What can Amy and Fik-Shun expect now that they’re officially the winners of “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 10? We caught up with all 10 former champs to find out about their post-“SYTYCD” lives.
Eliana with Dmitry Chaplin on an episode of "Bones." (photo by Patrick McElhenney/Fox)
Eliana Girard, Season 9
Eliana started rehearsals for Taylor Swift’s Red Tour just a few months after her win. “The show made me more inspired to grow as an artist,” says the ballerina, who will spend this month performing with T-Swift in Australia.
(photo by Gilles Toucas)
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, Season 9
Talk about branching out—this ballet boy-wonder has got acting (a guest-starring role on “Bones,” plus several commercials), clothing design (an upcoming “CheForce” line for dancers) and choreography projects (alongside Mia Michaels) in the works. He’s also launched his own dance convention, CheForce. “I couldn’t be more grateful that America gave me the chance to grow on the show,” he says. “The journey completely changed me.”
(photo by Jonathan Ressler)
Lauren Froderman, Season 7
Lauren had just graduated high school when she made it onto the show, and she put off college to tour as the “SYTYCD” champion. She then danced full-time for a while—teaching master classes and performing on “Glee” and at the Kids’ Choice Awards. But now she’s a full-fledged college girl! Lauren will graduate from Loyola Marymount University in 2015 with a BA in liberal studies. “Then I’ll get back into the grind of auditioning,” she says.
(courtesy Russell Ferguson)
Russell Ferguson, Season 6
Krumper Russell recently choreographed for Ukraine’s version of “SYTYCD,” started his own company called SideStreet and snagged a featured role (alongside Chehon) in the new dance flick East Side Story. Bostonians can catch him in Tony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, December 6–22, at John Hancock Hall.
(photo by Josh Williams)
Jeanine Mason, Season 5
“SYTYCD” was the first of many TV appearances for Jeanine. In addition to her former recurring role on “Bunheads,” she’ll appear on TNT’s “Major Crimes” this month and recently shot pilots for MTV and Fox. She’s also been attending University of California—Los Angeles. “Graduating this year will be a proud moment!” she says.
(courtesy Joshua Allen)
Joshua Allen, Season 4
In addition to being a Season 10 All-Star, Joshua’s pursuing a career as a triple threat. He was featured in Step Up 3D and Footloose, appeared on “Community” and “American Horror Story” and plans to release his first album this year.
(photo by Quinn Baston)
Sabra Johnson, Season 3
Since her win, Sabra has been dancing all over the world. She spent a year with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in NYC, danced in Mexico City and Germany and is now a member of dance theater company Staatstheater Darmstadt in Austria.
Benji Performing on "Dancing with the Stars" (photo by Adam Taylor/ABC)
Benji Schwimmer, Season 2
Benji’s been busy choreographing for the stars: He created and danced in Paula Abdul’s final “American Idol” performance. Staying true to his swing-dance roots, he’s also won the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championship the past four years in a row with partner Torri Smith.
Melanie and Nick performing at The Dance Awards (photo by Matthew Murphy)
Melanie Moore, Season 8
If it seems like Melanie’s all over your TV screen, that’s because she is. She burned up the dance floor as a Season 10 All-Star, danced at the Primetime Emmy Awards in September and played a New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts student on Season 4 of “Glee.” She’s also a member of contemporary company Shaping Sound.
Nick Lazzarini, Season 1
Besides his fame as the very first “SYTYCD” champ, Nick is probably best known as a founding member of Shaping Sound. He’s also a beloved faculty member at JUMP dance convention. How can future contestants achieve his level of success? “Make sure you’re open to anything and everything,” he says.
Courtney Galiano at the 2013 BEAT MS Dance Walk
(photo via The Beat MS)
L.A. friends: Mark your calendars for the second annual BEAT MS Dance Walk, happening September 13th. Spend a day movin’ and groovin’ alongside some of your favorite dancers, all while raising awareness about multiple sclerosis. But even if you’re not on the West Coast, this event is something we can all get behind.
In 2011, “So You Think You Can Dance” All-Star Courtney Galiano was diagnosed with MS—a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system. Despite the challenge she faces, Galiano hasn’t let MS bring her down. She and her brother, Philip Byron, established the foundation BEAT MS (the name is a play on her family’s dance convention, The BEAT Dance Tour), and last year hosted the first BEAT MS Dance Walk to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In 2013, the BEAT MS Dance Walk in L.A. raised over $62,000 for MS research.
