Always Be Yourself And Remember Where You Came From — In today’s society there is a lot of pressure to be like everyone else. If you want to have a huge following you have to be like this person or that person… If you want success you need to be like him or her… What you need to remember is to ALWAYS stay true to who you are. That is what makes you special. And never forget those who helped you get to where you are. Those are the ones who will be there for you always no matter what you do, how many followers you have or how successful you are.
As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Hannah Grace Colin.
Hannah Grace Colin a cast member on Lifetime’s hit TV show Dance Moms. She has performed with JoJo Siwa, Eden XO and Darryl McDaniels. She also sings, acts, models, and play the ukulele and the bass guitar. She is also an advocate for teaching others how to overcome bullies with kindness.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
I am Hannah Grace Colin from New Albany, IN. I am a cast member on Lifetime’s hit TV show Dance Moms. I have been dancing since 18 months at DanceWorks and have performed with JoJo Siwa, Eden XO and Darryl McDaniels from Run DMC. Not only do I dance but I also sing, act, model, play the ukulele and the bass guitar. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends, shopping, riding my skateboard and traveling. I am also an advocate for my personal platform: KINDness Wins — Teaching others how to overcome bullies with kindness.
Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I am one of four kids. I have an older brother, Joseph, younger sister, Emma and younger brother, William. My sister and I are 1 year and 7 days apart. So we are basically like twins. I don’t remember a time without her. We have lived in New Albany, IN my entire life. I have been so lucky to live in the same place as my entire family. My parents and grandparents play a huge role in who I am today, but I was also very fortunate to get to know and spend years with my great grandma who lived to be 101.
Not only did my mom put me in dance but I started gymnastics when I was 3 and by 4 was put on a USGA Junior Olympic Compulsory Team. I was a competitive gymnast for 8 years. When I decided to stop I was a level 7 gymnast and during my competitive gymnastic years I was a State beam and floor champion numerous times before I decided to just focus only on dance.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to your specific career path?
My mom (Ann Colin) owns a dance studio (DanceWorks) in southern Indiana, so I was kind of born into dance. Since I was a baby I was always at the studio. She even stopped by the studio on the way home from the hospital with me. So the 1st place I went to when I went out into the world was the studio. When I was 18 months old, one of the teachers asked my mom if she would put me in her class… and well the rest is history.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your entertainment career?
While I was filming season 8 of Dance Moms, I got to meet JoJo Siwa on my birthday… pretty cool birthday. JoJo is a former cast member of the show and the episode we were filming that week was recreating JoJo’s iconic solos from past seasons. She is such a positive role model for girls and someone I have always looked up to. She also invited the season 8 cast to perform in her DREAM Tour. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would get to personally meet her let alone perform on the stage with her at her concert.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’m pretty sure in the moment, I didn’t think this was funny, but looking back now I can laugh about it. During the filming of episode 2, in our group dance I went early on a part. The funny thing is that it happened the second time we filmed the dance. What you may not know is that during the filming of the competition on Dance Moms, we danced the dances two times. The 1st time the judges actually judged the routine. The 2nd time a camera man would come onstage with us to get some different angles. Even though I messed up the second time (that wasn’t even being judged), they still aired the mistake on TV. What I learned is that everytime you perform or go on the stage it matters. Even if you are not being judged or watched you still need to try to do your best because every time matters.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I have several projects that have been delayed due to Covid-19, some I can’t really give details about yet, but here are a few exciting things I am working on.
I am Miss Collegiate South’s Outstanding Teen and currently am preparing for the Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, which is part of the Miss America Organization. This organization empowers girls and gives you an even bigger voice. My plan is to promote and advocate for teaching others how to overcome bullies, be kind to one another and simply make our world a better place once community at a time.
Something else I am super excited about is a movie I started filming called Camelot Farms. I can’t wait to finish the project and for everyone to see.
I am also working on my music career and will be releasing some original music in 2021.
Most young people your age don’t have to balance work and school. Can you tell us how you manage to balance your schoolwork, auditions, and time on set?
Well to be honest, it wasn’t easy at first. When you are a working performer, your schedule is not the same everyday and you are not only balancing work and school but also your training and auditions.. Due to this I have become very good at time management. Most days I get up early and do some school before anything starts and if I don’t get all of my schooling finished once I get home I do more school. When on set, due to child labor laws, schooling is part of the working day. It is actually easier for me to get school done when on set because there is time allotted while at work to do school.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom! She is beautiful, kind, talented and one of my biggest role models ever!!! She has taught me everything I know. She always has my back and supports me through whatever I choose to do. I am so grateful for everything she has done for me to get me to where I am today. I can’t even imagine my life without her.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s jump to the main part of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Learn To LOVE Auditions — Being in the entertainment industry you’ll have lots of auditions. You will probably get more no’s than yeses. When you are starting out you have to learn to flip the no’s into a positive. I like to think of them not as a NO but Next Opportunity. Then go back home and work even harder and try again!
- Always Be Yourself And Remember Where You Came From — In today’s society there is a lot of pressure to be like everyone else. If you want to have a huge following you have to be like this person or that person… If you want success you need to be like him or her… What you need to remember is to ALWAYS stay true to who you are. That is what makes you special. And never forget those who helped you get to where you are. Those are the ones who will be there for you always no matter what you do, how many followers you have or how successful you are.
- Surround Yourself With Positive People — If you want to live your BEST life and be HAPPY only hang with those who are positive. Surround yourself with those who inspire you to be your best, keep you on the right track and hold you accountable. And then be that for others. You are who you surround yourself with.
- Be The Hardest Worker In The Room — There is always going to be someone who can do something better than you or something you can not. If you keep working the hardest you can be just as good as them or even better. Also, your work ethic speaks more than what you can actually do.
- With Success Also Comes Hate — When you put yourself out there, on the internet, on tv, in movies, etc… there will always be negative people who try to bring you down. You have to learn to just ignore it. They don’t really know you. Lean on your family and friends to help you remember the AMAZING person you are and ignore the hate. And as my mom always says “Kill them with KINDness”.
You are a person of enormous influence. How do you think you can use social media as a platform to be a positive influence to your fans, and for society at large?
Due to my huge following on social media, I have a responsibility to be a positive role model for not only for my fans but everyone. I take this responsibility seriously, because I personally can relate to how social media and the internet can be used to hurt others. That is why I have made it my personal mission to promote KINDness. Being part of a reality TV show that is heavily produced and edited can make individuals seem different to the public eye than who they really are. On Dance Moms, I came across as quiet, shy, afraid to speak my mind and scared. Due to this, people who didn’t even know me, made assumptions vocally on social media platforms. This was very hurtful and really upset me. After talking to family and friends, who reminded me of who I really was, I learned to let those comments go. Now it doesn’t bother me too much. Bullying on social media is a big problem in the world today, because it is easy for people to express their negative energy and hide behind their typed words.That is why I started my KINDness Wins movement. There will always be mean people in this world, what I want to do is teach others how to overcome bullies with KINDness.
If you had the ability to choose to work on any TV show or film, or work alongside any co-star, or with any director, what or who would that be, and why? You never know who might see this article, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to work with Milly Bobby Brown. I am a huge fan of Stranger Things, so getting to work with her or anyone from that show would be a dream come true. Also, if we are dreaming, I would love to collab or work with Ariana Grande, she is my favorite singer. I really like her music and it would be super cool to meet her and work together.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
It’simple all my handles are @HannahGraceColin
Instagram — @HannahGraceColin
TikTok — @HannahGraceColin