Happy Thanksgiving! Love, Dance Spirit
Hi friends! It's Thanksgiving, that day when we gather with our families to eat turkey, and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and maybe eat some more turkey, and watch football, and definitely eat a little more turkey. And, you know, give thanks for all the wonderfulness in our lives. Because Pilgrims.
But seriously: Us dancers in particular have a lot to be thankful for right now! I mean, this was the year that gave us Hamilton, and the Fraternal Twins, and the Center Stage 3 announcement, and the Justin Bieber "Purpose" movie, and the Sergei Polunin Hozier video. Our dance cups runneth over.
Here at Dance Spirit, we have a little Thanksgiving tradition: I force the other editors to tell me what dance-y things they're most thankful for. And every year, their responses make me so stupid happy. Because this is what Thanksgiving is all about, Charlie Brown.
Without further ado:
Nicole Loeffler-Gladstone, assistant editor: "I'm thankful for the hip-hop littles who bring fire, the freelancers who keep hustling, Left Shark for showing us how to live and Batsheva Dance Company in Sadeh21 for turning me into an emotional wreck."
Olivia Manno, assistant editor: "The dance-y things I'm thankful for are (in no particular order): James Whiteside's calves, Yanis Marshall's stiletto collection and the fact that it was not only acceptable to blog about Drake's 'Hotline Bling' dance as much as possible, but highly encouraged."
Alyssa Marks, style editor: "This Thanksgiving (and every one, honestly), I'm thankful for Newsies—the Broadway show, the Broadway tour and the movie! I can never get enough of those fabulous dancing men."
AwwWWWww. Feeling those Turkey Day feels right now. As for me: I'm thankful to be right here at Dance Spirit, a place that lets me obsess over the dance world I love each and every day. And for the fact that Center Stage is on HBO Go right now. And for this GIF:
You've seen it a million times: A glamorous, toned dancer posts a perfectly styled shot of her colorful smoothie bowl. The caption gushes about how great you'll feel if you eat "clean"—but what does that actually mean? DS asked registered dietitian/nutritionist Rachel Fine and holistic health coach (and founder of The Whole Dancer) Jess Spinner for all of the dirt.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org a chance to be featured!
I'm being bullied by one of the girls at my studio, and it's awful. I've talked to my dance teacher and confronted the bully directly, but it hasn't made a difference. What should I do?
Bunheads, this one's for you. They say you can tell a Nutcracker by its "Snow" scene—and we fully believe it. There are so many versions with extra goodies—olive branches! Fake snow! Sleds! Choirs! Snow queens!—and each brings a special something to the holiday favorite. But do you know which ballet has what?
You're probably already following your favorite dancers on Instagram, but did you know that you can follow many of their dogs, too? We rounded up some of our favorite dog-centered accounts and hashtags to keep you pawsitively entertained (sorry, we can't help ourselves).
Consistent turns are a must for aspiring professional dancers, but pretty much everyone struggles with pirouettes at some point. Luckily, since we're all beholden to the same rules of physics, there are concrete steps every dancer can take to reach his or her top turning potential. “Three is the new two when it comes to pirouettes, but the secret to turning is technique, not magic," says Bojan Spassoff, president and director of The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.
Falling out of your doubles? Aspiring to go revolution for revolution with your class's star turner? No matter where you lie on the turning spectrum, our 360-degree guide to pirouettes will help you improve.
Let's face it—spare time is pretty tough to come by when you're a dancer. You're either rushing to get ready for rehearsal, rushing to rehearsal, a combo of the two, or in rehearsal (or performing, or in class, or at an audition...you get the picture). Well here at DS, we understand the struggle is REAL, which is why we've rounded up our favorite foolproof makeup hacks, approved by resident #LazyGirl when it comes to makeup (spoiler alert: it's me). On to the hacks!
Kalea (pronounced kah-LAY-uh) Hidalgo knows how to move. Her decisive, dynamic dancing commands the stage: She gobbles up space so confidently it's hard to believe you're watching a mere tween. Unsurprisingly, that presence and power have started turning heads in a serious way. Not only did Talia Favia choreograph one of her solos in 2017, but Kalea also recently signed with Bloc Talent Agency in L.A. and, last summer, placed first overall in the junior contemporary solo category at Radix Nationals.
"When you're out on the dance floor, don't ask for permission—ask for forgiveness."—Kalea Hidalgo
Taylor Swift is #blessed in many ways: She's got a great voice, insane song writing skills, and, to quote her new hit single, she's "Gorgeous." She is not, however, blessed in the dance department. But that doesn't stop her from busting out the occasional dance move. In fact, Swift likes to playfully show off her less-than-stellar dancing, be it in her music videos (hello, "Shake It Off") or at music award shows. So we weren't surprised when during the latest episode of her "Making of a Song" series for AT&T, she unveiled a new endearingly awkward maneuver, which she's dubbed the "dolphin body roll"—and it practically had friend and producer Jack Antonoff rolling on the floor!🤣
You rehearse your group routine to perfection, but when the big performance rolls around, everyone turns into speed demons. It's the runaway-train effect—and it only takes one loud tapper, or zippy turner, to throw the whole group off the music.
While nerves and excitement are partly to blame, the ability to keep to tempo begins in the studio. A well-developed sense of musicality is your best defense against the dreaded speed trap. "When you understand how the steps fit with the music, going too fast won't just feel like rushing," says Jeremy Arnold, lecturer of tap at the University of Texas at Austin. "It'll feel wrong." How can dancers develop that musicality? It all starts with learning to listen.