At the tender age of 9, Destiny Wimpye moved cross-country with her mom so she could train at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. The leap of faith paid off: Destiny's spent summers training at the School of American Ballet, the Ailey School, and Pacific Northwest Ballet; performed for Michelle Obama at the White House; and danced beside Mariah Carey in a TV special for Disney. Now she's a full-time student at the Colburn Dance Academy under the direction of former New York City Ballet principals Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette, and it seems fated that Destiny will one day dance her dream role, Dewdrop in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. "I'm a jumper and a turner," Destiny says, "so I think it fits me pretty well."
When we asked what her proudest accomplishment so far is, Kiarra Waidelich paused for a moment. That's because she has so many to choose from: In the past two years, Kiarra's earned Mini and Junior Female Best Dancer at The Dance Awards, snagged Youth America Grand Prix's Hope Award, and made it to the divisional finals on Season 2 of "World of Dance." Equally gifted in ballet ("I love the mental and physical challenge") and contemporary, it's the latter that made Kiarra realize dance was her passion. "If something bad or stressful happens in my day, I use contemporary as a way to express and release what I'm feeling," she says. "Dance is a way for me to emote and let things go."
It's game day, dancers! We're talking, of course, about the Super Bowl—but maybe more importantly, about the always hilarious and thought-provoking commercials that air in between all the, um, sportsball. (Sorry, not a football person!) This year, it looks like we'll be blessed with at least three ad spots highlighting dance. Without any further ado, here's all the best dance going down later today during the commercial "breaks." (As if we'd take a break from watching, PLEASE.)
Who among us hasn't daydreamed about finishing college a semester or two ahead of the class? But as tempting as it may be to get started on your dance career ASAP, this isn't a decision to take lightly. So DS had a dance department chair and an alumna who finished ahead of schedule lay out the case for—and against—graduating early.
Y'all, it's time to call a spade a spade: The first month of any New Year kind of sucks. It's way too cold, you're probs failing at one or two of those ambitious resolutions, and spring (with its exciting performing opportunities) feels so very far away. And yet, in the midst of so much darkness, a hero has emerged. His name is Donté Colley, and you're about to double-tap every single thing he's ever posted.
The Broadway cast of Hamilton (Joan Marcus, courtesy Sam Rudy PR)
Today, January 11, is #AlexanderHamiltonDay: A very happy 264th birthday to Alexander Hamilton! Thanks to this most unlikely of Founding Fathers—a brilliant and ballsy orphaned immigrant who dramatically rose, then fell, then rose again—we have possibly the most successful musical of all time. We also, of course, got priceless GIFs such as this one:
*When your crush walks over and you're trying to act natural but your friends are all like*
Aaaaaaaaaaanyway, while we can't get you "in the room where it happens" with tickets to the show's current Broadway, touring, or Puerto Rico productions—the last of which opens tonight!—we CAN offer up some fun ways to fête A.Ham's day of birth. Just you wait:
It's rare to find an aspiring ballerina with Ashley Lew's combination of natural facility and technical prowess, which have helped her earn accolades at Youth America Grand Prix. But it's performance quality that most interests this future prima: Aurora's her dream role, and not because she's drawn to the Rose Adagio's challenging promenades. "Aurora's a really young girl, and she's super-innocent," Ashley explains. "The role requires a lot of acting to bring the story alive. Without the artistry, it doesn't really mean anything."
I'm a bit of an introvert, and when I was younger, I wasn't a big talker. Ballet really helped me learn to feel comfortable expressing myself.
Broadway vet Cameron Adams, dancing Warren Carlyle's choreo from "She Loves Me" (screenshot via YouTube)
Okay, y'all: It's time to call it like it is. You've now been home from school for several days. You've spent some QT with the fam, gorged on all of the holiday goodies, and are finally starting to get just the sliiiiiiiiiightest bit tired of staring into space doing *~nothing~*. You've entered the little-understood (but super-prevalent) state called Winter Break Boredom. This calls for a boredom buster—and boy, do we have a great one for you.
Principal Character Artist Gary Avis as Drosselmeyer in the 2013 production (Bill Cooper, courtesy The Royal Ballet)
As December 2018 is finally winding down, you've probably had "Waltz of the Flowers" stuck in your head since October—at least. If just reading that sentence made you want to scream, you're welcome to stop reading here. (And we really are sorry that it's stuck in your head for the umpteenth time now.)
We're actually talking here to the diehard Nutters. Yes, you, who feel a little less dead inside every single time that tree starts to grow, you who gasp with suspense when Clara bends back to hurl the slipper, you who "awwwwwwwww" at every last adorable polichinelle or angel. If you still need more Nutcracker in your life, The Royal Ballet is HERE. FOR. YOU. (At least through December 30!)
Michaela Harrington in Amy Ernst's Believe (photo by Ed Flores, courtesy University of Arizona School of D
Ah, winter break: two to four weeks of well-deserved time off. While you might just feel like using your break to become one with the couch (no judgment!), we have a few ideas you should hear on how to prep for the best spring semester ever.
Well, we knew on an abstract level that Broadway's-golden-age guru Warren Carlyle would produce incredible choreo for the upcoming Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate! We just didn't know it would be THIS incredible.