As I've said before, one of the best perks that comes with working for Dance Spirit is that I get to go see tons of shows! From the ballet to Broadway, I'm very fortunate to be able to take in as much as possible, all in the heart of NYC. In the past week I've seen A Tale of Two Cities, 13 (which is featured in the November issue of DS) and Hairspray.
While all of these shows have been fabulous, I think theater etiquette is definitely worth mentioning.
People simply don't dress up for the theater anymore, and I guess that's OK. But baseball hats, T-shirts and jeans? Not OK by me. Two nights ago, at A Tale of Two Cities, there were two young men wearing just that. They didn't even take off their hats during the show. In my opinion, there are performers working so hard to give audiences an awesome show. The least we, as theater-goers, can do is look presentable.
I'm also all for having a good time during a show (There was an all-out dance party at the end of Hairspray last night! Turns out you really can't stop the beat!). But not at the expense of other people in the audience. Turn off your cell phones during the show and don't even take your phone out to look at it while performers are onstage. The bright light in the dark theater is distracting to the people sitting around you. Resist the temptation to sing along to songs you know well (Even I had to restrain myself during Legally Blonde. It was tough, but I let the performers do the singing.) and don't talk during the show. Seems like common sense, but you'd be surprised what you see in the Broadway audiences these days!
OK I'm off my soapbox now. And if you're headed to NYC, you absolutely must take in a show. My current obsession is In the Heights. The music is awesome, the dancing is awesome, the story is awesome. A guaranteed good time.
Dancer Yesenia Ayala first caught our eye in the off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity with Sutton Foster earlier this year. So, we were super excited when we found out she was making her Broadway debut in this spring's sweetest new show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Both productions were choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.)
Since the NYC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre's spring gala Monday night, the DS editors haven't stopped talking about its creepy-cute sets and costumes, created by artist Mark Ryden. Well, the obsession is about to get even crazier, because we just heard that Ryden's artwork for the ballet is now on display in not one, but TWO locations in NYC.
Yes, yes, we know: Dancers are athletes as well as artists. But we haven't seen anything hammer home just HOW athletic dancers are quite as well as this video from Self magazine, which features American Ballet Theatre principal/fairy princess Isabella Boylston trying to teach top-level CrossFit enthusiasts ballet.
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.