She's pretty much seen it all, so we wanted to ask educator Alexie Agdeppa what makes a dancer stand out of the hundreds of students in the convention ballroom or studio:
Alexie: "When I'm teaching and touring with convention, what catches my eye time and again are the kids who are authentic in themselves, who dance with a lot of heart and passion, and embrace who they are as an artist. They don't often have to have all the steps from the combo or the best technique. I'll call out the kids who are literally "living their best lives" in a room full of hundreds, as if they were dancing without anyone else watching. Some of the most memorable dancers have been "hip-hop"-focused dancers that go out of their comfort zone and take my contemporary/lyrical class, who put their own spin on the movement. In my classes, I encourage and facilitate the freedom to make my steps your own, giving the paint (the general feel/music), canvas (the steps), and paintbrush (guidance on counts, textures, and dynamics) - you (the artist) make the ultimate choices. YOU make it art."