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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.