Cover Model Search Finalist: Zoey Anderson

On the streets of NYC, 18-year-old Zoey Anderson is a head-turner. She’s an all-American beauty with platinum blond hair, a radiant smile accented by dimples and a bubbly personality. But the moment this Utah native steps onto the dance floor, it becomes obvious she’s much more than a pretty face: She’s a versatile powerhouse with a vivacious stage presence.

Zoey started dancing and competing when she was 3 and immediately fell in love. She did it all, taking ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical—even cheerleading. When Zoey was 15, Kim DelGrosso, one of her teachers at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio, told Zoey there was a boy looking for a ballroom partner. “I’d never done ballroom before,” she says, “but we took one private lesson together and that was all I needed—I knew I was going to love it.” And that’s clear at the finalists’ NYC photo shoot. When Zoey slips on a pair of heels, her feet fly into a cha-cha and her face comes alive with a flirtatious smile. She manipulates her body into perfect S-curves as her hips move in time to the music. “I love the personality I get to put into my ballroom dancing,” Zoey says. “I can be hot and sassy, but still fierce.”

Zoey’s passion is in her genes. Her grandmother was a member of the University of Utah’s first dance company. Her mom earned a BFA in dance from the U of U and went on to apprentice with Alvin Ailey in NYC. Plus, Zoey’s dad was part of the Young Ambassadors, an elite singing and dancing group at Brigham Young University.

With her family’s support, Zoey put her heart and soul into her training, and her dedication has paid off: She’s placed in the top 10 at every national competition she’s ever attended. She can be seen as a dancer in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and in commercials for Coke, Pepsi and the Discovery Channel. She even shared the stage with Jennifer Lopez and P. Diddy at the Macy’s Passport fashion show, where she danced in a piece choreographed by Brian Friedman. Oh, and did we mention that Zoey and her ballroom partner, Justin Ascione, are currently the world’s top couple in American Smooth for their age division? “It’s a mix between Latin and the standard technique,” she explains. “I love it because you can break off the frame and be more artistic by adding all sorts of tricks.”

Now, Zoey’s after the one thing she doesn’t have: a BFA in dance. This fall, she’s moving to NYC to start her freshman year at Marymount Manhattan. “I thought about moving to L.A., but after talking to my friends who took that route, I knew I needed to go to school,” she says. “There’s still so much for me to learn. I want to grow and continue training.” And after graduation? “I’d love to join a professional company like Cedar Lake or Complexions. Or be on Broadway—in Hairspray!”

Fast Facts

Birthday: April 26, 1993

Dance idols: “Mandy Moore was the first choreographer I really worked with and she’s choreographed a lot of my solos. I also love Andy Pellick—he’s a work of art. He teaches classic jazz and is really bringing it back. Oh, and Justin Giles!”

Dance crush: “Let’s be honest, we’re all in love with Tony Testa. But secretly, it’s Travis Wall—I’ve always thought he was so cute!”

Dance mentor: “Janalyn Memmott, my teacher at home. She’s given me such great support. And Kim DelGrosso, artistic director of Center Stage Performing Arts Studio, who’s an amazing woman and has given me so many opportunities.”

Three words that describe your dance style: Artistic, technical, passionate

Three words that describe your personality: Giggly, kind, happy

Non-dance hobbies: “Cooking. My dad loves it and has always made the best meals. It’s rubbing off on me. Every Sunday we make dinner and a dessert together. I also love singing and acting.”

Favorite food: “Meat—I love all meat.”

What People are Saying About Zoey

Janalyn Memmott, Zoey’s Teacher at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio: “Although Zoey is blessed with amazing ability, she remains humble, teachable, grateful and kind. I’m profoundly impressed with her honesty and innocence, as a person and as a performer. She takes a sincere interest in her fellow dancers and understands how to be a team player, always willing to share and contribute. Her integrity and generosity will serve her well in life and in her career.”

DS photographer Erin Baiano: “Zoey is a bubbly mass of energy with a mega-watt smile. (Her dimples are adorable!) She was completely at home in front of the camera and is a dynamic performer.”

Natalya Stavro, ballet teacher at Broadway Dance Center: “She’s very capable, but she has to be more confident with what she does in class. She has strength, she has good potential, but she lacks a little bit of experience in classical ballet.”

