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Maddie Rachel Neville orange long original size_edited_edited.png

 Choreographer. Dancer.
Autism advocate.



Currently  pursuing a BFA in dance and choreography as well as a BA in psychology from Elon University as a Fine Arts Fellows scholar, I have spent my life studying dance. I've attended summer intensives with New York University Tisch School of Dance, MODAS Dance as a scholarship recipient, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and University of North Carolina School of the Arts' contemporary intensive, where I was also accepted into their year-round performing arts high school.​My goal after dance is to become a dance psychologist, to help reform the system from the inside out. Competition that is unsupported by confidence can create a toxic culture both in the dance studio and dressing room. The dance culture can cultivate an unhealthy atmosphere that is devastating to mental health. No dancer should feel that they need an escape from dance, and no dancer should feel alone and hopeless in their own studio. The stage should be a safe space to express individuality and rise above everyday disappointments and setbacks.  I believe I can do so much to enact positive change for dancers, from unpacking neurodivergencies for dancers, to supporting their self advocacy, and understanding that science and art are complementary, not adversarial. Through the arts, I have the freedom to express myself through movement. Through science, I hope to help other dancers find their voices in a safe space as well.


Autism in Dance

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Last year, I sat down with Jennifer Milner (my mom!)  on IG live and discussed my experience as a dancer with autism.

We’ve had so many people continue to reach out to us with questions that we’re scheduling a second livestream!


Please join us Sunday, March 3 at 12 p.m. central time on either of our IG streams! If you have questions - as a neurodivergent dancer, or as a teacher, or as a parent of a neurodivergent dancer - please feel free to submit them in advance!

Please join us as we continue the conversation!


There are so many assumptions around individuals with diagnoses like OCD, Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and Tourette syndrome, most of them negative. As someone with Autism, OCD, and ADHD, I have experienced firsthand the negative effects these harmful and institutional issues can have on mental and physical health. Autism is so often seen as something that hinders and inhibits someone’s ability to function as a member of society, but in reality it is simply a separate operating system that enables us to see things differently and bring unique and valuable opinions and views to the world stage. Autistic individuals are often oblivious to unsaid social guidelines and rules, which lets us see truths unaffected by social pressures. 


I hope to be a voice for autistic women like myself who deserve to have their opinions heard. So often we face barriers in getting the accessibility and accommodations we need to be successful.


Autism testing had given me the diagnosis I needed to request accommodations and have myself heard. I had to advocate for myself throughout the entire journey, however, and faced skepticism (You don’t LOOK Autistic!) and resentment (Why do YOU get “special treatment”?) as I fought for my legal rights.


I would like to be a strong positive voice for autistic women like myself who have to navigate a world that was not made for them, and as recent studies are just starting to find a strong link between the dance world and a high neurodivergent population, I know I am not alone in the dance world as an Autist.


I have spent my whole life as a square peg, and I won't apologize for not fitting into a round hole. I plan to help the world develop places where all sorts of pegs can fit and feel valued.

Interested in speaking with me on the subject of neurodivergency? Click here to contact me!

Check this out:


"Great Minds Think Differently" by Sophie Bress
September 2023 edition of Dance Magazine

Dance Magazine interviewed me on my experience as an autistic dancer. I'm so grateful to have had the chance to share my experiences with their audience!

Instagram Livestream discussion on Autism and dancers, with Jennifer Milner 4/2023



Being an artist is my way to express without words how I feel or what is going on in my mind.  Diagnosed with Autism, I struggle with words around people I don’t know, the social cueing, unwritten rules, and overall exhaustiveness of it all. When I dance, I can communicate and forge bonds with people I don’t know without having to say anything at all.  Dance and other artistic expressions are my way of sharing what I think without words.

Collin County Ballet Theatre performs Madeleine Milner's Unsteady as guest artists at the UTDance Ensemble spring show. 


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