You guys, dancing is hard. Why am I stating the obvious? Every once in a while, it's important to give yourself a good ol' pat on the back. You're overcoming the hard parts—the sacrifices, the discipline, the pressure—and working towards your dreams.
Whether you feel like you've been in a bit of a motivation slump lately, or you just need an extra boost to get over hump day, we've got just the thing. Two talented teens from Vocational Ballet College, NSW, in Wales just released an introductory video for their blog, M&M: Minnie and Maddie. In the video, Minnie and Maddie discuss the sacrifices they've made to accomplish their dance dreams. More importantly, they talk about what dancing gives back to them. It's pretty inspiring to hear them describe the communicative power of dance—the idea that dancing can serve as a kind of therapy as you go through the inevitable challenges of growing up. (P.S. These BFFLs remind us of another adorable dancing duo, Broadway besties Beth Johnson Nicely and Amanda Kloots-Larsen.)
And the fact that their discussion serves as a voice-over to delightfully artsy dance shots—pointe shoes abound!—certainly ups the video's motivation factor. Check it out!
(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?
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "