When Elizabeth Parkinson was 11 years old, she saw a production of Bob Fosse’s musical Dancin’—and immediately knew that she wanted to dance. Though she didn’t start training seriously in ballet until age 13, she was a natural. After honing her skills at a local studio in her hometown of Tampa, FL, Parkinson joined the Joffrey II ballet company when she was 17. She moved to the main troupe in 1984 and was one of its leading dancers for eight years. But Parkinson was itching to explore the musical theater world. She left the Joffrey and freelanced for a few years before moving on to Broadway, where she scored parts including a featured role in 1999’s Fosse and Brenda in Twyla Tharp’s 2002 jukebox musical Movin’ Out (for which she won an Astaire Award). Today, Parkinson is busy teaching at the FineLine Theatre Arts school in New Milford, CT, which she co-owns with her husband (and fellow Fosse and Movin’ Out cast member), Scott Wise. —Margaret Fuhrer
Parkinson sewing an early pair of pointe shoes
Stop worrying about the things that don’t matter! In fact, don’t worry at all—it’s a waste of energy and time.
You started dancing a little late, so you always feel like you’re playing catch-up with other dancers. You often look at yourself and don’t like what you see: no muscle definition, too skinny, too fat, too this, too that. But you know that you want to dance, and that there isn’t anything else in the world that will satisfy you in the same way. So let go of this negative stuff. Ultimately, it just holds you back.
Instead, focus on the wonderful things about yourself! There is room for everybody to succeed in this world. Have you thought about small dance companies? Broadway? Open your eyes and look outside the box.
Finally, try to have a more diverse life outside of dance. You are training to be an artist who expresses life through her body. So let that body experience life!
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.
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.