I'm going to start this post with a disclaimer: I love me some "Breaking Pointe." I feel like it's one of the few mainstream portrayals of ballet that gets the feel of company life right. (Could I use a tad less drama? Definitely. But this is a show that airs on The CW, the network that brought us "Gossip Girl." I'll cut them a little slack.)
That said, when it was first announced that the show would follow Utah's Ballet West, a teeny part of me wished it were about one of the big NYC ballet companies. Casting controversies in Salt Lake City are one thing; casting controversies in the Big Apple, the center of the U.S.'s ballet universe, are quite another.
Readers: My dreams have just come true.
Yesterday, New York City Ballet announced that AOL On, AOL's online video platform, would begin airing an original docuseries following the company in September. "city.ballet" is produced and narrated by none other than Sarah Jessica Parker, a longtime NYCB fan (she studied at the School of American Ballet) and a member of the company's board.
And just watch this preview. Just. Watch. This. Preview. Drama? Glamor? Bloody foot close-ups? Pensive shots of NYCB dancers pacing the city's streets? Check, check, check and check. I can't wait.
Want the scoop on what it’s really like to be a dancer in the Big Apple? You’re in luck, because “Dance212” is back on the web for a sixth season. Starting this month, cameras watch as five young dancers traverse class, rehearsals and the NYC streets. DS caught up with the stars of the show so you could learn a little about them.
Daphne Lee (Photo by Kyle Froman)
Daphne Lee, 21, is a junior in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program and an apprentice with Ailey II.
Guilty pleasure: Cupcakes and gummy bears. “I have a really big sweet tooth.”
Fun fact: Daphne appears shy at first, but don’t be fooled. “When hanging out with my friends, I tend to be the clown of the group, doing silly things that no one would ever think I was capable of.”
Victoria Grempel (Photo by Eduardo Patino)
Victoria Grempel, 18, is a senior at the Professional Children’s School and studies at The School at Steps.
Favorite NYC activity: Victoria has great style and loves shopping at thrift stores in Brooklyn. “There are so many hidden treasures!”
Non-dance talent: “I was a competitive ice skater. I competed all around the metropolitan area, winning first place in Lake Placid two years in a row.”
Catherine Hurlin (Photo by Rosalie O'Connor)
Catherine Hurlin, 16, is a student at The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre.
Non-dance talents: “I can do a mean manicure and pedicure. I’m not really allowed to wear nail polish in class, but I collect it and do my nails when I have time off.”
Guilty pleasure: Shoes. “When I get my first paycheck from any job, I try my best to keep it away from my mother so I can shop for shoes instead of putting it in my bank account.”
Simone Gunderson (courtesy Simone)
Simone Gundersen, 20, is part of the Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center, concentrating on both hip hop and jazz.
Non-dance talent: Photography. “I’ve done headshots, family portraits, senior photos and decorative wall art.”
Fun fact: “I am a European soccer super-fan.”
Ashley Hod (courtesy School of American Ballet)
Ashley Hod, 16, is in level C2 at the School of American Ballet.
Favorite NYC activity: “I love watching NBA basketball games with my dad and brother. The New York Knicks are my favorite team.”
Fun fact: “I can sing like The Chipmunks. I’m always singing the latest pop hits with my chipmunk voice. My friends and family find it very entertaining.”