Annmaria Mazzini in Paul Taylor's "Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal)." Photo by Tom Caravaglia
Just when you think you’ve got Paul Taylor Dance Company member Annmaria Mazzini pegged, she goes and morphs on you. One night she’s totally convincing as a fiery tango siren in Piazzolla Caldera; the next she’s equally magnetic as a groovy hippie chick in Changes. No matter what role she’s inhabiting, she always takes full command of the stage, throwing every inch of her petite frame into Taylor’s notoriously demanding choreography. Mazzini started taking dance lessons at age 12 in her hometown of Allentown, PA, and eventually earned a BFA from Southern Methodist University, where she discovered Taylor’s work. (One of her classmates at SMU was fellow PTDC star Michael Trusnovec, DS April 2009.) In 1995 Mazzini joined Taylor 2, and was promoted to the main company in 1999. Today she not only wows audiences with her chameleon-like stage presence, but also teaches modern dance, choreographs and designs her own jewelry line, AMulets. —Margaret Fuhrer
Congratulations on discovering what makes you happy! You’ve chosen a challenging path—difficulties and setbacks are inevitable in the dance world—but the love in your heart will see you through.
Dancing is your favorite activity and you work very hard at it, but you also love to read. Keep it up. Your imagination will become your most valuable tool in your work as a performer and teacher, so continue to feed it with stories and ideas that awaken your curiosity and invigorate your spirit.
But don’t get your shy nose stuck in those books! Dance is a social art, and you will be interacting with a wonderful range of people. Get to know them, learn their stories and let them know you. They are all going to help you along the way, so make a practice of saying “thank you” often and sincerely. Learn to say it in the language of every country you visit.
Yep, you’ll never be perfect. But it’s more fun to be interesting! Your perceived flaws are as much a part of who you are as your strengths. Keep trying to be better, but be yourself, too. Allow your inner world to express itself freely in the outer world. Don’t worry about making a fool of yourself: You will, plenty of times, but it won’t be so bad. It may even be delightful.
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.