Dance News

Is there anything more exciting than peeking into the private world of your dance idols? Nope, I don't think there is. That's why we love these gorgeous photos by Barbara Anastacio for AnOther magazine, which capture the messy elegance of New York City Ballet dancers' traveling cases.

 

The accompanying interview clues us in on the way the NYCB ladies choose to decorate or pack their home-away-from-home. It's lovely and intimate to hear about the special notes and photos they carry, and, of course, always worthwhile to take notes about their pro tricks. An accupressure mat?! Who knew?

Enjoy the full spread here.

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Dance News

This goes out to all of you who are just as ridiculously obsessed with Newsies as I am. Seriously, what’s not to love about the show? An über-cute cast bursting with former comp kids (hey, John Michael Fiumara!), jaw-dropping Christopher Gattelli choreo and those soaring Alan Menken songs… It all adds up to utter perfection on a Broadway stage.

Plus, half the fun of going to see Newsies happens after the curtain falls, when you can meet the dashing newsboys at the stage door. What’s that? You can’t make it to NYC any time soon? Never fear—there’s an app for that. You can make all your meet-the-Newsies dreams come true in just a few simple steps:

  1. Search “Newsies Photobooth” in iTunes, Google Play or the Amazon Appstore to download the free app for your iPhone or Android device.
  2. Snap a picture or choose one from your gallery.
  3. Use the app, copy-and-paste style, to add up to three cast members (Jack Kelly! Specs!) to your photo.
  4. Save that new and improved creation to your device, or make sure “the world will know” by sharing via email, Facebook or Twitter—don’t forget the hashtag #NewsiesPhotobooth!

Be sure to check out this adorable how-to video about the app!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to add Ryan Steele to every single one of my prom photos…

Dance News

You’ve been oohing and ahhing over Mia Michaels’ choreography for years, but I’ll bet you’ve never seen America’s Favorite Choreographer really dance… until now. At our January cover shoot, Mama Mia worked some improv magic for photographer Joe Toreno, and we caught it all on film. But that’s not all; this exclusive video also captures the give-and-take relationship and special bond between Mia and her go-to assistants Ryan Ramirez and Chaz Buzan:

Are you blown away? I thought so. And there’s more behind-the-scenes fun where that came from. Click here to see breathtaking outtakes from our January 2013 cover shoot.

Your Body

 

Last March, Kendall Shepherd, coach of the Lake Oswego High School dance team, led her group to competition victory. “We were thrilled to win for the second straight year,” she says. But the enthusiasm quickly turned to disappointment. “We hadn’t even left the arena before the backlash started. Within hours, my girls saw updates on Twitter about the unfairness of the competition, saying the trophies were awarded based on popularity, not dancing.” The team’s big day was tainted.

You’ve probably posted online about an accomplishment, whether it’s a competition win or a pirouette record. You’re riding high—until someone posts a negative response. You can get 50 compliments about your routine, but it only takes one mean-spirited comment to deflate your excitement. Dancers have a natural instinct to share their work, and everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. But poor internet etiquette has an instant, hurtful impact. So what’s appropriate online behavior? Read on.

Don’t Stop Posting

Hannah Frederick, a student at Broadway Dance Center in NYC, knows the frustration of getting negative responses—but that doesn’t stop her from posting performance videos online. “It’s impossible to make destructive comments feel good,” she says. “But when you shut yourself off to criticism, you stop growing.”

You may worry about someone writing a nasty response to something you’ve put out there. But the internet is a fantastic forum for reaching a wide audience. “Today’s online media give people powerful opportunities for feedback,” says Stefan Becker, a licensed mental health therapist whose clinical work includes youth counseling. “When you post your performances, you have an instant audience.” Hannah adds: “It’s important to share what we can give the world. It takes courage, but it’s worth it.”

Master the Art of Humble Bragging

It’s natural to want to share your victories, but there’s a fine line between being proud of yourself and bragging. Instead of filling your news feed with posts like “Just did 10 pirouettes in class! I’m the new record holder at my studio!” try: “So thankful to my teacher for helping me reach my pirouette goal.” Showing gratitude changes the tone of your post. Being humble makes you more likeable online, where it’s hard to figure out a poster’s tone.

Don’t Feel the Need to Respond

When negative comments are made, it’s hard to undo the damage, and harsh words are more likely to stick with you than happy ones. But don’t take it too personally, and if you’re receiving mean comments, the best thing to do is say nothing in return. “A negative remark is felt as an attack by the person on the receiving end,” says psychologist Amy Stern Stoffelmayr. “If your response is defensive, that escalates negative feelings.” Sometimes people just want a reaction, and a back-and-forth exchange fuels that fire. “The commenter feels attacked and responds, so it continues and builds emotional distress,” Stoffelmayr says.

If you feel it’s important or beneficial to respond, proceed with caution. Imagine you’re face-to-face with the person you’re writing back to. “Ask yourself if you’d make the same comment to them personally,” Becker says. Then, wait 24 hours before you respond. “If you find yourself wanting to lash out, think about why you’re feeling angry,” Stoffelmayr says. Give yourself a chance to cool down, so your comments are thoughtful and not impulsive.

If You Want to Critique Someone Else

Maybe you’re watching a friend’s routine online and feel you can offer advice, or your cousin posted a photo of a wobbly arabesque and you’ve got the perfect tip to help her. Go ahead and comment—but choose your words wisely. “Online criticism is very public,” Becker says. While constructive criticism is often appreciated, telling someone she “might want to speed up her spot to stay on the music during her fouettés” isn’t the same as posting that she “stinks at turning.”

 

Dance News

Only 17 days, 8 hours and 13 minutes until Rock of Ages hits theaters! Can you tell I'm excited? But when director Adam Shankman, Julianne Hough, a very muscle-y Tom Cruise, awesome dancing and rockin' 80s hair collide, only good things can happen. Dance Spirit got a hold of some newly released photos from the film (including some behind-the-scenes action.) Check them out below. And for more reasons that Rock of Ages totally rocks, read DS's May/June issue.

 

 

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