Headed to The Big Apple? The endless number of studios, shops, shows and restaurants can seem overwhelming. Let Dance Spirit and a few NYC dance insiders be your guides.
Clockwise from top left: Alex Lopez/NYC & Company, Clayton Cotterell/NYC & Company, Alex Lopez/NYC & Company, Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company, Marley White/NYC & Company, Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company
(Photo by Peter Hurley, courtesy Paloma Garcia-Lee)
Paloma Garcia-Lee: Broadway dancer Garcia-Lee has performed in Phantom of the Opera and Nice Work If You Can Get It. She says: “Follow your workouts with sweaty Yin yoga classes at Modo Yoga NYC. Some of the instructors are also dancers, so you might end up taking with someone you’ll see onstage.”
(Photo by Paul B Goode, courtesy Kaitlyn Gilliland)
Kaitlyn Gilliland: A former New York City Ballet corps member, Gilliland dances with Ballet Next. Her food picks: “Kefi is a great Greek restaurant on the Upper West Side, and Good Enough to Eat is a brunch favorite.”
(Photo courtesy Paul Taylor Dance Company)
Laura Halzack: Halzack is a member of Paul Taylor DanceCompany. Her cure for a sweet tooth: “You have to go to Doughnut Plant near the Taylor Studios at least once. I could eat one of their doughnuts every day—they have unique flavors.”
(Photo by Mathieu Young/FOX, courtesy Alex Wong)
Alex Wong: A “So You Think You Can Dance” All-Star, Wong is a former Newsies dancer. His training tip: “Broadway Dance Center has an ever-changing list of guest teachers. It’s a great way to take class from working choreographers who aren’t always in town.
Are you a ballet dancer? Start your uptown adventure here.
You wake up in the morning craving…
…something hearty. Head to one of NYC’s top bagel joints, ABSOLUTE BAGELS (Broadway, btwn W 107th and W 108th Sts)…something light and nutritious. Grab a cold-pressed juice and a yogurt parfait from JUICE PRESS (W 82nd St, btwn Columbus Ave and Central Park West).
(Logo courtesy Steps on Broadway)
You’re ready for your first class of the day. You head…
…right to the barre. “Take advanced ballet with Wilhelm Burmann or Nancy Bielski at STEPS ON BROADWAY,” Gilliland says (W 74th St and Broadway)…to Pilates first. Take a mat class at UPTOWN PILATES (W 72nd St, btwn Amsterdam and Columbus Aves). Now I’m ready for ballet...Take Kathryn Sullivan’s class at STEPS ON BROADWAY. She stresses proper placement and quick footwork.
How’s the weather today?
The sun is shining. Catch some rays in RIVERSIDE PARK on Manhattan’s West Side (Along Riverside Dr, from W 72nd to W 158th Sts). It’s raining. Head to PINKY’S SALON, Gilliland’s favorite spot for a manicure (Columbus Ave, btwn W 74th and W 75th Sts). Hot! But it’s perfect in the shade. Walk to CENTRAL PARK. Stroll through John Lennon’s memorial, Strawberry Fields, for a break from NYC’s hustle and bustle (Near W 72nd St and Central Park West).
Metropolitan Museum of Art (photo by Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company)
Is that your stomach grumbling?
Let’s stay in the neighborhood. “ ’WICHCRAFT, across from the David H. Koch Theater, serves indulgent sandwiches and tasty cookies,” Gilliland says (W 62nd St and Broadway). I want to explore the East Side. Grab a falafel from a street vendor and have lunch on the stairs of THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART—then head inside to see some of the exhibits (5th Ave and E 82nd St).
When it comes to afternoon adventures, you prefer to…
…stay outdoors. Walk to the BOAT BASIN CAFE and enjoy a lemonade while looking
out over the Hudson River (W 79th St, in Riverside Park)…find the nearest museum. Visit the Hayden Planetarium at the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (Central Park West and W 79th St)…get sweaty! Sign up for a “Figure 4 Barre” conditioning class at PURE YOGA, where many of the instructors are former dancers (E 86th St, btwn 2nd and 3rd Aves).
