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Triple Threat: Alyson Stoner

Triple Threat: Alyson Stoner

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Most people recognize Alyson Stoner as the little girl with pigtails, break-dancing in Missy Elliott’s music videos. But over a decade has gone by and Stoner is not only making a name for herself in the dance industry, she is also actively pursuing her music and film career as well.

This August, Stoner is looking forward to the release of two films she’s very proud of. Summer Forever, a teen musical, follows three best friends on their final days together after they graduate high school and are days away from going their separate ways.

“I play Liv, an outspoken, boy-crazy dancer who, underneath her tough exterior, is worried she’ll never leave her small town–that her best days are already behind her,” Stoner explains. “I was immediately on board when I heard there were 10 original songs from a music producer of Smash, and that I’d have my first ever solo musical number to perform.”

Her second film, Sugar Babies, is a young-adult thriller. In this movie, Stoner plays a college student who involuntarily finds herself in a relationship with an older man who pays for her company.

“My character, Katie, must navigate what it means to mix love, money, superficiality and sincerity–and reexamine her personal values,” said Stoner. “I loved this script because it is essentially a social commentary on a very relevant topic.”

For both of the films, Stoner had the opportunity to incorporate her vocal talent into the mix. The opening song to Sugar Babies is Stoner’s latest single Pretty Girls. In Summer Forever, Stoner has two solo tracks, Powerless and Make an X.

The music video for Pretty Girls premiered on earlier this year and successfully attracted over 400,000 views. Randi Fleckenstine, a member of the all-female dance crew BeatFreaks, and Jasmine Rafael, a dancer who has performed alongside Nicki Minaj, choreographed the video.

Stoner is commonly known for her acting roles in Cheaper by the Dozen, Suite Life of Zach and Cody, and Step Up. Yet Stoner handled growing up in the public eye rather respectfully, especially at the age of 21. She strongly believes that her family and friends made growing up in that atmosphere easy.

“Like any upbringing, there are benefits and disadvantages no matter where you’re from, who your parents are and whether you’re in the public eye or not,” Stoner said. “All I can vouch for is, amidst my victories and failures, my family and friends were supportive and we’ve grown stronger through the years as we work together to help each other find health and wholeness.”

Stoner is clearly active in many areas of the entertainment industry, but it’s hard to forget where it all started. Dancing for big names like Eminem and Missy Elliott will always be the catalyst for her rising career.

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“I don’t mind at all being recognized for where I began,” Stoner said. “I enjoy seeing people reflect on memorable videos and movies. Even though I have done other work since, I have nothing to prove to them. I simply hope they’ll catch up and join the ride, because it’s a fun one.”

Stoner’s attitude makes sense, seeing that she created a tribute video to Missy Elliott earlier this year, which produced over 14 million views on YouTube. The viral video opens with a group of kids performing the same choreography as Stoner did in Missy Elliott’s infamous Work It video. The camera then pans over to Stoner, in a full pink Adidas jumpsuit, as she joins the dance with the kids.

After her two films are released, Stoner will focus most of her attention on her music career and supporting an organization called I Pour Life, which helps women and their families rise out of poverty in Ethiopia.

With such a consistently jam-packed schedule, it’s safe to say that the little girl with pigtails is taking on every aspect of the entertainment industry in full force.

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