement and Mrs. Janie, her ballet teacher from her first studio who saw her potential and pushed her to do her best.
"Bianca Bulle, Dusty Button, and Maria Khoreva are a few of the amazing women in the dance community who I aspire to be like," she added.
Dance has taught her that she was actually limiting herself in what she thought she could do, and that, through consistent hard work, she is capable of so much more.
To other dancers, Aubree advises: "Never give up. You will have hard times, but keep training and pushing yourself because the results will come! Secondly, always choose kind."
Her Picks, Aubree Wing
Featured Dancers share their top dance picks.
Rainbow Dance @rainbowdance
Dupree Dance @dupreedance
Hollywood Dance Jamz @hollywooddancejamz
Addison Holmes @thesaltyballerina
Kobi Rozenfeld @kobirozenfeld
Francisco Gella @franciscogelladanceofficial
Alison Stroming @alisonstroming
Tiger Friday @tigerfriday
Purple Pixies @purplepixiesny
Soel Dancewear @soeldancewear
Patrick J Design @patrickjdesign
Covet Dance @covetdance
Kandi Kouture @kandikouturedancewear
Dinelia Noel @dinelianoel
Alicia Doherty @aliciadohertyphotography
Melissa Ownby @lissaannphotography
Davis Photography @davisportfolio
DaNCe Mode @dncmode
Sarah is a 12-year-old dancer from Alberta, Canada.
"Dance makes me happy and fills my heart with joy," she says.
Sarah trains at least 20 hours each week in classes, rehearsals and practice at home. She trains in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acro and Hip Hop. She loves how dance allows her to be creative and express herself.
She has a grateful heart and believes in 'sprinkling kindness like confetti.' Dance has taught her that every person is unique and special. At dance conventions, she loves to meet new dancers from other studios and she soaks up all of the inspiring messages from the teachers.
Sarah has received several first place overall awards for her solos. Most recently she was awarded a NUVO Breakout Artist Award at NUVO Calgary.
"This was a goal I had set for myself and I am thrilled to have achieved it," she said.
Sarah chooses to be kind and humble as she reaches her goals and works towards new ones. She encourages others to take as many dance classes as possible and to say 'yes' to opportunities that may come your way.
"Some of my best dance experiences have come from finding the courage to try new things," she said.
She has many people who have helped or inspired her in dance. Her mom, who used to be a dancer, helps her practice and work on the little things that make her performance better.
"I am thankful for all the driving she does, the hair, the make up and all those early mornings when she gets me where I need to be," Sarah said. "She is so kind and I love her very much."
Her dance teachers at Airborne Dance Centre help her every day with technique and exam preparation.
"They give me the most beautiful choreography and are so supportive and caring," Sarah said. "They help me grow and push me to try new things."
Her dance friends inspire her and are always there to support and encourage her.
"My dance friends are my best friends," Sarah said. "They understand me like no one else can."
Sarah hopes to be a dance teacher one day and inspire others in the same way they have inspired her.
Featured Dancers share their top dance picks.
Charlotte & Rachel Lowe
Oh La La Dancewear
Jo & Jax
Apolla Performance Socks
Official Turn Board
"I’m so inspired by my team and our ability to work hard and support each other," she said. "Some of my best friends are my fiercest competition."
Bella has always loved dancing. It gives her confidence and she enjoys mastering new things. She loves to perform on stage, at the studio or at home for family.
"I love being able to express myself in different ways by showing different emotions or styles of dance," Bella said.
Bella loves to watch and learn from the older girls at her dance studio. She avidly watches dance shows on TV and hopes to audition for one some day. She loves musicals and 'Hamilton' is her favorite. She recalls her favorite 'Hamilton' line: "There's a million things I haven't done - just you wait!"
That line holds true for Bella's passion for dance and her hopes for the future.
This past summer, Bella came in second place overall at the Shake the Ground Nationals, where she also received a scholarship. After attending 'Titans of Dance' for the first time, she was awarded a scholarship. Most recently, she was awarded third place at Radix for her solo in which she competed in the Mini Division (8-10 year olds) for the first time.
"I was very excited and proud of that," she said.
Bella encourages others to believe in themselves and never give up.
"You will be amazed at what you can do!" Bella said.
She adds: "Always support your team and other dancers. Dance is a confusing sport with solos where you compete against your teammates and friends. Always congratulate others on their success! Don’t compare yourself to others — it doesn’t matter what others can do or not do — focus on what you want to be doing."
Featured Dancers share their top picks in dance!
Titans of Dance
Jo & Jax
Oh La La Dancewear
LA Dance Designs
Julia Rose Photography
"No matter what, we all are supportive and have each other’s backs," Stella said. "They continuously motivate me and push me to be better than I was before. I love them all and am very grateful to have them in my life."
