Becoming a Knicks City Dancer
Last month, 300 dancers queued up outside The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers in NYC on a Saturday afternoon, all striving to fulfill one dream—to become a Knicks City Dancer! Only 30 girls continued on to the weeklong training camp, which culminated with the announcement of the twentieth anniversary team. Dance Spirit caught up with one of the six new members to learn more about the audition experience.
Christina B., a recent graduate of Towson University with a degree in psychology, has always been a competitive dancer. She was on the Towson Dance Team for all four years of college, helping her team to win a national title each year. Her hard work has earned her a spot with the KCD! Check out our interview with Christina below, then head over to our Facebook page to check out some photos from this year's KCD auditions.
DS: Why did you decide to audition for the KCD?
Christina B.: I’ve wanted to be on the KCD since high school. The dancers are glamorous—they’re strong, confident, fierce, and dynamic. Every move they do is picture-ready!
DS: What was the first day of auditions like?
CB: The first day was an open call audition. The first cut was really unexpected: after warming up and going down the floor, we learned two 8 counts of a routine, went over them a lot, and then they spread out all the dancers to make sure they saw every single person. Then they cut half the group! After that, we learned more of the combination, performed it, and then they picked the top 32.
DS: How did they choose the final team?
CB: The beginning of the Training Camp week was rehearsals, where we learned a routine with different formations and ripples. It was a lot of fun, but it was very technical, and we had a short amount of time to learn everything. Then there was the boot camp, which was really intense. It felt more like a workout for a men’s sports team—we did lots of cardio work, push-ups, planks, crunches, and ladders. I was nervous the whole time, but the directors were looking for leaders, girls who don’t crash and burn under pressure. I just believed in myself and had faith that everything would work out.
DS: What was your reaction when you heard your name called?
CB: I was just shocked – I didn’t know what to say or feel. I know I had a surprised look on my face. The first thing I said was “Me? You said my name?” I’m so excited to perform at Madison Square Garden and to be a role model for women and girls all over the nation. I love the opportunity to be a spokesperson and a model citizen for NYC.
DS: What advice do you have for girls hoping to audition for the KCD?
CB: Make sure you go to the audition clinic series [a 3 hour session where they teach the routines that will be used at the audition.] I was prepared because I already knew the combinations. Be yourself, because the directors want to see [ital: you]. Don’t change who you are just to fit a certain “look.” As long as you're confident, you have nothing to worry about. If you work hard, you can achieve it!
(Photo: Christina B.; Credit: Adam Pantozzi Photography)
It's time to get your pirouette on! From September 5th to September 30th, we're hosting a contest to find out who's the best turner of them all.
Put together your most impressive turning combo. Post a video online. Share your turns with us and thousands of other dancers around the world. And if our editors think you're the top turner, you'll win a fabulous prize.
All of 18-year-old Kaylin Maggard's dreams—from scoring the title of National Senior Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals to winning the 2017 Dance Spirit Cover Model Search—are coming true. And to anyone who knows the gorgeous contemporary dancer, that's no surprise.
From the moment the Dance Spirit staff met Kaylin, it was obvious her humility and talent would take her far. Not only did she go full-out during the photo shoot and class at Broadway Dance Center, but she was always cheering on, laughing with, and supporting her fellow CMS contestants Haley Hartsfield and Michelle Quiner. During the voting period, the social media world was abuzz with praise for her work ethic, positive attitude, and generosity.
Since her CMS trip to NYC, Kaylin's moved from her hometown of Columbia, MO, to the Big Apple for her freshman year at Juilliard, and is busy getting acquainted with the city. As for the future? She's taking it one opportunity at a time, but something tells us we'll be seeing this contemporary queen reach new heights every year.
J.Crew's putting a whole new spin on its brand —literally. The popular clothing line's inspired ad campaign has a group of cute male models showing off their best moves in a series of playful dance battles. When we saw one of those models throw down the gauntlet with a rather impressive series of chaîné turns, we knew he had to be a trained dancer, and we were right: He's former New York City Ballet corps member Joshua Thew. Dancer and model Smith Reesie also shows off in a seriously impressive freestyle.
It's fall! The leaves are changing, everything everywhere is pumpkin-spice flavored—and "Dancing with the Stars" is back on the air. For the 25th time. Season TWENTY-FIVE, y'all: Here we go.
Koine. Kiki. Lex. Taylor. Welcome to the fight to the finale!
On last night's show—the last one before the last one—the Top 4 performed roughly one million times, including an opening number, a group routine, a solo, an All Star duet (a favorite from earlier in the season), and a routine paired with a fellow contestant. And best of all: No one went home! (Yet.) Here's a rundown of all the good stuff.
Fourteen-year-old Kennadi Boese is a teenage dance superhero. For one thing, she's successfully living a double life. One day, she's studying dance and going to school in Colorado like a normal teenager; the next, she's booking major L.A. gigs like the Kids' Choice Sports Awards. It's not just Kennadi's schedule that's super-powered: Her turns are effortless and endless, and she's crazy-versatile (flamenco, anyone?).