Meet Three "Young Marvels"
One of the best parts of this job is discovering super-young dancers who are super-duper gifted. And these days, the Ovation network, which devotes a lot of airtime to next-generation talent, is a pretty great place to do that kind of scouting.
Next week, Ovation will debut a new series following eight accomplished artists under the age of 15. "Young Marvels" premieres Wednesday, the 16th, at 10 pm EST/7 pm PST. The show includes three dancers: Sophia (13), who trains at Millenium Dance Complex in L.A.; Duncan (14), a student at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School; and Lev (8!), a national ballroom champ.
While you're waiting for Wednesday to roll around, we thought you might like to get to know all three a little better. Take a look at their "fast facts" below—then click here to watch the series trailer.
Birthday: December 15th, 1999
Most-played song of the moment: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
Dance idols: Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, Polina Seminiova, David Hallberg
Favorite foods: pasta, artichokes, "all kinds of berries and cherries"
Hidden talents: piano playing (a little bit), gymnastics
Who would play you in a movie? "Hopefully me!"
If you were a superhero, what would your power be? "Transportation, so I could get everywhere I need to be, on time."
What's the last thing you do before you go to bed? "20 push-ups."
What's the strangest thing in your dance bag? Japanese dictionary
Three words that describe you: energetic, positive, fun
Three words that describe your dancing: "work in progress"
Birthday: October 1, 2000
Most-played songs of the moment: "Come with me now" by KONGOS, "Automatic" by Iration, "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus
Dance idols: Will "Willdabeast" Adams and Brian Friedman
Hidden talent: "I'm really good at doing manicures and makeup."
Who would play you in a movie? "Halle Berry would play the future me."
If you were a superhero, what would your power be? "I would be able to disapparate, like Harry Potter."
What is the first thing you do in the morning? "Make chocolate chip pancakes."
What is the last thing you do before you go to bed? "I listen to 8-tracks as I go to sleep."
Non-dance hobbies: "I really like reading dystopian and mystery books."
Strangest thing in your dance bag: "A silver troll with light blue hair that my dance teacher, Jess Warfield, gave me."
The best advice you’ve ever received: "Jess Warfield told me to 'get out of my head' when I dance, which means I shouldn't overthink everything—I should just dance freely."
Birthday: October 11, 2005
Nicknames: Levushka, Dancing Machine Lev
Most-played songs of the moment: "American boy" by Estelle, ''Skyfall" by Adele
Dance idols: "My coaches—Samantha Safir, Leonid Proskurov, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Derek Hough."
Favorite dance movie: Pulp Fiction
Must-see TV shows: "Scooby-Doo" shows, "Dancing with the Stars"
Who would play you in a movie? "Derek Hough or Brad Pitt."
If you would be a superhero, what would your power be? "Controlling time."
What's the first thing you do in the morning? "Kiss and hug my mommy."
What's the last thing you do before going to bed? "Read a book with my mommy."
Non-dance hobbies: ice skating, Pokémon, magic
Strangest thing in your dance bag: "My favorite Pokémon card—it's a good luck charm."
Three words that describe you: emotional, happy, "open to the world"
Three words that describe your dancing: well-acted, emotional, focused
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Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
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We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)
So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.
The coolest place she's ever performed:
I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!
Something she's constantly working on:
My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'
My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.
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!
For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!
In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.