Stella trains 15 or more hours each week in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyric, Contemporary, Acrobatics and Hip Hop. Her titles include Miss Teen Starquest and the American Dance Awards Dancer of the Year.
The camaraderie extends to her dance teachers — Miss Erica, Miss Lisa and Miss Jackie, who have greatly impacted Stella's journey through dance.
"They have always made sure that I’m giving my best -- whether I am going across the floor, on stage, or in a rehearsal. They are the reason why I have improved so much over the past years physically and mentally," Stella said. "They are like second mothers to me, teaching me about not only dance, but life as well. I am forever grateful for the support, encouragement and love that they continually give me."
Stella has found her art through dance. It takes away her stress from everyday life.
"I get to do what I love each day," Stella said. "Dance makes me ... me, and nothing can ever change that."
Stella is grateful for the gift of dance and loves to share that by being a role model to others. She's able to do that through a positive studio environment and support and encouragement from her parents.
Stella wants others just starting out in dance to know that 'comparison is the thief of joy.' She thinks all dancers should embrace being perfectly you.
"The more you compare yourself to others, the less happiness you will get from dancing," Stella said. "It gets easier when you get older and realize that you are a perfect dancer just the way you are."
She also advises to always work hard.
"Nothing ever gets accomplished if you don’t put your mind and commitment to it," Stella said. "Understand that your goal as a dancer is not out of reach if you put your heart and soul into it."
Featured dancers to share their top picks in dance-related categories.
JoJo Gomez, @jojogomezxo
Lexi Colvin, @focuslexi
Five Dancewear, @FiveDancewear
Superior Band, @superiorband
"The time and money they have to spend for me to do what I love makes me appreciate them and work hard," Rachel said.
She advises dancers to choose an instructor who sees your full potential and pushes you to do your best.
"Also, always go in with a smile on your face and positive attitude, try your best and have fun," she said.
From dance, Rachel has learned self-confidence, teamwork and that every 'loss' presents important lessons to help her grow as a dancer and person.
"Each one of us is special in our own way," Rachel said. "I'm the type that has to work daily on my flexibility as I'm not naturally flexible. However, I've come to realize that is just part of my dance journey. I try to remind myself of the things that I'm good at — body movement and performance — and I work as hard as I can on the things I want to improve!"
RACHEL'S PICKS: Featured dancers share some of their top dance-related picks.
Nuvo, Titans of Dance, Radix, 24/7
Ashley Massicotte, Ashley Grimes, Alex Tirado and CJ Houck-Cox
Oh La La dancewear, LA Dance Designs, AA Dance Costumes, Chelsea B Dancewear, Cosi G dancewear
Kaylee Kintz, Clay Morgan, Stacey K
Stretch it out stretch ladder
"I started by doing ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics and choreography hip hop. Now I have learned that there is more styles like popping, locking, house, krump and breakdance," Lexi said. "I still train in the traditional forms but I love to experience new styles and look forward to becoming better every time."
Evan and Lexi are grateful to their parents, Michelle and Alberto, for their dance training and for giving them extra opportunities to audition and attend workshops.
"My family is definitely the most supportive and I really appreciate them," Lexi said.
Whether it's with a stage crew or dance peers, both have learned the importance of teamwork.
"Showing support and in return receiving that same support goes a long way and will carry over to more than just dance," Evan said.
Lexi is inspired by Evan's freestyle, tricks and breakdance moves. Evan is inspired by his little sisters ability to pick up dance choreography.
In 2017, Evan won an all-styles dance battle and Lexi performed on Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards. Evan has danced in commercials for Old Navy, Adidas, Target, Verizon and Kohl's. Lexi has appeared in music videos and was on "Dance Off Juniors," a 10-show web series where dancers learn choreography from Matt Steffanina while also being able to showcase their freestyle talents.
Still, it comes back to family.
"Aside from being on TV it was just a great feeling knowing that my grandparents felt so proud of me," Lexi said. "I will never forget that experience and look forward to doing more performances like that again."
" It was very hard, but humbling at the same time. It grew my character, and it gave me a unique perspective to help dancers in the future going through similar circumstances," she said. "After my injury, i realized and understood that dance is not all about winning sashes and crowns, but about telling a story through my movement and never taking it for granted."
Last season, she was asked to assist with teaching tap to younger students at Spisak Dance Academy, where she trains. She loved having the opportunity to inspire them and become a role model.
"I know that God gave me a gift. I hope to always honor Him through my dancing, and to never take my talent for granted," Annabelle said. "I hope to always point people to Him, on stage and in life."
Sara says that one of her greatest lessons learned from dance is humility.
"We can all learn from each other and no one is perfect," she says.
She encourages others to always work hard and to never give up.
In 2018, Sara won first overall as a junior soloist at two competitions and earned a National title with NRG Dance Project.
"Do what you love. Love what you do," Sara said.