Congrats to the 2015 Princess Grace Award Winners!

Every year, the Princess Grace Foundation honors a few lucky members of the arts community. Getting a Princess Grace Award (which comes with a generous grant) is like joining one of the most elite clubs around—a club that includes David Hallberg, Tiler Peck, Mike Minery, Gillian Murphy, Kyle Abraham, Drew Jacoby and Isabella Bolyston. It's also, as you can tell by that insane list of names, a pretty solid indicator of future success.

So we'd like to give a shout-out to the winners of this year's Princess Grace Awards in the dance category, announced yesterday. SNAPS, y'all! You guys are already extraordinary, and we can't wait to see what heights you'll reach.

Just who are these fabulous honorees? Here's the list:

Courtney Celeste Spears (hi Courtney!) of Ailey II...

Photo by Kyle Froman

...Babatunji Johnson of Alonzo King Lines Ballet...

Photo by RJ Muna

...Lani Dickinson, a BFA student in the LINES Ballet Dominican University program (LINES, represent!)...

Photo via PGF website

...Emilie Leriche of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago...

Photo Todd Rosenberg, courtesy HSDC

...Harper Watters of Houston Ballet...

Photo by Jordan Matter

...and Ching Ching Wong of Northwest Dance Project (look for her in our September issue!).

Photo via NWDP website

A dance honorarium was also awarded to the gorgeous Cassandra Trenary, one of American Ballet Theatre's newest soloists...

Photo Dane Shitagi/Ballerina Project

...and Whim W'him's James Gregg and The Big Muddy Dance Company's Joshua Manculich received choreography awards:

(From left) Gregg and Manculich; both photos via PGF website

Congratulations! View the full list of 2015 Princess Grace Award winners here.

Latest Posts

Alex Wong (Collette Mruk, courtesy Alex Wong)

6 AAPI Dancers Share Their Stories

Last year, anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 150 percent in many of America's largest cities. And last month, a mass shooting in the Atlanta area took the lives of eight people, six of them Asian women. Since then, the attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have continued, sparking a national movement to stop AAPI hate.

In light of this, Dance Spirit wanted to help amplify the voices of AAPI dancers. We asked six to share their thoughts about anti-Asian racism and how it appears in the dance world. Here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
William Zinser works with a dancer at The Joyce Theater (Kristin Stevens, courtesy William Zinser)

How to Beat 5 Common Cheats Dancers Commit

Y'all, we get it. Dance is really, really hard. So what's the harm in taking the easy way out on a technical correction? Answer: an increased chance of injury, and a whole slew of new technique problems that could take a loooooooong time to fix.

Lucky for you, Dance Spirit has enlisted the expert help of Dale Lam, artistic director of CCJ Conservatory in South Carolina, and William Zinser, certified athletic trainer at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in NYC, so you can start leveling up your technique the honest way.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
What happens if you are passed over for the opportunity when it feels like your time? (Getty Images/kf4851)

What to Do When Your Dance Teacher Says You're Not Pointe Ready

Since the day you pulled on your first leotard, you have no doubt been dreaming of the day you would attend your first pointe shoe fitting. Going on pointe is a rite of passage as a ballet dancer, and the result of years of hard work.

But what happens if you are passed over for the opportunity when it feels like your time? It's totally understandable to be disappointed and frustrated if your teacher doesn't move you on pointe, but don't lose faith in yourself. "I've seen a lot of dancers go on pointe over the years," says Josephine Lee, professional pointe shoe fitter and founder of The Pointe Shop. "I don't think I have ever seen a dancer who was held back from pointework feel like they were behind in the long run."

Ideally, your teacher has laid out clear guidelines for what makes a dancer pointe-ready. But if they haven't, there are some milestones that ballet professionals are looking for to give the green light for your first pair of shoes. Factors like your age, technique level, range of motion and strength all come into play. And the good news is that if going on pointe is a goal for you, there are proactive ways that you can get there.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search