Meet The Editors

Alison Feller

Alison Feller
Editor in Chief

My mom signed me up for my first dance class when I was four and I was instantly addicted. I danced everywhere, leaping through the aisles at the grocery store and making homemade dance videos in my basement with my best friend. Eventually I started competing at Concord Dance Academy in Concord, NH, spending every winter weekend competing in tap, jazz, musical theater, open and lyrical. I spent nearly 30 hours a week in the studio and I never got sick of it. I thrived on competition until I went to college as a journalism major at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT, where I was also the captain of the university’s Kickline team. We won first place in the college division at the Scholastic Kickline Championships and now, with a massive trophy and a diploma under my belt, here I am, living the dancer/writer dream working at Dance Spirit.

Five Fun Facts About Alison:

  1. I am petrified of snakes, hairless cats and kinesio tape. Weird, I know.
  2. I’d rather eat ice cream any time of day than a real meal. (Moose Tracks is my fave!)
  3. I love running. I ran my first marathon (26.2 miles!) in September 2011 and I’m hooked!
  4. I’m obsessed with puppies. Pugs, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs and yellow labs are my favorites, but I’ll happily cuddle with any breed.
  5. I lived in Australia (on the Gold Coast) for four months during my junior year of college. My advice to you: Go there! It will change your life.

Jenny Dalzell Managing Editor

Jenny Dalzell
Managing Editor

I’ve been addicted to dance since age 4, when my mom finally gave in to my year-long campaign to attend ballet classes. From there, I studied classical ballet at a couple of studios in the Philadelphia suburbs and attended Boston Ballet’s Summer DanceLab. After performing in my high school’s musicals—I was a lead dancer in both Footloose and Sweet Charity—I added jazz, tap and modern classes to my weekly training schedule. Before choosing a college, I wanted to see what a conservatory might be like. I found myself back in Boston, at The Boston Conservatory’s summer dance intensive. I completely fell in love with it and the city (Go Red Sox!)—and five years later I graduated from “BoCo” with a B.F.A. in dance performance. Today, I feel so lucky to have found a job that’s both in my dream city, NYC, and with the magazine that I subscribed to growing up—I still have all my issues.

Five Fun Facts About Jenny:

  1. I live with my dog, Louie. She’s a Labrador-mix that loves to give kisses and cuddle on the couch.
  2. I teach ballet classes around NYC. It’s inspiring and often hilarious—little kids really do say the darnedest things!
  3. Center Stage is my all-time favorite dance movie, no question about it. I can still act out every part line-by-line, and if it’s on TV, you know I’m watching it.
  4. I’ve taken class with Mark Morris and Robert Battle, and both Baryshnikov and Merce Cunningham have watched classes that I’ve been in. Talk about pressure to not mess up!
  5. Before I came to Dance Spirit, I was the education editor at both Dance Magazine and Pointe, and I was an assistant editor at Dance Teacher.

Margaret Fuhrer

Margaret Fuhrer
Associate Editor

When I was 3, I told my mom that I wanted to be a ballerina. She thought I just wanted a tutu, so she made me one—but she quickly found out that I was serious! Two years later I started taking ballet classes, and I’ve been dancing ever since. During high school I attended summer programs at the Chautauqua Institution and Boston Ballet and performed with a small youth ballet. A bad knee injury kept me from auditioning for companies, so I ended up at Princeton University, where I discovered choreography (and hip hop!) in a fantastic student-run dance troupe, diSiac Dance Company. College was also where I fell in love with writing, and after graduation I pursued a master’s degree in journalism as part of New York University’s Cultural Reporting and Criticism program (where I met my idol, New Yorker dance writer Joan Acocella). Now I’m lucky enough to be combining all of my passions at Dance Spirit!

Five Fun Facts About Margaret:

  1. My family calls me Meg, but in kindergarten I decided to go by Margaret because I thought it was a better “ballerina name.”
  2. I like raw carrots but not cooked carrots, and baked potatoes but not mashed potatoes.
  3. I never use the snooze button. Years of living with roommates has taught me to be fully awake, instantly, the first time the alarm goes off. Often I actually wake up to the little click the alarm makes before it turns on.
  4. I have my best gym workouts when I’m listening to ballet music.
  5. My cat, Molly, has fantastic “turnout”—her front feet naturally face outwards!

Maggie McNamara

Maggie McNamara
Assistant Editor

When I was 3, my mom signed me up for my first ballet class. I quit before my first Nutcracker, whining, “Mom, they make me suck in!” Five years later, I came back to dance on my own terms, taking tap and hip hop at Kickline Dance Center in Lawrence, PA. It was there that I caught the dance bug, and I haven’t looked back since. I began taking every class offered—jazz, modern, lyrical, musical theater—and eventually, I found my way back to ballet. In high school, I became the studio’s resident bunhead, and I began taking extra ballet and pointe classes at Bodiography Center for Movement in Pittsburgh. My senior year, I was selected as one of two trainees for Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, the affiliated professional company. This experience led me straight to Princeton University, where I studied English and dance. But much of what I learned at Princeton, I learned from the talented members of my two student dance companies—Bodyhype and Princeton University Ballet. Upon graduating, I never dreamed of finding a job that so perfectly combined my passions of dance and writing, and yet here I am!

Five Fun Facts About Maggie:

  1. I’m obsessed with raw fish, particularly spicy tuna. I eat so much tuna that my roommates are concerned I may have mercury poisoning.
  2. Before I discovered sushi, parsnips were my favorite food. Most people don’t even know what parsnips are, and my friends call me a rabbit for loving them!
  3. Cotton balls terrify me. The crunching noise they make when you squeeze them gives me the chills!
  4. I switched my major three times. I went in as a psychology major, declared religion, and then switched to English.
  5. My black lab mix, Tucker, likes to watch “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dance Moms” with me when I’m home in Pittsburgh.

Meggie Hermanson

Meggie Hermanson
Fashion Editor

When I was three, I took my first ballet class at a park district center. After a one-season stint as a softball player, I decided I should probably stick with dancing. I danced through grade school, junior high and high school, and then attended the University of Iowa as a dance and English major. I really wanted to audition for companies after graduation—until I spent a summer as an intern at Pointe magazine! That totally changed my perspective, and I focused on finding a dance-related job after graduation. I ended up back home in Chicago at the Joffrey Ballet, where I worked in development for a year and a half. Now, I’m thrilled to be working at Dance Spirit, back in the office that influenced my career decisions in a huge and positive way.

Five Fun Facts About Meggie:

  1. I have seen White Christmas probably 120 times. It’s my favorite movie, and I will (and do) watch it any time of the year.
  2. I really dislike sleeping without socks on. Sometimes, in the winter, I sleep with two pairs!
  3. When I was little, I walked around on my toes so much that my doctor told my parents they had to do exercises to my ankles to make sure my Achilles tendons wouldn’t shorten permanently. Sometimes, if I’m not paying attention, I still walk around on my toes.
  4. I will always choose vanilla over chocolate.
  5. A vase of fresh flowers is one of my favorite things in the world. I love tulips and lily of the valley.