Get Dessert.

I attended my first NY audition yesterday. Let me tell you I was scared. I've auditioned for all kinds of things before and had good and bad experiences (ever blank mid-pirouette? I have.), but never in NY. This is where the best dancers are, and I was intimidated. What if I stuck out and looked like I didn't belong, wore the wrong thing, did my hair and makeup wrong, what if we had to tap??? And what if I choked?


Don't worry, I didn't choke. But I did get cut. If I wasn't cut, I would be at the callback right now, not writing this blog... But it wasn't horrible. I didn't stick out in a bad way, I even felt like I belonged. Kind of a cool feeling. The funny thing was, the movement was really, really easy. Seriously, we barely moved our feet. But the musicality, now that was tricky and speedy. When we began to learn the combination the choreographer announced that he was looking for actors, and to get the very precise movement, but more importantly, act the role. And while I did fine, he only felt that about 6-8 of the 25 dancers in my group were sufficient in their acting abilities to stay for the next round. Ah, you win some, you lose some.


As a dancer, I keep noticing how important acting and performance skills are to my teachers and choreographers. I took a theater dance class at Steps last week taught by Diana Laurenson, a former Fosse dancer and Broadway veteran. Another former Fosse dancer who had worked with Laurenson in the past also took class, it was fun to hear them chat about their experiences working together in the theater. Anyway, Laurenson was trying to get us to use our focus in order to increase our performance level and draw the audience into us. She told us to imagine that the mirror was the audience:


"Look into the audience and find your victim in the 12th row of the orchestra section. Ask them to dinner. They're buying"


And then later on:


"Find your victim again. They're taking you to dinner. Get dessert."


So scandalous, Ms. Laurenson!


(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to 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.

We also want you to 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.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?


Keep Reading Show less
Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance Videos



Get Dance Spirit in your inbox