Why You Should Know Contemporary AND Ballroom Phenom Carter Williams
Just chatting with Carter Williams, you'd never guess he's comp-world royalty. He talks about his favorite dance movie (Chicago), his dream company (Shaping Sound), and his dance crush (Jenna Johnson—"She's so beautiful and awesome") with the enthusiasm and humility of someone who hasn't won Best Dancer at The Dance Awards, appeared on J.Lo's "World of Dance," and performed at DancerPalooza as part of the Beat Squad three years running. Last December, he brought his precise fluidity and can't-look-away stage presence to the 2017 World Dance Council Amateur League World Championships in Paris, France.
"I love connecting with an audience, sharing what I've learned and what I'm portraying. It's the best feeling."
Age: He turns 16 this month!
Hometown: Sandy, UT
Trains at: Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem, UT
Must-see TV: " 'Grey's Anatomy.' I'm obsessed with Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh—they have me
dead every single episode!"
Favorite food: Pizza with ranch dressing
Carter competing with ballroom partner Anika Baker (photo by Dancesport photography, courtesy Divine)
Performers he's dying to work with: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Sam Smith, and Ed Sheeran
Weirdest thing in his dance bag: A container of slime
Most-played song: "Tell Me You Love Me" by Galantis, featuring Throttle
Favorite dancers: Stefano Di Filippo, Chaz Buzan, Sasha Altukhov, Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, and Riccardo Cocchi
Dance BFF: "Kenedy Kallas. We've known each other since we were really young, and she's always there for me. We talk every day, even though we live in different states now."
If he could be a superhero, his power would be: "Mind reading. I'm always so curious what people are really thinking!"
A version of this story appeared in the February 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "You Should Know: Carter Williams."
Get in, losers. We're going to Broadway.
OK, not losers, actually—more like the bajillion die-hard fans of Tina Fey's 2004 cult hit Mean Girls, who've been wearing pink every Wednesday since a musical adaptation of the film was first teased back in 2013.
Now their world is like a cake filled with rainbows and smiles, because Mean Girls the musical, which had a trial run in Washington, DC, last fall, is set to open at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre April 8. And in a very grool twist, it turns out the show—with direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw and a book by Fey herself—is delightfully dancey.
What do you get when a hoard of dancers collaborate to the catchy tune of "Love Somebody," by the band Frenship? The most epic dance party ever, of course! Said dance party was produced by the talented Michael Riccio, who's performed in feature films, including "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" and "Shrek Forever After."
Today in Ballet Dancers Are Actual Superheroes news:
You've no doubt heard that the fabulous Alicia Vikander is playing Lara Croft in the newest iteration of Tomb Raider, which hits movie theaters this Friday. But while her training for the high-octane action role was crazy tough, she says, studying at the Royal Swedish Ballet School was far tougher.
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
Are you a high school senior who's been accepted to a four-year accredited college or university program? Congrats! Within the 2017-2018 season, have you competed in events run by at least two of the organizations in the above graphic? Double congrats, because the Association of Dance Conventions and Competitions, or ADCC for short, wants to give you $1,000 (!!) towards college tuition.
From dancing in music videos (including Katy Perry's "Swish Swish") to performing on reality TV shows (including "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Voice"), 17-year-old Amanda LaCount is already conquering the commercial scene. If you've ever seen her dance, you understand why: She's a hard-hitting phenom with major stage presence. But in an industry where not having the "right" look can jeopardize your career, Amanda's also blazed her own path by accepting her beautiful curvy body the way it is.
Amanda's never let body-shamers discourage her from going after her dreams. She hopes that by breaking the "dancers are skinny" stereotype, she'll give others the courage to highlight their own unique features rather than hiding them or changing them to fit repressive industry standards. She's even started a campaign, #breakingthestereotype, to inspire artists of all shapes, colors, and sizes to dance for themselves.
We caught up with this dancing maverick to get her advice on cultivating body confidence in a world that's obsessed with the "perfect" body.
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!
All the dancers in my level auditioned for a prestigious summer intensive—but I'm the only one who got in. Now everything is incredibly awkward at the studio. I'm really excited about the program, but I don't want to make my friends feel bad. What can I do?
Can't get enough of the dance party T. Swift throws herself in her "Delicate" music video? Take a look at the two making-of clips Taylor just shared on her Instagram, showing her practicing the vid's charmingly awkward choreography.