Kaitlynn Edgar is classically beautiful, a cross between Kate Bosworth and Marilyn Monroe. She looks like she belongs on the red carpet—but she really shines onstage. Though Kaitlynn is petite, she dances with strength, power and control. Her développés stretch toward the balcony, her pirouettes are clean, her port de bras lifted. And beyond technique, her presence draws you in. Whether you’re sitting in the front row or the rafters, watching Kaitlynn is like staring at the Mona Lisa: She makes you feel like she’s focused on you.
Just 18 years old, Kaitlynn is already a mature, confident performer. She started dancing at 7 at The Dance Company Conservatory in Port Huron, MI. Two years later, she switched to the more competitive Spotlight Dance Works, under the direction of Liz Schmidt, and has been competing and training in tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet ever since. Schmidt knew from the start that Kaitlynn had something special. “She can become any character she wants to. She can do hip hop or Broadway,” Schmidt says. “She blows the room away.” In addition to her studio training, Kaitlynn attends conventions, which has strengthened her natural versatility.
Competitions offer something different. “It’s a chance to perform and show other people what you’ve been working for,” Kaitlynn says. “Onstage you can tell a story without using any words.”
Kaitlynn’s life may seem picture perfect, but she’s actually had more than her fair share of struggles. Her mom has a chronic illness, so Kaitlynn and her younger sister live with a family from the studio and visit their mother once a month. “Dance holds us together,” Kaitlynn says. “The studio is our family. It’s where we’ve grown up. If it weren’t for dance, I don’t know where I’d be. Dance helps me get through the hard times.”
This summer, Kaitlynn won the Senior Outstanding Dancer title at New York City Dance Alliance, where she was also awarded a full four-year scholarship to Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. “All year I was pushing myself and working toward this goal,” Kaitlynn says. “Winning the title made me the happiest, most excited I’ve ever been.”
As she approaches her high school graduation this spring, Kaitlynn isn’t losing focus. “I’m going to take full advantage of my last year at the studio,” she says. “I want to learn everything I can so I’m ready for the real world.” As for her real world plans? “I’m going to try it all and see where everything falls.”
Dance crush: “Oh God, Tony Testa for sure. He’s so inspirational, and the emotion he puts into hip hop is insane.”
Favorite teachers: Sonya Tayeh and Joe Lanteri. “Sonya is demanding and aggressive. I love that. And Joe’s classes are uplifting.”
Favorite foods: Chocolate chip cookies and raspberries
Favorite movie: The Patriot
It's time to get your pirouette on! From September 5th to September 30th, we're hosting a contest to find out who's the best turner of them all.
Put together your most impressive turning combo. Post a video online. Share your turns with us and thousands of other dancers around the world. And if our editors think you're the top turner, you'll win a fabulous prize.
All of 18-year-old Kaylin Maggard's dreams—from scoring the title of National Senior Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals to winning the 2017 Dance Spirit Cover Model Search—are coming true. And to anyone who knows the gorgeous contemporary dancer, that's no surprise.
From the moment the Dance Spirit staff met Kaylin, it was obvious her humility and talent would take her far. Not only did she go full-out during the photo shoot and class at Broadway Dance Center, but she was always cheering on, laughing with, and supporting her fellow CMS contestants Haley Hartsfield and Michelle Quiner. During the voting period, the social media world was abuzz with praise for her work ethic, positive attitude, and generosity.
Since her CMS trip to NYC, Kaylin's moved from her hometown of Columbia, MO, to the Big Apple for her freshman year at Juilliard, and is busy getting acquainted with the city. As for the future? She's taking it one opportunity at a time, but something tells us we'll be seeing this contemporary queen reach new heights every year.
New York City principal Lauren Lovette has become an icon thanks to her emotional maturity and exceptional musicality. The 26-year-old quickly rose through the ranks after joining the company as an apprentice in 2009, reaching principal status in 2015. A Thousand Oaks, CA, native, Lovette started studying ballet seriously at age 11, at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, NC. After attending two summer courses at the School of American Ballet, she enrolled as a full-time student in 2006. Last year, she made her choreographic debut with For Clara, her first piece for NYCB. Catch her latest work this month during the company's fall season. —Courtney Bowers
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I know I'm not getting good enough dance training from any of my local studios. But I'm not sure I'm ready to move away to study at a big-name school, either. How do you know when you're ready to leave home to pursue your passion?
Instagram star Kylie Shea has built a following of nearly 170,000 with her playful workout videos, which combine traditional fitness activities, like jumping rope or running on the treadmill, with pointe shoes and sassy choreography. Shea's effortless cool-girl-next-door vibe and solid ballet technique make her vids totally irresistible.
Now Shea's using her platform to address the body image issues that tend to plague dancers. In a poignant video, she sheds her clothes and tugs at her skin. The caption explains her relationship with her body and the pressure she feels to maintain a certain aesthetic as a dancer.
Physical discomfort is inevitable when you're spending tons of hours in the studio every day, but some pain shouldn't be suffered through. "Dancing through pain can make an injury worse and lead to more time away from dance," says Dr. Joel Brenner, medical director of dance medicine at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, VA. "Failing to rest and recover when you're in serious pain could even lead to the point where you're unable to dance in the future."
That may sound scary, but there's good news: If you take precautions and listen to your body, many injuries can be stopped in their tracks. The first step? Knowing what's normal—and what's not.
Think about it: How often do you see a ballet pas de deux for two women? Almost never, right? Sometimes, choreographers will forgo the traditional danseur-ballerina pas to make a duet for two guys, since they can lift and partner each other easily. But a dance for two ballerinas is a rare thing.
That's part of what makes "Duet," a new video by director Andrew Margetson featuring Royal Ballet beauties Yasmin Naghdi and Beatriz Stix-Brunell, so compelling.