“I get really nervous right before I have to perform,” confesses Dylan Tedaldi. If you’re incredulous that this Boston Ballet School stud could ever feel anxious, you aren’t alone. When he stepped onstage at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland earlier this year, he exuded a calm confidence that belied any jitters he may have had.
Since his success at the Prix, everyone has been talking about Dylan. In fact, he and Kyle Davis (from the North Carolina School of the Arts) were the only Americans among the seven scholarship winners. A technically clean dancer, Dylan can stick a double tour in a perfect fifth position and covers space with speed and ease. At the Prix, he particularly excelled in his contemporary solo by John Neumeier. He executed the angular choreography with precision, crab-crawling on the floor with insect-like agility, then springing into the air as if he weighed nothing at all. It isn’t surprising that he’d like to join a company with an extensive contemporary repertory one day.
Dylan began dancing in first grade, studying jazz, tumbling and hip hop at a small studio in his native Boston. When he turned 9, his teacher encouraged him to audition for BBS and he’s been there ever since, punctuated by summers at School of American Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School. While ballet has always been the focus, Dylan also makes time for other interests. He’s active in his high school’s musical theater program, sings in an a cappella group, and runs his own T-shirt company (theugly-club.com).
But next month, Dylan will leave his busy Boston life behind. At the personal invitation of Neumeier, Hamburg Ballet’s artistic director, Dylan will spend his senior year at HB’s two-year trainee program, which is designed to prepare dancers for professional company life. “It was a tough decision to make, to leave my school senior year and my family,” says Dylan, adding that he’s been trying to learn German prior to his departure. In the program, Dylan will get to perform with the company as well as take choreography classes, which he’s particularly interested in. “It’s tough for me to be so far away, but it was such an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t say no.”
- Guilty pleasure: “Melted peanut butter over vanilla ice cream with cinnamon on top”
- On his iPod: Marxy, Ben Folds, Feist
- Hobbies: Writing, drawing, baking
- Early riser or night owl: “Night owl”
- Big-screen debut: Dylan, along with others from Boston Ballet School, appeared in The Game Plan with Dwayne Johnson (AKA “The Rock”).
- Favorite ballet: Minus One by Ohad Naharin
- Record number of pirouettes: Seven
- Choreographers he’d most like to work with: Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe
- Center Stage or The Company? “Both”
- Currently reading: Frankenstein (for school)
- Favorite book: Magical Monarch of Mo by L. Frank Baum: “I read it when I was 4, but it’s still my favorite. My dad read it to me every night.”
- Favorite movies: Kill Bill and a short Disney movie called Ferdinand the Bull
- People describe him as: “Quirky, weird, funny, really awesome”
Photo: Jean-Bernard Sieber
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
Daphne Lee is a queen, and not just in the "OMG Girl Boss Alert" sense of the word. She's an actual queen—a beauty queen. Crowned Miss Black USA in August, she's been doing double duty as she continues to dance with the Memphis based dance company, Collage Dance Collective. Lee's new title has given her the means to encourage other black girls and boys to pursue their dreams, while also pursuing dreams of her own. The scholarship money awarded with the pageant title will assist her as she earns a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Hollins University.
When a choreographer finds a composer whose music truly inspires her, it can feel like a match made in dance heaven. Some choreographers work with the same composers so frequently that they become known for their partnerships. New York City Ballet soloist and resident choreographer Justin Peck, for example, has tapped composer Sufjan Stevens numerous times (last spring, the two premiered The Decalogue at NYCB, to rave reviews); L.A. Dance Project's Benjamin Millepied's working relationship with composer Nico Muhly has spanned a decade and two continents; and when tap dancer Michelle Dorrance premiered the first-ever Works & Process Rotunda Project, a site-specific work for New York City's Guggenheim Museum, last year, percussionist Nicholas Van Young was by her side as an equal partner. Successful collaborations require compatibility between artists, direct and honest communication, and flexible, open minds. But when the stars align, working with a composer can be extremely rewarding.
For ballerinas, it's the dream role to end all dream roles: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the type of part dancers spend years preparing for and whole careers perfecting. And it's a role that New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck never thought she'd dance. Though Peck is one of the world's preeminent ballerinas, her short stature made Odette/Odile, typically performed by longer, leggier dancers, seem (almost literally) out of reach.
Then—surprise!—her name popped up on the cast list for NYCB's fall season run of Swan Lake.
Lani Dickinson's power, grace, and raw presence make her a standout with AXIS Dance Company, whose mission is to change the face of dance and disability by featuring a mix of disabled and non-disabled performers. Born in China, Dickinson was adopted by an American couple and started dancing at 8 in Towson, MD. She attended the Boston Ballet School for two summers, studied at the Idyllwild Arts Academy for the last two years of high school, and graduated with a dance degree from Alonzo King LINES Ballet's BFA program with Dominican University of California. In 2015, she joined AXIS and won a Princess Grace Award. Catch her this month during AXIS Dance Company's 30th-anniversary season—and read on for The Dirt!