There's never a dull day at the Dance Spirit office — we're always running around like dancers during a backstage quick-change
With 2011 behind us, the new year is off to an exceptionally busy start. We're moving, shaking, shimmying and working on some great projects to share with you throughout 2012.
Here's a rundown of the latest happenings at Dance Spirit:
- The February issue is on newsstands! We're kind of in love with this issue, featuring the ultra-cool dancers of NYC-based modern troupe KEIGWIN + COMPANY. Click here to read associate editor Margaret Fuhrer's cover story on the company. Plus, the issue is packed with need-to-know audition information and advice on everything from how to create the ideal dance resumé (Clear Talent Group agent Shayna Brouillard makes it easy for you!) to what to wear to your ballet, commercial, dance team or convention scholarship auditions. And if you dig the issue, be sure to let us know! Write us a letter — you just may see your name printed in an upcoming issue of DS.
We're sending the April issue — the dance team issue! — to the printer next week. This one is a good one, dance teamers. We normally keep our cover stars a secret until the issue comes out, but we're too excited not to share this: The April cover girls are the gorgeous, talented, smart and oh-so-enthusiastic members of the Knicks City Dancers! Ally, Sierra and Sarahbeth (at right) were sheer perfection at the shoot. Not only were they classy and poised, they also delivered picture-perfects shots all throughout the day. We've loving clawing through all the photos shot by Erin Baiano and are psyched about the stories we have in store for April.
- We spent some time at "So You Think You Can Dance." It's hard to believe that our favorite dance show is now entering its 9th season! We've been fans since Season 1 and the days of Nick Lazzarini (heartthrob alert!). Rachel Zar (meet her below) and Michael, the DS fashion editor, staked out the "SYTYCD" auditions in NYC this week to size up the talent. Their verdict? See for yourself. Click here to watch Nigel and Mary chat about their Season 9 expectations — plus Nigel gets his hand on the November issue of DS featuring Season 8 winner Melanie Moore! (Spoiler alert: He loved it!)
We have a new managing editor! Meet Rachel Zar, who will be keeping us all in line and making sure each issue gets out the door on time. Rachel spent the past few years as an editor at Dance Teacher, our sister publication, and we're psyched to have her on board. (She also edits another sister site, DanceU101, which is your go-to spot for college dance information.) A bit about Rachel: She danced with the Ballet Chicago Studio Company growing up and, at 16, shifted her focus from pointe shoes to jazz squares. She was offered a spot in the Joel Hall Dance Center's teen company — a jazz company — and performed with the group until heading off to college at Tufts University, where she majored in English and was president of the student-run Sarabande Dance Ensemble. Rachel is a brilliant editor, a talented writer and a really cute dresser. She's also got a flair for sarcasm, which is always appreciated around here. Rachel edits the Up Front, Talk To Us, School Buzz and Jazz Spotlights for each issue, so be sure to check out her work.
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.
On Saturday morning, Russell Horning—aka 15-year-old Instagram king @i_got_barzz—was already kind of famous. His admittedly bad but weirdly mesmerizing dance videos had earned him shoutouts from the likes of Rihanna (and dance tributes from the likes of Josh Killacky).
But by Sunday morning? By Sunday morning, Russell Got Barzz had reached an entirely different level of memedom. Because Katy Perry tapped the teen—signature backpack and all—to perform "Swish Swish" with her on "Saturday Night Live." And the internet lost its darn mind.
If, like me, you've ever wondered (and wondered) how that stunning opening scene in La La Land came together, do we have a treat for you.