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.
Winning New York City Dance Alliance's National Outstanding Dancer title is a dream come true for any dancer. But winning twice before turning 13? That's just how Madison Brown rolls. With buoyant leaps, jaw-dropping balances, and effortless extensions, the reigning National Junior Female Outstanding Dancer (and 2015 winner in the Mini division) is turning heads in the ballet world, too. Chosen as a National Training Scholar two years in a row based on her dancing at the American Ballet Theatre 2016 and 2017 summer intensives, Madison is aiming to make her second appearance at the Youth America Grand Prix finals in NYC this month.
I'm always up for a ballet class. I could do ballet every day for the rest of my life. I also like contemporary because it's a good way for me to unwind and do something very different. -Madison Brown
Oh hey, nothing to see here, just a robot that can shake its mechanical booty in time to some of our fave dance songs. We are 😵.
Let's be real—as much as we love dance, there are days where the pain and discouragement that come from perfecting our craft can make us question why we do what we do. Well, five principal dancers of the Czech National Ballet got on our level and revealed that pain and pressure are as much a part of the process of dance as joy.
The beloved classic My Fair Lady heads to Lincoln Center Theater this month with new choreography by Newsies icon Christopher Gattelli. My Fair Lady follows the story of working-class girl Eliza Doolittle, whom professor Henry Higgins is determined to transform into a real society lady. The show premiered on Broadway in 1956, starring Julie Andrews. It went on to win six Tony Awards and became the longest-running musical at that time. "We're trying to stay as close to naturalism and realism with the dancing as possible," says Gattelli. "So, there will be lots of traditional ballroom, Viennese, etc. But it'll get more down and dirty in numbers like 'Get Me to the Church on Time,' which has a little bit of dancehall to it." Head to lct.org for ticket info.
A version of this story appeared in the March 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Buzzy Broadway News."
Nine-year-old Kamri Peterson trains in nearly every single dance style at Center Stage Performing Arts in her hometown of Orem, UT, and she's frequently seen competing at The Dance Awards and 24Seven. Over a year ago, she decided to give ballroom a try—and the dance world has taken notice. Kamri and her partner, Marcelo Fitzgerald, placed second in their division at 2017's Brigham Young University National Amateur Dancesport Championships, qualifying them to rep-resent the U.S. at the World Amateur Ballroom Championships in Paris last December. Dance Spirit asked Peterson to record all the exciting details from her first competition overseas. —Courtney Bowers
Boston Ballet second soloist Addie Tapp immediately stands out onstage thanks to her impressively long lines, precise technique, and mature presence. A Glenwood Springs, CO, native, Tapp started dancing at age 6 at the Glenwood Dance Academy. At 14, she attended The School of American Ballet summer course, and afterwards was accepted into the year-round program. She joined Boston Ballet's corps in 2014, and was promoted to second soloist last year. Catch her dancing this month in the company's Parts In Suite program and Romeo & Juliet.