How To
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Because they're the one part of college applications you don't do yourself, teacher recommendations can feel like big, scary question marks. As Sarah Langford, college counselor at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, says, "When admissions chooses between equally talented candidates, a memorable letter can put you in the 'yes' pile." But take heart: You have more control over what ends up in these letters than you might realize. Here, Langford and Sarah Lovely, director of college counseling at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, spill the secrets to ensuring you'll get letters that'll help launch you into the dance department of your dreams.

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Editors’ List: The Goods
Gaynor Minden's celebrating 25 years in the best way possible: With a sale! (via dancer.com)

Time for a quick pop quiz: What does "BTS" stand for?

A. Back To the Studio

B. Behind The Scenes

C. Back To School

D. Back To Shopping

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Dance Videos
And it looks kinda sorta like this.

We spent all weekend watching this video and have zero intention of stopping now.

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Dance News
Erin Baiano

If you dream of dancing for the Brooklyn Nets but aren't old enough for the main Brooklynettes dance team yet, we've got some news you'll want to hear. This Sunday (August 5) at 10:30 am, the Nets are holding an open call for the Brooklyn Nets Kids dance team!

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Dance News
America's Favorite Judges were LIVING for Darius and Comfort's hip-hop routine (screenshot via YouTube)

Yesterday's episode was the all-important final step before the live TV episodes begin. Last Monday night, Vanessa, Mary, and Nigel cut half of the remaining ladies after seeing them perform a duet outside their style with a male All-Star. And last night, it was (finally!) the men's turn. Here's what went down.

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Dance News
LEAKED FOOTAGE! (We wish. But seriously, will Olivia Benson be making a cat-meo?)

We can hear it now: "Jennifer songs for Hudson cats! Taylor songs for Swift cats!" Okay, maybe that particular lyric change (to the #iconic opening number from the record-breaking musical CATS) is a bit far-fetched.

But you know what IS the honest-to-Grizabella truth? That Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson are CONFIRMED to be in the new movie of everyone's favorite feline-omenon!

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Dance News
2018 graduate Meredith Santoro in a shot from the PURCHASE DANCE x SUPREME series (screenshot via @issadancelook on Instagram)

Our story begins on January 3, 2018, when an account called @issadancelook suddenly appeared on the Insta-horizon. Almost immediately, the page was chock-full of artsy shots of SUNY Purchase dancers in their quirkiest, most stylish classwear and rehearsalwear. Barely half a year later, the page has an intensely engaged base of followers and plans to highlight looks from dancers around the world.

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Dance Fashion
Photo by Erin Baiano

Throwback jazz duds that feel impossibly current? Groovy, baby.

Modeled by Amber Pickens and Carey Segal

Photography by Erin Baiano

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Editors’ List: The Goods
Via @joandjax on Instagram

Summertime...and the dressing is eeeeeeeeeeasy. When you're heading straight from the dance studio to the pool or beach, you don't want to be messing around with complicated cover-ups. That's where these 5 MVPs of the romper room come in, bringing their breezy style to your pre-class, post-rehearsal, and everything-in-between looks. Oh, and three out of the five are on sale right now. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and romper-ound! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

The Soline, by Wear Moi

Via wearmoi.us

This oversized cap sleeve romper with a half zip in the front features four-way stretch and extra-comfy wide leg openings. You can get it now on Wear Moi's US website for less than half of its original price.

Dancer to Dancer
USC Kaufman Students in Class (courtesy Glorya Kaufman School of Dance At University of Southern California)

You can still dance at a high level while attending a school that has no dance department. Just ask these two recent grads—their post-college careers bloomed because they took charge of their dance education.

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Dance Videos
NYCB dancers gracing the Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY (screenshot via YouTube)

This Tuesday, July 17, New York City Ballet begins its 52nd summer residency in Saratoga Springs, NY. This annual tradition sees the company's world-class dancers bringing their signature works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Justin Peck, and others to the outdoor Saratoga Performing Arts Center (or SPAC for short).

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Dance News

Police offers are sworn to protect and serve their local communities—we all know that. What we didn't know until earlier this week, when a very particular kind of #LipSyncChallenge video started to crowd our newsfeeds, was that a few of these hardworking law-enforcement officials have some serious moves!

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Dance News
The Rock Company of Las Vegas, NV, received the evening's top score for their heartbreaking tribute to victims of gun violence (screenshot via YouTube)

What with the insanely high overall level of talent and technique on a televised dance competition like "World of Dance," it's often easy to forget that these dancers, too, have areas to improve upon and goals still left to reach. TV dance stars: They're just like US! On last night's episode of "World of Dance," the top three scorers proved that even once you reach the top of your game, there's still room for even more beautiful growth.

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Klassen performing at The Dance Awards in 2017 (courtesy Break the Floor Productions)

"Monday is more of a down day," says Bella Klassen: "I wake up at 5:30, do a jump-rope workout, then ballet and jazz, a 30-minute lunch break, five hours of academics, then acro, and then my day is done!" It's safe to say work ethic isn't a problem for this rising comp-circuit star, who's gifted with superhuman control, fearless turns, and a stage presence far beyond her years. Her intense training also helped Bella earn a featured role in the music video for Animal Years' song "Friends," and the 2017 Junior Best Dancer title at The Dance Awards—a victory made all the sweeter by having made it to first runner-up in 2016 and 2015.

"Never let anyone dull your sparkle! That's been my motto. I'm always amazed and intimidated by everything other dancers can do. I have to remind myself to be confident about what makes me special as a dancer." —Bella
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Editors’ List: The Goods
courtesy of Freshify

Dancers know there's no time like summer for sun, sand...and sweat! Gross but true: Whether your summer intensive has air conditioning or not (just because some people like to yell about how AC is bad for dancers), there's no denying that summertime dancing brings with it all kinds of sweatiness—and resultant smelliness.

Consider this quintet of products your Anti-Odor Justice League. They're sworn to protect you—not to mention your fellow dancers!—from the sweaty, stinky, just-plain-nasty worst of all that higher temps threaten.

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Dance News
Spencer Liff (courtesy LSG Public Relations)

Last December, Broadway choreographer extraordinaire (and past Dance Spirit cover boy!) Spencer Liff told DS that "My next big project is my favorite thing I've ever done: a punk-rock musical called Head Over Heels, based on the Elizabethan novel Arcadia and set to music by the Go-Go's."

That next big project is finally here: Tomorrow, Head Over Heels lands on the Great White Way for a month of preview performances, ahead of opening night July 26. DS caught up with Liff in between tech rehearsals to talk about girl power, Gwyneth Paltrow (who's a lead producer for HOH, nbd), and why you—yes, you—should probably start preparing for your HOH audition now.

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