Anna Zanovello is one of New York Fashion Week's favorite new models—and a former ballet dancer from Milan. Not surprised? Neither were we. Ballerinas are elegant, strong, graceful—and perfect for the catwalk!
Anna, a stunningly gorgeous, long-legged beauty, trained in classical ballet growing up, eventually earning a spot at Italian ballet company La Scala Theatre Ballet. While still in the company, the then 18-year-old went to a modeling competition in Verona to support a friend—not compete. It was there that she caught the eye of an agency scout. He pled with her to model, but she'd already made up her mind: She was going to be a ballerina. But shortly after, a broken ankle forced her to take a year off from ballet and re-think her options. Why not try modeling?
Anna recently opened Altuzarra’s spring 2012 show at NYFW (wow!) and won spots on the Theyskens’ Theory, Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani runways. But our favorite part of the story? She skipped Paris Fashion Week in order to spend a month studying at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Now that's our kind of girl! In an interview with New York Magazine, she said, "In December, I entered a competition where one of the judges was the director of the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. I won first prize and part of the award was spending a month studying at the Bolshoi. I kind of had culture shock when I first arrived there. But the school itself was an amazing experience."
She went on to address the hot topic of the pressure to be thin in modeling and ballet worlds. When asked which world was worse, she said, "Well, I met a lot more bulimic girls [doing ballet]. I think it’s worse in ballet because they check your weight and if you’re above a certain weight, you leave the school. It’s horrible."
It's tough to be in a world—whether it's ballet or modeling—where the way look determines where your career will take you. But one thing's for sure: Congratulations are due to a dancer who's been able to overcome the challenges and truly succeed. We can't wait to see her on the runway or the stage—whichever is up next.
(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?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.