Everything former DS cover girl Kaycee Rice touches turns to viral. From doing Nike campaigns (she has her own collection and self-designed shoe with the brand!) to performing at the Super Bowl to crushing class videos with WilldaBeast and Tricia Miranda, Kaycee's always on the move—and she's always fierce, fun, and full-out.
Kaycee's not one to sit still: She's launching a clothing line called Weirdo (coming soon), which will be designed entirely by her and her mom. It's inspired by that signature "Weirdo" beanie she's always sporting, and her pride in calling herself a weirdo.
She wore one of her "Weirdo" beanies at her cover shoot! (photo by Joe Toreno)
"My mom made me my first Weirdo beanie and told me to never let what other people say bother me," Kaycee says. "Over the years, I've gotten a lot of positive and negative comments on social media. You have people that support you and people that hate on you. I try to show people that it's OK to be different. I always want people to know not to be afraid of trying something new. Always be yourself, because you are incredible at being you!"
We caught up with Kaycee to find out what she can't dance without—and what it felt like when Katy Perry shared her solo video with the world.
1. What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you do before bed every night?
The first thing I do when I wake up is lie there for a few and say to myself, "It can't be morning already!" Then I brush my teeth before stumbling downstairs for breakfast. I eat waffles with lots of syrup, check my Instagram and social media and then start school. At night, I always shower right before bed, and then I fall asleep watching Netflix.
2. What are three things you eat every day?
Waffles with syrup, pasta with lots of parmesan cheese, and fruit.
3. What are three things you can't dance without?
Performance, energy, and music. Without expression and feelings, you're just doing a bunch of steps. I always go full-out in every class. You only get out what you put in. And music, well, that's a no-brainer!
4. In your very expert opinion, what's the best dance movie of all time?
I would have to say Step Up.
5. If you were given an hour to take class from ANY instructor—living or dead—who would you choose?
Debbie Reynolds. Not only was she an icon, but she danced and trained with the best. And she wasn't just a dancer—she was also an actress and mentor. I'm currently working on my acting, so it would have been an honor to ask her questions about her life and train with her.
6. What's the coolest place you've ever performed?
The Super Bowl Halftime Show with Missy Elliott and Katy Perry. Working with Missy was a dream come true. She's such and inspiration in the dance community, and she's super nice. She's a legend! And one of my dreams was to meet Katy Perry to say thank you to her for Tweeting my solo years ago—that set me on my way in the industry. She signed a picture I had of the Tweet, so that was really cool.
7. What songs are in heavy rotation on your playlist right now?
"That's What I Like" by Bruno Mars and "Stay" by Alessia Cara.
8. Other than dance, what's your favorite way to work out?
Dance is my workout! I don't do any other form of working out.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe
It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.
But is this jet-setter lifestyle really the most effective road to take? Can weekends of dancing with top talent truly replace the bread and butter of daily work at your home studio? The answer, according to most industry experts, is no. We asked five pros to explain why.