Emily Blunt, Ballerina?
Actress Emily Blunt is living the dream. She’s got a super-successful film career, a hot husband (John Krasinski of “The Office”) and a leading role alongside Matt Damon in this month’s sci-fi flick The Adjustment Bureau. In the film, Blunt plays Elise Sellas, a dancer who is having a steamy affair with a politician. To channel her inner ballerina, Blunt trained with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet artistic director Benoit-Swan Pouffer. The crew even shot all of the dance scenes at the Cedar Lake studios in NYC! DS chatted with Pouffer to get the lowdown on the film.
Dance Spirit: How much dancing is there in the film?
Benoit-Swan Pouffer: It’s not a dance movie. There are bits of dancing here and there, including a rehearsal scene. There’s one performance where something crucial in the film happens, and you’ll see Emily perform a solo. But dance is just an element in this movie—it’s not the sole element.
DS: What was it like coaching Emily?
BSP: When I was first told that I would be working with Emily, I assessed her right away. I wanted to see what I would be working with. She had a little bit of dance experience a long time ago. I noticed immediately that she has natural rhythm. She is very coordinated. Seeing that was a relief! Emily is a hard worker with a lot of dedication and focus. I told her that we not only had to make her dance, we also had to make her understand what it means to be a dancer. Dancers are special creatures. I told her to trust me, and together we went through personal training, ballet classes and choreography.
DS: Do you appear in the movie at all?
BSP: I do—but don’t blink or you’ll miss me!
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
If you've ever seen a Janelle Ginestra class video, you know how lit her combos are. What you don't see in those clips is how devoted Ginestra is to her students. We went behind the scenes at one of her sold-out IMMA SPACE classes to see Ginestra in her element, mentoring some of L.A.'s most talented dancers. It was an inspiration feedback loop.
All photos by Joe Toreno.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I love ballet, and I've been told that I have a lot of potential. I can see myself dancing professionally one day. But I'm also working toward my black belt in karate—and I'm passionate about that, too. How can I keep up my technique while also making time for the other things I love? Is that even possible?
What do you get when you combine a Beyoncé anthem, fierce girls from all over the world, and choreography by legends like Ellenore Scott and Lamar Lee? You get the epic music video below. The viral video features little girls who live everywhere from Tanzania to Washington D.C. dancing and lip-syncing to Queen Bey's song "Freedom," and the result is electrifying. These littles can dance—and they bring a determination and enthusiasm to their movement that's truly inspiring.