Let’s stop for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Indulge my sweet tooth! Stop by TREAT HOUSE and grab some gourmet crispy treats (Amsterdam Ave, btwn W 81st and W 82nd Sts). I’m thirsty. Sip an iced tea at CAFE LALO (W 83rd St, btwn Broadway and Amsterdam Aves).
Ready for an early dinner before a show?
I want lots of options. Head to ZABAR’S CAFE for some tasty deli specialties (Broadway and W 81st St). I’m on a tight budget. Grab a $1 hot dog (or two!) at GRAY’S PAPAYA (Broadway and W 72 St).
On clear summer nights, enjoy a free LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS show with music and dance from around the globe (Columbus Ave at W 63rd St).
Do you dream of Broadway? Start your midtown tour here.
What’s your preferred morning meal?
I’m a full-breakfast kind of girl. Try a savory breakfast pie from PIE FACE (Broadway and W 53rd St). Something small and to-go. Order a croissant from GREGORYS COFFEE—one of Garcia-Lee’s favorite spots for a morning fix (W 44th St and 6th Ave).
Whether I’ll be tapping, strutting or popping…
…I need a soothing warm-up. Wake up your senses in a Gyrotonic session at CIRCULAR POWER INC (7th Ave, btwn W 54th and W 55th Sts)…my day starts with an intense workout. Sweat, tone and feel the burn in a dance-inspired PHYSIQUE 57 class (W 57th St, btwn 5th and 6th Aves)…nothing gets me centered like a ballet class. Take Deborah Wingert’s class at MANHATTAN MOVEMENT & ARTS CENTER. “I always take ballet at MMAC,” Wong says. “The studios are beautiful” (W 60th St, btwn Amsterdam and 11th Aves).
Now I’m warm!
(Logo courtesy Broadway Dance Center)
I want to really let go. Learn a detailed contemporary jazz combo in Slam’s mid-morning class at BROADWAY DANCE CENTER (W 45th St, btwn 8th and 9th Aves). I want a technical challenge. Take Sue Samuels’ Broadway jazz class at BROADWAY DANCE CENTER.
Yes! Let’s get lunch. “GREEN SYMPHONY is my favorite quick stop,” says Garcia-Lee. Try a veggie wrap or a kale salad (W 43rd St, btwn 7th and 8th Aves). I could go for a small snack. Head to the signature NYC grocery store DEAN & DELUCA (W 56th St, btwn 6th and 7th Aves).
Time for some sightseeing.
Let’s stay outside. Tour the CENTRAL PARK ZOO and visit the two super-cute snow leopard cubs (E 64th St and 5th Ave). Let’s go to a museum. Soak in the bizarre and the beautiful at THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (W 53rd St, btwn 5th and 6th Aves).
What’s on your afternoon agenda?
I can’t leave NYC without doing a little window shopping. Stroll down 5TH AVE for the best displays in town (5th Ave, btwn E 59th and E 42nd Sts). I’m ready for some fun cardio. While THE AILEY SCHOOL is known as a mecca for modern dance, its ZUMBA FITNESS classes are some of the most popular in NYC (W 55th St and 9th Ave). I want to get cheap Broadway tickets. Head to the TKTS BOOTH in Times Square. Garcia-Lee’s advice: “Get in line early!” (Broadway and 47th St).
I’m starving! Before a night on the town, I want…
…a trendy dinner. “Get the Adobe Salad from EATERY,” says Garcia-Lee. “It’s my favorite salad in Hell’s Kitchen” (W 53rd and 9th Ave)…a classic pastrami sandwich. Go to CARNEGIE DELI for sandwiches big enough to split with a friend (W 55th St and 7th Ave).
New York City Center (photo by Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects)
Head to THE GREAT WHITE WAY. Check out our “Broadway Show Guide” to see what’s playing. See what musicals may be Broadway-bound at “Encores! Off-Center” at NEW YORK CITY CENTER (W 55th St, btwn 6th and 7th Aves).
