Exclusive Interview with Merrick Hanna

Story by Valeria Munoz, Copy Editor

Two years ago after watching MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, Merrick Hanna was determined to learn how to dance. Hanna has just turned eleven, but he had already worked with some of the dance industries biggest names. He starred in Dance Network’s Home Alone tribute as Kevin opposite of Madd Chadd and Poppin’ John’s roles as the villains. He has also danced with Twitch, a choreographer known for his work in the “Step Up” movies and on the “Ellen” show. He will soon be working with top notch choreographer Tricia Miranda.

“I loved robots so much when I was little. I saw robot style dancing and (my reaction was) wow,” Hanna said. His favorite styles of dance include popping, animation, and flowbotting, which is a mixture of robot like movements with waving.

His goal for dance is simply “to get better” and since he lives in California, there seems to be nothing holding him back from growing into an amazing performer. Hanna is grateful for all the opportunities that are offered and loves that “there are so many teachers to learn from.”

Hanna trains in a variety of studios ranging from YMCA to Evolution Dance Center to Culture Shock. Although he is always inspired by the dancers around him, he draws inspiration from YouTube legends such as Fikshun, J Smooth, Boogie Frantick, and Poppin’ John.  For dancers who may not have studios in their local area, he advises to use YouTube as a way of learning because a ton of tutorials are available on different dance techniques.

As for balancing school and dance, Hanna tries not to miss too much school. At the moment, he is filming a commercial. However, there is always a teacher on set to keep him up to date with his schoolwork. Even though he couldn’t go into further detail, Hanna announced that he will have two TV shows airing in May.

Hanna is still very young and has already considered a future career in engineering. Whether or not he continues dance as a career, it’s clear he will keep it as an outlet of expression and continue to inspire others through dance. His advice for aspiring dancers is to “Listen to lots of music and YouTube videos. Move all the time!”

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