Hang Out With L.A.'s Industry Insiders

L.A. is awesome.

Although the Dance Spirit offices are firmly rooted in midtown Manhattan, we're lucky because we get to make a few trips out to the west coast each year—and my favorite place to go to spot rising dance stars is Hollywood.

It makes sense, of course: Dancers hoping to make it big in the commercial industry flock to L.A., where they can take classes at top studios like Millennium Dance Complex and EDGE Performing Arts Center, and they're exactly where they need to be for major auditions (just a 2-mile, 3-hour trip on the 405—silly L.A. traffic).

Also located in L.A.: Many of the country's top dance agencies. And those agencies are always looking to show off their dancers and choreographers.

Want to check 'em all out? Make your way to Boulevard3 this week!

McDonald/Selznick Associates, a renowned agency representing some of the dance industry's leading hot shots, is holding a must-attend event on Wednesday, November 14. They're calling it Freestylin' and it's being dubbed as the first-ever dance industry jam.

Want to go? Here's what you need to know:

  • The event is open to the public, but you must be older than 21 to attend (sorry non-legals—the event is being held at a club).
  • The night will basically be a dance party. MSA is taking its street dancers and giving them a stage to perform on. In other words: A massive show-off-fest with rockin' dancers doing all their best moves.
  • The people watching will be off the charts. Keep your eyes peeled for Simon Fuller (of XIX Entertainment), Carrie Ann Inaba (the "middle judge" on "Dancing with the Stars"), Duane Adler (writer of the Step Up series) and Dave Scott, who will be hosting the event.
  • Dress to impress. In addition to the dance world celebs, there will be plenty of VIPs strolling the red carpet. Think TV, film and commercial directors, casting directors, producers, music managers and tons of major working choreographers.

Have a blast!

Dance News
(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 dearkatie@dancespirit.com 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?

Chrissy

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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.

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