Are you a downtown diva? Modern or contemporary dancers, start here.
I always start the day with…
…fruits and veggies. Try a PB Açai Bowl and a green juice from JUICE GENERATION (Prince and Crosby Sts, in the Equinox Gym)…a protein-filled punch. Head to DAVID’S BAGELS for one of the city’s best egg-and-cheese sandwiches (1st Ave, btwn E 15th and E 16th Sts).
Let’s get moving!
A modern class starts my day on a positive note. Take class from Paul Taylor Dance Company members at THE TAYLOR SCHOOL (Grand St, btwn Jackson and Lewis Sts). I’m craving a full-body workout. Hop into a conditioning session with Rachel Piskin at CHAISEFITNESS (E 23rd St, btwn Madison and Park Aves). I want to sweat before dance class. Try a spin class at SOULCYCLE (SoHo location: Crosby St, btwn Spring and Broome Sts).
(Logo courtesy Gibney Dance)
Now I’m ready for class.
I want to explore a postmodern style. See who’s leading a contemporary workshop at the new downtown GIBNEY DANCE CENTER (Broadway and Chambers St).
(Photo courtesy Peridance Capezio Center)
I want something classic. Get a lesson in Limón Technique at THE PERIDANCE CAPEZIO CENTER (E 13th St, btwn 3rd and 4th Aves).
Time for lunch!
Let’s get a burger. Head to SHAKE SHACK—and try a custard, too. “My favorite is the Urban Lumber-Shack,” says Wong. “It’s vanilla custard with Belgian waffles, bananas, bacon and peanut brittle” (Madison Square Park, E 23rd St and Madison Ave). I love PB & Js. Try a crazy concoction from PEANUT BUTTER & CO., like The Heat Is On Sandwich: spicy peanut butter with grilled chicken and pineapple jam (Sullivan St, btwn Bleecker and W 3rd Sts).
Let’s get lunch outside.
I want to head downtown. Take the subway to the newly renovated SOUTH STREET SEAPORT (Pier 17, at Fulton and Front Sts). I want something fresh. Taste locally sourced produce and baked goods as you stroll through the UNION SQUARE GREENMARKET (E 14th St and Broadway). OK, but let’s go for a ride first. Pedal a CitiBike across the BROOKLYN BRIDGE and get a pizza from GRIMALDI’S (Front
and Old Fulton Sts).
Next, I’d like to...
…take a moment to reflect. Visit the new WORLD TRADE CENTER and The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (Albany and Greenwich Sts)… see the sights. You can take the free ferry to Staten Island and enjoy incredible views of THE STATUE OF LIBERTY (Hop the 1 train to South Ferry station).
For an afternoon break, I want to…
Washington Square Park (photo by LittleNY/Thinkstock)
…hang out with friends. Listen to street musicians in WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK (5th Ave, btwn W 4th St and Waverly Pl)…get something sweet. Visit the home of the original cronut—a croissant and doughnut hybrid—DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY (Spring St, btwn Sullivan and Thompson Sts).
Before a show, I want…
…something hearty. “THE MEATBALL SHOP is fun, and not crazy-expensive,” says Halzack. “I love the traditional Bolognese Ball” (Greenwich Ave, btwn W 11th and Perry Sts)…dessert for dinner! “CHIKALICIOUS DESSERT BAR in the East Village has the best desserts in the world,” says Wong. “And the owners are big dance supporters” (E 10th St, btwn 1st and 2nd Aves).
See companies including Pilobolus and RIOULT Dance NY this summer at THE JOYCE THEATER (8th Ave, btwn W 18th and W 19th Sts). For the latest postmodern and contemporary work, head to DANSPACE PROJECT (E 10th St and 2nd Ave).
Today's guest post comes from Francesca Harvey, a student who came to NYC recently with Live! Starring...You!—a pop-culture media organization that trains teen reporters to cover people in the spotlight—for National Entrepreneurship Week.
Tony Dovolani and brothers Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy have been famous in the ballroom world for a long time. It’s only in recent years that the trio—and several other ballroom champions—have become Hollywood celebrities.
