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(Photo by Brian Bailey, Courtesy National Dance Showcase)

National Dance Showcase Judges Discuss Diversity in the Competition World—and How NDS is Pushing For a More Inclusive Future

As conversations about racial justice have continued across the country, members of the dance world have focused inwards and reflected on how we can all do better. The close-knit competition and convention community is no different. Dance Spirit had the chance to talk to five judges from National Dance Showcase, as well as one of its founders, Sonia Pennington, about issues they've seen in the comp world—and hear all about how NDS is leading the way to a more inclusive future.

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Photo by Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine

Choreographer and Dancer Alice Sheppard Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self

Up until 2004, Alice Sheppard was a medieval-studies professor. But after seeing disabled dancer Homer Avila perform, Sheppard took her first dance class—and loved movement so much that she resigned her professorship to pursue a career in dance. She made her professional debut with Infinity Dance Theater, and has since danced with AXIS Dance Company, Full Radius Dance, MBDance, and more. Today, Sheppard also works as a choreographer, creating movement that challenges conventions surrounding dance and disabled bodies. Follow her on Instagram @wheelchairdancr to see more of her work. —Cadence Neenan

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(TAYO Jr., Courtesy Aurora Tights)

This Dancewear Brand Takes Inclusivity to the Next Level

Right now, "inclusive" seems to be the word on every dancewear manufacturer's lips. Aurora Tights, by contrast, has been talking about—and, more importantly, doing something about—inclusivity for several years now. Aurora was founded by two competitive figure skaters and a former competition kid (all women of color) when the trio were in a sorority together at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Tune into all the people moving and shaking in the dance community. (Getty Images/photoguns)

3 of the Danciest Podcasts to Stream This Week

Live performances and classes may still be mostly on pause, but the dance community continues moving and shaking. Podcasts are one of our fave ways to keep up with the dance world in an entertaining and informative way. Try listening to one of these pod recs while stretching, cooking, or on your commute—even if your commute these days is from your bed to your at-home dance studio.

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Photo by Erin Baiano

Dear Katie: I'm Not Feeling Motivated—How Can I Push Through a Slump?

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

After so many months trying to train at home in quarantine, I'm sad and frustrated. I'm just not motivated to dance anymore. I've even been thinking about quitting. How can I push through this slump?


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