Kate's Note: On The Comp Scene
Every summer, when it comes time for the Dance Spirit editors to attend national competitions, the energy in our office is electric. We know we’ll see dancers who will surprise us (Sarah Pippin!), group routines that will make us stand up and cheer (Center Stage Performing Arts Studio’s “Monsters”) and trends that will get us talking (the Black Swan/White Swan theme was a popular one this year). We count on competitions to draw fresh talent from across the country that will knock our socks off. This past season did not disappoint.
Inside this October issue—the annual competition and convention issue—you’ll find the DS editors’ Nationals trend-spotting report (“Our Favorite Things,” p. 78) and the competition and convention listing (p. 100)—a must-read resource that will help you, your teachers and your parents gear up for 2012. Choreographer Travis Wall shares his best tips for dancers who are starting to navigate the professional world (p. 88); “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 3 star Jaimie Goodwin dishes “The Dirt” (p. 46) and Kenny Wormald spills about the filming of his new movie, Footloose (p. 43). Plus Houston Ballet II dancer Makensie Howe shares the diary she kept throughout the Youth America Grand Prix finals in NYC (p. 52).
But before you dig in, this month we crown a winner in a competition of our own. Please join me in congratulating Kaitlynn Edgar, winner of Dance Spirit’s 2011 Cover Model Search! Thousands of readers voted for each of the finalists—Maddie Swenson, Zoey Anderson and Kaitlynn. These girls are not only talented and beautiful dancers—they care about being educated, as well. This fall Kaitlynn and Maddie are studying at Juilliard (Kaitlynn as a freshman and Maddie as a sophomore), and Zoey is a freshman at Marymount Manhattan College. Turn to p. 74 to find out how Kaitlynn’s experiences last year changed the way she’s thinking about her dance future.
One last thing: Entering the 2012 Cover Model Search competition is easy! Just log on to dancemedia.com and upload a video of yourself dancing. You (yes, you!) could be one of the three dancers selected to come to NYC and compete for the featured spot on next year’s cover. Remember: You can’t win if you don’t try!
Best of luck,
Photos top to bottom: Sarah Pippin, photo by ProPix/New York City Dance Alliance; Center Stage Performing Arts Studio's "Monsters" routine at NYCDA, photo by ProPix/New York City Dance Alliance
Dance is a powerful form of expression, and Ahmad Joudeh is using its influence to promote peace.
The 27-year-old is a Palestinian refugee, whose decision to pursue his passion for ballet has made him the target of death threats from terrorist organizations. Despite the danger, Joudeh has decided to continue on his path as a dancer, using his performances as an opportunity to spread a message of peace and cultural awareness.
For 14-year-old Averi Hodgson, focusing on her ballet training while growing up was never easy: She's suffered from epilepsy since she was in first grade, and later, she was also diagnosed with scoliosis. Here, she tells her story of perseverance—and how her determination earned her a spot at the School of American Ballet's 2017 summer intensive.
"Late Late Show" host James Corden was one of the many, many people shocked by President Trump's sudden decision to ban transgender people from the military yesterday. And he decided to voice his outrage in the way most likely to rile a President who's uncomfortable with anything "un-manly": through a big, beautiful, extra-sparkly song-and-dance routine.
In addition to training, competing and winning titles in just about every style you can think of, 13-year-old Kaylee Quinn is a regular on the sci-fi drama "Stitchers," playing the younger version of the show's main character. Her path in dance hasn't been without challenges, though. Last summer, Kaylee won the Hope Award at her regional Youth America Grand Prix, but wasn't sure she'd be able to compete at the NYC finals due to a broken foot. Patience paid off: With her doctor's blessing, Kaylee danced her variations in flat shoes and won the gold medal.
Week 2 of Misty Copeland as guest judge, week 2 of merciless cuts...How can the final episodes of "World of Dance" possibly live up to the sheer dramaaaaaaaaa of last night's episode? Well, based on the nail-biting results dished out by Copeland and Co. last night, the competition is only going to get fiercer from here. Without further ado, last night's results, as told by Kween Misty.
Every ballet dancer knows the time, sweat, and occasional tears the art form demands. But many non-dancers are clueless about just how much work a ballet dancer puts into perfecting his or her dancing. So when the mainstream crowd recognizes our crazy work ethic, we'll accept the round of applause any way it comes—even if it comes via four men in tutus. Yep, we're talking about "The Try Guys Try Ballet" video.