That's what appearing on "Dancing with the Stars" will do for you.
For Tony, Maks and Val, their "DWTS" fame has also drawn attention to their business. With three other business partners, they own four Dance With Me studios: one in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, and others in Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Now, they want to expand the studio across the country.
After all, there seems to be a need.
“One of the things we run into as we travel across the country is everybody is asking us for lessons,” Tony told me during a recent interview at the SoHo studio.
Francesca with Tony, Maks and Val. Not a bad place to be! (Photo by Tim O'Shei)
The guys have developed a teaching system that blends their individual approaches and styles. They instruct their own teachers in that system so all their students are learning the same way.
“Now, all of our teachers believe in the same system,” Tony said. “They’re taught by us. If you walk into our studio, you’re getting a combination of Tony, Maks and Val.”
Our interview also included a dance lesson with Val! We thought it was pretty cool that we got to dance with him one week before he was paired with "Shake It Up" star Zendaya Coleman for the next season of "DWTS." (Tony is paired with Wynonna Judd, while Maks isn't participating in the next season.)
Learning how to groove with Val! (Photo by Tim O'Shei)
If you want to find out how we fared, click here to read our story and watch the video on the Live! Starring … You! site.
But ask Tony, and he’ll tell you they can turn anyone into a dancer!
“We’ve developed a system where there's not one person we can’t teach,” he said. “If you can walk, we can teach you how to dance.”
Francesca Harvey is the student editor of LiveStarringYou.com and a junior at Mount St. Mary Academy in Buffalo, NY.
Ah, New York—the center of all things dance, and the place young professionals flock to in hopes of starting a career. Want to join in on the Empire State of Mind, but not sure how? We asked three rookie dancers, who all moved to the city recently, for their advice about everything from finding an apartment to getting around town. See how they’ve learned to navigate life in the Big Apple, so you can make your own transition as seamless as possible.
Meet Our NYC Newbies:
Robyn Williams (photo by Dirty Sugar Photography, courtesy Williams)
Robyn Williams, freelance dancer
Williams, originally from Fort Lauderdale, FL, moved to NYC last August to attend Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester. So far, the 19-year-old has booked gigs like New York Fashion Week’s Moncler Grenoble presentation, choreographed by Luam Keflezgy, and Vogue magazine’s NYFW behind-the-scenes recap video, choreographed by Will “WilldaBeast” Adams and Janelle Ginestra.
Emma Sadler (photo by Simon Hurst Photography, courtesy Sadler)
Emma Sadler, RIOULT Dance NY apprentice
Twenty-three-year-old Sadler moved to NYC from Dallas, TX, last June after receiving her BFA in modern dance performance from the University of Oklahoma.
Stefanie Roper, BHdos member
Raised in Utah, 25-year-old Roper performed with the Repertory Ballet Ensemble while studying at Utah Valley University. She moved to NYC last September.
Why They Moved to the City
Stefanie Roper: “I moved here for Ballet Hispanico. Since I’m half Hispanic, the company’s repertoire and Latin influence was something I wanted to be a part of. Once I was accepted into BHdos I knew
Stefanie Roper in a BHdos rehearsal (photo by Alona Cohen, courtesy BHdos)
I had to move, and that it would be worth it.”
Robyn Williams: “Before I considered moving, I was registered to attend Nova Southeastern University on a full academic scholarship. Then, Clear Talent Group agency remembered me from a scouting two years ago and offered me a contract.
I knew I had to make the move at that point.”
Emma Sadler: “I had nothing to lose—I wanted to dive into NYC headfirst and see how I’d do. I knew that I’d regret not trying. I wanted to know that at the end of the day, I could at least say I gave NYC my best shot.”
Where They Live
SR: “I live in Harlem with two roommates, a cat named Kiki and five goldfish. Harlem is so lively—there’s always music playing and people are always out dancing, singing or socializing. My typical commute to BHdos rehearsal is about 25 to 30 minutes by subway.”
