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
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.
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.