TK Quick Questions With Karissa Royster
Talented tapper Karissa Royster made her Broadway debut this past spring in Shuffle Along, shining in Savion Glover's stylized, 1920s-inspired choreography. Royster trained at Dance Plus in San Antonio, TX, studying ballet, jazz, modern and rhythm tap, before joining RPM Youth Tap Ensemble under the direction of Barbara Phillips. Since then, she's performed at dance festivals around the world and has won awards, including the Buster Cooper Tap Scholarship. She's no slouch on the academic front, either: A Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar, Royster just graduated from New York University with a degree in political science. Catch her in Shuffle Along's run at the Music Box Theatre, and read on for The Dirt! —Courtney Bowers
What's the most-played song on your playlist?
“Be Mine," by Alabama Shakes
What's your most-watched TV show?
Probably “Breaking Bad"!
Do you have any secret talents?
I played the flute for seven years.
What's your favorite food?
Tacos. It's the Texas in me.
Do you have any nicknames?
What's your biggest piece of advice for other young performers?
Take artistic risks and explore outside your comfort zone.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Getting my bachelor's degree from NYU
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a neurosurgeon for a long time. Both of my parents work in the medical field. I look up to them a lot, so being a doctor seemed fitting.
If you could work with any performer, who would it be?
Either Jimmy Slyde or Gregory Hines
What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
I really love watching cooking shows even though I hardly cook.
Do you have any pre-performance habits or superstitions?
I try to make sure I have at least 20 to 30 minutes alone to center myself and have some peace.
What's one thing you can't live without?
If you weren't a dancer, what would you be?
I might be a teacher—either an early childhood educator or a college professor.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Bali, Indonesia, or Santorini, Greece
Do you have any favorite quotes or mantras?
“Live your truth."
Go-to stress reliever?
I like to go for walks, either in Manhattan or through Astoria Park in Queens.
In addition to training, competing and winning titles in just about every style you can think of, 13-year-old Kaylee Quinn is a regular on the sci-fi drama "Stitchers," playing the younger version of the show's main character. Her path in dance hasn't been without challenges, though. Last summer, Kaylee won the Hope Award at her regional Youth America Grand Prix, but wasn't sure she'd be able to compete at the NYC finals due to a broken foot. Patience paid off: With her doctor's blessing, Kaylee danced her variations in flat shoes and won the gold medal.
Week 2 of Misty Copeland as guest judge, week 2 of merciless cuts...How can the final episodes of "World of Dance" possibly live up to the sheer dramaaaaaaaaa of last night's episode? Well, based on the nail-biting results dished out by Copeland and Co. last night, the competition is only going to get fiercer from here. Without further ado, last night's results, as told by Kween Misty.
Every ballet dancer knows the time, sweat, and occasional tears the art form demands. But many non-dancers are clueless about just how much work a ballet dancer puts into perfecting his or her dancing. So when the mainstream crowd recognizes our crazy work ethic, we'll accept the round of applause any way it comes—even if it comes via four men in tutus. Yep, we're talking about "The Try Guys Try Ballet" video.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns is some SERIOUS #goals. Her strength and power onstage borders on superhuman. But what's extra magical about Mearns is that she really puts in the fitness and cross-training work outside of the rehearsal studio. And she's overcome her fair share of injuries. Which is why she was the perfect source for Vogue's latest ballet fitness story.