RW: “I live in Astoria, Queens, with one other roommate, who I met through Broadway Dance Center. Before I moved I knew nothing about Astoria, but I like that it’s residential, and much quieter than busy Manhattan. The commute isn’t a hassle—I take the subway and it’s about a 20- to 30-minute ride to midtown.”
ES: “I live in northern Manhattan off Broadway, in a neighborhood called Hamilton Heights (it runs from 135th Street to 155th Street), with two roommates. I really love my neighborhood, and thankfully I live by many subway lines, so I can easily get to any area in Manhattan. I give myself an hour to get to rehearsal because I like being early.”
How They Found Their Apartments
SR: “I found my apartment when one of my high school friends posted that she was renting out her room. We got along well in high school, so I knew it was going to be a good, safe place for me to stay, and that I would have great roommates.”
RW: “I found my apartment through a friend in the Professional Semester. When
I originally moved here, BDC helped us find living arrangements and get settled in.”
ES: “I met my roommate at OU—she left after her first semester to be a Rockette. I knew I had to have some stability with my living situation since I had no idea what my dance career was going to be like, so we used a broker who found us a beautiful, huge apartment. Broker services do cost money: Our fee was about 12 percent of a year’s rent. You can always haggle the broker fee down. Initially they tried to charge us about 15 to 18 percent.”
How They Get Around
SR: “Subway and bus is the way to go! Get an app and check it constantly. I paid a few dollars for NextStop and I use it every day. It tells you the times and arrivals of the trains at the stops near you. Also, check MTA.com for service changes or delays in subway service, but always leave early just in case—especially on the weekends, when there tend to be more delays.”
ES: “I learned to navigate the system by picking various destinations—the Museum of Modern Art, or a restaurant in Brooklyn—and forcing myself to just hop on the subway and go.”
How They Supplement Their Income
SR: “I have two part-time jobs. I work as a front-desk receptionist at a wellness center and at a Pilates studio.”
ES: “I work two part-time jobs. I’m a certified Pilates instructor, and I teach several nights a week at IM=X Pilates. I also work weekends at Yumiko NYC Boutique. I’m working seven days a week, but it’s worth it!”
How They Budget
SR: “Groceries are expensive here, so I have to make sure I’m prepping and planning my meals carefully. Look around and take time before deciding to buy anything in the city—most likely you can find it cheaper at smaller, non-chain stores. And Walmart.com has free shipping on orders over $50. It’s great for getting food, makeup or other toiletries, and they deliver within a few days!”
RW: “Try not to eat out as much; making your own food is the way to go. I know everyone loves Starbucks, but I invested in a coffee pot because having to pay for coffee every day isn’t smart when you’re living on a budget. Also, when you purchase your MetroCard, buy the monthly, unlimited option instead of putting more ‘value’ or ‘time’ on your card. It costs more up front, but you can swipe as many times as you want for a flat rate. It ends up being cheaper.”
What They Splurge On
RW: “My favorite classes. Besides the basics, I try to sneak a tap class in when I can, or my favorite choreographers’ master classes.”
ES: “The Joyce Theater brings in some really incredible companies, and they have $10 tickets if you buy them early enough. It’s worth every penny to see companies perform live.”
Where They Take Class
RW: “I take at Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Capezio Center. I love classes at both places because the environments always feel welcoming and the classes are always challenging.”
ES: “I like to take at Steps on Broadway with Kim Abel, and at Gibney Dance Center and the Martha Graham School. I love Kim Abel’s ballet class because she’s extremely intuitive and knowledgeable about the body.”
How They Afford Classes
SR: “Groupon is great! Also, ask your dancer friends for news on cheaper classes or specials.”
ES: “Many studios have class packages, where if you buy a block of classes up front, the per-class cost is cheaper. It can be a lot of money to put down all at once,
but it’s more cost-efficient.”
What They Never Leave the Apartment Without
SR: “I always carry $10 in cash, because some places here are still cash only, and I make sure to remember my earphones. When you’re in a packed subway car, listening to music is a great way to tune out and relax.”
RW: “I always bring an umbrella, since New York weather is unpredictable. And an extra shirt, deodorant and body spray in case I get sweaty from walking everywhere.”
