Gaby Diaz's Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Dance Versatility
"So You Think You Can Dance" Season 12 winner (and Season 14 All Star winner!) Gaby Diaz is a dance powerhouse. She can perform at a crazy-high level in seemingly any style, from tap to jazz to contemporary to hip hop. Want to improve your own dance versatility? Diaz took a break from Shaping Sound rehearsals to give us her top 10 tips for doing so.
Have an Open Mind
Don't be a slave to dance trends. Be willing to give anything a try. "The styles you see on Instagram might be what you think of as popular, but there are a ton of great styles and great teachers out there, so keep an open mind," Diaz says.
Take a Lot of Classes
This one's a no-brainer: If you want to become a versatile dancer, you have to "take as many classes in as many different styles as you can," Diaz says.
Find Your Own Groove
"Be true to yourself in every class you're in," Diaz says. "I was always really self-conscious in ballet classes because I didn't necessarily look like the ballerina type. As soon as I just accepted who I was in that class, I found it to be a lot more enjoyable."
Don't Compare Yourself to Others
When you're working in an unfamiliar style, others in your class will probably be more advanced than you are—but don't let that bring you down! ""Be inspired by the people around you, instead of tearing yourself apart thinking you aren't what they are," Diaz says.
Find a New Spot in the Room
"I used to be obsessive about my spot at the ballet barre, and I kind of found that I was reliving the same ballet class over and over again when I stood there," Diaz says. "Find a new spot in the room! It might bring a new energy to your dancing."
Instead of spending hours watching your favorite contemporary dancers on Instagram, research styles that are new to you. "I can have a love-hate relationship with the internet, but it's definitely a great tool to be able to explore a lot of different types of dance," Diaz says.
Find Multiple Role Models
It's important not only to have a versatile role model like Diaz, but also to find role models in each style of dance. "I like to play the 'Who Was Their Teacher?' game," Diaz says. "If I meet a dancer I really love, I ask who their teacher was, and then I research their teacher, and follow the chain."
Give Every Class Your All
Don't ever give less than 100 percent—especially in classes that aren't your strong suit. "It's one thing to physically show up to class, but throw yourself into it just as you would with a style you know and are comfortable with," Diaz says.
Don't Get Frustrated
"You don't have to have everything perfect in your first class," Diaz says. "The point of class is to be able to learn over a period of time. Be OK with feeling uncomfortable, because that's how you grow."
Just Have Fun
No matter how challenging learning multiple styles can be, remember to have a good time. "Always do it for the love of it," Diaz says. "Just have fun!"
Last May, we told you about a special exhibition of the Mark Ryden artwork that sparked Alexei Ratmansky's sweet-treat of a ballet, Whipped Cream. Well, hold on to your tiaras, bunheads, because there's a brand-new exhibit featuring actual costumes from this megahit production. The Nutcracker's Land of Sweets has some serious competition!
Kyle Van Newkirk is a tap dancer you probably remember from the premiere season of NBC's World of Dance. In case you missed it, he is also one of Showstopper's incredible convention teachers. What makes Kyle stand apart from some of today's other incredible tappers? He isn't afraid to change what tap means to his audience and even himself. This modern view of tap dancing is important because it shows us that tap dancers are just as versatile and dynamic as dancers of any other genre. We sat down with Kyle to get his advice on bringing tap dancing into the 21st century.
Sure, dancers definitely have some unique identifying characteristics. (We're all obsessed with Center Stage? FACT.) But we're also subjected to all kinds of annoying, inaccurate stereotyping. Here are 10 dancer stereotypes that we never want to hear again.
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
Picture this: You've scored tickets to Ellen DeGeneres' hit show, "Ellen." The day has come, the show is as hysterical as ever, Ellen is debating the biggest hot-button issue since the blue/black or white/gold dress, "Laurel vs. Yanny" (side note: it's LAUREL, people), and tWitch is killing it over at the DJ booth, as always. Ellen decides it's the perfect time to single out an audience member and, lo and behold, that person is "SYTYCD" champ ( and December 2017 cover star!) Lex Ishimoto.
The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center is the 54,000 square foot home of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, one of the largest facilities dedicated to dance on a private university campus. Designed for their innovative new curriculum, that supports a range of dance styles, the school's staff designated Harlequin to provide wall-to-wall flooring for the large 3,500 square foot Performance Studio as well as five dance studios in their new state-of-the-art building.
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's safe to say that faux-diamond earrings are a dancer's best friend. A fixture onstage at just about every competition weekend, these blinged-out baubles are also the surest sign that recital season is upon us again. And what better way to get into the sparkly spirit than by drooling over these 5 diamonds in the rough? (Sorry not sorry!)
DancerPalooza, America's Largest Dance Festival, is moving to sunny SAN DIEGO, California from July 24-29, 2018.
Check out all of the NEW Intensives DancerPalooza has to offer this year!
You could say that a perk of dancing with Los Angeles Ballet is its proximity to Hollywood. It's no wonder, then, that when actor and comedian Kevin Hart was looking for someone to teach ballet lessons for his new "What the Fit" YouTube show, he reached out to the nearby company. The series follows Hart and his celebrity friends as they try different forms of exercise (such as sumo wrestling and goat yoga), with hilarious results. For his ballet episode, Hart brings along Hangover star Ken Jeong—and the dancers do their best to keep these madcap comedians under control.