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What’s in Your Dance Bag—Based on Your Zodiac Sign

Sometimes our dance bags feel like portals to another dimension—we have no idea what half the stuff buried in our bags even is. (Note to self: Clean out dance bag.)

But have you ever wondered if there's a method to the madness? We're pretty sure there is, and as always, we're pretty sure it's something to do with astrology. That's right, your resident Dance Spirit astrologers are back with our best guess at what you keep in your dance bag—based on your zodiac sign.

Aries

You're always going 100 mph Aries (or maybe even more), so it's pretty much a guarantee that your dance bag is fully stocked with snacks to power you through the day. Granola bars, trail mix, yogurt, fruit. It's like a Whole Foods in there.

You've also usually got about six different pairs of shoes in your bag. As an Aries, you love adventure, trying new things and, most of all, a challenge. So when it comes to classes, you're all over the map. Tap, jazz, ballet, character, modern—you'll try them all.

Something else you won't go without? Your signature red lipstick, obv. How else are you going to show off your fiery personality? (And look amazing while doing it, TYSM.)

Taurus

As a child of Venus, you always want to look your best, Taurus. So your dance bag is a hair salon/makeup station, all in one. If your dance besties need to borrow a hair tie, or are looking for a fun accessory to spice up their bun, they know you're the one to go to.

Also important to you? Smelling your best. Taureans love comforting, luxurious scents, so your dance bag is typically equipped with a favorite perfume or deodorant. (Or both.)

But what's most important is the bag itself—admit it, you've been using the same dance bag for years. We get it, Taurus, nobody likes change, and least of all the stubborn bull of the zodiac. But if your dance bag is really starting to smell like feet (or if your bobby pins are starting to slip through the holes in the bottom), you might want to consider investing in a new bag.

Gemini

Gemini, you love to switch it up. So you're pretty much guaranteed to have at least three different dance fits in your bag at any given time. And your dancewear is always on point. You love to keep up with trends and try edgy, new looks.

Ever the intellect, you usually have a book in your bag, as well. You're always making book recs to your fellow dancers, and you refuse to be bored between rehearsals or backstage.

Though you might act carefree, Gemini, we know that at heart, you're ruled by Mercury—and you have more in common with your sister sign Virgo than you'd like to admit. That's why you always have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and some floss in your dance bag. No way you're getting caught with food between your teeth (or bad breath during partnering class).

Cancer

Not to be obvious, but as a water sign, the first and foremost thing a Cancerian keeps in their dance bag? A water bottle, of course. (Preferably a Hydroflask, S'well or any bottle that comes in a fun color.) No dehydration here, please and thank you.

Your dance bag also functions as a de facto vending machine for your dance besties, since you always come prepared with the best snacks, and you're always willing to share. As a bonus, your snacks are almost always homemade, since you're practically a five-star chef.

And while we're wary of zodiac stereotypes, there is a pretty good chance your dance bag is stocked with tissues. And there's no shame in that—because, really, who can get through a performance of Romeo and Juliet without shedding some tears? Props to you for being in touch with your emotions, Cancer.

Leo

We'll state the obvious, Leo. You love to look at yourself, and sometimes the studio mirrors just aren't enough. So, naturally, you always keep a compact mirror in your dance bag, just in case your makeup or your bun needs an extra touch-up.

You also love bright colors, and you're not afraid to wear more daring dancewear than any of your besties. You've usually got a couple of leotards packed in your bag, just in case you need to make a fashion statement, and they're always fun. Bright colors, loud prints, stylish necklines—you'll try anything.

But something not everyone knows about you? You're an amazing friend, and incredibly loyal, Leo. That's why you've usually got something in your bag for your dance bestie, be it her favorite brand of granola bar, a fun sparkly pin for her hair, or a note reminding her she's a star, on and off the stage.

Virgo

You're incredibly hardworking, Virgo, so you've always got the tools for success in your dance bag. TheraBands, foam rollers, tennis balls—you're the one dancer your teacher can always count on to be stretching between classes.

You also love to be prepared, so you've usually got a makeshift first-aid kit in your bag. The thought of suffering a blister or floor burn without the appropriate salves or bandages makes you shudder, and, hey, it's always better to be overprepared, right?

What's most noticeable about your dance bag, though, isn't what's inside of it. It's what it looks like—your bag is pristine. It never smells like feet, and you've got a hard-core system for what you keep in each little zip pocket or compartment. And TBH, all of your dance friends are jealous, though they'd never admit it.

