What better time to catch up with one of our favorite "So You Think You Can Dance" alums than the day after the show's Season 11 premiere? The ridiculously charming Kent Boyd has come a long way since becoming the first runner-up on "SYTYCD"'s seventh season. In addition to performing as an All-Star on the show, he's landed acting roles on "Bunheads" and in Teen Beach Movie. But Boyd has also been hard at work on a passion project: He conceived, produced, and starred in the new short film It Remains, which uses dance, music, and acting to tell a love story that feels both personal and universal. The film premieres next Wednesday, June 4, at the Dances With Films festival in Hollywood. I chatted with Boyd about the creation of It Remains. (Check out the trailer below!)
Margaret Fuhrer: What inspired It Remains?
Kent Boyd: My dancing improved dramatically once I started teaching and choreographing. It helped me understand things from the inside out. So as I was venturing into acting, I thought it'd be great to get to know what it was like to be behind the camera—to work on pre-production, post-production, all of that. I decided to get my hands dirty and actually make a film. I knew I wanted to create something that involved dance as well as acting. And while I love things like the Step Up series, I chose to do something a little more grounded and real, versus bright and shiny. It's a story about love and relationships that's serious, but still relatable.
MF: Why did you feel this was the right time to take on this project?
KB: It's hard going out there and auditioning for acting parts. I was only booking jobs at maybe one of every 25 auditions. Dancing gigs were more constant, but I really wanted to pursue this other direction. So rather than waiting for someone to give me a job, I created one.
Boyd (right) on the set of It Remains (photo by Emily Morgan)
MF: How did you find Rose Marziale, your collaborator and co-star?
KB: She's one of my best friends! And she has the acting career I want—everything I've done in the dance world, she's done in the acting world. I was talking to her about the idea, and she was like, "You should use me. No, you will use me." She's so smart—she knows what works on film, she understands how to be relatable on camera, and she knows what people want to see. She also has dance experience. Together, we figured out the plot, the shot list, and how to get it all together.
Boyd and Marizale in a still from It Remains
MF: How would you describe the feel of It Remains?
KB: It’s not a stereotypical short film. It’s told through a lot of music and dance, and very little dialogue. We wanted audiences to be able to put their own lives into it. The idea was to fill up the glass a little more than halfway, and then have viewers do the rest. I feel like art has done its job when you watch something, and then at dinner afterward you discuss it with your friends, and you discover that you felt one way, but your friends felt something else. I like leaving things up for interpretation.
MF: How did the process help you grow as an actor?
KB: It's given me so much more confidence. It's like, wow, I made that! There are definitely things about the film that could be better—the perfectionist in me is always going to be critical. But you have to be able to watch your work with a critical eye and still pat yourself on the back every now and then. I have a lot more to learn about the film industry, but now I have this great knowledge base.
Dancer Yesenia Ayala first caught our eye in the off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity with Sutton Foster earlier this year. So, we were super excited when we found out she was making her Broadway debut in this spring's sweetest new show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Both productions were choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.)
Since the NYC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre's spring gala Monday night, the DS editors haven't stopped talking about its creepy-cute sets and costumes, created by artist Mark Ryden. Well, the obsession is about to get even crazier, because we just heard that Ryden's artwork for the ballet is now on display in not one, but TWO locations in NYC.
Yes, yes, we know: Dancers are athletes as well as artists. But we haven't seen anything hammer home just HOW athletic dancers are quite as well as this video from Self magazine, which features American Ballet Theatre principal/fairy princess Isabella Boylston trying to teach top-level CrossFit enthusiasts ballet.
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.