Lilly Ketchman Lights Up the Dance Floor!
For years, Lifetime’s Dance Moms revolved around the same group of tweens who ruled the dance industry--until their fearless leader, Abby Lee Miller, recruited a group of “minis” to become her next generation of superstars. Among the few selected by Miller was now-ten-year-old Lilliana Ketchman, praised by fans for her outstanding flexibility and exquisite ballet technique. Besides competing as a part of the Abby Lee Dance Company mini competition team, Ketchman was specially selected by Australian singer-songwriter Sia to appear in her “Move Your Body” music video, which has racked up over 84 million views on YouTube to date. Ketchman also serves as an ambassador model for Jo and Jax dancewear, partnered with Pink Tight Black Leo on an exclusive collection of “LK Tights,” and collaborated with Oh La La Dancewear on a “Lilly K Collection” of leotards, crop tops, and briefs. Considering she was also photographed by Jordan Matter for New York Times bestselling series Dancers Among Us, Ketchman seems to be leaving her mark on the dance industry faster than you can say “pirouette.” Below, she takes a trip down memory lane to recall her experience on Dance Moms (hint: it wasn’t all about the dancing).
What was your favorite solo to perform on Dance Moms and why?
My favorite solo was called “Dear Lilly, Love Daddy,” which I performed at Nationals. I was surprised to hear that during the same week as the competition, Abby had my dad record a song--featuring his voice and piano playing--specifically for the dance. I was in disbelief! When I walked out on stage, I was surprised to see saw my dad and brother sitting front row. It was hard, but I kept dancing! That was so special to me, and to top it off, I was lucky enough to win first overall.
Do you believe that fashion, hair, and makeup play an important role in your performances on stage?
Absolutely! After choreography, the next thing we decide on is a costume, hair, and makeup. This can make or break a routine. For every dance, there is a story, and the fashion element has to help portray the story you are telling. I learned how important this is from my time with Abby Lee Miller. She never settled--she had to find the perfect look, even if it took us until midnight the evening before a competition! You want to feel perfect when you walk out onto the stage, and your look plays a huge part in this feeling.
What was your favorite look you wore to perform on Dance Moms and why?
This may be a surprise, but I am still in love with the look I was given for my solo performance “Dainty but Dangerous.” Everyone thought of me as this tiny little thing, and I came out on stage as this super creepy, fierce doll. I loved the reaction of the audience. My attitude, look, and choreography just worked perfectly together. We went all out with the makeup, which also helped!
When did you start wearing makeup? Do you think it’s good for girls to start wearing makeup at a young age?
I started wearing makeup when I was only five-years-old, but for performances only. I think that this is totally normal. There are definitely people out there who disagree, but I let their comments roll off my back. You wear makeup on stage so that people can see you better. It accentuates your features and your facial expressions. Otherwise, the stage lights would completely wash you out and your performance would suffer. Now that I’m older, I wear makeup for performances, photo shoots, and sometimes for acting. In everyday life, I typically don’t wear makeup. Sometimes I do a little mascara and lip gloss for fun. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s self-expression and it’s fun!
What’s your favorite way to style your hair?
I love wearing my hair super long with loose curls. Sometimes I use temporary extensions for some photo shoots to achieve that look. It just depends on the vibe of the shoot. I’ve also used Nadine's tinted conditioner to make the bottom half of my hair pink. Again, it’s self-expression! I love the look and it’s temporary. Besides, it’s safe, so what’s the harm? I love to change it up.
What’s a beauty trend that you’re loving at the moment?
Such an easy question. Highlighter! My favorite makeup look (yes, I do my own makeup!) is a natural glowy look. Highlighter is the most important aspect of this look. I love a natural-looking, healthy glow!
How about a fashion trend you’re eyeing?
I’m in love with teddy coats! What’s not to love? They’re super cute and comfy.
What are your future plans?
I have been getting into acting lately, and I will have some projects to share soon! You can also keep up with me on YouTube where I share rap videos, dance tutorials, and my crazy personality...lol!
This or That:
Beanies or ballet buns? Ballet Buns!
Heels or sneakers? Heels!
Jazz or ballet? Ballet!
Bracelets or necklaces? Necklaces!
Fake eyelashes or just mascara? Mascara, but it has to be two different types. I use one and then the other for the best effect!
Follow Lilly on Social Media:
YouTube: Lilliana Ketchman