The Truth About Ariana DeBose

Awards shows have been different this year, and there’s a significant shakeup in the Academy Awards format. Per Collider, a 90-minute pre-show will feature performances of the Best Original Song nominees and the big winners of the night will get their statues engraved during a post-show.

Ariana DeBose of Hamilton is hosting the pre-show, alongside Lil Rel Howery. DeBose is the perfect choice for pre-show hosting duties — after all, her singing chops are what landed her on Broadway. But DeBose, 30, is a woman of many talents and is the quintessential triple threat.

As reported by Dance Spirit, DeBose’s training began in the dance world when she was a child. She trained at CC & Co. Dance Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina, and participated in major competitions, although she told the outlet that she didn’t usually come home as the big winner.

“I was the comp kid who never actually won anything,” DeBose told Dance Spirit. “I was a Regional Outstanding Dancer, but I think I only made the Top 10 at NYCDA once.” (We must say that Regional Outstanding Dancer sounds pretty impressive to us, though.)

Ariana DeBose began to pursue a musical theater career in high school

DeBose told Dance Spirit that she was in high school when she began to pursue a career in musical theater by taking acting and singing lessons. Right after graduation she made the top 20 on So You Think You Can Dance and, after a few months in college, DeBose opted to move to New York City since she was already booking professional gigs.

According to Dance Magazine, DeBose nabbed her first Broadway role (Nautica in Bring It On: The Musical) because choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler remembered seeing her perform at dance conventions when she was younger.

DeBose solidified her Broadway resume with roles in The Prom, Hamilton, and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, which earned her a Tony nomination (via Dance Magazine). Next up it was time for the big screen: DeBose landed the role of Anita in Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of West Side Story. The film’s release has been postponed until December due to the COVID pandemic — but if DeBose’s history is an indicator, she just might be attending the Oscars as a nominee next year. 

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