The Dance We're Thankful for This Year
Happy Thanksgiving, dance friends! Since today is a day for reflection and gratitude (and eating...so much eating), I asked my fellow Dance Spirit editors to tell me the dance-world things they're most grateful for. Here's what they had to say:
Courtney Bowers, managing editor: "I'm thankful for Jennifer Garner's hilarious ballet memes, Michaela DePrince's super-cool behind-the-scenes vlog, Janelle Ginestra's #Beastmode, and the magical Rockettes for always kicking off the festive holiday season perfectly."
Olivia Manno, assistant editor: "This year, I'm thankful for Dorrance Dance's insanely inspirational performance of Myelination at Fall for Dance, for Reid Bartelme and Jack Ferver saying everything we're thinking on their podcast 'What's Going On With Dance And Stuff,' and for Harper Watters and Chun Wai Chan doing the Spicy Noodle Challenge on an episode of 'The Pre Show,' which resulted in this very important content:"
Helen Rolfe, assistant editor: "Forever #grateful to live on the same planet as James Bruce Whiteside and his Instagram captions (which always make me giggle). Also pre-grateful that Allison Holker and tWitch are hosting this year's 'Disney's Fairytale Weddings' special on Freeform December 11—dreams really do come true, y'all."
And me? I'm thankful for Cosmo the Cougar's soul-destroying moves, and Yanis Marshall slaying on the runway at Fashion Week, and the fact that Mean Girls: The Musical is a real thing that exists now, and Tiler Peck's insane fouettés on a varnished wood floor—and, most of all, for this wild, wonderful job that lets me nerd out about dance 24/7.
Enjoy your turkey, everybody! 🦃 🦃 🦃
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!
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!
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.
When most of us think of The Nutcracker, we imagine a growing Christmas tree, dancing mice, and a little girl named Clara (or Marie) traveling to the Land of Sweets. But companies around the world have been reinventing the holiday classic, changing the storyline or adding their own spectacular sets and characters. To get in the Nutcracker spirit this season, check out these out-of-the-box productions.
Aspiring ballerina Katarina Jakimier, a Dallas, TX, native, was just 12 when Dance Spirit first featured her, highlighting the innovative pointe shoe recycling program she created in her community. Now 16, Jakimier is still studying ballet intensively—this past fall she started training at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany—and is still on a mission to make the world a better place. Recently, she founded the Silver Swans Ballet Program, which allows senior citizens in retirement homes to experience the magic of ballet, and to reap all of its health benefits. Here, she tells us how the initiative came to be. —Courtney Bowers