Meaghan Grace Hinkis
Even in a sweaty practice studio, ABT II’s Meaghan Grace Hinkis exudes a quality of performance-level flawlessness. As she rehearses the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux, not a hair is out of place in her classic French twist, and there are no holes in her pink tights—even her pointe shoes are scuff-free. Meaghan moves with extreme delicacy, her precise footwork contrasting with horizon-reaching extensions. She whips out triple fouettés consistently, arms extended in allongé. It’s clear she loves what she does; her energy radiates through the space and her smile is infectious.
Just 18 years old, Meaghan is in her second year dancing with ABT’s second company. She’s also a competition star: Meaghan won the bronze medal at the Helsinki International Ballet Competition in 2009, and in 2003 she received the Hope Award at a regional Youth America Grand Prix. Her early training in jazz at the New England Dance and Gymnastics Center in Westfield, MA, “definitely plays a part in her versatility,” says ABT II director Wes Chapman. “She can do anything.”
Meaghan began taking ballet when she was 11 years old to help her jazz technique. “I loved it,” she says. “I’m a perfectionist, and ballet is either done right or it’s wrong.” Meaghan continued her ballet journey at The Hartt School of Dance in Connecticut, and when she was 13 years old, her family moved to NYC so she could perform the role of Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. During 8th grade, Meaghan started training at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre before landing a spot in ABT II in 2007, just two years later. “Meaghan is refined for her age—more so than most,” Chapman says. “She is naturally talented and has so much drive.”
The most challenging part of Meaghan’s day? Finding the motivation to do homework after a full day of rehearsal! She’s finishing the courses (through correspondence) necessary for high school graduation and plans to continue her education with online college courses, or through the college classes ABT offers in conjunction with Long Island University. “Education helps your dancing—it keeps your brain sharp and helps you learn quickly,” Meaghan says. (Want to follow in Meaghan’s college-bound footsteps? Check out DanceU101.com to find your perfect program.)
Ultimately, Meaghan aspires to join ABT’s main company, eventually becoming a principal dancer. “She’s got everything it takes,” Chapman says. “She’s extraordinary.”
Birthday: May 27, 1991
Favorite dancer: Alina Cojocaru of The Royal Ballet. They share the same birthday!Her inspiration? “My sister is an elite-level gymnast. She’s my hero.”
Fave NYC spot: Rockefeller Center at Christmas timeFave TV show: “Criminal Minds”
Top three flicks: The Proposal, Miss Congeniality and Legally Blonde
Fave ice cream: Mixed chocolate and vanilla from Tasti D-Lite
Boyfriend?: “No boyfriend,” she says, “but I’m always looking!”
Jenny Dalzell is a dancer in NYC and assistant editor at Dance Teacher and Dance Retailer News.
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 email@example.com 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.
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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.