We caught up with Galiano about this year's walk.
Dance Spirit: The first BEAT MS walk welcomed so many dance celebs—Adam Shankman, Mark Kanemura, Comfort Fedoke, Kathryn McCormick, Jeanine Mason and dancers from “Americans Best Dance Crew” and “Glee.” Are you expecting more star participants this time around?
Courtney Galiano: Last year we had over 600 people walk, and we want to continue to get as many people involved as possible. There will be lots of dancers from “SYTYCD” (including season 7 winner Lauren Froderman), dancers from VH1's “Hit the Floor” and cast members from the musical Hair—including Kristen Bell—which I just performed in at the Hollywood Bowl.
DS: So far, what have been the most rewarding aspects of the BEAT MS?
CG: Being surrounded by so much love and support, and meeting people who share my passions and challenges. I’ve been amazed at the number of young people fighting MS. It often seems like there’s a stigma associated with the disease—people are scared to say they have it. Through BEAT MS, I’m hoping to break that stigma, because there's nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. I think the lack of discussion about MS stems from a lack of knowledge, so I hope the walk helps raise awareness and educate people.
DS: Since your diagnosis with MS in 2011, have your career goals changed?
CG: Not at all. I have good days and bad days, but sometimes I forget I even have MS. Fatigue is the biggest symptom I have to fight. I’m thankful every day for the determination that dance has instilled in me. Plus, dance really helps fight the disease: Medical professionals have started prescribing dance classes for people with MS and similar diseases that affect mobility. It just goes to show you how powerful dance really is!
DS: Is there a way for those who can't attend the walk in L.A. to get involved?
CG: Of course! You can make donations on our website, or even start your own team and recruit other people to join on social media. Anything that spreads awareness about this event and the disease helps.
If you’re in Georgia, Texas, New Jersey or Florida and want to get involved, you can also check out The BEAT Dance Tour convention—a portion of every registration is donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The coolest: Jeanine photographed for our November 2009 cover by Joe Toreno
If you're a fan of ABC Family's "Bunheads," you probably had a lot of fun watching Jeanine Mason on the show this past season. Not only were there plenty of opportunities for the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 5 champion to dance up a storm, but her character, the effortlessly cool Cozette, also seemed to come easily to her—probably because Jeanine is even more awesome than Cozette in real life.
Well, Jeanine just landed another cool-kid role: She's been cast as Hana, the flirty, popular best friend of lead character Lena (played by Emma Roberts, speaking of cool girls), in the upcoming "Delirium" pilot for Fox. The show, based on the book series by Lauren Oliver, has a sci-fi twist: It's set in a world where love is known as a disease called Deliria. (We're guessing it won't take long for Hana to get "sick.")
Jeanine with boyfriend Beau Mirchoff at a UCLA football game
Before winning Season 5 of “So You Think You Can Dance,” Jeanine Mason was a regular high school senior looking forward to starting college in the fall. But after the TV show jump-started her career, things suddenly didn’t seem quite as straightforward. Here, she tells DS why she decided to go ahead with her college plans (she’s enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles)—and her dance career.
Ever since I was little, I’ve known I wanted to go to college. My mom and dad say education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you, and they’re right. It’s a sacrifice now and then because I have longer hours and a little bit higher stress level than many people my age, but it’s worth it to me. College is going to enrich my life and make me a better person and artist.
Four days after I graduated high school, I moved to L.A. to start shooting “So You Think You Can Dance.” I’d already been admitted to UCLA. When I made it to the “SYTYCD” Top 10, I was excited, but I also had this quiet realization: “Oh my gosh, the tour schedule means I’m not going to be able to start school on time.” For a second, my heart was broken. I had really looked forward to that freshman nervousness, to starting this new chapter in my life. But once UCLA let me know I could start a semester late, in January 2010, I felt better.
Since then, I haven’t stopped. I enroll full-time when possible, but whenever I’m working on a big project like a film, I go part-time, taking only one or two courses. During the summer, I take online classes, which are amazing because I can bring the work with me on dance projects.
