Cover Model Search Update!
Thank you to all of the fabulous Dance Spirit readers who entered the 2008 Cover Model Search! We received so many diverse and impressive videos and resumes from all over the country that we had a really tough time narrowing it down to just three finalists. But we finally did it. The lucky dancers are excited to visit NYC in the spring to participate in the Dance Spirit photo shoot and to be interviewed by the DS staff for the articles that will appear in DS. I cannot tell you who they are because that would spoil the surprise, but they know who they are and you will see them in the July/August issue so be sure to check it out! Of course, it will be up to you to choose which finalist will appear on the coveted October cover.
Every year when the Cover Model Search applications arrive, we get excited because we know that the dancer who will appear on the October cover is hidden somewhere in the pile of envelopes. We also anticipate uncovering loads of talent that we may not have otherwise discovered. For instance, last year, we chose Maci, Brooke, and Sara as our three finalists, but we also found three more dancers in the bunch that excited us. Two of them appeared on the cover of later issues, and the third was the subject of a big feature in the magazine. (Can you guess who those dancers are?). So please, if you were not chosen as a finalist this year, don’t get discouraged! It is almost impossible for us to select just three dancers from the group. We have our eyes on many of you!
And if you do decide the apply again for next year’s Cover Model Search, here are just a few tips to consider before sealing your application and video into an envelope.
Whether you send us a VHS or DVD, make sure it actually works before you send it! Don’t send a strange video format that we cannot view.
We love it when you talk to us briefly before showing us your routine! That way we feel like we know you a little better. (But remember to keep it brief.)
Send two variations whenever possible so that we can see more of your range. For instance, if you are a ballet dancer, seeing you in a classical and contemporary variation is great.
Don’t send compilation videos where you just take snips from each variation. We want to see you dance something all the way through or else we wonder if you can actually do something all the way through.
Make sure your resume has the most recent stuff first, not last. And keep them brief—one page if possible.
Last year it was Maci Cameron. The year before it was April Giangeruso. Who will the 2008 Cover Model Search winner be? Check out the July/August issue of Dance Spirit to read up about the finalists and then log onto dancespirit.com/ to cast your vote!
Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.
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.
When we think of a dancer who's broken barriers, American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland tends to be the name that comes to mind. And though Copeland has been a crucial advocate for equality in the world of ballet, Raven Wilkinson—a mentor of Copeland's—is considered one of the original pioneers of the movement.
In 1955, Wilkinson became the first African American to dance with the renowned Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Her fortitude in the face of bigotry and hate cemented her legacy. Now, with the release of the new children's book Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson, a new generation of dancers will be inspired by her tale of overcoming obstacles to achieve a dream.
The book details Wilkinson's life, from her experience as a young dancer training in Harlem, to her run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan while on tour with Ballet Russe, to her later ballet career in Europe. "There were times where my heart really hurt because of the situations I had to deal with," she says. "But I always had faith that I was made to be a dancer and that I was gonna dance."
Dance Spirit spoke with Wilkinson to discuss the new book and get her take on racial equality within the ballet world.
Postmodern pioneer Trisha Brown redefined how dance is seen and felt. A founding member of Judson Dance Theater, Brown frequently collaborated with other experimental artists like Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, and Steve Paxton.
She embraced pedestrian movement, pairing everyday gesture with rhythm and fluidity. "It's liquid," says Wendy Perron, who danced with Brown in the '60s and '70s. "Like a river with many tributaries, water coming out of a faucet, or being on a raft and seeing the water move away in different directions." Brown also pushed beyond stages with choreography in fields, museums—even on the sides of buildings.
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.
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.