ES: “I always make sure I have a water bottle and a few snacks like Clif Bars or a grapefruit. Most importantly, I always have a book to read on the subway.”
What They Miss the Most About Home
SR: “I miss being able to see the mountains every day. Also driving. I love driving. It’s almost therapeutic.”
RW: “I miss my cat, Snickers, and of course seeing my parents.”
ES: “I miss the space! Everything is bigger in Texas.”
- “Tour the neighborhood, especially at night, when apartment hunting to see if you feel comfortable there,” Sadler says. “Check every apartment’s pipes for mold, open all the cabinets to see what the storage space looks like (and to make sure there isn’t a little critter family wanting to live with you!) and check the water pressure by running the sinks and turning on the showers.”
- “I made Google Maps my best friend, and once
I started venturing out on auditions and taking class at other places, it started to all piece together,” Williams says. “Also, don’t get stuck in Times Square—it will eat you alive.”
“About two weeks into living here, I finally found the express A and D trains,” Roper says. “I had been taking local trains to get to midtown from Harlem, and had no idea some trains ran express! Discovering that cut my commute in half.”
- “It’s extremely important to eat well as a dancer, even when budgeting,” Sadler says. “Spend money on groceries that will sustain you, instead of eating empty calories because it’s cheap. It’s worth investing in your health.”
- “Know that when you start dancing professionally, whether it’s with a company or freelance, classes can be tax deductible!” Sadler says. “Save all your receipts, because you may be able to write them off in your yearly taxes as a business expense.”
“Follow the dance studios you like on social media to get information on discounts and deals,” Williams says.
Why They Love NYC
ES: “I’ve never regretted moving here, not for one moment. I love what the city has taught me about myself—I’ve discovered my strong, compassionate, fighting side. Also, I love that you can sit on the subway and look around and see so many different faces and different cultures.”
SR: “Living in the city is everything I thought it would be and more. The opportunities are here! Plus, I walk outside and have the most breathtaking views of buildings and lights. It makes my long, crazy and exhausting days worth it. Every day is an adventure.”
RW: “The fact that I have the option to dance every day is truly amazing. I’m living a life that people dream about and I’m so grateful.”
Photographer Aaron Pegg is already Insta-famous as @underground_nyc, where he snaps artsy photos of people throughout the NYC subway system. Over the weekend, he revealed that ballerinas are his favorite photography subjects.
The New York Post interviewed Pegg and rounded up some of his best ballet pics—and we are drooling over the gorgeous poses and stunning lines. And it doesn’t hurt that his #flawless subjects frequently include Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alison Stroming, Ingrid Silva and Nayara Lopes, American Ballet Theatre’s Elina Miettinen and Boston Ballet soloist Rachele Buriassi.
Of his dance subway shots Pegg says to the New York Post, “It’s such a great contrast between two art forms—the gritty subway with the elegance of ballet. I love working with ballerinas because they’re perfectionists. They make you want to be a perfectionist as well.”
Scroll through our favorites below for some serious #MondayMotivation and check out the original Post piece here.
Dance Theatre of Harlem's Nayara Lopes, Alison Stroming and Ingrid Silva. (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Olivia L. Burgess (screenshot via underground_nyc)
Dancer Ingrid Silva at Central Park (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Boston Ballet soloist Rachele Buriassi (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Kelly Kakaley (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
American Ballet Theatre dancer Elina Miettinen (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Alison Stroming (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Brittany Cavaco (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Rachele Buriassi (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Dancer Ingrid Silva (screenshot via @underground_nyc)
Comp kids, you never cease to amaze us. Summer after summer, you come to Nationals rocking fresh looks, innovative choreography and solid technique. And 2014 didn’t disappoint: This year brought us new trends—from fashion to footwork—that we’d love to see stick around (and some we’d like to see disappear).
