At just 13-years-old, Yardley ‘s Gianna Newborg’s dream has become a reality…captured on a popular Reality TV series nonetheless.
After an extensive interview and audition process, Gianna was picked as one of the finalists of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, which airs on Lifetime TV at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays.
The show focuses on a competition among talented dancers between the ages of 6 and 13, with a behind-the-scenes look at the passionate moms cheering in the audience. Gianna’s mom Cindy was on hand throughout the filming process, battling for her daughter’s victory from the audience.
Although they are not able to discuss many details of the show due to a legal agreement with the producers, Bucks Happening got the chance to ask Gianna a few questions about her amazing experience:
BH: What a big accomplishment at such a young age! At what age did you actually begin dancing?
Gianna: I started dancing at 2 years old. I’ve done it all my life! I love the stage. I love performing and feel like I was born to dance
BH: We’re all excited to see a local girl in Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition! Where have you trained and performed locally?
Gianna: For the last 10 years, I have trained at Dance On Q Performing Arts Center in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, traveling 5 to 7 days each week.
BH: Making it onto the highly-competitive Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition is a huge accomplishment for the modern dancer (CONGRATS!!). What propelled you to audition? And what is the one thing that most contributed to your success?
Gianna: When the first episode of the first season came out, I knew I had to be on that show. Training with Maria Quezada (Miss Maria), who is the director, owner, and choreographer at Dance on Q, and my mom, Cindy Passanante, both inspired me. Hard work and dedication to dance is what got me here.
BH: One of the biggest challenges of Abby’s competition is the number of routines that dancers are expected to learn and master in a very short period of time, in an extremely high pressure environment. What helped you to keep up with the rigorous demands?
Gianna: The competition was definitely challenging. Having to learn dances in such a short period of time was not easy, but I wouldn’t stop practicing until I felt comfortable and was able to give it my best.
BH: What was it like having cameras capturing your every move, both on and off the dance floor?
Gianna: It was really weird having cameras on us all the time at first, but after a while we all got used to it, and it was no big deal.
BH: Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition not only shares the story of the performers, but also the stories of the families behind them. What was the best part about experiencing this with your mother?
Gianna: Having my mom there with me definitely helped me cope with the challenges. She was very supportive, and it helped having her there with being so far away. We laughed a lot together.
BH: What goes through your head as you’re now watching the episodes on TV?
Gianna: It is weird watching myself on TV, but I like to see my friends and watch the dances.
BH: How have your family, friends, and classmates reacted?
Gianna: Everyone has been very supportive. I was happy to come home and see my family and friends. My dance studio friends held a “Welcome Home Party” and for the show’s premiere, we also had a red carpet party at the studio, too. Everyone dressed up and my family and friends were with me. It was so nice how they cheered, laughed and clapped for us as we watched the show.
BH: What’s next for you?
Gianna: I’m continuing to train at Dance On Q and considering taking vocal and acting lessons. I will also travel on “THE ULTIMATE DANCE TOUR” making personal appearances nationwide with other cast members. (For information call Front and Center at management group 609-902-7108).
BH: It all sounds very excited, and there’s no doubt that you have an exciting future ahead of you. We’ll all be routing for you throughout the season!
Check out one of Gianna’s performance at a recent dance competition: