LINES Ballet's Madeline DeVries Talks Hidden Talents and Bad Dance Habits
Alonzo King LINES Ballet's Madeline DeVries can move with both liquid grace and razor-sharp precision. A Southern California native, DeVries grew up training at the Santa Clarita Ballet Academy in Canyon Country, CA. She later studied at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School's professional division on full scholarship, and spent summers training with Houston Ballet, The Rock School, and The National Ballet of Canada. In 2012, DeVries moved to Germany to become an apprentice with Dresden Semperoper Ballett. She returned to the States in 2013, and danced with Whim W'Him and Coriolis in Seattle before joining LINES Ballet in 2014. Catch her performing during the company's home season this month in San Francisco, CA—and read on for The Dirt!
Where do you feel the happiest?
The beach by my house is my happy place (especially when accompanied by my boyfriend).
What's your go-to stress reliever?
A good night's sleep or a great coffee date with a friend.
What's your biggest fear?
Letting someone down or spiders
What are you most nervous about?
Showing up at the airport for a tour without my passport. (It's never happened!)
Who's your dance role model?
Louise Nadeau, now retired from Pacific Northwest Ballet. She had so much artistry and is such a genuine and kind person.
What's the most-played song on your playlist?
"Hey Mami," by Sylvan Esso
What's your most-watched TV show?
Definitely "New Girl." Schmidt is hysterical.
What's your favorite dance movie?
Save the Last Dance
Who can always make you laugh?
Shuaib Elhassan. He's my clowning-around buddy—never fails to make me laugh, even sometimes onstage!
What foods can't you live without?
Popcorn and avocados
Do you have any nicknames?
Butter, Koala Bear, Maddie Mad, Mads
Who would play you in a movie?
For sure Kristen Wiig
What's your biggest piece of advice for young performers?
There's always more to learn. Criticism is only an opportunity for growth! And never let anyone put out your light. You're uniquely and wonderfully made.
What are you most proud of?
Performing on the Mariinsky stage in St. Petersburg, Russia
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I've been so blessed to travel all over the world. I would love to go to Rome, or back to anywhere in the south of France.
What's the strangest thing in your dance bag?
Six ChapSticks. Don't ask…ha! I guess I just always want to be prepared.
Do you have any pre-performance habits?
I usually spend some time in meditation/prayer. Also, Beyoncé.
Do you have any pets?
My golden retriever, Olive Joy <3
What non-dance thing would you consider yourself an expert at?
Making popcorn. Also, I'm an aspiring candlemaker.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A secretary. I remember pretending in my mom's closet with an old dial phone and pens and paper.
Do you have any bad dance habits?
My arms get too high sometimes. Awareness is the first step!
What's your dream role?
Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain pas de deux
What dancer would you drop everything to go see?
If you were a superhero, what would your special power be?
Teleportation. 13-hour plane rides are killer.
What's your favorite book?
Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers
Who's your dance crush?
What would you be if you weren't a dancer?
Probably a barista, or a shop owner selling crafts and items from around the world.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Eating food with chopsticks. Knitting (especially on winter tour). I love puzzles!
If you could work with any choreographer, who would it be?
What are your pet peeves?
I'm pretty easygoing—but loud chewing can really get to me.
What's your favorite ballet?
Rapping, dance duo Ayo & Teo may still want "ice on their wrists so (they) look better when (they) dance," as they're 2017 chart topping song, "Rolex" says, but the two are featuring a more unusual accessory in their recent dance routine: The cotton swab. After teaming up with DoSomething.org for the Give A Spit About Cancer campaign, Ayo & Teo are encouraging people to join the national bone marrow registry and donate marrow for those suffering from blood cancer.
Looking for your next audition shoe? Shot at and in collaboration with Broadway Dance Center, Só Dança has launched a new collection of shoes working with some pretty famous faces of the musical theater world! Offered in two different styles and either 2.5" or 3" heels, top industry professionals are loving how versatile and supportive these shoes are! Pro tip: The heel is centered under the body so you can feel confident and stable!
As a teenager, contemporary dancer Eveline Kleinjans felt like nothing she did was good enough. Auditioning for university dance programs paralyzed her: “I was so focused on every move I made and what people would think that I wasn't able to be free, to be myself," she says. And her intense perfectionism had real repercussions. “I'd get negative feedback saying, 'We don't see you.' "
Perfectionism is extremely common in the dance world, because dancers hold themselves to terrifically high standards. It's easy to get a little discouraged when you aren't improving as quickly as you want. But there's a difference between healthy self-criticism and an unhealthy obsession with perfection. How can you tell when your drive to be better has crossed the line—and what can you do to get back on track?
Q: "Why do you want to dance?"
A: "Why do you want to LIVE?"
Ahhh, so iconic! If you know those lines (slash, embody them on a daily basis), you're already a fan of the 1948 film The Red Shoes. The second line, as spoken by Red Shoes heroine Victoria Page, just perfectly captures the kind of crazy, all-consuming love so many of us feel for this incredible art form.
The Red Shoes turns 70 (!) this year. And Harper's Bazaar decided to celebrate that birthday in an oh-so-glamorous fashion: They decked out three of today's most beautiful ballerinas—American Ballet Theatre's Misty Copeland and Isabella Boylston and New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck—in gorgeous couture inspired by the film. (Obviously, Louboutins were involved.)
Yes, they're quite possibly the cutest dance duo since, well, ever. But put Paige Glenn and Artyon Celestine onstage, and it's immediately clear they mean business. That was apparent to millions across the country last summer, when Artyon and Paige's unbelievable extensions, fearless turning, and infectious energy propelled them to the quarterfinals of "America's Got Talent." They've also appeared (together or individually) on "Little Big Shots," "Lip Sync Battle Shorties," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and "Access Hollywood Live"—not to mention the competition titles they've won as a pair.
"Simon Cowell came backstage during 'AGT' and told us, 'Go out there and do your best. They're going to like you.' "—Artyon
Showstopper has been making its impact on the dance world since 1978. Before then, dancers didn't have a stage to perform on, the opportunity to learn from peers, or a competitive outlet like most sports. Debbie Roberts recognized this missing piece in the dance community and that is how America's first and longest running dance competition, Showstopper, was born. Debbie taught dance for over 26 years and owned and operated her own dance studio for 20 years. She is now the owner and National Director of Showstopper, along side her husband, Dave Roberts. Dancer, teacher, business owner, author, and mother, Debbie has made dance her life's career.
With several Shaping Sound tours and TV credits like "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing with the Stars," and "Boardwalk Empire" to her name, you wouldn't expect Kate Harpootlian to be refreshingly down-to-earth. But that's exactly how she is: As soon as you start talking to the gifted dancer and choreographer, it becomes clear that she doesn't take herself too seriously. And she's happy to tell hilarious stories to prove it. (Ask her about the time she did a Mr. Peanut impression when Mia Michaels asked her to improvise, or the time she starred in a Japanese makeup commercial and had to do grand pliés wearing one pointe shoe and one flat shoe.)
That mixture of humor and grace is evident in Harpootlian's growing body of choreographic work. Her one-act show Better Late Than Never, for example, which premiered last summer, has a jazzy, West Side Story vibe, offsetting heavier moments with touches of whimsy. "There's always a balance in my work," Harpootlian says. "I want to use humor to balance out the darker aspects. It's like one of my friends once said: 'You make me laugh, and then you make me feel bad for laughing.' "
Winter is drawing to a close and you know what that means -- It's time to really kick this year into gear! Move U has done the research so you can find your best match, look good, and feel great this season with a twist unique to your team! Here are five looks to put your performance on the map in 2018.
We already knew Taylor and Reese Hatala can do anything. After all, they're both incredibly versatile dancers capable of serving up some serious face. And now the super siblings can add another title to their resumé: that of fashion magazine cover stars.
Last week Disney Channel star Sofia Wylie released a behind-the-scenes look at the making of her YouTube dance series. Along with some stellar dancing, the video shows the dance community featured in her "4k Dance Series" and the things they've learned from being a part of the dance project. And though the project features dance, we love that it also emphasizes supporting and building up fellow dancers.