The Graf Sisters' Workshop Is BACK
Remember about a year ago, when we introduced you to the D(n)A Arts Collective? At that point it was a brand-new group founded by two extraordinary sisters: Alicia Graf Mack, one of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's brightest stars, and Daisha Graf, a successful commercial dancer and MBK/Epic Records recording artist. They'd just put together a one-day "Made to Move" workshop featuring artists from both of their very different, and equally amazing, worlds.
The Graf sisters: (L to R) Alicia photographed by Bob Morrison; Daisha photographed by Hao Zeng
Well, good news, everyone: The "Made to Move" workshop is back this year—and it's newly improved. This time around, there'll be sessions for two different age groups, 11–15 and 16–adult. And the instructor lineup is seriously impressive. In addition to Alicia and Daisha, classes will be led by Ailey legend Renee Robinson, renowned choreographer Ronald K. Brown, hip hop superstar Luam Keflezgy, and voice teacher Ankh Ra Amenhetep (yup, you'll be singing, too!).
The intensive will be held on Saturday, August 30th, at New York City Center Studios in NYC. Registration just opened—get on it! And while you're waiting for August to roll around, take a look at the workshop's promo video, packed with footage from last year's event.
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