This article originally appeared in the Spring 2024 Life Without Limits issue of Showstopper Magazine.

While we’re in print just twice a year, we’re in the know every day of the year! Showstopper Magazine Online is home to exclusive interviews with artists and dancers, celebrity news, and more! Get a sneak peek at some of our favorite articles from the last few months here and then keep up with us online for regular updates from your favorite teen dance magazine.

Triple Charm on their bilingual single, “no problema”

“We wrote the song a few weeks before our live show in May and got to perform it then! Our fans were super excited about it and since then we’ve been ready to release it. After the live show, we recorded the vocals in our home studio! This was the first time we recorded a single at home which was so much fun! Filming the music video in Puerto Rico had us even more hyped and eager to release this song. We are so proud of it, and so happy to see that everyone’s been loving it!

“Incorporating Spanish into our music has been something we’ve always wanted to do. We are 50% Puerto Rican and have wanted to connect with our heritage on an even deeper level. Writing in Spanish and releasing bilingual music has brought us even closer to our roots which has been such a cool experience.”

Rikki Valentina on her new single “Opinions”

“I actually wrote ‘Opinions’ over a year ago, and it was based on a lot of hate comments I would see on other people’s posts actually. Anytime I go on TikTok or Instagram, people always just had something negative or nasty to say.” Rikki says comments like these are at an all-time high. Then she started to get them herself. She shared that writing and releasing “Opinions” has been a way to vent her feelings about this trend and let go of some of that negativity. It’s not about hating the haters or trying to solve the internet, but to show people how absurd it is to be putting energy into these kinds of comments.

Part of Rikki’s journey has been taking on everything from writing to production after being snubbed by a producer and losing a lot of her early work. “I had a lot more authentic instruments in my last EP, and I feel like I’m experimenting more with samples and sounds…just playing around with noises and layering vocals which is always fun.” She still values the warmth and depth that comes with including real instruments on her tracks, but she is finding value in creating tracks with her skills as a multi-instrumentalist as well as the things she can create mixing on the computer. “I’m trying to be more experimental, but…I’m never going just say ‘no I’m not doing this anymore.’… Because I do think a lot of music does need real instruments.”

The music video for “Opinions” features an iconic dance. Choreographed by Rikki’s friend Anna Sophia Moad, the “Opinions” dance translates Rikki’s new sound and lyrics into contemporary dance. Rikki told us that she grew up dancing, but isn’t a confident dancer. “This is the first song that I had that I felt like I could move to it,” she said, sharing that she walked to it on the treadmill when she was working on lyrics revisions. “I felt empowered, and I just liked the idea of adding dance to it!” She’s excited that dance was included in the video, but she’s even more enthusiastic about seeing fans recreate the dance themselves.

Ashlei Foushee on dance and creative outlets

For Ashlei, dance was the beginning of finding several avenues to express herself. First dance, then theater in school, and eventually getting a degree in screenwriting, Ashlei isn’t looking for one outlet. “I think I just feel so creative. I’m always trying to create, and I just love the creative process. I think I don’t want to feel limited. If there’s a story that needs to be told, I want to find a way to do it.”

…and on her recent film

In the film On Fire, Ashlei plays Kayla, a 911 operator new to the job as a devastating wildfire threatens families in her area. Part of what made this film so special for Ashlei and the rest of the cast and crew was the reality—the events were based on the fires in Paradise, California in 2018—of the disaster being portrayed. “I thought, ‘Oh wow, this is a really touching story because it’s a true story,” she told us. “It’s about actual events that were local to me because I live in Los Angeles…I really connected with that subject matter.”

Ashlei is as invested in helping others as she is in the arts, working at local soup kitchens and catering for Habitat for Humanity, working on On Fire was another way to put some of that care into the world. 

Kayla Divenere on her new single “Date Myself”

“‘I kinda wanna date myself’ blurted out of my mouth while ranting to my mom about all the horrible dates I’ve been on. I knew from the moment I said it out loud that it could be turned into an anthem for everyone going through the endless treacherous dating cycle of constantly being let down. Writing “Date Myself” reminded me of how beautiful it is to spend time by yourself and how important it is to be comfortable owning your self-love and high standards. Being able to hear it back after writing it and to scream it at the top of my lungs has comforted me more than any guy has, and I hope it can comfort people too in any way they can relate to it. 

“I think it’s so important to spend quality time with yourself, to get to know yourself better, and understand who you really are. We are constantly growing and changing, experiencing new things, and evolving into new versions of ourselves. Being comfortable with being alone, bettering yourself as a person, and practicing self-love is honestly one of the bigger lessons I’ve learned this year. YOU are the only person you will be with forever, so building that relationship with yourself is crucial and honestly really beautiful.”

Sammy Rae + The Friends on authentic music

“I’ve always described our sound as ‘something everybody.’ We decided from the very beginning that we were going to be fully genuine, in who we are as people, and the influences that led us to where we are. To be frank, it requires the least effort and allows for a happy, healthy, sustained career. Being that there are seven of us, from all different musical studies and walks of life, you’ve got a lot of different things flying around when we are arranging a song. I know that this has made promoting our band and figuring out where we belong on playlists and in genre breakdowns a little difficult. Maybe it’s made our ascent a little bit slower than other bands, but the songs are all really powerful and very true to us. The audience that we have found loves them. And that’s more than enough for us.

“I feel like a broken record with this, but it really comes down to the decisions we made when we first started this project to never compromise who we are. Simply put, if I had to do anything that felt inauthentic or not true to myself, I just wouldn’t bother. I would find another line of work or a different team to work with. Because to do something inauthentic, you eventually get exhausted. That doesn’t produce a project with longevity or sustainability. Also, the audience can smell it after a while. And they stop believing in you, and you stop believing in you.”

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Veronica Good has been with Showstopper Magazine since 2016. When she isn't keeping you updated on the latest trends, she is at home with her many pets or probably playing The Sims 4. Veronica has a BA in English and an MA in writing from Coastal Carolina University. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and her work can be found in Archarios, Tempo, and Scapegoat.