Tall and elegant, with a long, swanlike neck, Devon Teuscher has a body tailor-made for classic ballerina roles. Yet while the American Ballet Theatre soloist’s frame is delicate, her dancing is anything but: This is a girl who grew up learning hardcore men’s variations at Vermont Ballet Theater and School. In 2005, Teuscher’s strong technique earned her a full scholarship to ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. A year and a half later, she joined ABT’s Studio Company and, soon after, landed a spot in the main troupe. As a corps member, Teuscher wowed critics with her finely drawn interpretations of principal roles, including Myrta in Giselle and the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. Last August, to nobody’s surprise, she was promoted to soloist. Catch Teuscher in Alexei Ratmansky’s new The Sleeping Beauty at California’s Segerstrom Center next month—and read on for The Dirt. —Margaret Fuhrer
Teuscher as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella (by Gene Schiavone, courtesy ABT)
What are you listening to right now?
I can't stop listening to the Rachmaninoff music recently used in a piece I was in, choreographed by LIam Scarlett. I'm also loving Sam Smith!
What TV shows take up the most room on your DVR?
"Parenthood" and "Modern Family." "Parenthood makes me cry almost every week!"
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?
Letting my dog lick my face.
What’s the strangest thing in your dance bag?
Chicken dog treats and a dog toy. I bring my dog to class and rehearsal a lot, so I always want to be prepared.
Dance-wise, do you have any bad habits?
I really have to think about picking my passé up higher. I also have a bad habit of not spotting when I turn. I'm trying to spot faster.
Do you have any pre-performance superstitions?
I always have my lucky bunny in my dressing room. My dad gave it to me when I was a baby and it goes everywhere with me.
What’s your favorite spot in NYC?
Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. I take my dog there every morning. He gets to run around and chase squirrels. It gives me a little time in the "outdoors."
If you weren’t a dancer, what would you do?
I'm taking some college courses on the side right now in the hopes of figuring that out. Maybe something to with dogs and animals.
(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 by clicking on their names here:
vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.