You Should Know: Avery Gay
Avery Gay's chameleonlike abilities have earned her comp-world celebrity. In a testament to her versatility, she won the 2015 Hope Award—a prize reserved for the best classical and contemporary dancer in the pre-competitive age bracket—at the Youth America Grand Prix Las Vegas semifinals. Then she won it again at the 2016 Austin, TX semifinals.
Considering her strong work ethic and love of performing, it's no surprise the 12-year-old didn't stop there: She also scooped up the bronze medal in her age bracket at the 2015 YAGP NYC finals, was named The Dance Awards 2015 Mini Division Best Dancer in Las Vegas and is a member of the 2016 Beat Squad at DancerPalooza in L.A.
Avery logs 30 to 35 hours per week at Master Ballet Academy in Scottsdale, AZ, honing her classical technique. To accommodate her intense schedule, she attends public school in the morning before hitting the studio. This summer, Avery will have the opportunity to perform at the Gala de Danza in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, alongside other top pre-professionals and international stars.
“I love to act onstage. I always come up with a story, even in a contemporary piece."
Birthday: May 25, 2004
Favorite musical group: The Beach Boys
Favorite dancers: Gisele Bethea and Maria Kochetkova
Hidden talent: “I'm obsessed with organizing things."
Favorite food: Pickles
Stress reliever: A hot bath with Epsom salts
Dream role: “Odile in Swan Lake. I love her attitude and drama."
Her dancing in three words: “Technical, powerful and dramatic"
Advice for Dance Spirit readers: “Hard work always pays off."
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.
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.
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.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
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!
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.