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.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.
Want a chance to get personally involved in the HOTLY anticipated TV show "World of Dance"? Of course you do. That's why J. Lo. and the rest of the "WOD" team have launched an interactive version of the upcoming NBC series that lets Snapchatters get in on the action.
On Saturday morning, Russell Horning—aka 15-year-old Instagram king @i_got_barzz—was already kind of famous. His admittedly bad but weirdly mesmerizing dance videos had earned him shoutouts from the likes of Rihanna (and dance tributes from the likes of Josh Killacky).
But by Sunday morning? By Sunday morning, Russell Got Barzz had reached an entirely different level of memedom. Because Katy Perry tapped the teen—signature backpack and all—to perform "Swish Swish" with her on "Saturday Night Live." And the internet lost its darn mind.
If, like me, you've ever wondered (and wondered) how that stunning opening scene in La La Land came together, do we have a treat for you.
Fashion looks better in motion—that's why runways exist. But when does fashion look REALLY amazing? In dancey motion. And exhibit #69372 in the case for the inescapable connection between dance and fashion is this new video from Harper's Bazaar, featuring our favorite dancer/model/rock star, Larsen Thompson.