Jeanine at the Teen Vogue Young Hollywood party
In addition to my World Arts and Cultures: Dance major, I’m a film minor, studying the behind-the-camera stuff. It’s always interesting to me how my studies mirror my life. Any time I’m learning new academic material, I find a way to use it in my dance work. And the more material I have to pull from, the richer that work becomes.
As for scheduling, I literally have to take it day by day. I try to plan so my college classes are early in the morning, which leaves the rest of the day free for dance. There are times when I have to pack both lunch and dinner, because I know I’m going to be out and about all day: school, then auditions, then rehearsals, then a performance. But any time I think I’m not going to be able to get through everything, I remind myself how proud I’ll be at the end of the day, lying in bed, knowing I did it.
In 10 years, I hope I’ll have a successful film career. Eventually, I want to have my own production company. For now, I’m just taking each semester as it comes. But I’m looking forward to graduation. It’s going to be such a special day for me and my family. It’s close now—it’s in sight. And I’m more excited than ever.
Who's excited for the first episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 9 tonight? (Nigel, for one!)
On Monday, we let you know that the show will crown both a male and a female winner this season. I kind of love the idea. First, of course, two winners are better than one. But also, I've been thinking back on past seasons and realizing just how many more awesome dancers would've been honored if the two-winner system had been in place from the beginning. Check it out:
Season 1 winners would have been Nick Lazzarini...and Melody Lacayanga.
Season 2 would have honored both Benji Schwimmer...and Donyelle Jones. (LOVE her!)
Season 3 would have given us Sabra Johnson...and Danny Tidwell (in my opinion, the best dancer ever to grace the show).
Season 4's winners would have been Joshua Allen...and Katee Shean.
Season 5 champs would have been Jeanine Mason...and Brandon Bryant.
Season 6 winners would've been Russell Ferguson...and Kathryn McCormick.
Season 7? Lauren Froderman...and Kent Boyd. (I'm guessing a lot of teenage girls would've been ecstatic about that.)
And Season 8 would've honored both Melanie Moore...and Marko Germar.
It's interesting to note that the second winner wouldn't always have been the first runner-up. (In Season 2, for example, Travis Wall came in second; Donyelle was third.) Not sure how those unlucky second-place dancers might've felt about being passed over. But I think I'm still on board with the new format. Two great dancers on the November cover of DS? Yes please!
All photos courtesy FOX.
Gone are the days when dancers had to choose between a professional career and a college education. Now, even the stars are finding ways to fit academic classes into their demanding schedules. They go to school in the morning before company class, in the evening, on their only day off or even online from their dressing rooms. If you think you can’t follow your dance dreams and earn a degree at the same time, take a cue from these dance pros and think again!
Heather McFadden: Meg in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera and graduate of the St. Mary’s College LEAP Program
Heather earned her bachelor’s degree in performing arts from the St. Mary’s College LEAP Program in just three years. “It was intense!” she says. “No watching TV and not a lot of social time.” She managed to graduate so quickly because the LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) Program is designed for professional dancers with rigorous schedules. Heather chose this school because she knew that she couldn’t dance forever and she’d need a degree to compete for other jobs in the future. “It had to be done,” she says.
But at first, Heather didn’t consider college at all—she just wanted to be on Broadway or to dance in a company. She went to a performing arts high school, was exposed to professional theater, and even did a national tour and commercials. She tried taking some courses for a time when she was injured, but realized that school wasn’t where she wanted to be. “To get an education,” she says, “you’ve got to want it. It has to be the right time.” The right time for her came when she discovered the LEAP Program, which offered her a flexible schedule and lots of individual attention. She received credits for having a career in dance and was able to go to class on Sunday, her only day off.
“It enriched my work,” she says. “Phantom is the same show, eight times a week for years on end. But because my mind was stimulated, it fueled me.” Earning a degree also gave Heather a new perspective on life. She initially thought she wanted to teach dance at a private school or university. But now, while she’s still dancing Meg on Broadway, Heather’s working toward an additional certification as a breastfeeding consultant.
LEAP Fact: Students enrolled in LEAP come from prestigious companies such as the San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, Merce Cunningham Dance Company and more.
Fun Fact: Heather got her degree in three years while being a mom to two children.
