In Alvin Ailey's Pas de Duke (photo by Siggul/Visual Arts Masters)
Alvin Ailey’s Antonio Douthit-Boyd is the epitome of power and grace in perfect harmony. Yet it’s his passion that captivates audiences. He honors his craft as a gift that was given to him when he needed it most.
Douthit-Boyd grew up in St. Louis, MO, where his family suffered financial strains. He spent part of his childhood at St. Louis Transitional Hope House, a place where homeless families retreat to rebuild their lives. One day, he followed the sound of drums to a dance class. This chance occurrence set off a series of events that landed him a scholarship at the Center of Creative Arts. He continued training at several respected schools and joined Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1999. In 2004, Douthit-Boyd joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where he continues to dance today. See him onstage during the company’s 2013 season, which runs through January 5 at New York City Center. —Maggie McNamara
Thank you for being fearless by jumping into dance class that day and changing the path of your future. Even when your friends said dance wasn’t for boys, you insisted on staying. Thanks for being a dreamer.
Always remember the feeling in your gut after first witnessing Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, a work filled with inspiring motion and emotion. Hold on to the excitement you felt when you ran home to rave to your mom about this amazing company of all kinds of people, who move in a superhuman way. When you demonstrated the moves you saw, your mom disapproved. Thanks for not being discouraged. Instead, you went to your room, looked out your window and made a wish on the brightest star in the sky. Your prayer was to be a dancer and to see your name in lights, shining like those very stars. Thank you for having faith.
Douthit-Boyd as a teen (photo courtesy Antonio Douthit-Boyd)
Your prayer will be answered. Your passion will lead you on a journey of discovery. You’ll travel with one of the world’s most beloved dance companies—Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater—and have unexpected adventures, like walking the Great Wall of China, floating in the Dead Sea and meeting the President. You will have the opportunity to inspire others, as you were inspired, and your image on Ailey’s poster will be encouraging for other young men who question whether they should dance.
Maybe your friends and your mother would have been encouraging if they were aware of the possibilities. Even when no one understood, you listened to your heart. Be thankful for all the people who have been a part of your journey. Whether good or bad, all those experiences will be used to mold you into the strongest dancer and person you can be.
Most of all, thank you for dancing (and smiling)!
There's a common misconception that a dancer's body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist's capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer "should" look like.
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!
Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.
We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)
So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.
The coolest place she's ever performed:
I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!
Something she's constantly working on:
My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'
My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!
In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.