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Kaylin Maggard at NYCDA Nationals. Photo courtesy of Maggard

2017 was a big year for Columbia Performing Arts Centre alumna Kaylin Maggard. Not only did she graduate from high school in Columbia, Missouri, and begin her studies at Juilliard, she won the title of Senior Female Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, was one of 22 YoungArts finalists in dance and was named the Dance Spirit magazine Cover Model Search Winner. Now on tour with NYCDA, Maggard shares some of her CPAC teachers' best advice and training tactics that helped her achieve her goals.

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Lindsay Arnold (photo by Brandon Showers)

Lindsay Arnold is hoping this is her season to win the Mirror Ball on "Dancing with the Stars," and we've gotta say—it really could be! With her gorgeous choreography and her partner Jordan Fisher's natural ability, we won't be surprised if they, "take the lead," so to speak.

On the road to this glamorous career, while training at VIBE dance studio in Lindon, Utah, Arnold had a mentor that she says paved the way for her future as a performer. Rick Robinson—who also trained Julianne and Derek Hough, Witney Carson and Mark Ballas—taught her the value of being versatile as a performer and to always maintain confidence.

"Rick constantly reminds me not to focus on pleasing other people. Which is hard because, as a dancer, I'm literally going to competitions to be judged. It can be really difficult to hear someone's critique of me, but he reminds me that my opinion is the only one that's important. If I'm happy with what I'm doing, then that's all that should matter. He gave me so much confidence in this industry that's so full of rejection."

Watch Arnold and Fisher compete Monday nights on "Dancing with the Stars."

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