Ida Saki Talks Training, Challenges, and Her Keys to Success
Former Dance Spirit Cover Model Search winner and all-around goddess, Ida Saki, is one of those rare dancers that captivates on every level. Not only are we obsessed with her silky smooth contemporary moves and impossibly gorgeous lines (those feet!! 😍 ), but we're just as obsessed with what she has to say.
And in this recent Huffington Post article, she says a lot. The site profiled Saki for their series dedicated to highlighting prominent Iranian-Americans. She discussed her dance background and training, her favorite charitable causes, and what it's like to be an Iranian-American.
Here are our favorite dance gems from the interview:
What has been your personal key to success? What were the biggest inspirations for your career?
Constant hard work and dedication. I was constantly researching what I could do better at every stage. My family was very supportive of me which made me push even harder, because I wanted to make them proud. I will never forget the time when I was practicing a dance step in my living room and broke down because I couldn't get it right. My dad had walked in just then, and promised me if I practiced every day at least ten times, I would get it. Sure enough, he was right.
I was always inspired by the people around me. I would watch videos of dancers online and be inspired, but the people that pushed me to the next level were the people right next to me.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
This career is never-ending work. There have been many times that I have come so close to an opportunity that I thought was perfect, but I didn't get it for various reasons. It always hurts to hear no, but you learn to keep going and become stronger.
How did you develop your unique style as a dancer?
I was really encouraged by my teachers to find my own voice as a dancer and as a person. I spent a lot of time improvising in order to find the way my body wanted to move.
What advice would you offer someone considering a career as a professional dancer?
The dance world is full of so many different opportunities with their own separate communities. You can work to be a versatile dancer, or you can choose to hone in on one world and do as much as you can in that scope. Neither is right nor wrong, but do what you want to do and not what you feel like you have to. You may have to work a little harder, but don't sell yourself short by doing something you don't feel is you.
Head over to the Huffington Post to read the full piece.
Misty Copeland. Her name is synonymous with exquisite artistry and outspoken advocacy. And her visibility has made a huge impact on the ballet world. Ballet's relationship with race has always been strained at best, hostile at worst. But Copeland's persistent message and star quality have finally forced the ballet industry to start talking about racial diversity, inclusivity, and representation. "The rarity of seeing ourselves represented is sad," Copeland says. "The more we see every hue and body shape represented on the stage, the more possibilities young dancers feel they have for themselves."
Last month, we asked why there wasn't a Best Choreography category at the Oscars—and discovered that many of you agreed with us: Choreographers should definitely be acknowledged for their work on the super-dancy movies we can't get enough of.
Now, we're taking matters into our own (jazz) hands.
We've decided to create a Dance Spirit award for the best cinematic choreography of 2017. With your input, we've narrowed the field to four choreographers whose moves lit up some of the best movies of the year. Check out our nominations for best choreography below—and vote for the choreographer you think deserves the honor. We'll announce the winner on Friday, March 2.
Being a dancer comes with the task of having to entertain the same questions over and over again from those outside the dance world. Of course, we love having our friends and family take an interest in our passion—but if someone asks ONE MORE TIME whether or not we've met Travis Wall, we might just go crazy.
Here are 10 questions that dancers hate getting asked.
Contemporary phenom Christina Ricucci has super-flexible hips, which means she can stretch her legs to unbelievable heights. But when she noticed herself making contorted positions in class, Ricucci realized she was approaching her extensions all wrong. "I went back to the basics in class, squaring my hips and using my turnout," Ricucci says. "I learned to create proper positions, rather than whacked-out versions of them."
Some dancers are so wonky they have a hard time supporting their high legs, while others struggle with limited flexibility. But no matter your facility, you can find a balance of stretch and strength to achieve your fullest range of extension. It's not about how high (or not) your legs can go: It's the quality of the movement, and how you get those legs up, that counts.
Once upon a time (until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi concluded, to be exact), figure skaters had to compete to music without words. Before this rule change, a skater faced an automatic point deduction if the music even hinted at vocals. Understandably, there were *a lot* of Olympic programs skated to classical music, and you'd tend to hear the same music selections over and over and over.
There are plenty of current Olympic figure skaters who'd make beautiful dancers (first among them Adam Rippon, whose gorgeously choreographed long program won the internet, if not the gold). But today, as we wait for the women's figure skating competition to crown its new champions, we wanted to throw it back to one of the most beautifully balletic skaters of all time: Sasha Cohen.
The high-flying leaps of grand allegro are meant to be incredibly exciting. But at the end of an intense ballet class, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to give them the attention they deserve. Want to pump up your big jumps? Follow these 10 vital tips from Jennifer Hart, curriculum director and instructor at Ballet Austin.
"Whole, low-fat, or skim?" The question of which milk to drink has gotten a little more complicated lately, with a wide variety of nondairy milks popping up in grocery stores. To find out which ones are worth your milk money, we had registered dietitian Monika Saigal answer some FAQs.