(Clockwise from left: DGS Photos, Courtesy Adrenaline; (2) Evolve Photography, Courtesy New York City Dance Alliance; Take2 Productions, Courtesy Showstopper; Platoon, Courtesy The Pulse On Tour; Courtesy Tremaine; Platoon, Courtesy The Pulse On Tour; Evolve Photography, Courtesy NYCDA)
Here are a few of our favorite things.
Werk: Group ballroom numbers. Who says you need an equal number of guys and girls to ride the Hot Tamale Train?
Womp: Excessive violence onstage. Please, no more mimed strangling, gunshots or screams.
This year, we saw a departure from gank-tastic, sassy fem-hop. In its place? Female hip-hoppers who were unafraid to get down and hit hard. Ladies, you introduced us to a whole new kind of fierce.
(Clockwise from left: (2) Propix, Courtesy Hollywood Vibe; Courtesy Break the Floor Productions; Platoon, Courtesy The Pulse On Tour; Propix, Courtesy Hollywood Vibe; (2) Courtesy Break the Floor Productions)
The pouf bun was the hairstyle of the season, with bumped-up bangs adding a touch of sophistication to the classic ballet bun.
(Clockwise from left: DGS Photos, Courtesy Adrenaline; (2) Propix, Courtesy Hollywood Vibe)
Werk: ‘90s and early 2000s #Throwbacks—Michael Jackson is never out of style.
Womp: Overused songs. If you hear it Every time you turn on the radio, chances are the judges are already sick of it (and so is the audience!).
Impossibly long hamstrings and seemingly spineless torsos are always a “do.” You all contorted your bodies into some seriously impressive (even shocking!) shapes.
(Clockwise from left: Propix, Courtesy Hollywood Vibe; Evolve Photography, Courtesy West Coast Dance Explosion; DGS Photos, Courtesy Adrenaline; Propix, Courtesy Hollywood Vibe; Evolve Photography, Courtesy NYCDA; Dancesnaps (DRC Video Productions), Courtesy Dance Olympus/DanceAmerica)
Playing it safe is overrated! You threw yourselves across the stage, unafraid to be upside down, sideways or completely off balance.
(Clockwise from top: Evolve Photography, Courtesy NYCDA; DGS Photos, Courtesy Adrenaline; Propix, Courtesy Hollywood Vibe; Evolve Photograhy, Courtesy NYCDA; Propix, Courtesy Hollywood Vibe)
Werk: Polished ballet technique. We love comp queens who can work it in a pair of pointe shoes.
Womp: Wearing only one shoe---on your turning foot. (Don’t tell us you’re one-sided!)
We were blown away by this year’s rhythm geniuses. Not only was your footwork on point—you also mastered the art of a polished yet relaxed upper body.
(Clockwise from left: DGS Photos, Courtesy Adrenaline; Evolve Photography, Courtesy NYCDA; Evolve Photography, Courtesy West Coast Dance Explosion; Courtesy Break the Floor Productions)
We loved the throwback to 1920s men’s fashion—slim-cut suits, bow ties, vests and fedoras looked suave on the ladies as well as the gents.
(Clockwise from left: John Pinette/Performance Photography, Courtesy American Dance Awards; Dancesnaps (DRC Video Productions), Courtesy Dance Olympus/DanceAmerica; (2) Platoon, Courtesy The Pulse On Tour)
Werk: Leotards with daring mesh cutouts---a tasteful update on the standard bra top and booty shorts.
Womp: Crotch Shots---If you’re going to wear a high-cut leotard with no tights, be careful where you tilt.
The Center-Split Hold
This move—where you hold a center split inches off the floor—is the perfect blend of flexibility and strength. Plus, it’s an innovative solution to that age-old conundrum: How do I get off the floor creatively?
(From top: Evolve Photography, Courtesy NYCDA; Propix, Courtesy Hollywood Vibe; Evolve Photography, Courtesy NYCDA)
Variations on a Theme
Sure, identical costumes help keep things clean and consistent, but there’s something even more appealing about group costumes that aren’t totally uniform.
