I cannot carry a tune. Like, not even a little bit. Sometimes at night I like to blast a little Celine Dion ("It's All Coming Back To Me Now" is in heavy rotation on my iPod these days) and fully rock out while my boyfriend cringes and tries to convince me that I "sound really, really good."
I know he's lying.
I've always wanted to have a pretty little angelic voice, but I'm tone-deaf and, frankly, I'm just too loud to be able to alter my pitches. I'm more of a lyric-yeller than a singer.
But you should strive to be a better-rounded starlet than I am. If you've ever dreamed of taking your dance skills onto a Broadway—or regional—stage, you're going to have to be able to convince a casting director that you can, in fact, hold the correct key during "What I Did For Love."
For most people, singing isn't something that comes naturally. It's something you have to study and work at and oh hey, we can help with that! (Rest assured that "we" does not mean me—it means someone with actual vocal talent.)
JoAnn Hunter has performed in 12 Broadway shows, including Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Damn Yankees and Miss Saigon. She dances, sings and choreographs, and has trained with vocal coach Liz Caplan, who she says "completely shaped my voice to be Broadway-worthy." Hunter gave us a few choice bits of wisdom to share with you...
- "Growing up, I was asked to sing at my dance recitals, so I thought I could sing. It wasn't until I started taking voice lessons that I realized I had no idea there was a technique in singing just like there is in dance."
- "The key to singing is breathing. Dancers have a tendency to breathe from their chests and keep their rib cages up. That's incorrect for singing. Singing taught me to use my diaphragm, which gave me more stamina—I was able to get more air in my system and breathe slowly."
- "The vocal cords are muscles you have to warm-up. Once they're warm, you can manipulate them, just like you do with your body in dance."
- "There's no reason for dancers to fear singing. You just need to get out of your head. Get out of your own way first."
And Hunter's best piece of advice: "You can be the best dancer ever, but if you want to be in a Broadway show you have to hone your vocal talent. There are 16–20 dancers onstage during a show, and everybody has to contribute on that stage both physically and vocally. Learn how to act a song."
So remember how I said we can help you be a really good singer, just like JoAnn Hunter? Well, she trained with Liz Caplan and we've got Super Smart Liz ready to teach you, too—from the comfort of your own living room (or shower, which is where I prefer to do most of my singing). Click here to buy the Singing for Dancers app.
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.
Want a chance to get personally involved in the HOTLY anticipated TV show "World of Dance"? Of course you do. That's why J. Lo. and the rest of the "WOD" team have launched an interactive version of the upcoming NBC series that lets Snapchatters get in on the action.