Before 'SYTYCD,' Ava Wowed On 'Dance Moms'

There's more than just one Dance Moms veteran on So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation. This season, Maddie Ziegler will serve as a judge of the dance competition and her fellow Abby Lee Dance Studio member Ava Cota auditioned in the premiere. While Ava didn't spend as much time on the Lifetime reality series as Maddie, that doesn't mean she's not talented, and during her time on Dance Moms , Ava Cota had plenty of moments that showed her huge potential. Maybe after competing on this season of SYTYCD, Ava will turn out to be the next big superstar to come out of Dance Moms. If she makes it to the finals, she'll be mentored to capitalize on all of that potential and become an even better performer.

In Season 4 of Dance Moms, Ava left Abby Lee Miller's studio after her mother clashed with the incredibly tough dance teacher and reality star. Since her time as a member of Abby's Select Dance Crew, Ava's done some other dancing at her mother's studio, Jeanette Coda's Broadway Dance Academy, as well as Abby's rival, Candy Apples. And if you're not familiar with Ava's dances, she's proven her skills many times. Here are some of her best performances from Dance Moms and beyond that should get you even more excited to see how she does on So You Think You Can Dance.

"The Rapture" (Dance Moms Season 4)

At this competition, Abby pitted her old team against her newly formed one. Despite the added pressure, this dance turned out incredibly well and shows that Ava can blend seamlessly into an ensemble.

"7-11" Combo (BDA Elite)

In this video from Broadway Dance Academy, Ava shows off a different style of dance. While most of her performances combine modern and classical styles, this is pure hip hop, proving that she has range.

"Strange Fruit" (KAR Dance Convention)

In this competition dance, Ava showcases her incredible flexibility and her modern technique, maximized by her super-long limbs. And she uses the moves to connect to the deeply serious music, "Strange Fruit" by Nina Simone.

"Drizzle" (Dance Moms Season 4)

The dance almost didn't work out because of issues with Ava's umbrella, but as performed here, I think she comes across as a dancer who isn't visibly fazed by a mishap like this one. Sure, it may have lost her the contest, but she was still learning at the time.

"Hurtful Words"

Ava talked in her SYTYCD audition about how she's suffered from bullying online in the past, and maybe she channeled all of that passion into this dance, which is a bit more intense than her usual style.

Her SYTYCD Audition

If anyone was questioning Ava's dance abilities (which they shouldn't be), then her performance at the Chicago auditions in the So You Think You Can Dance Season 13 premiere completely changed that. Her dance in front of those judges not only earned her a place in the competition — it made her an early frontrunner.

Image: FOX