Jeanine Mason: winner of “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 5 and student at University of California, Los Angeles
When Jeanine made it past the Top 10 on “So You Think You Can Dance,” she wasn’t nervous about the dancing. She was worried because she’d have to reapply to her college of choice, the University of California Los Angeles. She had already been accepted, but her dancing success meant she had to put off enrollment and apply again later that year.
Luckily, Jeanine got in, and she’s now enrolled in UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures program with a concentration in dance. She’s studying subjects like physiological science, dance film and Pilates—topics that are important to her as a dancer. The more knowledge she has, the more she can find different ways to approach her movement. “College was always something that I was going to do,” she says. “I knew that my career and my education could grow simultaneously.” Each of her college classes meets only once or twice a week, and Jeanine says that options like online and weekend classes make it easy to fit school into her schedule.
But it also requires multitasking. She’s willing to put off school for a few months if a certain project requires it. And when she isn’t performing, she goes full-time and takes four classes each quarter (UCLA runs on quarters, not semesters).
“But that’s part of the joy,” she says. “I feel myself becoming a better artist as I become a smarter person.”
UCLA Fact: The UCLA 26-hour dance marathon, held every February since 2002, has raised more than $2 million for AIDS research.
Fun Fact: Two of Jeanine’s favorite classes are “Advanced Improvisation” and “A History of Rock and Roll.”
Megan Fairchild: New York City Ballet principal and math major at Fordham University
“I don’t know where it will take me,” Megan says about majoring in math at Fordham University. “But I’m not thinking about the end result.” She’s taking the same approach to school as she did to ballet: She’s doing it because she loves it.
Megan didn’t always enjoy going to college, though. She enrolled in one class while she was an apprentice at NYCB and ended up dropping it because of the added stress. Two years later she tried another class and dropped that one too. “Then I took one more class that really inspired me and got me excited to learn again,” she says. It was a religion course, and, Megan says, although she’s not religious, she liked the teacher and the vibrant group discussions. But she also felt like she had reached a place in the company where she knew she could handle the extra work. School no longer felt stressful—instead it felt like a good balance to her dancing.
“Going to school gives me perspective,” Megan says. “I’m not so obsessed with ballet.” She also feels more empowered since going back to school. “When you continue your education,” she says, “you gain the confidence to speak up and be a part of any conversation.”
Fordham Fact: More than half of Fordham’s senior and graduating students go on to join professional dance companies, including American Ballet Theatre and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.
Fun Fact: Megan was told by the head of the math department at Fordham that she’d never be able to major in math because of her dancing schedule. Now she wants to do it more than ever, just to prove him wrong!
Maria Phegan: dancer with the Metropolitan Opera and student at Columbia University
Since the start of her career, Maria has fit college classes into her schedule. She went to community college and earned an associate’s degree while dancing with San Francisco Ballet and Houston Ballet. And now, as a dancer in Metropolitan Opera productions, Maria attends Columbia University full time.
“I had knee surgery a few years ago, and that was a turning point for me,” Maria says. “I knew I had to have something that wasn’t a physical profession to fall back on.” She enjoys sociology and political science classes and hopes to one day combine her interest in international politics with her experience in the arts.
But school is more than just a backup plan: It adds to Maria’s artistry. “I always try to find the parallels in what I choose to study and what’s going on with me at the time,” she says. For example, she tried choreographing while she was taking an English course focused on poetry. She told a story through her dance the same way she was analyzing different poems in school. “It’s like I’m combining intellectual challenges with the physical aspects of my job,” she adds. “It’s such a positive.”
Columbia Fact: The Barnard College Department of Dance at Columbia offers dancers a chance to get worldly: Dance majors take courses in classical Spanish, jazz, tap, West African and Indian dance.
Fun Fact: Maria’s mom was the first female in her family to go to college, and Maria feels inspired to follow in her footsteps.
Simone Battle: commercial dancer and student at University of Southern California
After graduating from high school, Simone deferred her enrollment to the University of Southern California and spent a year touring with the Black Eyed Peas, booking commercials and shooting music videos. But higher education was always in her plans. “My mom raised me that way,” she says. So when the tour was over, Simone started her career as a college student.
Now Simone goes to USC full-time, dances with the Song Girls (a dance team that’s part of the school’s marching band) and continues to audition for professional jobs when she can.
