A chance to perform on Paula Abdul's new "Live to Dance" show was a shot at the bright lights and big stage of national television for Canastota's Leighanna Kennett. Unfortunately the accomplished dancer's performance was overshadowed by a fall. Kennett hit her head on the stage and a large bump formed as host Paula Abdul asked if she was OK.
The clip has been viewed over 600,000 times on youtube.com
Kennett's former dance teacher Wendy Warne was in the audience and didn't even realize Leighanna fell until Paula Abdul asked her if her head was OK.
"She finished that dance with a gymnastics back layout step out but that's Leighanna," said Warne. "She'll never leave the stage. She wants to finish what she started and that's what she did."
On Tuesday night, young dancers at the United Academy of Performing Art in Oneida got a special visit from Leighanna. She just finished performing at a show in New York City and came back to see her teachers and to help some very excited young dancers.
"It makes us so happy just to see her because we know her and she's taught us dance and everything," said young dancer Olivia Jones.
"She's kind of my idol. When I grow up, I want to be just like her. She's my inspiration," said Madison Lynch.
Leighanna couldn't talk about her time on the show for contractual reasons. Her teacher said it's clear she dancer has a bright future on the stage - and not just as a clip on youtube.
"You know the bump on her head unfortunately, I felt as her teacher let's look at her talent and what she has to offer because it's supposed to be a show about inspiring and Leighanna does inspire a lot of kids around here," said Warne.
Leighanna Kennett has a lot of dancing in her immediate future. She is headed back to the University of Arts in Philadelphia where she is studying to be a professional dancer.
L eighanna's teacher says that even with the fall, she made the judge's short list of dancers and almost advanced on "Live to Dance."
Click here to watch the YouTube clip.
Link to the United Academy of The Performing Arts