Dora Dolphin

Dora Dolphin in She is Like The Swallow (by Neil King)

With a name like Dora Dolphin, you’re bound to be famous. But forget her catchy name—10-year-old Dora’s talent and poise speak for themselves, and they say she’s one to watch.

Dora started dancing when she was 2 1/2 in her hometown of Minneapolis, MN, and since then she’s built a resumé stocked with awards. Last year alone she won 10 regional championship titles and seven national titles. She earned the highest score in the country in the Mini division at Showstopper American Dance Championships, and at StarQuest her solo nabbed a perfect score.

Dora’s not just a comp kid, though: She’s performed in a handful of regional dance and theater productions, has recently taken up ballroom dance and was chosen to attend the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, D.C. summer intensive. She still goes to school full-time and trains at The Dance Institute, the Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts and, when she can swing the trip, Dance Attack Dance Studio in Miami, FL.

Though her schedule is jam-packed—“I dance seven days a week,” says Dora, like it’s no big deal—this overachiever always has a smile on her face. “I just love dancing,” she says. “I love ballet because it’s the core of everything and I love that it’s technical. But I just want to be in front of an audience.” And the bling doesn’t hurt: “I got a crown for my solo at Hall of Fame Dance Challenge the first time I competed as a junior,” she says. “I really love crowns!”


Most-played song on her iPod: “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

Favorite food: “My mom’s cookies—with milk.”

Favorite subject in school: “Recess!”

Favorite actress: Emma Watson. “My dad and I are big fans of Harry Potter.”

Favorite dancers: Alyssa Ness, Derek Hough and Sophia Lucia

Three words that describe her: “Expressive, loving, captivating”


Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search