Young Milford performer gets labeled a ‘triple threat’

Madelyn Paterna is a triple threat: She can dance, she can sing and she can act. The 10-year-old Milford resident recently won Talent America thanks to her skills.

Talent America, a long-running talent competition, included more than 3,000 competitors worldwide: 300 were invited to the finals in New York City.

“She won the qualifier back in May,” said Matthew Paterna, her father. Maddy then spent a whirlwind three days in New York City competing in finals. There she won the Triple Threat Award and Entertainer of the Year.

Maddy’s mother is Courtney and her brother is Miles.

In the competition, the rising fifth grader at Calf Pen Meadow School sang Dreams to Dream and Sometimes You Have to be a Little Bit Naughty. She danced a hip-hop and tap dance routine, and for acting she performed a monologue about a tooth fairy and hand sanitizer.

“The monologue was about this girl, she lost her tooth,” said Maddy. Then she thinks, “Why am I losing my tooth? My teeth aren’t rotten.” In the act, the girl then cleans her tooth with hand sanitizer.

Maddy admits she gets some butterflies before taking stage. However, she doesn’t let nerves get to her when performing.

“Once I’m backstage, I feel like I know what I’m doing,” Maddy said.

Maddy has been receiving dance and voice lessons for nearly eight years. Before going to the regionals and nationals, she took up extra practice, singing with Rose Coppola of Rose Studios, and dancing with Gidget Poulimas at Lee Lund School of Dance.

Her father said he wants to see his daughter succeed.

“You see your kids and you think they’re great,” said Matthew.

Once Maddy started performing in front of many people, and they came to compliment her, her parents knew their child had something special.

“If she’s got talent, then we need to give her every opportunity to have her share her talent,” her father said. “She’s naturally talented. Since she’s been born, she will dance and sing each day. The acting was a big surprise.”

What was also a shock were the results of the Talent America competition.

“When they called 1,001 [at the competition], I was like ‘that’s my number!’” said Maddy. “I was very surprised when it happened.”

Maddy doesn’t have a favorite routine when it comes to dancing, singing or acting. But she said she really likes to sing Disney and Broadway songs, and she prefers hip-hop and jazz dancing.

Maddy received an invitation to audition for Les Miserable on Broadway. She didn’t get the part, but she was told she did very well.

“She’s just a really good kid,” said Matthew. “She just wants to make people happy. That’s where her desire to perform comes from.”