Courtesy of NBC

World of Dance's 14 Year Old Star Eva Igo on Her Toughest Competition Yet

If you've been keeping up with World of Dance, you're well aware that junior division competitor Eva Igo has established herself as a serious contender. Groomed on the competition scene, the 14-year-old Minnesota native traveled to Los Angeles with her mom, taking the stage alongside some of the industry's most established names in dance—and she's killing it.

"Growing up in competitions, I had experience with having judges in front of me, so that helped me deal with the pressure," Igo tells us on how she remained so poised during her performances for The Qualifiers and The Duels (she beat out hip-hop duo KynTay). "That experience really helped me know when to have my competitor mode on."

Completely blowing the judges away with her mix of technique, tricks and stage presence (judge Derek Hough declared it "Eva's world" after her Duel solo to the song "It's A Man's World"), Igo makes each performance look effortless. "When I'm learning the dance, I have a story in mind and I relate it back to my life," Igo explains on how she taps into the emotive side of her dancing. "Before I perform the dance, I'll really think about that and try to just take a breath while I'm on stage."


Since the show was pre-recorded, Igo found herself juggling school work with the competition. "I would get up really, really early and do three or four hours of online school," she says on her daily routine. "I would do extra work on the days I wasn't performing so that I didn't have to worry about that when I got in front of the judges. After school work, I had rehearsal space to practice my solos with supervising choreographers like Nappytabs, Tessandra Chavez, Kyle Hanagami, Anthony Kin—they're all back there helping us."

As the remaining Duel challenges play out and she waits to tackle The Cut round, Igo raves about the entire experience. "Every single thing the judges said has been helpful," she says, adding that World of Dance also introduced her to new friends like fellow Junior-level competitor Diana Pombo. "All of it has been exciting—having the audience chanting my name after performing was especially cool." And if past performances are anything to go by, we have a feeling we'll be hearing more chants for Igo as the series unfolds.

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Yes, It *Is* Possible to Build Body Confidence As a Dancer. Here Are 6 Tips

It's true. Everyone's looking at your body. In performance, it's your instrument—which can do amazing and sometimes superhuman things. In an audition, it's really the only information that hiring directors and choreographers have about you. Then there are the hours of class you spend scrutinizing yourself and what your body is capable of in the mirror.

This constant focus can make it challenging to develop body confidence, says Dr. Toby Diamond, consulting psychologist for the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. "It's never easy, especially when you consider that we also value facility, like excellent turnout and perfect feet, beyond beauty, and both can be out of your control."

So how can you become resilient enough to accept all the judgment that comes with a dance career?

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