Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Dancer Used to Competing ; Local Girl a Contestant on Lifetime Dance Show

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Dancer Used to Competing ; Local Girl a Contestant on Lifetime Dance Show

Article excerpt

Hadley Walts was just three years old when she started dancing. For the past nine years she has been practicing and competing in a wide range of dance styles, including ballet, jazz and contemporary. This fall, at 12 years old, she will get to show off her skills at the national level as she competes on the new Lifetime show, "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition." The show premieres at 8 p.m. (Central) tonight.

Audience members will follow 12 children, including Hadley, from around the country each week as they compete for the chance to win a prize of $100,000 and a scholarship to the Young Dancer Program at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. The now-famous Abby Lee Miller from Lifetime's breakout show "Dance Moms" lends her name to the show's title and will be one of three judges each week along with founder of the popular group the Pussycat Dolls, Robin Antin, and celebrity choreographer Richard Jackson.

"This was just an amazing experience for these children," said Hadley's mother, Yvette Walts. "They met professional dancers, including Beyonce's choreographer, and got to experience this extreme level of competition."

Hadley trains at the D'Alto Studio of Performing Arts in Evansville and competes with the school's competitive team, THR!VE Dance Company. Her mother, along with three other teachers, is one of her choreographers and mentors at the school. It was at one of the competitions for THR!VE that a scout spotted Hadley and sent a tape of her routine back to producers of the show.

"We were told they saw that video and were then asked to submit a video of her doing a new routine," Yvette Walts said. "And out of 2,000 videos submitted, she was one of 25 that they chose to go to New York for a final audition. She's used to dance competitions and that's how she was referred to this opportunity. …

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