Paige Faure snatches the audience’s attention right from the beginning of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Leggy and animated, she fires high kicks and struts down winding stairs, showing off balletic gams and grace. Later, as a grumpy cleaning lady, she morphs into a comedienne, hunched and shuffling. Moving between chic and zany seems effortless for the ensemble member and lead cover. “Versatility is my marketability,” she says. “I want to take whatever they throw at me.” Her tactic is working: After success on tours and in regional houses, she’s on Broadway boards for the first time in H2S.
Growing up in Atlanta, GA, Paige studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and modern at the Alpharetta Dance Theater and also competed with the school. She added choir in her early teens and then “molded my own musical theater major at North Springs High School, the arts magnet,” Faure says. “I wanted to be a better actor and singer while still dancing.”
After she graduated, Paige attended Marymount Manhattan’s theater program for a year and started auditioning in the city. She quickly nabbed an ensemble track understudying a lead in Elton John and Tim Rice’s national tour of Aida. Four years of tours and regional shows followed, Faure’s “on-the-job education,” she says. “Touring teaches you to keep a performance fresh, to take care of yourself—and how to be tough!”
Then, Paige got her big break with H2S. “I was thrilled just to be in that audition room with H2S’s director and choreographer Rob Ashford,” she says. “The choreography was challenging, but it felt right on my body.”
Paige says her Broadway debut has been dreamy. “The veterans in the cast say this is a particularly positive experience, and that I’m getting spoiled,” Paige says, with a giggle. “The rehearsal process was seamless—everyone got along and worked toward the best product. It’s easy to go in with Daniel Radcliffe and assume it’s about his fame and Harry Potter. But we know it isn’t. The show’s success is contingent on everyone and we have an incredible hit.”
Paige’s looking forward to a long run with H2S, and also hopes to “work with as many choreographers and directors as possible, do cool new projects and move into roles, especially those that use my versatility. But I’m happy exactly where I am!”
Favorite movies: It’s a Wonderful Life, 10 Things I Hate About You, Mary Poppins
Favorite food: Dark chocolate
Favorite dance class: Derek Mitchell’s lyrical class
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night:
They've impressed the judges, now it's time for the Top 100 dancers to enroll at The Academy—and to impress the All-Stars. Welcome to So You Think You Can Dance Academy!
The 100 dancers who made it through auditions in NYC or L.A. are now at The Academy, which is basically a beautiful building with floor-to-ceiling windows. The show opens with that Mandy Moore-choreographed Academy routine which, even after watching it 12 times and trying to learn all the choreography at home, is still delightful.
This Nationals season, Dance Spirit followed four talented dancers from The Dance Awards, NYCDA, Showstopper, and Starpower for an inside look at everything that goes into the biggest competitions of the year. First up: Isabella Torres from Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, who competed at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals for the first time this year. (All photos courtesy Shannon Torres.)
Merritt Moore is a ballerina who just so happens to be graduating from Oxford University with a PhD in quantum physics. Is she even human? The jury is still out on that - but the 29-year-old, who earned her undergrad degree from Harvard, has actually found dance to be a powerful tool that assists her in her studies.