Jason Samuels Smith has made everlasting scuff-marks on the tap world. At 15 he joined the Broadway cast of Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk as an understudy and soon scored a principal role and understudied the lead. He toured internationally with Savion Glover’s dance group, Not Your Ordinary Tappers, and starred in Imagine Tap! at the Harris Theater in Chicago. In 2003, the number he choreographed for the Jerry Lewis/MDA Telethon earned him an Emmy and an American Choreography Award. That same year, he created the First Annual L.A. Tap Festival, for which he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the city. He also founded the company A.C.G.I. (Anyone Can Get It). Shreveport, LA, even declared April 23 “Jason Samuels Smith Day.” That’s one holiday DS will definitely celebrate! —Monica Levy
You’re entering a new and exciting stage of life where the people you meet and the experiences you accumulate will help shape your future forever. You’ll make some tough decisions, but carry no regrets, hold no grudges and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The tap community will become more significant to you over time, and the elders will become your mentors. Listen to their stories, value their wisdom and cherish their enthusiasm. Take time to spend with your grandparents— they can teach you a lot about who you are. Your mother and sister have made major sacrifices for you, as well, work hard and make them proud. Don’t forget to have fun! Enjoy every moment and practice hard. You’ll need lots of humility and patience. You said you wanted to travel the world, right? Keep doing what you’re doing—I have a feeling you will get many opportunities....
Photo: Eduardo Patino
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.