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Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015

Local teen takes step toward dancing dream

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fourteen-year-old Madison Harbaugh will be performing as a backup dancer for Terre Haute-based singer Isaiah Pittman at a tour stop in Terre Haute on Thursday.
GREENCASTLE -- Since she was a toddler, Madison Harbaugh has always wanted to be a performer.

Since last November, the 14-year-old has been taking serious steps toward making that dream come true.

Harbaugh, who will be a freshman at Greencastle High School in the fall, is one of three backup dancers for Terre Haute-based singer Isaiah Pittman.

Pittman, 12, will be a featured performer for the All-4-Family Tour, which will be headlined by All-4-One and will make a stop in Terre Haute Thursday night. Harbaugh and the two other backup dancers -- both 10-year-old girls -- will perform on the tour with Pittman.

The concert will take place at the Indiana Theater, 683 Ohio St. A meet and greet session will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the concert at 7 p.m.

After the Terre Haute date, Pittman and his dancers will perform in Chicago on July 2. A media day will follow in Chicago on July 3.

"I've danced since I was 3," Harbaugh said. "I've taken ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and lyrical. I really love hip-hop. That's my favorite."

Harbaugh has studied for most of her dance career at Innovations in Plainfield. In addition to classes, she has also taken part in many dance competitions.

"I've thought about doing many things, but all I really want to do is dance and act," Harbaugh said. "I want a career in the performing arts."

Harbaugh, the middle sibling of six children, was discovered in November by Pittman's parents.

"We heard on the radio about auditions for dancers," said Harbaugh's mother, Angela Featherston. "We went to the address, and it was a doctor's office in Terre Haute."

Featherston and Harbaugh both found the audition venue suspect, but went in and talked to a receptionist. They decided they would not stay for auditions.

"When we were leaving, a nurse came out and knocked on our car window," said Harbaugh. "She said, 'The doctor wants to see you.' I thought, 'But I don't go here.'"

The doctor turned out to be Pittman's father -- and the audition turned out to be legitimate.

"He took me back to a workout room and told me to dance for him," Harbaugh said. "I felt funny, but he told me if I really wanted it I could dance anywhere. So I did."

With that, Harbaugh had her place as a backup dancer alongside Pittman's sister and another girl from Chicago.

The Pittman family has homes in Terre Haute and Chicago. Pittman and his dancers rehearse in Terre Haute during the week and in Chicago on the weekends.

"(Pittman) calls us his 'Angels,'" Harbaugh said with a smile. "That's how he introduces us onstage."

Harbaugh's first turn as one of Pittman's dancers was in a music video, which was shot before Pittman secured management. Pittman is set to sign with a management company in the near future, and the firm that is going to manage him requested the video, which was shot at Woodrow Wilson High School in Terre Haute, not be released.

Pittman performed at President Barack Obama's inauguration. Featherston compared him to a young Michael Jackson.

"They're really expecting him to go big," she said.

The Pittmans have become like a second family to Harbaugh.

"Isaiah is like my brother," Harbaugh said. "They're such a laid back family."

Featherston has accompanied her daughter to most of her jaunts to Chicago, but there have been a couple of times she didn't.

"The Pittmans are good people," she said. "I trust them. This is such a wonderful opportunity they're giving Madison. This whole thing is God's answer to her prayers."

Harbaugh agreed.

"This is the start of my career, my dream," she said. "My dancing dream."

More information on the All-4-Family Tour can be found online at www.ip5online.com.

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Sometime kids grow up way to fast. Maybe Madison should be a 14 year old teenager and then become the dancer at a later age. You get old fast enough and can not go back.

-- Posted by south putnam taxpaper on Thu, Jun 24, 2010, at 8:19 AM

I'm sure they appreciate your comment. Not!.

-- Posted by hardtobelieve on Thu, Jun 24, 2010, at 8:23 AM

Oh so long ago when you were just a toddler Madison I taught you and your sister dance. I am so thrilled for you! When you are a dancer you understand the desire to dance and to perform. Go for it and don't let anyone stop you!!! I wish you all the best! Hugs...

-- Posted by icare on Thu, Jun 24, 2010, at 9:57 PM

Congrats to this young lady for realizing her dream at a young age, and having the tenacity to pursue it. No matter what you do in life, you should do it with passion, and enjoy it. Best of luck to you, Madison.

-- Posted by Violet23 on Fri, Jun 25, 2010, at 1:28 PM

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