True Competitors: Meet the 2011 Cover Model Search Finalists

Zoey Anderson, Kaitlynn Edgar and Maddie Swenson are no strangers to competition. All three grew up regularly attending dance competitions—which no doubt prepared them for their trip to NYC as the 2011 Dance Spirit Cover Model Search finalists. For three jam-packed days, each dancer did her best to show why she belongs on the cover of DS, sweating through three back-to-back classes at Broadway Dance Center, rocking out at the DS photo shoot and performing a solo for the editors and voters.

While this year’s finalists all share similar backgrounds, when you see them perform, it becomes immediately apparent that each girl is very much her own dancer. Zoey’s a chameleon: One moment, she’s a sultry ballroom diva, sashaying in high heels, and the next she’s an emotionally vulnerable contemporary dancer. Kaitlynn picks up choreography in a snap and then infuses it with killer groove and alluring magnetism. Maddie’s got impeccable technique, supple feet and an approachable charm, all of which combine to make her a sparkling performer.

Zoey, Kaitlynn and Maddie made it to the finals by posting videos on dancemedia.com. Each month, viewers and editors choose their favorite Cover Model Search entries, which become the pool of semifinalists. Then, the DS editors select the top three, who are invited to NYC for the final round of competition.

The DS editors fell in love with all of the girls, so we’re glad we don’t have to pick the winner—that’s up to you! After reading about each finalist, go to dancespirit.com/ to watch Zoey, Kaitlynn and Maddie give their solo performances. Then, vote for your favorite, starting June 15.

While in NYC, the girls saw the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical Billy Elliot. When the curtain came down, Maddie, Kaitlynn and Zoey couldn't stop gushing about the talented cast!

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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Dancer to Dancer
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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Screenshot via YouTube

*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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