For our January issue, we spoke to a few stars of the upcoming season of online reality show “Dance212,” which premieres Tuesday on dance212.com. The first six seasons followed NYC dancers in all stages of their careers. And the new season will bring back past cast members to find out what they’ve been up to since we saw them last. DS asked them for their advice for dancers who want to follow in their footsteps. Here are some responses we couldn’t fit in the magazine:
At the end of Season 3, Taeler’s time with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s second company, Ailey II, was coming to an end. She’s since apprenticed with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, freelanced with several NYC choreographers and performed with Kanye West. She spent a season with River North Dance Chicago before returning to NYC in November to make her Broadway debut in After Midnight.
Her advice: “Open yourself up to all types of opportunities. I’ve met some amazing choreographers and dancers by being willing to try new projects and styles, and each of those situations taught me something new about myself and the way I dance.”
After her Ailey II contract ended, Season 3’s Fana took a few months off to recover from a lower back injury. She’s since performed with The Francesca Harper Project, Sidra Bell Dance NY and with visual/performance artist Ryan McNamara. She’s also become a licensed Gyrotonic instructor and a teaching artist with Notes in Motion and the Purelements COAR program.
Her advice: “Understand the best cross-training methods for your body. Doing this has helped strengthen and rejuvenate my dancing. Physical security allows my mind and heart greater freedom to explore movement more instinctively.”
When we left Amber in Season 4, she was finishing up a summer intensive with Ellison Ballet. In 2011, she became the second American dancer ever to join the corps de ballet of Eifman Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. She toured internationally with the company, performing works including Eifman’s Onegin, Anna Karenina and Red Giselle.
Her advice: “Don’t let any hardships allow you to lose sight of your dream. During my second season with Eifman Ballet, I suffered a seizure while on tour in Poland and found out I have Epilepsy. I had to leave the company, and I didn’t know when or if I would be able to dance again. About a year later, I’m back in class working hard, and I have complete confidence I’ll be with another company next season.”
After graduating from Barnard College in 2010, Season 2’s Glenna entered an evolutionary biology Ph.D. program at Harvard University. She’s also performed and choreographed for the Harvard Ballet Company and recently joined Boston’s Urbanity Dance.
Her advice: “It’s possible to continue dancing at a high level while pursuing other careers. By prioritizing dance outside of work or school, you can find a satisfying life balance and continue dancing for the rest of your life.”
After Season 5, Giorgia continued to dance with Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Indelible Dance Company and Gabrielle Lamb. She’s also worked with The Metropolitan Opera, Untitled Collective, Bradley Shelver Dance Theater, Flusso Dance Project and Matthew Prescott. In December, she debuted her first choreography commission for Indelible Dance Company.
Her advice: “Being humble is a necessity. The moment you think you are great, you stop growing.”
Sidney Erik Wright
Season 5’s Sidney has continued to choreograph prolifically in NYC, including for Couture Fashion Week and Broadway Bares. He’s also taught at Broadway Dance Center, tried his hand at directing and had various performance gigs in short films and TV. He’s in the beginning stages of developing an original dance web series.
His advice: “Dance is the way we tell stories about our lives, but you have to have a life to tell the story. How can you dance a love duet if you’ve never truly been in love? Or maintain an emotional connection onstage if you don’t connect to people offstage? Art doesn’t just happen in the studio, so don’t forget to experience life.”
After Season 1, Jenny took on the recurring role of Sue in NBC’s “Smash.” She also performed in FLY the Musical at the Dallas Theater Center in Dallas, TX, and with the Radio City Rockettes. She’s now rehearsing for the upcoming movie Broadway 4D.
Her advice: “Continue to train in all different styles and to improve your voice and acting skills. This industry is constantly evolving, so you’ll want to have an expansive skill set to cover your bases.”
Daphne, of Season 2, graduated with honors from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in May 2013 and is a member of Ailey II.
Her advice: “When learning new roles, fully commit to telling a story. I recently decided to enroll in acting lessons to help me take on new roles.”
To get even more excited for the upcoming “Dance212” season, check out this promo video featuring Fana Fraser:
Check out our January issue, in subscribers hands now (and on sale December 31) for advice from Skylar Brandt, Sterling Baca, Paloma Garcia-Lee and Simone Gunderson.