Since leaving Doug Varone and Dancers in January (she first caught DS’ eye as a standout performer in Varone’s fluid, powerful and quirky choreography), this petite brunette has had one project after another. She performed with Gallim Dance, a group directed by former Batsheva Ensemble dancer Andrea Miller in April. She presented her own choreography at the Cool New York festival in February and in The A.W.A.R.D. Show! at Joyce SoHo in May. Then, she garnered a coveted modern guest-artist teaching slot at Dance New Amsterdam over the summer. And last month, she premiered The Desert Island Project, an evening-length show made up of four solos that she’s also presenting this month in Toronto.
Whether she’s performing, choreographing or teaching, Belinda is driven by a need to explore. “I’m early in my career,” she says. “I don’t know enough to be able to settle.” Currently, that means pursuing a solo career rather than working full-time with one company. Through TDIP, Belinda hopes to “allow the superficial Belinda things to drop away.” To that end, she only choreographed one of the solos she performs in the show. The others were created by Miller, Kate Alton (a Toronto-based choreographer) and Idan Sharabi (currently dancing with Nederlands Dans Theater II). “TDIP has been a great way to accumulate and assimilate influences,” Belinda explains.
Originally from Toronto, Belinda trained in ballet and Limón-based modern and performed with the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre as a teen. After high school she headed to Juilliard; she graduated in 2006 and jumped straight into a year-and-a-half tenure with Varone’s company (she’d attended several of his summer intensives and was familiar with his work and style). Her goal since then has been to keep pushing herself to grow and develop as an artist—through whatever pathways open up to her.
So what’s next, her own company? “Maybe eventually, but it’s kind of like having a child—I’m not ready!” she laughs. “On the immediate horizon, once I finish this solo project, I’ll probably just want to be someone else’s dancer for a while.”
- Birthday: August 4, 1983
- Favorite thing about NYC: “I really like early mornings, when there’s a residual sense that the place is filled with people—but no people.”
- Nondance hobby: Cooking: “I usually start with a recipe and then divert from that. I make things up on the fly.”
- Favorite chef: Jean-Georges Vongerichten
- Advice for aspiring pros: “Open yourself to possibilities, expose yourself to a variety of influences and take the time to get deep enough into something to really experience it. Curiosity is really important—keep following it.”
Photo: David Hou
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!
Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.
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.
Marzia Memoli may be the Martha Graham Dance Company's newest dancer, but her classical lines and easy grace are already turning heads. Originally from Palermo, Italy, Memoli started studying at age 16 at the Academy of Teatro Carcano in Milan. Later, she attended the Rudra Béjart School in Lausanne, Switzerland, before heading to NYC in 2016 to join MGDC. This month, she'll perform The Rite of Spring in the Martha Graham Studio Series in NYC, and tour with the company in Florida. Read on for the dirt.