From Competitions to Campus: How 4 Comp Stars Made the Leap
Considering a dance degree to build on your competition experiences? DS caught up with comp-circuit stars who chose higher ed to learn the advantages of transitioning from comp kid to college kid.
Ability to Pick Up New Genres
"Because I'd been exposed to so many different genres—hip hop, theater, contemporary, and ballet—I was able to pick up new styles quickly in college, and movement came more naturally to me." —Mattie Love, 2010 NYCDA National Teen Female Outstanding Dancer and Marymount Manhattan College class of 2016
"All of us from studio backgrounds have broad stylistic experiences, and versatility is important in college because it opens doors. You don't want to have a door closed because you never dabbled in one particular style." —Jake Tribus, 24 Seven Dance Convention's 2013 National Teen Male Non-Stop Dancer and University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance class of 2020
Jake Tribus (photo by Jennifer Robertson, courtesy USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance)
Being Prepared for Auditions and Accepting Their Outcomes
"When you're a competition dancer, you're auditioning all the time. I always felt comfortable auditioning in college: I pick up detailed choreography quickly because I grew up doing that on the competition and convention circuit." —ML
Managing a Packed Schedule and Networking Effectively
"College is like a convention weekend all the time! You have to take care of your body and pace yourself so you're getting the most out of classes but not killing yourself. I was prepared to go into each college class with a new perspective because of conventions, where I changed my mindset really quickly from one class to the next." —Sarah Pippin, 2015 NYCDA National Senior Female Outstanding Dancer and Juilliard class of 2020"
Sarah Pippin performing in "Juiliard New Dances: Edition 2016" (photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy Sarah Pippin)
Conventions prepared me for contact With a variety of people. I was able to immerse myself in different communities across the nation. It's very similar to a college schedule: long days, working hard in every single class. You're meeting people every day and making connections that'll last a lifetime." —Alyssa Allen, 2014 Senior Female Best Dancer at The Dance Awards and USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance class of 2019
Alyssa Allen (photo by Rose Eichenbaum, courtesy USC Kaufman)
Learning New Material Fast and Showcasing Your Work Ethic
"I'm used to 45-minute classes where the teacher teaches a crazy-long combo. The convention setting taught me to pick things up fast, which then helped me in college because I could move on quickly from learning the combination to focusing on technical elements." —SP
"At my studio, we knew everyone's parts: In case something happened, someone could substitute during a performance. I've found in college, people want to work with me because I know how to dance in an ensemble—I know how to be clean and how
to blend because of those competition experiences."—ML
A version of this story appeared in the October 2017 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "From Comps to Campus."
So you Think You Can Dance' Season 14 finalists Lex Ishimoto and Taylor Sieve shocked fans at home (at least the ones who hadn't thoroughly scoured their respective Instagrams) during Episode 14, when choreographer Mia Michaels asked if either of them had ever experienced "the kind of love that takes your breath away." They confessed that, yup, they had—with each other. The two met at The Dance Awards in the summer of 2016, where they were each named Senior Best Dancer, and went on to tour with the convention as assistants. Before long—and long before their "SYTYCD" journey—they became a couple.
Take a look at Dance Spirit's exclusive interview where they dish on everything from their favorite dates to the dance moves that give them all the feels.
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You're obsessed with class videos. We're obsessed with class videos. The passion, energy, and talent showcased in these clips, which give us an insider-y peek at the commercial dance world's hottest classes, are totally irresistible.
But at what point does the phenomenon go from being a good thing to a bad thing for dancers and the dance world? Is the focus on filming distracting from the work dancers are supposed to be doing in class? Are overproduced videos presenting a dangerously misleading picture of the dance world? Is the pressure to be a class video star becoming too much for dancers to handle? These are some of the questions A-list dancer and choreographer Ian Eastwood—no stranger to the class video himself—has been asking on Twitter. And they've sparked a lively, important debate.
Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
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Behold, National Ballet of Canada principal Svetlana Lunkina's oh-so-casual pre-class exercise:
Dance Spirit is beyond excited to announce the first round of 2017 Future Star winners! Every year, DS partners with competitions to recognize dancers with exceptional presence and ability. The second round of winners will be featured in our January issue, so stay tuned!
Our favorite drama-filled, dance reality show may have ended this past fall, but "Dance Moms" stars Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall aren't about to let that end their dance careers. In fact, these dancing kweens are taking their moves to a city near you with their Irreplaceables Tour! The girls are going all out for the three-week dance production, which is taking them across the country. And these dazzling dancers aren't just content with showing off their dance skillz—they want to pass along their tips and tricks in a dance workshop where they'll lead fans in stretches and dance routines from the show.
Dance Spirit caught up with Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall to find out what they love about tour life and where they see themselves five years from now.
When most of us think of The Nutcracker, we imagine a growing Christmas tree, dancing mice, and a little girl named Clara (or Marie) traveling to the Land of Sweets. But companies around the world have been reinventing the holiday classic, changing the storyline or adding their own spectacular sets and characters. To get in the Nutcracker spirit this season, check out these out-of-the-box productions.