Ridgewood student hits milestone while achieving dreams
Despite these uncertain times Kylie Gordon, 11, has clung to her passion for the performing arts. Considered a “triple threat”—skilled at singing, acting, and dancing—Gordon took things to the next level by auditioning for Broadway shows, eventually landing her first role in “The Lion King.”
Unfortunately, the very same week she was cast, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, causing Broadway to temporarily shut down. Because of that, she missed out on her big break.
“Unfortunately, now she is over five feet tall, which is too tall for children on Broadway,” Kylie’s Mom, Kimberly, explained. “We’re hoping she’ll have additional Broadway [opportunities], but now a lot is more commercial modeling and acting.”
Since the second grade, Gordon has been home-schooled through Time4Learning, which allowed her to get her education and pursue her passions of singing, acting, and dancing, all while continuing to enjoy being a kid.
Last month, the Gordon’s celebrated Kylie’s fifth-grade graduation and her transition into middle school.
“I get to spend a lot more time with my family than when I actually went to school, so it’s fun. I get to mess around with my sibling, and it’s great,” Kylie said.
Kylie’s mom, who plays an additional role as her teacher, said that the home schooling experience was quite challenging at first, but eventually, it got easier and helped the mother-daughter duo strengthen their bond.
“One thing I remember from kindergarten was math, which was really stressful. She didn’t get it; I didn’t get it. But with home school, I have to dive in and kind of understand it,” Kimberly said.
“Once I did, our relationship with schooling and understanding each other in terms of learning style improved greatly,” she continued. “It took some time, but I think we’ve gotten into a great groove and I understand when she needs a break, especially when she has a job or something of that nature.”
Since she was two years old, Gordon has loved singing and dancing.
Vocally, she trains with Craig Derry, a coach and producer who has worked with prominent artists including Foushee, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott, SWV, Al B. Sure, Tamar Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Mario, and more.
Gordon takes dance lessons at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she says she’s made a lot of friends and developed a great passion for ballet dance.
“I love ballet dance because I get to show my technique, which I love. It’s so fun to do,” Gordon said.
“I like performing because I know that I can make people smile,” she added. “I love choreography too, because I can show off my moves and my pizzazz.”
Although sad she was unable to perform on Broadway, Gordon did not let that stop her tenacity and urge to create art.
Gordon, who sings under the stage name KylieBear, recently released a new single, “This Girl,” which she wrote with her mom.
“‘This Girl’ is about a girl who’s telling people not to just pay attention to her looks, but also to her feelings,” she said. “We had so much fun doing it. First, we just had a little melody, and then we started writing the lyrics, adding the details, and then I started singing it.”
“I like to show my feelings in my songs in ways I can’t actually speak them sometimes.,” she continued. “I like people to listen to them when I don’t think they can actually hear me.”
Gordon’s discography also includes original songs such as “Hey Mr. DJ,” “You Are My Friend,” and “Lights Camera Action.”
She said that her biggest musical influences are Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, and the Broadway cast of Hamilton.
Kylie and her mom are extremely thankful for Time4Learning and the way they were supported throughout her rigorous schedule as a performer.
In fact, Gordon was able to interact with other students her age who were also graduating via the virtual graduation ceremony, hosted on YouTube Live.
As she moves on academically, Kylie also looks forward to advancing her performance career — and even has some big goals for herself.
“I want to perform all over the place, and hopefully have my own tour,” she said. “I want to have a bunch of people in the audience singing my name. I want to showcase myself.”