Magazines

October 2016


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  • Up Front: Buzz

    A year after Hamilton’s Broadway opening, people are still buzzing about the show and its famed creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. ... More »

  • Up Front: The Dirt with Allison DeBona

    Ballet West’s Allison DeBona first became a major figure on the pop-culture scene with her stint on The CW ... More »

  • Letter to My Teenage Self: Teddy Forance

    Whether he’s onstage with Shaping Sound—the company he helped co-found with Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Kyle Robinson—or performing ... More »

  • Dear Katie

    Dear Katie, I’m constantly eating, and I like the way my body looks, but my doctor says I’m underweight. ... More »

  • A Taste of College Life

    High school senior Savannah Gaillard has been attending the New York University Future Dancers and Dancemakers  workshop at Tisch ... More »

  • Light Late-Night Meals

    Running from school to the studio then home can leave little time for dinner—but that shouldn’t mean skipping it ... More »

  • Ankle ABCs

    Healthy, injury-free ankles require three things: mobility, stability and strength. But achieving this trifecta is easier said than done. ... More »

  • Vitamins 101

    Dancers expect their bodies to give 100 percent, year-round—and with no time to feel tired, sick or sore, vitamins ... More »

  • Wild About Prints

    Let your adventurous side show by adding brightly patterned pieces to your dance class wardrobe. Related

  • Beat Burnout

    It’s finally fall, which means competition season is about to launch into full swing. After spending the summer learning ... More »

  • Getting a Hold On Graham Hands

    The signature cupped hands of the celebrants in Primitive Mysteries; the clawed hands of Medea in Cave of the ... More »

  • Assistant Aspirations

    From the excitement of travel to rubbing shoulders with your dance idols, the life of a convention assistant is ... More »

  • Balancing Act

    Dance majors are always busy, but when the weather cools, activity heats up on campus. Back-to-school excitement is replaced ... More »

  • You Should Know: Leili Rackow

    You might have seen 16-year-old Leili posing in a Discount Dance Supply ad, or competing at the 2015 Youth ... More »

  • Brilliantly Briar

    As soon as 17-year-old Briar Nolet hit her first pose (a stunning full layout, no big deal) at her ... More »

  • In Her Shoes

    If you’re one of Dusty Button’s 146,000 (and counting) Instagram followers, you know this ballerina doesn’t fit any molds. ... More »

  • Views From the Top

    To her high school classmates, Sarah Pippin was a regular girl: a good student and a friendly face around ... More »

  • Strength In Numbers

    In 2015, Mishay Petronelli was one of nine dancers to book a spot on Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable world tour. ... More »

  • #Trending

    It’s the best and worst of Nationals 2016! This year’s talent, innovation and power—not to mention the costumes and ... More »

  • Black Out

    It’s winter fashion time! Tap into your dramatic side this winter with dark warm-ups that will keep you toasty ... More »

Photo by Jayme Thornton

Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.

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Leap! National Dance Competition offers dancers of all skill levels an opportunity to showcase their talents in an event where the focus is on fun and competing is just a bonus!

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Dancer to Dancer

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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Dancer to Dancer
The School at Jacob's Pillow's contemporary program auditions (photo by Karli Cadel, courtesy Jacob's Pillow)

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.

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When we think of a dancer who's broken barriers, American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland tends to be the name that comes to mind. And though Copeland has been a crucial advocate for equality in the world of ballet, Raven Wilkinson—a mentor of Copeland's—is considered one of the original pioneers of the movement.

In 1955, Wilkinson became the first African American to dance with the renowned Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Her fortitude in the face of bigotry and hate cemented her legacy. Now, with the release of the new children's book Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson, a new generation of dancers will be inspired by her tale of overcoming obstacles to achieve a dream.

The book details Wilkinson's life, from her experience as a young dancer training in Harlem, to her run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan while on tour with Ballet Russe, to her later ballet career in Europe. "There were times where my heart really hurt because of the situations I had to deal with," she says. "But I always had faith that I was made to be a dancer and that I was gonna dance."

Dance Spirit spoke with Wilkinson to discuss the new book and get her take on racial equality within the ballet world.

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Leah Morrison in Trisha Brown's If You Couldn't See Me, in which the soloist never faces the audience (photo by Julia Cervantes, courtesy Trisha Brown Dance Company)

Postmodern pioneer Trisha Brown redefined how dance is seen and felt. A founding member of Judson Dance Theater, Brown frequently collaborated with other experimental artists like Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, and Steve Paxton.

She embraced pedestrian movement, pairing everyday gesture with rhythm and fluidity. "It's liquid," says Wendy Perron, who danced with Brown in the '60s and '70s. "Like a river with many tributaries, water coming out of a faucet, or being on a raft and seeing the water move away in different directions." Brown also pushed beyond stages with choreography in fields, museums—even on the sides of buildings.

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Blankenbuehler (far left) with the rest of the "Hamilton" creative team scontent-iad3-1.cdninstagram.com

So book your tickets to Tulsa already, people!

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Your Body
Amanda LaCount showing off her skills (screenshot via YouTube)

There's a common misconception that a dancer's body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist's capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer "should" look like.

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Watch This
Angela Sterling, courtesy PNB

Mark your calendars, bunheads! On Monday, January 29th, at 2:45 PM (EST)/11:45 AM (PST), Pacific Northwest Ballet will be streaming a live rehearsal of Act II of Kent Stowell's Swan Lake.

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Watch This
Tavaris Jones dancing with the Cleveland Cavaliers' Scream Team hip-hop crew

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.

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