WanTing Zhao in Helgi Tomasson's Nutcracker (photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet)
Born in China, WanTing Zhao has been a rising talent at San Francisco Ballet since joining the corps in 2011. Thanks to her jaw-dropping lines and expressive upper body, she hasn’t been relegated to the back row: She’s performed featured roles in ballets including Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella and Rudolf Nureyev’s Raymonda. Zhao trained at Beijing Dance Academy and The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia before arriving in San Francisco. This season, you can see her as the Queen of the Snow and the Arabian soloist in Helgi Tomasson’s Nutcracker—or catch her in Giselle and George Balanchine’s Serenade. Want to know more about this up-and-coming ballerina? Read on for The Dirt. —JD
What dancer would you drop everything to see?
Sylvie Guillem. Svetlana Zakharova is also one of my favorites.
What TV show takes up the most room on your DVR?
What’s your favorite movie?
I know it's old but I cry every time I watch Titanic.
Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
Ziyi Zhang. She used to be a dancer.
Who is your dance crush?
What’s your most embarrassing onstage moment?
I ran to do a lift with my partner and fell jumping toward him.
(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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Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)
It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)
All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.
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.