Ellie & Ava – carrying on the family legacy

Ellie & Ava at Larkin Dance Studio. Photo by Matt Blewett @mattebphoto

We caught up with World of Dance act, and sisters, Ellie & Ava Wagner after their dress rehearsal at Larkin Dance Studios in Maplewood, Minnesota.  The studio was abuzz with activity as the various soloists and teams prepared for the Hall of Fame Regional Dance Competition in St. Paul the first weekend in April.

The sisters have a schedule that amounts to go to school, dance, homework, sleep, repeat but they are so energetic and excited for their upcoming dances. Each sister will compete in over a dozen dances at the upcoming Hall of Fame competition.

They both attend school in the Twin Cities and spend most of the rest of their week at the studio, although they make time for friends after dance on the weekends.

For Ellie & Ava, dance is a family affair. They are the great granddaughters of Larkin’s founder, Shirley Larkin.  The sisters have shared the stage with some of the best in the country as they danced for Larkin including Eva Igo (World of Dance) and Taylor Sieve (So You Think You Can Dance).

The two dancers move as one while performing leaps and turns under the tutelage of their grandmother, Michele Larkin Wagner, and their cousin and choreographer Mackenzie Symanietz.  They credit the creative vision for their dances to Michele and Mackenzie who work with Ellie and Ava in selecting music, costumes and choreography.

Ellie and Ava brought the judges to their feet in the preliminary dances, scoring a combined 92.3, placing them second on the Junior Division leader board.  You can watch them in the next round, the duels on Sunday, March 31, 2019 on NBC’s World of Dance, airing 7-9 p.m. central time.

If you want to see Ellie, Ava and the other talented Larkin dancers, many of them will be performing at the Hall of Fame dance competition at the RiverCentre on April 4-7.

The 2019 World of Dance Junior Division leader board

  1. Lauren Yakima with a preliminary score of 95.7
  2. Ellie & Ava with a preliminary score of 92.3
  3. Kayla Mak with a preliminary score of 90.3
  4. Aydin Eyikan with a preliminary score of 88.3
  5. Funkanometry with a preliminary score of 87.3
  6. Julian & Charlize with a preliminary score of 87
  7. Audrey & Mia with a preliminary score of 86.3
  8. Moving 4ward with a preliminary score of 86.3
  9. The Trilogy with a preliminary score of 86.3
  10. House of Tap with a preliminary score of 85.7


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