In Alvin Ailey's Pas de Duke (photo by Siggul/Visual Arts Masters)
Alvin Ailey’s Antonio Douthit-Boyd is the epitome of power and grace in perfect harmony. Yet it’s his passion that captivates audiences. He honors his craft as a gift that was given to him when he needed it most.
Douthit-Boyd grew up in St. Louis, MO, where his family suffered financial strains. He spent part of his childhood at St. Louis Transitional Hope House, a place where homeless families retreat to rebuild their lives. One day, he followed the sound of drums to a dance class. This chance occurrence set off a series of events that landed him a scholarship at the Center of Creative Arts. He continued training at several respected schools and joined Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1999. In 2004, Douthit-Boyd joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where he continues to dance today. See him onstage during the company’s 2013 season, which runs through January 5 at New York City Center. —Maggie McNamara
Thank you for being fearless by jumping into dance class that day and changing the path of your future. Even when your friends said dance wasn’t for boys, you insisted on staying. Thanks for being a dreamer.
Always remember the feeling in your gut after first witnessing Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, a work filled with inspiring motion and emotion. Hold on to the excitement you felt when you ran home to rave to your mom about this amazing company of all kinds of people, who move in a superhuman way. When you demonstrated the moves you saw, your mom disapproved. Thanks for not being discouraged. Instead, you went to your room, looked out your window and made a wish on the brightest star in the sky. Your prayer was to be a dancer and to see your name in lights, shining like those very stars. Thank you for having faith.
Douthit-Boyd as a teen (photo courtesy Antonio Douthit-Boyd)
Your prayer will be answered. Your passion will lead you on a journey of discovery. You’ll travel with one of the world’s most beloved dance companies—Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater—and have unexpected adventures, like walking the Great Wall of China, floating in the Dead Sea and meeting the President. You will have the opportunity to inspire others, as you were inspired, and your image on Ailey’s poster will be encouraging for other young men who question whether they should dance.
Maybe your friends and your mother would have been encouraging if they were aware of the possibilities. Even when no one understood, you listened to your heart. Be thankful for all the people who have been a part of your journey. Whether good or bad, all those experiences will be used to mold you into the strongest dancer and person you can be.
Most of all, thank you for dancing (and smiling)!
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.
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.
Sometimes, you hear talk about an upcoming class video and it sounds too good to be real. Wait: Todrick Hall made a track featuring RuPaul, and then Todrick personally asked Brian Friedman to choreograph it, and then Brian got Maddie and Charlize and Jade and Kaycee and Sean and Gabe and Larsen and Bailey to come out for the class? I just...that can't be right. Can it?
It is right, friends. It is SO RIGHT.
Team USA is totally taking over "Dancing with the Stars" this season! Casting for the upcoming athletes-only "DWTS" cycle, which kicks off April 30, was just announced. And the roster includes a whole bunch of Olympic favorites—including not one, not two, but three figure-skating standouts.
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.
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.' "
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I grip my quads, and I don't know how to stop. I'm totally overdeveloping my quad muscles. How can I retrain myself so I use my legs correctly? Help!
You know that pirouette dream, when your placement is so perfect you can keep turning forever? That dream is the reality for highly technical tappers, who benefit from the decreased friction of their shoes. Get the placement right and, with a strong spot, they can pirouette for days.
But turning in tap shoes isn't all easy. In fact, those delightfully friction-free shoes bring their own set of challenges, and dancers can easily fall into the spinning-top trap by letting the turn control them, rather than the other way around. Here's how to harness your tap-turning potential.
Given that we're still processing our own sadness about the recent dissolution of the couple formerly known as #TeamTatum, we can only imagine how many feelings Jenna Dewan must be feeling. But like all dancers, Dewan knows the best way to deal with big emotions is to dance through them.