(Clockwise from left: John Pinette/Performance Photography, Courtesy American Dance Awards; DGS Photos, Courtesy Adrenaline; Evolve Photography, Courtesy NYCDA; (2) Platoon, Courtesy The Pulse On Tour; Propix, Courtesy Hollywood Vibe; Platoon, Courtesy The Pulse On Tour; Courtesy Break the Floor Productions)
Werk: Unique prop concepts that actually enhance the piece. (Snaps for no arbitrary props!)
Womp: Props that take more than 30 seconds to set up. Your dads are adorable, but the judges don’t want to watch them assemble giant props---they want to see you dance.
Alexander Ekman's "Hubbub." Photo by Julieta Cervantes
Allow me to indulge in a #humblebrag: I feel so incredibly lucky to live in NYC with access to so much amazing dance! I'm seeing Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet TONIGHT, and I can't wait.
We're united in our obsession with this mind-blowing company—you probably saw them on our February 2014 cover! (If you haven't had a chance to see Cedar Lake on one of their tours, you can still catch them in Durham, NC, July 5-6 at the American Dance Festival.)
I first saw Cedar Lake perform way back in October, 2010 and it rendered me speechless. It's not an exaggeration to say that my world shifted a little bit. I have extremely high expectations for tonight.
Andonis Foniadakis' "Horizons." Photo by Paula Lobo
In case you need more Cedar Lake in your life (I know you do), the Brooklyn Academy of Music made these awesome videos showing excerpts from each of the dances in their program. The excerpts are too short, but they give you a sense of the thoughtful structure of the program—an important decision, considering Cedar Lake's diverse repertoire.
If that's not enough for you (it's never enough) check out these other Cedar Lake links that BAM has rounded up for your viewing pleasure.
If you wanna slick your hair, wear your buckle shoes...and all that jazz, get yourself into a pair of fishnets and shoulder roll your way over to Broadway Dance Center in NYC: The iconic studio is hosting Fosse Week January 27–31!
Every dancer—especially all you Broadway hopefuls out there—should be well-versed in the iconic Bob Fosse style, and now's your chance to study with Diana Laurenson and Mimi Quillin, both of whom trained directly with Bob Fosse and performed in several of his shows.
Here's the schedule for Fosse Week at BDC:
All classes are at Broadway Dance Center's NYC studio
Note: These classes are for advanced dancers ages 16 and older. Regular BDC class rates apply.
Last week I rounded up five reasons you should make seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular an absolute priority this holiday season.
In the very weird chance you're not totally convinced yet, here are some fun facts about the nation's #1 holiday show...
Photo courtesy Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
More than 1 million pairs of 3D glasses are distributed to patrons to experience the new "3DLive" scene featured in this year's production.
It takes more than 250 people just to stage the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, including the cast and crew.
There is a cast of 150 including Rockettes, singers, dancers, musicians and more.
More than 1,200 costumes are worn in the show. Each Rockette changes costumes eight times during the show, and in a few of the changeovers, they have as little as 78 seconds in which to change their costumes.
The double-decker bus in the "New York at Christmas" scene weighs 7 tons! It's 34 feet long and 12 feet high. In the course of the show's 8-week run, it will travel approximately 37 miles onstage. When the bus is offstage, it hangs 23 feet in the air at stage left for storage.
During the show's run, the animals from the Nativity scene drink 450 bottles of water and eat 340 bales of hay and 560 loaves of 7-grain bread.
Both the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and the "Living Nativity" scenes have been part of the Radio City show since 1933.
Throughout the season, the wardrobe department will go through more than 15,000 red dots used to brighten the cheeks of the Rockettes in the "Wooden Soldier" routine.
The production staff for every show includes 23 carpenters, 20 electricians, 15 prop people, 7 sound people, 28 wardrobe people, 2 projectionists, 5 stage managers, 8 animal handlers and 40 orchestra members.
180 laundry baskets are used during each show to hold and carry the cast's shoes, laundry and costumes.
Between the Rockettes, chorus and Santa, more than 1,200 pairs of shoes are worn per show.
350 loads of laundry are done per week, non-stop most days, for 16 hours per day during the week, plus 20 hours per day over the weekend.
...and a partridge in a pear tree.