Her busy schedule has forced her to miss some auditions—like one with singer Willow Smith, because she couldn’t reschedule a midterm. “But the truth is that I enjoy what I do,” she says. “Dancing and going to school are making me happy, and having a degree from USC will pay off in the end!” She plans to expand her career into singing and music after she graduates. Her major in music industry is letting her learn more about the legal side of the business.
USC Fact: Dancers attending USC are blessed by being close to all the big- and small-screen action in Hollywood.
Fun Fact: Simone is on the dean’s list at USC!
Photos from top to bottom: Heather McFadden (left) as Meg in Phantom of the Opera, Photo by Joan Marcus; Jeanine Mason at the Rose Bowl for a UCLA game, Photo Courtesy Jeanine Mason; Megan Fairchild in Raymonda Variations, Photo by Paul Kolnik; Maria Phegan on campus, Photo Courtesy Maria Phegan; Simone Battle, Photo by Michael Flores
Xander Weinman and Adam Metzger
NYC tap instructors, performers and co-founders of MOVE: A New York City Dance Project
Friends since: 2009
How they met: Taking class at Steps on Broadway in NYC
“When we dance together, we improvise a lot and it’s easy for us to communicate musically. We work well together—we complement each other, and we see things very similarly.” —Xander Weinman
Samuel Black and Dallas McMurray
Members of Mark Morris Dance Group
Friends since: 1993
How they met: Dancing at Katie’s Dance Studio in El Cerrito, CA. They were two of just a few boys at the studio at the time.
“When I joined MMDG, I didn’t know anyone in the company besides Sam—it was intimidating for me. I was thankful to have him there with me, though. There was something comforting about having Sam there from day one.” —Dallas McMurray
April Daly, dancer with Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and Kathleen Breen Combes, principal dancer with Boston Ballet
Friends since: 2001
How they met: Through a mutual friend
“We call each other every single day. We’re always sending each other flowers for opening nights and things like that. Last year I flew out to see Kathleen dance ‘Diamonds’ in George Balanchine’s Jewels on opening night and she came to see me when the Joffrey performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC. Kathleen is like my sanity. She gives the best advice.” —April Daly
Deena “SnapShot” Clemente and Wanda “WandeePop” Candelario
NYC hip-hop instructors and co-founders of TruEssencia Dance and Wellness
Friends since: 1980
How they met: In a courtyard of the building where SnapShot lived in the Bronx. Soon thereafter they started a local dance crew with six other friends from the neighborhood.
“Our dreams have always been the same. No matter which paths we took—graduating from school, working corporate jobs, moving to other states—we would always end up back on the same road together.” —SnapShot
Jeanine Mason, “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 5 winner, and Jakob Karr, “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 6 runner-up
Friends since: 2006
How they met: At a dance competition in Fort Lauderdale, FL, when they were 14.
“Jeanine is one of the clumsiest people I’ve ever met. As graceful as she is onstage, she’s equally as uncoordinated in her daily life.” —Jakob Karr
“When Jakob made it to the ‘SYTYCD’ finale during Season 6, I was home in Florida for my brother’s birthday. My family and I sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to my brother while voting for Jakob on at least two phones each!” —Jeanine Mason
No dancer is perfect. Maybe you’re more flexible on your right side than on your left, or perhaps you just can’t seem to nail all four sounds in your double pullbacks. Don’t despair—even the pros have weaknesses and off days. The key is finding new tactics to help you continue to improve. We got 16 of the most talented people we know to dish about exactly what you need to do—from daily tricks to life lessons—to become the best dancer you can be.
- As dancers, we put our bodies through a lot of stress, so it’s important to get enough sleep. Your body needs to replenish and recharge itself. When I get enough sleep, my body and mind are rested and are more able to learn new information.
- Don’t hide under bulky dance clothes. It’s important for you and your teachers to see what’s going on underneath them. Once your body is warm, ditch the warm-ups and stop covering up.
- Learn what you’re good at and work to make that even better. Don’t stop when you’ve reached the same level as everyone else. If my feet aren’t good enough, if I’m not flexible enough or if I’m too short, I know that I’d better make up for it with something else!
- Stay hydrated. I like Zico coconut water. It replaces your lost electrolytes quicker than regular water and has more potassium than a bunch of bananas!
- Eat well. Make sure you’re eating enough proteins and lean meats and not eating too much sugar. When my body is at its best, I’m at my best.
