Ah, push it—push it real good!

Here are the two things I love most about college breaks: enjoying a home cooked meal (as opposed to grabbing gross dining hall takeout) and hittin' the floor at my local dance studio to rock out to Ne-Yo's latest song. For all you fellow college-goers, I know you'll agree there’s nothing better than stopping by the original dance place that taught you to love leaping, jumping and grooving for an enjoyable, nostalgic-filled dance class.


After studying abroad in Italy and dancing in a foreign studio (and in a foreign language!), I waltzed into dance class at my Westchester studio, ready to feel in my element. There’s something so great about going back to a place you know. You’re familiar with the teachers, the dance styles, the classroom etiquette…I can totally take my own water break!


But after being in Italy’s intimidating environment, I felt almost too comfortable in my studio. Looking to once again put myself in a slightly more challenging dance situation, I headed to the streets of NYC with our DS Assistant Fashion Editor Lauren Levinson (fun fact: Lev and I have been dancing together since our high school dance team!) Last summer we hit up Broadway Dance Center for a rockin' hip hop class, where I found it humbling to know that I can't necessarily "pop n' lock" like the best of them. But this summer we ventured off to the Upper West Side to Steps on Broadway. To anyone who has never taken dance in the city, here’s a piece of advice. There’s a bit of a discrepancy with definition of the dance levels in the city. Okay, fine a HUGE difference. "Beginner's Class" in the city, for example, is by no means for a true beginner. In your local dance studio a beginner's class may have been something you took back in the days while you were still sporting a pink tutu. But in NYC classes you ought to have years of dance training behind you to keep up with all the dancers who use these dance classes as jumpstarts for their careers. (The people who come in decked out in the coolest dance gear, just waiting to be noticed).


Well I will say Lev and I held our own. It was cool to be around all kinds of dancers and people from all over the country. It was really cool to pick up on a different kind of style than I am used to—more of a funk, street hip-hop. But the coolest part was to see that we were still able to shine in our own ways in the bigger, badder NYC class.


It may be a good idea to exercise a degree of modesty your first time in a NYC studio and opt for the beginner's class, like we did, just to get a feel for the class (even though a great dancer like yourself might cringe at the word beginner). Yet after that first class, when you see that you can hold your own, go out there and nail the Advanced Beginner or even the Intermediate class! Because if I have learned anything while in Florence, true dance is one that challenges you and pushes you harder than you ever thought possible. And, hey if you are having a lot of trouble, at least your class will be in English!

Latest Posts

Because there's never been a better time to binge-watch "Bunheads" (via Freeform)

5 of the Danciest TV Shows Streaming Right Now (and Where to Stream Them)

We're about two months into #SocialDisDancing, and let's be real—while we all wish we were spending every spare minute stretching, cross-training, or taking online classes, sometimes we just need to Netflix and chill.

We figure, if you're going to be watching TV anyways, why not make it dancy TV? After all, watching pros dance on-screen is basically dance class homework...or at least we'll say it is. Here are five of the danciest TV shows for you to watch—and where to find them.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
The cast of Center Stage in a promotional poster (courtesy Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Making of "Center Stage," as Remembered by Its Dance Stars

Whether you first watched it in a theater two decades ago or on Netflix last week, odds are you feel a deep connection to Center Stage. The cult classic, which premiered May 12, 2000, is arguably the greatest dance film ever made. (Dance obsessives might take issue with the "cult" before "classic," not to mention the "dance" before "film.") Jody Sawyer's ballet journey—which combines oh-wow-I've-had-those-blisters realism with wait-does-she-have-magic-color-changing-pointe-shoes fantasy—stands the test of time, early-aughts fashion be darned. We've memorized its highly quotable lines, laughed with (and, gently, at) its heroes, and been inspired by its sincere love of dance and dancers.

To celebrate Center Stage's 20th anniversary, we asked five of its dance stars to talk through their memories of the filming process. Here are their stories of on-set bonding, post-puke kissing scenes, and life imitating art imitating life.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

2020 Dance Grads: We Want to Put You on Our Cover!

Hello, all you members of the great Dance Class of 2020. With the world on lockdown, this hasn't been the graduation season you expected. You likely weren't able to go to prom; your commencement ceremonies have probably been delayed or canceled; and you might not have been able to take your planned-for final bow onstage.

Since you're missing out on so much, we'd like to give you a virtual ovation, to recognize all you've accomplished. And what's the highest honor we can bestow? The cover of Dance Spirit!

Here's the plan:

  • If you're a high school or college senior dancer, use this form to submit your information and dance portrait.
  • Each day during the month of May, we'll create a digital Dance Spirit cover starring one of you, chosen at random—31 covers in total.
  • At the end of the month, we'll create a "commencement video" featuring even more of your submitted dance photos.
  • 100 of you, selected by lottery, will also receive free one-year subscriptions to the print magazine.

Merde, 2020 graduates, as you dance your way into the future!

High School and College Senior Dancers: Submit Your Photo Here

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search