Kaylin Maggard Is Your 2017 Cover Model Search Winner!
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.
What have you been up to since your trip to NYC?
The past few months have been full of fun, but there've also been a lot of good-byes. I wrapped up my final season with my competition studio, Columbia Performing Arts Centre, in May—I'd been dancing there since age 3. I also attended my senior prom and graduated from high school! Once summer began, I started teaching at my studio and jumped back into ballet classes, and hung out with friends and family in my free time. I was humbled to win first place for my senior solo at NYCDA Nationals
with a piece choreographed by one of my mentors, Ida Saki, and I was honored to be named a member of DancerPalooza's Beat Squad. And I just started at Juilliard, which is super-exciting!
(Photo by Erin Baiano)
High School graduation: check (courtesy Maggard)
What was your favorite part of the Cover Model Search experience?
The entire Dance Spirit staff, Michelle, and Haley were all amazing—I loved making those new friends! We bonded quickly and had so much fun together at the photo shoot, we loved seeing CATS, and we really enjoyed taking class together at Broadway Dance Center.
(Photo by Erin Baiano)
What about college makes you most excited—and most nervous?
I'm excited to dance with my peers and upperclassmen, and learn from the world-renowned Juilliard faculty. I'm already very close with a bunch of people in my class (the dance world's pretty small!), and they're all so funny and incredibly talented. I'm most nervous about leaving my family and friends. Growing up in a small college town is very different from navigating NYC.
Posing with the Senior Female Outstanding Dancer finalists at NYCDA (courtesy Maggard)
Are you excited to be an NYC girl?
My first stint in NYC was the summer of 2011, when I attended American Ballet Theatre's summer intensive. I love all of
the action in the city, as well as all the opportunities. I'm excited to meet new people, experience new restaurants, do lots of shopping, and, of course, go to tons of incredible performances. However, I'm afraid of pigeons, and there are a lot in NYC. That makes me nervous.
A NYC outing with her mom (courtesy Maggard)
What was your voting campaign like?
It was a lot of fun! I spread the word through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I'm so thankful for my many friends from summer intensives and tons of regional conventions who took the time to vote.
Do you have any advice for future CMS finalists?
Enjoy every part of the CMS experience and be yourself! Being a finalist is such an honor, and while the voting process was fun, making new friends was the best part. I walked away from this opportunity so thankful to have spent time with the
Dance Spirit staff, Haley, and Michelle!
With Nina Bartell at NYCDA (courtesy Maggard)
A version of this story appeared in the October 2017 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Walkin On Sunshine."
Get in, losers. We're going to Broadway.
OK, not losers, actually—more like the bajillion die-hard fans of Tina Fey's 2004 cult hit Mean Girls, who've been wearing pink every Wednesday since a musical adaptation of the film was first teased back in 2013.
Now their world is like a cake filled with rainbows and smiles, because Mean Girls the musical, which had a trial run in Washington, DC, last fall, is set to open at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre April 8. And in a very grool twist, it turns out the show—with direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw and a book by Fey herself—is delightfully dancey.
Today in Ballet Dancers Are Actual Superheroes news:
You've no doubt heard that the fabulous Alicia Vikander is playing Lara Croft in the newest iteration of Tomb Raider, which hits movie theaters this Friday. But while her training for the high-octane action role was crazy tough, she says, studying at the Royal Swedish Ballet School was far tougher.
What do you get when a hoard of dancers collaborate to the catchy tune of "Love Somebody," by the band Frenship? The most epic dance party ever, of course! Said dance party was produced by the talented Michael Riccio, who's performed in feature films, including "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" and "Shrek Forever After."
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
Are you a high school senior who's been accepted to a four-year accredited college or university program? Congrats! Within the 2017-2018 season, have you competed in events run by at least two of the organizations in the above graphic? Double congrats, because the Association of Dance Conventions and Competitions, or ADCC for short, wants to give you $1,000 (!!) towards college tuition.
From dancing in music videos (including Katy Perry's "Swish Swish") to performing on reality TV shows (including "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Voice"), 17-year-old Amanda LaCount is already conquering the commercial scene. If you've ever seen her dance, you understand why: She's a hard-hitting phenom with major stage presence. But in an industry where not having the "right" look can jeopardize your career, Amanda's also blazed her own path by accepting her beautiful curvy body the way it is.
Amanda's never let body-shamers discourage her from going after her dreams. She hopes that by breaking the "dancers are skinny" stereotype, she'll give others the courage to highlight their own unique features rather than hiding them or changing them to fit repressive industry standards. She's even started a campaign, #breakingthestereotype, to inspire artists of all shapes, colors, and sizes to dance for themselves.
We caught up with this dancing maverick to get her advice on cultivating body confidence in a world that's obsessed with the "perfect" body.
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!
All the dancers in my level auditioned for a prestigious summer intensive—but I'm the only one who got in. Now everything is incredibly awkward at the studio. I'm really excited about the program, but I don't want to make my friends feel bad. What can I do?
Can't get enough of the dance party T. Swift throws herself in her "Delicate" music video? Take a look at the two making-of clips Taylor just shared on her Instagram, showing her practicing the vid's charmingly awkward choreography.