Dance Spirit Presents: Isabella Torres' First NYCDA Nationals
This Nationals season, Dance Spirit followed four talented dancers from The Dance Awards, NYCDA, Showstopper, and Starpower for an inside look at everything that goes into the biggest competitions of the year. First up: Isabella Torres from Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, who competed at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals for the first time this year. (All photos courtesy Shannon Torres.)
June 28, 2017
Today was the last day at my studio, Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts (MCPA), in Baltimore, MD, before leaving for NYCDA. I took a ballet class and rehearsed a little. It's the beginning of a great experience!
June 29, 2017
I made it to NYC! After I arrived, all the Junior Outstanding Dancers picked numbers. I got #5 out of 140, and I was hoping for a higher number but I'll make it work. After that, we had an orientation meeting—we start dancing at 7:30 AM tomorrow, so it'll be an early wakeup!
In the ballroom!
Hitting the classic NYCDA pose
June 30, 2017
Today's Junior Outstanding Dancer day! I had a 4:30 AM wakeup call, and a 7:30 AM stage time. I tried my best to not let my exhaustion show, even after make-up, hair, warming up, and even more warming up!
5 more minutes!
July 1-2, 2017
Today we had our Outstanding Dancer ballet class audition and solo presentations. I danced the Kitri variation, and was super happy to be awarded 6th out of over 150 entries. After, I had time to fit in a trip to Starbucks and shopping at Capezio—an essential stop for dancers.
Prepping my look for Kitri!
Always have to stretch!
Hanging out in the Capezio store
July 3, 2017
We had our group competition today. After, I had a lot of fun at M&M World in Times Square with my MCPA family.
July 4, 2017
Class today was amazing—The Radio City Rockettes taught a class, and I took hip hop from Dana Wilson. (Catch me rocking my newly discovered skills during Dana's class, near the front!) Later in the day, we explored NYC more, and then ate some delicious pizza as we waited for the junior awards to be announced.
July 6, 2017
Today was the junior gala, which was an unforgettable experience—I even made a great new friend, Abby Trammel. Meeting and connecting with new people is a great part of Nationals. We were lucky enough to have Andy Pellick choreograph our gala routine, and it was great to have him pushing us in rehearsals all week.
As the gala performance came to a close, it was time to announce the Junior Outstanding Dancer awards. I made it into the top 12, out of 154 dancers. I was so happy, since it was my first NYCDA Nationals and I had no idea what to expect. I loved the whole experience, from spending time with my MCPA family, making and learning from mistakes, to making new friends, and learning from incredible teachers.
Abby and me before the gala!
July 7, 2017
The Teen and Senior Outstanding Dancer gala was tonight, and the talent was amazing. The cast of the Broadway hit,
Bandstand, performed, and it only got more incredible from there. We were all tired from the week, but we didn't want the adventure to end. I'm so thankful to NYCDA for supporting my love for dance. Even though a lot is about to change, with friends going to summer camp and fellow studio members heading off to college, I can't wait to see what new dance adventures next season will bring.
Some might say Charlize Glass' fame kicked off with a single three-letter word. In 2014, Beyoncé shared a video of the then–12-year-old dancer performing to "Yoncé" on Instagram, along with a simple caption: "WOW!"
But by that point, the hip-hop mini had already performed at the MTV Video Music Awards and on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and won first runner-up with her crew, 8 Flavahz, on "America's Best Dance Crew." And her Queen Bey Insta shout-out wasn't even the pinnacle of her tween career: She earned a spot on The PULSE On Tour as an Elite Protégé for the 2014–2015 season, and performed with Missy Elliott at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show in 2015.
These days, the 16-year-old spends her time touring the country as Brian Friedman's assistant at Radix Dance Convention and blowing up YouTube and Instagram with her class-video cameos. And while the Char Char we fell in love with was a hip-hop cutie pie, the more mature artist we see today is sure to rock the dance world for years to come.
"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.
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!
There's a surprising twist to Regina Willoughby's last season with Columbia City Ballet: It's also her 18-year-old daughter Melina's first season with the company. Regina, 40, will retire from the stage in March, just as her daughter starts her own career as a trainee. But for this one season, they're sharing the stage together.
Yes, we all know dancers are strong. But sometimes it takes a truly epic workout video to remind us JUST HOW INSANELY STRONG they actually are.
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.