A Tribute to Prince

We need to take a moment to pay tribute to the legendary singer and performer Prince, who passed away at his Minnesota home this morning. A musical icon for more than three decades, Prince won seven Grammys throughout his career; his album "Purple Rain" alone sold 10 million copies.

But it's Prince's contribution to dance, and his support of dancers, that we'll never forget. He's inspired countless artists and continuously contributed to careers by featuring dancers on his tours.

He also wasn't too shabby a dancer himself:

Prince was a huge fan of ballet, in particular. After seeing The Joffrey Ballet perform, he agreed to let the company use his songs free of charge for Billboards, which premiered in 1993. Four choreographersLaura Dean, Charles Moulton, Margo Sappington and Peter Puccicelebrated his groundbreaking music, and the resulting fusion of rock and classical dance became a huge mainstream hit.

The Joffrey Ballet performing Billboards (photo via Dangerous Minds)

In more recent years, he became known for his collaborations with muse Misty Copeland. In 2009, he personally called her to ask if she would dance in his "Crimson and Clover" music video and later, he invited her to perform with him on his Welcome 2 America tour. Copeland describes their relationship in her memoir Life in Motion, and remembers watching him onstage, completely in awe. "He was kinetic and yet totally in control," she says. "And his fans were as passionate for him as he was for them. It was the type of artistry and connection with the audience that I sought to emulate in my own career."

Photo Kevin Mazur/NPG Records 2010/WireImage

Check out the video below to see Copeland talk about just how much Prince affected her career as a dancer.

RIP, Prince. You'll be missed.

Want more Dance Spirit?






Latest Posts

Monique Smith (Tom Marvel, courtesy Smith)

5 Black Women on the Obstacles of Dancing While Black

Civil rights leader Malcom X famously said that "the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman." Decades later, those words still resonate. And the dance world isn't immune to subjecting Black women to unfair treatment. After all, it wasn't until this year—and after mounting pressure from online petitions—that many major dancewear brands pledged to make tights and pointe shoes in hues that match the complexions of Black women.

But other, more insidious issues continue to obstruct progress for Black women in the dance world. Dance Spirit spoke with five Black women about the obstacles they've faced as professional dancers.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
TikTok star Niana Guerrero films a TikTok (courtesy Guerrero)

A Day in the Life of a TikTok Star

Niana Guerrero is only 14, but she already boasts 12.6 million TikTok followers—the kind of internet fanbase most people twice her age can only dream of. Of course, keeping up with her millions (and millions, and millions) of fans isn't easy. We spent a day with Niana to see what it really takes to be a TikTok star. —As told to Cadence Neenan

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
How to avoid pesky pimples while protecting your fellow dancers (Getty Images/Viorel Kurnosov)

The Dancer's Guide to Maskne

Having to wear a mask is a small price to pay to finally be back dancing with partners other than our family members and pets. But we won't lie: Masks are uncomfortable. If you've experienced "maskne"—increased irritation and acne from frequent mask-wearing—you're not alone. Luckily, dermatologists have quickly become experts on this new dilemma. Dance Spirit spoke to two to get their top tips for mask-wearing dancers.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search