Center Stage It's Baaack!

Center Stage: Turn It Up is headed your way on DVD this month—Ethan Stiefel and his motorcycle included! The film follows Kate Parker (newcomer Rachele Brooke Smith) on her quest for acceptance into the American Ballet Academy. But when she doesn’t get in, she gets her dance fix at a local nightclub, where she earns the attention of ABA heartthrob Tommy (Dancelife’s Kenny Wormald). He helps her rediscover her love for classical dance—and ABA—much to the dismay of ABA superstar Suzanne Von Stroh (Hairspray’s Sarah Jayne Jensen), who has her own dreams of dancing a pas de deux with Tommy.

 

We caught up with Sarah Jayne to chat about her experience in the film.

 

Dance Spirit: You’re the ultimate prima ballerina in this flick. How’d you get the gig?

 

Sarah Jayne Jensen: My mother owned a dance school, so I grew up in the studio. I loved ballet and how hard it was. No matter how great you are, you can always be better. When my agent called me about Center Stage, I instantly felt like I’d need to be perfect in it. I know the kind of talent that’s out there today, and I hadn’t danced in a while. But I swallowed my pride and did the best I could.

DS: How hard was it getting back in shape for the role?

 

SJJ: It took so much discipline and hard work. There were days that it hurt to stand. You’re shooting a scene, then the director calls cut and you wait around while they reset. Your feet swell and you want so badly to take off your pointe shoes, but you can’t.

DS:
What’s your favorite scene in the film?

 

SJJ: After the auditions, when the list of who was accepted into the school is posted. They really captured the audition process. You work so hard and do the best you can at auditions, but in the real world, you have to grow a thick skin and learn that every experience makes you stronger. I hope that when dancers see the film they see that, if you want something bad enough, you can have it. You have to put in the time, but if you’re motivated and work hard, you can do it, no matter what anybody else tells you.

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search