Dear Katie: My Dance Friends Are Mean to Me at School!
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I go to the same high school as two girls from my dance studio. They're really friendly with me in dance class, but at school, they're completely different—they either ignore me or make fun of me. It's so confusing and upsetting. How can I deal with their two-faced behavior?
Even good friendships can be complicated, but it sounds like these girls aren't true friends. I'd suggest dealing with them carefully. Always be friendly and polite, but don't waste energy trying to understand their motives. Think of them as acquaintances, not allies. If their cattiness starts to bleed into your studio relationship, and they try to gossip with you about other girls in dance class, don't engage with them.
Hard as it is, try not to take their nastiness personally. Two-faced people are usually very insecure. Frequently their negativity stems from jealousy, or from a need to put others down to make themselves feel better. Stand tall and be proud of who you are.
(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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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?