Ballet Flats Designed by Actual Ballerinas, Yay!

A good pair of flats can be a footsore dancer's bestest ally—and if they're cute, all the better. But adorable, comfy ballet flats designed by real ballet dancers? That sounds too good to be true.

Luckily for all of us, it's not. Cole Haan has teamed up with three New York City Ballet dancers—Sara Mearns, Megan Fairchild and Gretchen Smith—to create a line of beautiful ballet flats.

(From left) Smith, Mearns and Fairchild in the design studio (via Elle.com)

Naturally, the designs are all ballet-inspired, with sweet detailing like ribbons that crisscross up the heel and a print inspired by tutu tulle. Thanks to the input of Mearns, Fairchild and Smith, they're also super comfortable—dancers know what feet need, obviously. The cherry on top is that the collection launched yesterday, aka World Ballet Day. Cute!

I WANT I WANT I WANT

The shoes are available in two styles: the Avery En Pointe and the Avery Printed Tutu. Dirt-cheap they're not, but sometimes perfect shoes are worth the splurge—especially when they'll make your hardworking feet happy.

Dance News
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

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Cover Story
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)

If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.

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