- Watch other dancers. Instead of staring at yourself in the mirror, take a look around. See what things your peers are doing and copy what you love. You don’t just learn from your teachers—you learn from your classmates, too.
- Learn how to follow directions. You can get a job just by listening to a director in an audition and simply doing what he or she asks you to do.
- Be realistic about what you look like, how you eat and how much you exercise. If you want to get into a ballet company, the reality is that you need the right body type. As you grow up, your body will go through changes and you may not even notice. Put in the work to stay in shape. You don’t want to get cut at auditions because of your body.
- Be different!
- Be intellectually curious. Read, go to museums and attend live performances as often as you can. These experiences will expand your imagination and thereby your artistic taste and dimension as an individual and dancer.
- Figure out what makes you happy when you’re performing. Then keep doing it.
- Perform—whether it’s singing, acting or dancing—as much as you possibly can, wherever you can, so you can get over your nerves. You don’t want to be shocked or nervous when you’re called upon to perform.
- Try cross-training. As dancers it often feels like we have no time to do anything extra, but participating in different activities has done wonders for my dancing.
- It’s OK to step down a level in order to go back to basics. If you notice you’re not turning out your leg all the way, don’t be afraid to lower it in order to strengthen your turnout.
- Create scenarios in your mind as you’re dancing. What are you moving through? Pudding? Water? Sand? What are you surrounded by? Thinking these things through will give your dancing more depth.
- Respect your body’s pain. I see young dancers who feel like they have to push through their pain. Don’t mistreat your body—this career requires longevity. In a funny way, injury is your best teacher because it’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Pay attention to your injury instead of getting angry about it. Learn what you’re doing wrong to your body so that you can prevent it in the future.
- Strengthen your core muscles so you’re able to engage your legs for fast footwork while keeping your upper body free and lyrical.
- You don’t want your pointe shoes to be louder than the music. I bang the bottom of my shoes before every show so when I jump, the shoe is softer and doesn’t make as much noise.
- Find certain moments in the choreography to flourish in. You can’t dance a ballet at the same energy level throughout the whole piece or you’ll get tired. Find moments that you can put all your energy into to highlight the steps.
- Keep nutrition bars in your dance bag. Lärabars are my favorite.
- Be a good person. Choreographers may hire people based on their talent, but they re-hire them because of the type of person they are. There are thousands of talented dancers out there—it’s who you are that makes you stand out.
- Introduce new types of exercise to your routine. Yoga and Pilates have helped correct injuries and alignment issues I’ve had with my body.
- Be ambidextrous. If you’re only exercising one side of your body, your muscles will build unevenly.
- Make your own trail mix. Raisins and almonds are great sources of energy. I also include M&Ms!
- Put your whole self into practicing. Work on the rudiments of technique, but don’t practice mechanically.
- Learn a variety of time steps. It will help you choreograph and compose in different time signatures and improve your improvisation.
- The best tips for becoming a great dancer might be things you don’t learn in the studio. Watch people’s body language on the street. Watch how fearless children are. Watch how people interact. Those are the kinds of real life things that we should aspire to capture in our dancing.
- Learn about music. Know the difference between a quarter note and a sixteenth note, and know what a crescendo is. Learn the terminology and then see how it applies to your dancing. Music is your roadmap.
- Real life is about many different emotions—frustration, relief, impatience, joy. Strive to show all of these in your dancing. Don’t just dance performances about angst and anger. That’s limiting and unoriginal. Audiences are moved by new interpretations of things they recognize from their own lives. To be great dancers and great performers, we need to be great analysts of life.
- Dancing isn’t a hobby, it’s a way of life. Being a dancer defines how you spend your time and your money. To dance is to be disciplined.
- Don’t skimp on meals. Develop good eating habits now and they will last you your whole life.
- The most interesting part of your dancing is you! You need technique in order to express yourself, but it is not the end goal. Use your own personality in your dancing, and it will be more rewarding for you and more enjoyable for everyone to watch.
- Develop good networking skills. Some choreographers don’t like to hold auditions, so make a point of getting to know choreographers by taking their classes. You’ll create long-lasting professional relationships.
- Stay aware of the quality of your dancing. Don’t get wrapped up in booking jobs and building your resumé—you have to keep training, taking class and building your dance skills.