Dance News

The Stars Align at Youth America Grand Prix

Friday’s Youth America Grand Prix Gala “The Stars of Today Meet The Stars of Tomorrow” was one jam-packed night of ballet. The sheer number of ballet greats inside the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center was enough to leave me completely star struck. Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, Matthew Golding, Sergei Polunin, Teresa Reichlen, Tamara Rojo and so many more made appearances on stage. Not to mention the stars in the audience. I sat next to Daniel Ulbricht and directly behind Sascha Radetsky (swoon!).

While the second act was dedicated to these well-known “Stars of Today,” the first act was all about the “Stars of Tomorrow.” The young dancers chosen represented the best overall performances at the YAGP competition this year, and they only found out Friday morning that they were chosen by the judges to perform Friday night!

Geraldin Getzemani Chico Valerio (9) and Salvador David Perez Enciso (8) from Mexico, the tiniest of the dancers, opened the show with the cutest frog pas de deux ever, CROACK by Martha Sahagun. I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the audience was smiling the entire time.

As the other winners performed, moving up in age to the senior dancers, it was very clear that these students will one day be dancing with the top ballet companies in the world. They were all near technical perfection and full of stage presence.

One of the best parts was spotting some former Dance Spirit “You Should Know” dancers! Juliet Doherty (Junior Gold Medal Winner) killed a fierce contemporary routine. Even audience members in the back row were marveling at her incredible feet and flexible back. Click here to read more about Juliet.

And Hannah Bettes (Senior Gold Medal Winner) stood out, dancing the lead role in a piece featuring Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory (the school won “Outstanding School” at YAGP 2011.) At 16, Hannah's shining performance rivaled many professional dancers. Click here to read more about Hannah.

The first act’s finale was truly incredible: All of the YAGP finalists (250 dancers!) performed Carlos dos Santos, Jr.’s Grand Defilé. It was truly an amazing moment—so many young, talented performers (many of whom don’t even speak English) dancing beautifully together.

Amanda LaCount showing off her skills (screenshot via YouTube)

There's a common misconception that a dancer's body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist's capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer "should" look like.

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Leap! National Dance Competition offers dancers of all skill levels an opportunity to showcase their talents in an event where the focus is on fun and competing is just a bonus!

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Dancer to Dancer

Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!

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The School at Jacob's Pillow's contemporary program auditions (photo by Karli Cadel, courtesy Jacob's Pillow)

Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.

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Watch This
Angela Sterling, courtesy PNB

Mark your calendars, bunheads! On Monday, January 29th, at 2:45 PM (EST)/11:45 AM (PST), Pacific Northwest Ballet will be streaming a live rehearsal of Act II of Kent Stowell's Swan Lake.

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Tavaris Jones dancing with the Cleveland Cavaliers' Scream Team hip-hop crew

We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)

So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.

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Photo by Joe Toreno

The coolest place she's ever performed:

I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!


Something she's constantly working on:

My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'


Signature look:

My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.


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Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!

Serafina

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*suddenly feels the overpowering urge to purchase a million bottles of Pocari Sweat*

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Dance News
Mandy Moore (photo by Lee Cherry, courtesy Bloc Agency)

In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.

Read more at dancemagzine.com!

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