The Top Three: Introducing the 2012 Cover Model Search Finalists
Megan, Alyssa and Hannah (Photo by Nathan Sayers)
Each year, the Dance Spirit editors spend hours watching the videos dancers have uploaded in the Cover Model Search competition on dancemedia.com. And while that’s always entertaining—you superstars have some great technique and stellar stage presence!—what we really look forward to is the week when the three editor-selected finalists travel to NYC to take classes at Broadway Dance Center, pose for a DS photographer, catch a Broadway show and show off their solos.
So when Hannah Bettes, Megan Skalla and Alyssa Ness arrived in Manhattan, we couldn’t wait to get to know them better. Naturally we’d done our research beforehand: We knew Hannah was the ballerina, Megan was the sweet one from Utah and Alyssa was the alluring blonde. We knew they collectively had some of the pointiest feet and longest, bendiest legs we’d ever seen, and we knew they were all talented, hard-working and oh-so-dedicated to dance. What we didn’t realize was just how much these three would shine in class, light up in front of the camera and go full-out when performing. Let’s just say we were pleasantly surprised. This year’s finalists are going places, starting—for one of them—with the October cover of Dance Spirit.
Now the decision is in your hands—and we’re glad, because if we had our way all three would be on the cover together. Read about Megan, Alyssa and Hannah, and then go to dancespirit.com//cms to watch their solos and to see even more photos. Pick your favorite (good luck!) and cast your vote beginning June 15.
Vote for your favorite finalist at dancespirit.com/cms!
Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.
The dancers who take our breath away are the risk-takers, the ones who appear completely fearless onstage. "When you see somebody trying to travel more, go farther, push the limits of their physical abilities, that's always going to be inspiring," says Ballet BC dancer Alexis Fletcher.
But dance training can feel like it's in conflict with that idea. We spend thousands of hours in the studio trying to do steps perfectly, and that pursuit of perfection can make us anxious about taking risks. What if we fail? What if we fall?
Luckily, fearlessness is a mental skill that you can work on, just as you work on your technique. Here's how you can learn to push yourself past your limits.
If you're in need of a piece that's both trendy and sophisticated, look no further than this Só Dança crop top. Featuring elegant long sleeves, a high neckline, and a delicate lace trim, it's both classic and contemporary—perfect for everything from that big audition to a long night in the studio. Enter below for your chance to win it!
Auditioning for summer intensives in person may be the ideal—but for Anna McDowell, a 16-year-old student at Juneau Dance Theatre in Juneau, AK, it's rarely possible. “Living in Alaska, it's difficult to travel to auditions," she says. “It gets way too expensive!" Instead, each year, with help from her teachers and a videographer, she puts together a well-crafted video and submits it to schools around the country. Last year, her high-quality video helped her earn acceptance to nearly every program she applied for. Most summer intensive programs, eager to attract students from far and wide, will accept video auditions from those who can't travel to take class. But major schools look at hundreds of submissions each year, which means video auditioners have just a few minutes—or even seconds—to make a great impression. If you're about to create an audition video, follow these tips from the professionals to put your best digital foot forward.
There are zillions of things to think about when choosing a summer program, but here's one you might not have considered: using an intensive as an opportunity to focus on a new style. Maybe you're a tap dancer who's ready to see where else your rhythm and quick feet can serve you, or a contemporary dancer curious about the more traditional roots of your genre. A summer program can be the perfect place to broaden your horizons, giving you the opportunity to make technical and artistic changes that stick throughout the year.
Happy birthday, George Balanchine! The great choreographer and founder of New York City Ballet would have been 114 years old today. Balanchine revolutionized ballet, especially American ballet—and he also had quite a way with words. To celebrate Mr. B's birthday, we rounded up some of our favorite iconic Balanchine quotes.
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.