Sonya Tayeh

(Photo by Adam Rose/FOX)

Sail, with Tiffany Maher and Audrey Case on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Season 9, was about showing that athleticism can be beautiful. I’ve often heard that my choreography is strong—as if it’s a surprise. People call my work androgynous. But androgynous, to me, sounds like a woman trying to be masculine. Instead, I call my work genderless.”


(Courtesy Sonya Tayeh)



“Erica Wilson-Perkins (second from left) and Diane Mancinelli, my professors at Wayne State University, shifted my world completely. They had their own voices and taught full-bodied movement. The first piece I choreographed was in a college class. Then I couldn’t stop.”


(Photo via


“Björk is my go-to lady. She’s my ultimate hero, who embraces her unique creativity. When I requested her music for my Possibly Maybe duet on ‘SYTYCD’ Season 9, Björk asked me to write what the song meant to me. So I broke it down, lyric by lyric. That was the first time she allowed her music to be used on the show.”



(Courtesy FOX)


“Allison Holker and Cole Horibe execute movement in this really stunning way—an urgent, eager way. Being in a room with them during Season 9 was inspiring. They made me want to do better for them. I’m excited to incorporate Cole’s martial-arts background while choreographing Kung Fu, which opens off-Broadway February 4.”


(Courtesy Sonya Tayeh)



“My mother was my date to the Emmys. She’s a religious Muslim woman, who raised three girls. She’s always embraced us and been open to who we are. She’s had many struggles in her life, and she’s definitely the one who inspired my strength.”



(Photo by Mike Yarish/FOX)


“Whenever I do a piece for ‘SYTYCD,’ like for the Top 6 on Season 9, I start by just talking to the dancers. Then we move together so I can see what their instincts are, instead of just demanding what I want. I reach for the root of my dancers first before I build on it myself.”

(Photo by Matthew Murphy)



The Last Goodbye is a rock musical set to Jeff Buckley’s music that played in San Diego last fall. The inspiration for the movement came from Jeff’s music, which I’ve been a fan of since the ’90s. The show retells Romeo and Juliet, the ultimate love story, which is so honest and heart-wrenchingly beautiful.


(Photo by Kevin Sandlow)




“I met my father for the first time while he was dying. I was 12. That’s where the excessive emotion in my work comes from—my sense of urgency, my speed. There’s an underlying angst in my choreography that stems from experiencing death at a really young age.”




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.

Keep reading... Show less

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!

Keep reading... Show less
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!

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Joe Toreno

The coolest place she's ever performed:

I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!

Something she's constantly working on:

My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'

Signature look:

My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!


Keep reading... Show less
Screenshot via YouTube

*suddenly feels the overpowering urge to purchase a million bottles of Pocari Sweat*

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Mandy Moore (photo by Lee Cherry, courtesy Bloc Agency)

In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.

Read more at!

Dancer to Dancer
Martha Graham Dance Company member, Marzia Memoli (photo by Sean Martin, courtesy Martin)

Marzia Memoli may be the Martha Graham Dance Company's newest dancer, but her classical lines and easy grace are already turning heads. Originally from Palermo, Italy, Memoli started studying at age 16 at the Academy of Teatro Carcano in Milan. Later, she attended the Rudra Béjart School in Lausanne, Switzerland, before heading to NYC in 2016 to join MGDC. This month, she'll perform The Rite of Spring in the Martha Graham Studio Series in NYC, and tour with the company in Florida. Read on for the dirt.

Keep reading... Show less


Want to Be on Our Cover?





Get Dance Spirit in your inbox