Houston Ballet’s Emily Bowen may be pocket-sized, but don’t underestimate her power. Quick-footed and known for her clean attack, the 21-year-old corps member has chiseled lines that give her a larger presence than her petite 5-foot-1-inch frame. Whether she’s slicing through William Forsythe’s speedy ballet The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude or dancing with delicate charm as one of Gamzatti’s tricky sisters in La Bayadère, audiences are taking notice of this fiery dancer.
A Harrisburg, PA, native, Emily started dancing at age 3. In second grade, when she was asked to draw her grown-up self, Emily drew a picture of a ballerina. “I never wanted to do anything else,” she says. Realizing her daughter was serious about dance, Emily’s mother drove 100 miles a day from the family’s South Carolina home to the North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance so her daughter could train with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride.
At 14, Emily attended Houston Ballet’s summer intensive—and never wanted to leave. However, her parents insisted she return home for one more year. “I was angry at the time,” Emily says. “But now, looking back, I’m glad I had that extra year. It made me realize how badly I wanted to dance and just how hard I was willing to work for it.” She returned to Houston at 15 and within a year became a member of Houston Ballet II, the Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy’s preprofessional company.
In 2006, Emily was one of two Houston Ballet II dancers selected by the artistic staff to compete at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne. “We felt Emily would grow technically and artistically from the experience,” says Shelly Power, the Academy’s associate director. “Emily’s strong in both classical and contemporary ballet. She also showed us that she had the character to hold herself together in competition.” Power’s instinct was right: Although Emily returned empty-handed in the medal department, she found the experience worthwhile. “It was a good confidence-booster,” she says. “I saw dancers from Russia and Japan who are so well trained, and I was able to see that I was just as good. It helped me prepare to be a professional.”
When she was 18, after just two years with Houston Ballet II, Emily became a corps member with Houston Ballet. “Despite her petite size, Emily has amazing dimension. She is full of personality and she’s not afraid to express herself,” says Stanton Welch, Houston Ballet’s artistic director.
“Emily has proved her worth in each piece she’s been cast in.” Emily has achieved a lot very quickly, but she has Texas-size career goals. Her to-dance list includes ballets by JirË‡í Kylián and Welch, and she wants to be a principal dancer (hopefully with Houston Ballet!). With her combination of razor-sharp technique, beaming stage presence and can-do attitude, the path looks wide open.
Favorite Food: Indian curry
Favorite Movie: White Oleander
Artist Most Played on Your iPod: Radiohead
Perfect Day Off: Sleeping in, relaxing, watching a movie and “no pointe shoes!”
Dance Idol: Sylvie Guillem
Nancy Wozny writes about dance, theater and health from Houston, TX.
Photo of Emily Bowen in William Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude by Amitava Sarkar.
It's time to get your pirouette on! From September 5th to September 30th, we're hosting a contest to find out who's the best turner of them all.
Put together your most impressive turning combo. Post a video online. Share your turns with us and thousands of other dancers around the world. And if our editors think you're the top turner, you'll win a fabulous prize.
All of 18-year-old Kaylin Maggard's dreams—from scoring the title of National Senior Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals to winning the 2017 Dance Spirit Cover Model Search—are coming true. And to anyone who knows the gorgeous contemporary dancer, that's no surprise.
From the moment the Dance Spirit staff met Kaylin, it was obvious her humility and talent would take her far. Not only did she go full-out during the photo shoot and class at Broadway Dance Center, but she was always cheering on, laughing with, and supporting her fellow CMS contestants Haley Hartsfield and Michelle Quiner. During the voting period, the social media world was abuzz with praise for her work ethic, positive attitude, and generosity.
Since her CMS trip to NYC, Kaylin's moved from her hometown of Columbia, MO, to the Big Apple for her freshman year at Juilliard, and is busy getting acquainted with the city. As for the future? She's taking it one opportunity at a time, but something tells us we'll be seeing this contemporary queen reach new heights every year.
J.Crew's putting a whole new spin on its brand —literally. The popular clothing line's inspired ad campaign has a group of cute male models showing off their best moves in a series of playful dance battles. When we saw one of those models throw down the gauntlet with a rather impressive series of chaîné turns, we knew he had to be a trained dancer, and we were right: He's former New York City Ballet corps member Joshua Thew. Dancer and model Smith Reesie also shows off in a seriously impressive freestyle.
It's fall! The leaves are changing, everything everywhere is pumpkin-spice flavored—and "Dancing with the Stars" is back on the air. For the 25th time. Season TWENTY-FIVE, y'all: Here we go.
Koine. Kiki. Lex. Taylor. Welcome to the fight to the finale!
On last night's show—the last one before the last one—the Top 4 performed roughly one million times, including an opening number, a group routine, a solo, an All Star duet (a favorite from earlier in the season), and a routine paired with a fellow contestant. And best of all: No one went home! (Yet.) Here's a rundown of all the good stuff.
Fourteen-year-old Kennadi Boese is a teenage dance superhero. For one thing, she's successfully living a double life. One day, she's studying dance and going to school in Colorado like a normal teenager; the next, she's booking major L.A. gigs like the Kids' Choice Sports Awards. It's not just Kennadi's schedule that's super-powered: Her turns are effortless and endless, and she's crazy-versatile (flamenco, anyone?).