From the Rehearsal Hall to the Runway
Anna Zanovello is one of New York Fashion Week's favorite new models—and a former ballet dancer from Milan. Not surprised? Neither were we. Ballerinas are elegant, strong, graceful—and perfect for the catwalk!
Anna, a stunningly gorgeous, long-legged beauty, trained in classical ballet growing up, eventually earning a spot at Italian ballet company La Scala Theatre Ballet. While still in the company, the then 18-year-old went to a modeling competition in Verona to support a friend—not compete. It was there that she caught the eye of an agency scout. He pled with her to model, but she'd already made up her mind: She was going to be a ballerina. But shortly after, a broken ankle forced her to take a year off from ballet and re-think her options. Why not try modeling?
Anna recently opened Altuzarra’s spring 2012 show at NYFW (wow!) and won spots on the Theyskens’ Theory, Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani runways. But our favorite part of the story? She skipped Paris Fashion Week in order to spend a month studying at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Now that's our kind of girl! In an interview with New York Magazine, she said, "In December, I entered a competition where one of the judges was the director of the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. I won first prize and part of the award was spending a month studying at the Bolshoi. I kind of had culture shock when I first arrived there. But the school itself was an amazing experience."
She went on to address the hot topic of the pressure to be thin in modeling and ballet worlds. When asked which world was worse, she said, "Well, I met a lot more bulimic girls [doing ballet]. I think it’s worse in ballet because they check your weight and if you’re above a certain weight, you leave the school. It’s horrible."
It's tough to be in a world—whether it's ballet or modeling—where the way look determines where your career will take you. But one thing's for sure: Congratulations are due to a dancer who's been able to overcome the challenges and truly succeed. We can't wait to see her on the runway or the stage—whichever is up next.
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