Libra

Like your sister sign Taurus, appearances are important to you, Libra. You like to look good (no shame in that), so your dance bag is always stocked with the essentials: extra hair spray, lip gloss, concealer, bobby pins and a spare leotard, in case you get just a bit too sweaty.

You also love to socialize, so if this were the 1950s, we would say that you always keep your date book in your dance bag. As it is, you always have your phone with you, and it's usually blowing up with texts from your dance besties asking to make plans.

Your dance bag wouldn't be complete without your secret supply of chocolate. But to be clear: This isn't your average Hershey's bar. Libras aren't afraid to indulge, so you keep a bar of luxury dark chocolate tucked away for when the cravings hit.

Scorpio

You can't fool us, Scorpio—the contents of your dance bag aren't some big mystery, like you'd like us all to believe. In fact, they're pretty basic: For starters, you always have a black leotard or two in your bag. After all, black is your signature color.

One thing that isn't in Scorpio's dance bag? Toe pads. You love to look tough, so you'd never be caught dead wearing toe pads with your pointe shoes. However, this does mean you need a hefty supply of Band-Aids for the inevitable blisters.

You also love all things mystical and, dare we say, witchy. You're the Halloween queen of the zodiac, after all! So it's no surprise you always have a crystal or two in the front pocket of your dance bag. Let us guess…moldavite?

Sagittarius

You're an explorer, Sagittarius, and that applies to your dancing. You're always trying new dance styles, and that's reflected in your dance bag. You always have the trappings of your latest obsession in your bag: heeled shoes for ballroom, kneepads for contact improv, sneakers for breaking, the list goes on and on.

But on all of your adventures, there's one consistency: You love making memories. And that means literally—you document everything. At each performance or recital, you're bound to be the one with a Polaroid or disposable camera in your bag, and you can usually be found snapping backstage candids of your dance besties.

Your other favorite form of documenting? Writing it down. You love to learn, so you're always taking notes. You can usually be found after class scribbling down your dance teacher's latest piece of wisdom. Your dance bag is crammed with half-filled notebooks, and you wouldn't have it any other way.

Capricorn

You like to be prepared, Capricorn. And we mean prepared—for every bad scenario imaginable. That's why your dance bag is a mini survival kit. The first Capricorn dance bag guarantee? A stitch kit, of course. Losing a ribbon on your pointe shoe mid-rehearsal is your worst nightmare.

You also always have at least three spare leotards handy. After all, what if you spill something, or get too sweaty or, worst of all, show up to an audition in the same leotard as your dance rival? No, thank you. As a Capricorn, you're expecting the best and preparing for the worst.

Another key to your survival kit? Headphones, so you can drown out the noise around you and focus on your dancing. And before anyone asks, the answer is yes, you have the perfect playlist—for each and every occasion.

Aquarius

Aquarius, you love helping others. That's why it sometimes seems like your dance bag isn't even for you—it's filled with stuff you bring for your friends. Snacks for one dance bestie, Band-Aids for another, and tampons, of course, just in case anyone needs one.

But when it comes to you, you're all about originality. That's why you always have tons of fun accessories in your bag: striped legwarmers, colorful socks, tie-dyed sweats and more than a couple of fun additions to your ballet bun, just to make it a little more interesting.

You're also a rebel at heart, Aquarius, which is why there's usually something in your dance bag that just borders on breaking the rules. Maybe your studio is strictly black leotards only—and yours is gray. Or phones are completely banned—and you just put yours on vibrate. We see you.

Pisces

Like your fellow water sign Cancer, you're big on hydrating during dance class. But as a Pisces, you're a little more imaginative (and a little less practical), meaning you're usually carrying your water in something aesthetically pleasing, like a mason jar, a tumbler, or one of those fancy water bottles with a crystal in the base.

Unlike Cancer, you're a mutable sign, meaning you can adapt to just about any situation. Counterintuitively, this actually means your dance bag is pretty sparse. Unlike other zodiac signs who feel the need to overprepare in case of disaster, you're comfortable in most situations, and your dance bag reflects it. You like the basics, nothing else.

Something most people might not know about you, though, is that you get cold easily. We're not sure why, but it's a Pisces staple. That's why if you keep anything in your dance bag, it's the coziest of warm-ups.

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