After three years of sending in video submissions, 12-year-old dance star Noah Epps, a rising seventh grader at Ashburn’s Stone Hill Middle School, continues to shine on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Epps said it has been a long process to make it on the popular show, which is in its 15th season. The judges are Simon Cowell, Howie Mandell, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara.
“I got to meet Simon and Sofia backstage. They all said my makeup looks cool, and that got me really hyped up,” Epps said.
His dance routine was praised by all the judges, and he received four yes votes to move to the next level of the show. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is uncertain whether he will be appearing in person or will be performing remotely, according to a representative from “America’s Got Talent.”
Epps has been dancing for about five years. His interest began when he saw other kids at school break dancing in a circle during recess. They told him he couldn’t dance, which only made him want to try even more, he said.
“After a couple of weeks of dance classes, they were impressed,” Epps said.
Epps’s mentor is Ryan “Opium” Green, who recently appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance?” “From the first day of class he took me under his wing,” Epps said.
He has also been working under choreographer Jesse Lloyd, a teacher at Studio Bleu in Ashburn.
“We work together on solos, and he allows me to be creative,” he said.
During pre-COVID times, the family was busy traveling back-and-forth weekly from Ashburn to New York City for auditions and performances.
His parents, Natasha Feliciano and Brandon Epps, also have a seven-year-old daughter who dances, acts and models.
Navigating the entertainment world is a learning process, they said. “Everyday is a new lesson to be learned and to figure out what are good opportunities. It’s trial and error,” Brandon Epps said.
“It’s also a lot of work — 15 to 20 hours a week of dancing and acting classes, auditions, call backs, travel and performances. It’s hectic, but we make sure they find time to be kids,” he added.