The Dance Spirit staff doesn’t like to pick favorite issues of our magazine (it would be like picking our favorite child!), but if we were forced to, the October issue would probably be up there. Not only did we get to crown this year’s Cover Model Search winner (yay, Megan Skalla!), but it’s also The Competition & Convention Issue! We can’t get enough of the comp scene. So to celebrate October’s arrival, I asked my fellow editors: What’s your favorite thing about competition? Mine is the energy in the room—so much anticipation and excitement for what’s to come! Here’s what the rest of the DS staff had to say:
Assistant/fashion editor, Michael Anne Bailey: “The costumes! Whether they're simple or elaborate, nicely-done costumes can take a routine to the next level.”
Associate editor, Margaret Fuhrer: “That they make for fearless dancers. You can't win if you're not willing to take risks!”
Editor in chief, Alison Feller: “The camaraderie. There's nothing like going full out for the judges alongside your best friends. And the prize money. Kidding. Kind of.”
Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite thing about competitions?
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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.
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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.
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?