A three-hour wait in line for a July 27 open audition at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia paid off for 10-year-old Baltimore native Divine Wilson.
Wilson impressed the audience with his dance moves and advanced to the next round of auditions at the historic Apollo Theater in New York City on Oct. 23, during which he claimed first place.
Standing just over four feet tall, the spunky 10-year-old had the chance of a lifetime, moving and grooving and showcasing his talents in hopes of making it to the big leagues.
“I wasn’t nervous because I knew all of my dance moves,” Wilson told the AFRO. “The experience was good and I wanted to win.”
Although the performances were the first steps in establishing a professional career, Wilson is no stranger to the stage.
He has several fashion show competitions under his belt, and attended a six-month acting and modeling program at John Cassablancas Modeling and Career Center. He also took ballet classes at the Peabody Institute. The accumulative effect of all of these accomplishments strongly suggest that Wilson is well on his way to stardom.
“He loves to act, dance and loves sports,” said Divine’s mother, Monique Wilson. “Since a kid, he has always danced all over the place; all over the house. At any cookout or someone’s birthday party, he was dancing.”
Wilson said she always looked for auditions for her son, and what better opportunity than the Apollo Theater, a landmark which has housed many well-known actors, dancers, comedians, musicians and singers.
Winning first place wasn’t easy and it took a month before they heard from officials, Wilson said. “He only had 19 seconds to audition and when my son finished dancing, one of the ladies watching said, ‘okay, get him out of here, we can’t take it, cut the music off’,” she said.
A month later, Divine— with two busloads full of family and friends in tow—arrived in the Big Apple.
Drawing inspiration from his mother as well as Michael Jackson and Chris Brown, Divine told the AFRO he wants to continue dancing.
“I want to be an actor and a dancer,” he said. “My friends at school told me my dancing was great.”
On Nov. 13, Divine will return to New York City in the next phase of auditions at the Apollo Theater, where he will compete in hopes to be the next “Star of Tomorrow” and earn a $2,000 grand prize.
“I am working on dance moves and songs for my next audition,” he said.