Head of the Class

Photo by Paolo Galli. November 2010: KAB participates in an outreach program that shares dance with public school students in the area.

Megan Amanda Ehrlich spent much of her childhood bouncing from city to city because of her father’s job with the military. But one thing remained consistent: her commitment to ballet. By age 6, she had decided to pursue a professional career. At the time, she was training in the Vaganova method with Boris Chepelev and Janna Kirova in Florida. A year later, when her family moved to Washington, D.C., Megan Amanda auditioned for the Kirov Academy of Ballet, but was told to come back in a few years. She returned the following year—and was accepted on full scholarship. She spent two years at the prestigious academy before being uprooted again, and then returned to KAB as a high school sophomore. An airy dancer with to-die-for feet and easy technique, Megan Amanda graduated this past spring. Here, she shares moments from her senior year, documented by photographer Paolo Galli. —Katie Rolnick

Sep11_Diary1 Photo by Paolo Galli. Here, Megan Amanda and her friend Isaac Aoki, also at KAB, rehearse for the performance.

Sep11_Diary2 Photo by Paolo Galli. Megan Amanda and other KAB students rehearse a demonstration for public school students.

 

Sep11_Diary3 Photo by Paolo Galli. Megan Amanda and Isaac sneak in a game of cards before class.

Sep11_Diary4 Photo By Paolo Galli. December 2010: At KAB’s winter performance, Megan Amanda danced the pas de deux from La Sylphide. Here, her mom helps her into her costume.

 

Sep11_Diary5 Photo by Paolo Galli, Courtesy   The Balanchine Trust. She also danced the Waltz Girl in George Balanchine’s Serenade.

 

Sep11_Diary6 Photo by Isaac Aoki. January 2011: Megan Amanda did an impromptu photo shoot with her friend Isaac Aoki, who’s also a fledgling photographer.

 

Sep11_Diary7 Photo by Paulo Galli. March 2011: Megan Amanda found time to read, one of her favorite hobbies.

 

Sep11_Diary8 Photo by Paulo Galli. April 2011: Megan Amanda and fellow student Alex Babayev were asked to perform at a special awards ceremony. Martin Fredmann, deputy artistic director of the KAB, joined them—and they were all picked up in a limo!

 

Sep11_Diary9 Photo by Paolo Galli. Megan Amanda in class with teacher Ludmila Morkovina

 

Sep11_Diary10 Photo by Paolo Galli. April 2011: For the KAB spring performance, Megan Amanda was cast as Odette in the second act of Swan Lake. Here, she rehearses with Chase O’Connell, a former KAB student.

 

Sep11_Diary11 Photo by Paolo Galli. Megan Amanda and Chu-En Chiu as Odette and Siegfried in KAB’s production of Swan Lake

 

Sep11_Diary12 Photo by Paolo Galli. As they approach graduation, seniors at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. get professional audition photos taken.

 

Sep11_Diary13 Photo by Paolo Galli. On May 28, 2011, Megan Amanda graduated from high school at KAB.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: After graduating, Megan Amanda moved to California to apprentice with San Francisco Ballet.

Fast Facts

Birthday: July 20, 1995 (she graduated at 15!)

Favorite dance movie: Center Stage

Favorite book: “I really like murder mystery novels and books by James Patterson.”

Favorite TV shows: “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory”

Most played on her iPod: The album Dusk and Summer by Dashboard Confessional

Dance idol: “I really like Polina Semionova. I also look up to a lot of my friends. Dancing next to them in class pushes me to make myself better.”

Dancer to Dancer
(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

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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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