L.A. is awesome.
Although the Dance Spirit offices are firmly rooted in midtown Manhattan, we're lucky because we get to make a few trips out to the west coast each year—and my favorite place to go to spot rising dance stars is Hollywood.
It makes sense, of course: Dancers hoping to make it big in the commercial industry flock to L.A., where they can take classes at top studios like Millennium Dance Complex and EDGE Performing Arts Center, and they're exactly where they need to be for major auditions (just a 2-mile, 3-hour trip on the 405—silly L.A. traffic).
Also located in L.A.: Many of the country's top dance agencies. And those agencies are always looking to show off their dancers and choreographers.
Want to check 'em all out? Make your way to Boulevard3 this week!
McDonald/Selznick Associates, a renowned agency representing some of the dance industry's leading hot shots, is holding a must-attend event on Wednesday, November 14. They're calling it Freestylin' and it's being dubbed as the first-ever dance industry jam.
Want to go? Here's what you need to know:
- The event is open to the public, but you must be older than 21 to attend (sorry non-legals—the event is being held at a club).
- The night will basically be a dance party. MSA is taking its street dancers and giving them a stage to perform on. In other words: A massive show-off-fest with rockin' dancers doing all their best moves.
- The people watching will be off the charts. Keep your eyes peeled for Simon Fuller (of XIX Entertainment), Carrie Ann Inaba (the "middle judge" on "Dancing with the Stars"), Duane Adler (writer of the Step Up series) and Dave Scott, who will be hosting the event.
- Dress to impress. In addition to the dance world celebs, there will be plenty of VIPs strolling the red carpet. Think TV, film and commercial directors, casting directors, producers, music managers and tons of major working choreographers.
Have a blast!
Dancer Yesenia Ayala first caught our eye in the off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity with Sutton Foster earlier this year. So, we were super excited when we found out she was making her Broadway debut in this spring's sweetest new show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Both productions were choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.)
Since the NYC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre's spring gala Monday night, the DS editors haven't stopped talking about its creepy-cute sets and costumes, created by artist Mark Ryden. Well, the obsession is about to get even crazier, because we just heard that Ryden's artwork for the ballet is now on display in not one, but TWO locations in NYC.
Yes, yes, we know: Dancers are athletes as well as artists. But we haven't seen anything hammer home just HOW athletic dancers are quite as well as this video from Self magazine, which features American Ballet Theatre principal/fairy princess Isabella Boylston trying to teach top-level CrossFit enthusiasts ballet.
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
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.