Two Summit Middle Schoolers walked the runway during New York Fashion Week in February
Quinn Davis and Aniaya Brenner both modeled Peach and Penny formal dresses
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct where photos from the Katie Andelman Model Team have published and to remove information about whether the event was part of New York Fashion Week.
Taking the stage is an intimidating feat for most people: Just the thought of standing — or worse, performing — in front of an audience is enough to make adult stomachs twist and turn. But for Summit Middle School students Quinn Davis and Aniaya Brenner, the stage is where they shine and that was evident when both girls took to the runway in February during New York Fashion Week.
Both seventh graders at Summit Middle, Davis and Brenner have a deep love for the stage. Brenner has been dancing since she was 3 years old and Davis discovered musical theater when she was 8. Both spend hours each week after, and sometimes during, school to perfect their craft.
When she was about 6 years old, Brenner got her headshot taken and that’s when she developed a secondary passion for modeling. She auditioned for the Denver-based Katie Andelman Model Team and began modeling dresses for the clothing line Peach and Penny. Brenner said she liked the activity partly because she enjoys the adrenaline and partly because it gave her the opportunity to continue practicing performing.
“In dancing on stage, you have to be more expressive and your movements are a lot bigger while on the runway, you kind of want to keep it smaller and your facial features don’t need to be as big,” Brenner said.
Like Brenner, Davis is drawn to the stage. Her mother, Tonya Michel, described her daughter as a shy wallflower but that she blossoms when in front of an audience.
“For some reason, when she’s on stage, whether it’s theater or modeling, she’s just in her element,” Michel said. “She’s a different person entirely.”
Like Brenner, Michel said Davis will do anything to get better at her first passion, which is musical theater. She’s previously starred in performances with Lake Dillon Theater Co., Breckenridge Backstage Theatre and at Summit High School, and she’s getting more involved with Colorado Children’s Theatre in Evergreen. She also takes voice lessons and musical theater dance classes. When Davis heard about the Katie Andelman Model Team from Brenner, it seemed like another opportunity to help her practice.
Both girls had to first audition for the modeling team and then for the New York runway. Before this show, Davis had walked once before on a New York runway in September. Now she and Brenner were to take on the city together, along with 25 other girls from around the state who were also part of the modeling team. Leading up to the trip, Michel said the girls would meet once a month in Denver to practice their walk and get fitted for the formal gowns they’d show off in New York.
According to Michel, the show — which happened Feb. 10 at Sony Hall — occurred during New York Fashion Week alongside some of the big-league events. Michel said most of the attendees during the show were grandparents and parents. Even so, both girls said they loved getting the chance to walk on a runway in New York.
Amazing show by Peach and Penny and Katie Andelman!! ✨ Love all these gorgeous @katie_andelman_models Runway 7 Fashion #nyfw #runwaymodel #runwayPosted by Alaina Drummond Brenner on Thursday, February 10, 2022
Both girls are planning to continue practicing modeling. Brenner said she plans to audition with the same modeling team again while Davis plans to audition for Denver’s Fashion Week which will happen later this spring. In the meantime, both girls will continue to shine both on and off the runway.
“For us, it’s transformational,” Michel said about her and Davis’ dad watching their daughter on stage. “We love to see her become who we know she can be and just have the comfort and confidence that that does for her.”
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