Teddy Forance moves through space like a martial artist. With super-human agility, he’ll throw himself violently at the floor, only to softly roll and slide across it, perpetually folding and unfolding his supple body like fabric billowing in the wind. It’s clear why Mia Michaels chose this 20-year-old heartthrob to be her assistant on “So You Think You Can Dance”: Teddy has it.
But Teddy’s career went global long before “SYTYCD.” After spotting him at New York City Dance Alliance in 2005, Mia invited Teddy to audition for a show she was choreographing for Greek pop princess Anna Vissi. Teddy, then just 17, landed the job and spent six months performing at a club in Greece. “The Greeks wake up late and party late,” Teddy recalls. “We got onstage at 1 in the morning and went until 3 am. It was like my first year of college.” The show combined contemporary, hip hop and aerial dance.
It’s a good thing that Teddy credits his artistic evolution with his extensive traveling, because he’s spent a lot of time on the road. Two weeks after his return to the U.S. from Greece, Mia called on Teddy again, this time for DELIRIUM, a touring Cirque du Soleil show that premiered in Montreal in January 2006. “The culture, the life, the different foods, atmospheres and energies—I think traveling gives you experiences that you can’t get from training in the dance room,” he says.
In spite of all his stage experience, it wasn’t bright lights that brought Teddy one of the most exhilarating moments of his dance life. Every Sunday afternoon on Mount Royal in Montreal, people from all walks of life gather for the Tamtams, a huge dance improvisation session with drummers and musicians. Last June, Teddy, in Montreal for Cirque at the time, decided to check it out. “I just closed my eyes, and I was dancing for a half hour. When I opened my eyes, I was the only one in the circle and hundreds and hundreds of people on the hill were staring at me,” he recalls. “I went for another half hour. Every time I hear drums now, I go right back to that place in Montreal.”
Dance is in Teddy’s blood. He grew up training at his mother’s studio, Hackworth School of Performing Arts in Easthampton, MA, which has been in the family since Teddy’s great grandfather founded it in 1934. But last summer he relocated to L.A. permanently.
Today, Teddy works with Broadway Dance Center’s The Pulse and teaches at conventions and studios. As for his next big gig, Teddy remains tight-lipped until it’s confirmed. But he rattles off his goals in one breath: “Settle into L.A., make my community, have a lot of friends, be happy and follow where my path takes me.”
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!
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.
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.
Postmodern pioneer Trisha Brown redefined how dance is seen and felt. A founding member of Judson Dance Theater, Brown frequently collaborated with other experimental artists like Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, and Steve Paxton.
She embraced pedestrian movement, pairing everyday gesture with rhythm and fluidity. "It's liquid," says Wendy Perron, who danced with Brown in the '60s and '70s. "Like a river with many tributaries, water coming out of a faucet, or being on a raft and seeing the water move away in different directions." Brown also pushed beyond stages with choreography in fields, museums—even on the sides of buildings.
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.
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.
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!'
My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.