With over one thousand Instagram posts showcasing her latest improv practice or snippet of competition choreo, it's safe to say Lucy Vallely is never not creating. But how does she avoid burnout? Here, she shares her key tactics for staying inspired and energized, in and out of the studio.
Dancer Tony Bellissimo on the field at Super Bowl LII (via Instagram)
The Super Bowl is America's most-watched television event. Last year, when the incomparable Justin Timberlake took center field for the halftime show, more than 106 million viewers were watching his every move—and that's not even a record!
What's it like to perform for such an incredibly huge audience? Dancer Tony Bellissimo has plenty of experience with high-pressure dance gigs, having worked with artists including Rihanna, Britney Spears, John Legend, and Chris Brown. But stepping out alongside Timberlake during last year's halftime show was a next-level experience. We talked to Bellissimo about how he scored such a coveted job—and how he handled the pressure.
Hall works with students at Dance Conservatory of Charleston. (courtesy Dance Conservatory of Charleston)
As the name suggests, summer intensives are, well, intense, encouraging you to eat, sleep, and breathe dance for a significant chunk of the summer. But they're not for every dancer—or every summer. Maybe you're not ready to be away from home just yet, or you want to spend your last summer with family before going off to college. Intensives can also be expensive, and not every household has the financial flexibility to cover the high cost of auditions, travel, room and board, and tuition. Whatever your reasons for seeking alternatives, it's important to recognize that, when it comes to summer study, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. "The most important thing is to keep dancing," says Lindy Mandradjieff, owner of the Dance Conservatory of Charleston in South Carolina. "Without the added stress of school, you can improve as much in one summer as you would in an entire school year." Here's how to keep up your training even if you don't plan on attending an intensive.
We caught up with five major competition stars to get the deets on what was on their wish lists this past December—and their responses were positively dancetastic. Check out what they're most excited about using in the new year to help further their resolutions, and get some inspiration on what to ask for at your next big celebration!
You've completed your summer intensive auditions and received your acceptance letters. Congrats! Now, it's time to choose where you'll be spending this vital training time. While it's easy to select the program with the biggest name, or head to the school where all your friends are going, it might not always be the best choice for you. Instead, it's most important to end up at a program that will nurture you while pushing you to fulfill your potential. Watch out for these common mistakes dancers can make as they finalize their summer plans.
Sarah Reich's crystal-clear sounds, expert musicality, and vivacious energy have solidified her as one of this generation's tap greats. A Culver City, CA, native, Reich began tapping at age 5. At 12 years old, she started going to clubs to learn salsa, where she began mixing tap steps with salsa and merengue movement, creating what's become her signature flair. She's toured with Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, and danced with Chloe Arnold's Syncopated Ladies and Jason Samuels Smith's Anybody Can Get It Tap Company. Reich also started her own company, Tap Music Project, in 2012, which puts on performances and workshops around the country, and recently released her debut tap-jazz album New Change. —Courtney Bowers
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.
Delaney Glazer's captivating cool-girl presence and precise, hard-hitting moves have made her a commercial superstar (she has a casual 1 million followers on Instagram). But she's also got the resumé to back up all those viral class vids: Glazer's danced with music industry greats like Justin Bieber on his Purpose world tour, Chris Brown, Ciara, Demi Lovato, and Timbaland. Originally from St. Louis, MO, the 22-year-old has also performed at awards shows, including the American Music Awards, The Grammys, The Billboard Music Awards, The Teen Choice Awards, and VH1's Hip Hop Squares. Catch her teaching in L.A. at Robin and Kenny Wormald's studio Playground LA—and read on for The Dirt! —Courtney Bowers
Commercial dance kween, Charlize Glass (photo by Joe Toreno)
One of the best (and most challenging) things about dance is that no matter how good you are, there will always be something more you can do to improve. Dance Spirit talked to some of the biggest dance stars to find out what their hoping to work on during this next year. Between dance resolutions and "real life" resolutions these dance phenoms have their eyes on the prize and are ready to make 2019 their best year yet.
We can't get enough of New York City Ballet's prima ballerina, Tiler Peck. This ballet babe has been featured in the mainstream media quite a bit and is giving people an inside peek at the glamorous and not so glamorous sides of ballet. Peck's most recent media credit includes a video released by Cosmopolitan where she gets real about the challenges she's faced during her demanding career in one of the world's most renowned ballet companies.
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.
Receiving an Emmy or Tony Award for your choreography is a HUGE deal. Tbh, being handed one of those famed statues is probably one of the most iconic moments that can happen in your career. From Travis Wall, to Mandy Moore, to Justin Peck, some of our faves have gotten major accolades in recent years, but here are 9 otherswho need to be honored ASAP!
Photo by Camryn Elizabeth, courtesy Djouliet Amara
At age 23, Djouliet Amara is a successful professional dancer signed with a talent agency in NYC. She's studied at The Ailey School and even danced in "Memoria" with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Having performed at City Center and appeared in numerous commercial campaigns for brands like Forever 21, Refinery29, and Danskin, it would appear that Amara is living a life most dancers only dream of. But as glamorous and successful as her career has been, Amara's journey to this point has not been an easy one. Her biggest challenge was her battle with an eating disorder that nearly cost Amara her career. Find out how this dancer found body acceptance and, in so doing, uncovered a dream she never knew she had. —Katherine Beard
Warning: This story may be triggering for those who have suffered or are suffering from disordered eating.
We caught up with dancing social media standouts who know how to self-promote, develop a presence, and share their experiences without letting the platforms take over their lives. Here's what they have to say about being wise social media mavens.
Cat Cogliandro's genius is turning paradoxes into powerful art. In her gestural contemporary choreography, vulnerability becomes strength and imperfection is beauty. Born and raised in Houston, TX, Cogliandro earned a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase before moving to L.A. Cogliandro now teaches in L.A. and nationally, and choreographs for her company CATASTROPHE!, which was the second runner-up at the 2015 Capezio A.C.E. Awards. Here, Cogliandro tells DS where she finds inspiration. —Helen Rolfe