March Madness on Broadway!

Broadway’s getting a serious makeover this month, with many exciting shows opening across NYC. In addition to revivals of Les Misérables (opening March 23) and Cabaret (beginning previews March 21), three brand-new, dance-filled shows are debuting on the Great White Way. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Disney’s Aladdin

After the success of the danciest show on Broadway, Newsies, Disney is introducing another larger-than-life production: Aladdin. Based on the cartoon, this show adds even more over-the-top characters and catchy songs—some of which were written for and then cut from the 1992 movie. “There are so many types of dance in this show,” says ensemble dancer Ariel Reid. “We open with ‘Arabian Nights,’ which celebrates the Middle Eastern experience. Then there’s ‘Friend Like Me,’ which has classic Broadway-style tap, with the men doing all kinds of tricks and flips. We have a 34-person cast onstage, and the audience just eats it up.”

"Arabian Nights" in Disney's Aladdin (photo by Deen Van Meer)

If/Then

Obsessed with Idina Menzel? The stunning actress you loved in Wicked, in the Broadway and movie versions of Rent and on “Glee” returns to Broadway in this new musical about fate in modern-day NYC. Choreography is by the adventurous Larry Keigwin, who describes the movement as “pedestrian, but a heightened pedestrian.”

“I’ve tried to pull extraordinary from the ordinary,” he says. “This show has a super-captivating story about the intersection of chance and choice. Everyone can relate to it.”

Idina Menzel (in blue) in If/Then (photo by Joan Marcus)

Rocky

Put up your dukes! A musical based on the iconic Sylvester Stallone flick Rocky is fighting its way to Broadway this month. The much-anticipated show features fight-scene choreography by American Idiot and Once alum Steven Hoggett and dance scenes by Rock of Ages’ Kelly Devine.

“The film translates well to the stage. It’s both an emotional journey and a theatrical experience,” Devine says. “The choreography is very character-driven. I asked myself, How would these people boogie at their local disco? The movement is free and loose, and it’s heavily influenced by ’70s TV shows like ‘Soul Train.’”

The musical version of Rocky includes "Eye of the Tiger," a classic song featured with the movie. (Photo by Morris Mac Matzen)

Win It
Photos by Erin Baiano

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.

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Dancer to Dancer

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.

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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

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In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

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?

Marisa

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Your Body

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.

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Your Body

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.

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Popular
(From left) Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Yasmin Nagdhi in a still from "Duet"

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.

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Watch This
(From left) Reese Hatala and Phoenix Lil' Mini in "LULAS" (via YouTube)

What happens when Willdabeast Adams gets two of his most amazing lilBEASTS—the pint-sized Reese Hatala and Phoenix Lil' Mini, aka LULAS ("Love U Like A Sister")—to make a video set to a throwback mashup of songs? So, so much cuteness. And so, so much 🔥🔥🔥 .

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