Juliet Doherty and Thomas Doherty in High Strung Free Dance (Cos Aelenei, courtesy Sicily Publicity)

"High Strung: Free Dance" Hits Theaters Tomorrow

It's been over three years since the first High Strung was released, and fans of the dancetastic movie have been itching for more ever since. Thankfully, the film's sequel, High Strung: Free Dance, is set to premiere tomorrow, October 11.

The new story follows Barlow, a young ballet dancer longing to break into the Broadway and commercial scene. With opposition from those closest to her, however, she knows the road ahead will be difficult. Two-time Dance Spirit cover girl Juliet Doherty plays Barlow in the film.

One of Doherty's favorite aspects of High Strung: Free Dance is the variety of dance genres featured, from classical ballet to jazz to hip hop to musical theater. "I grew up doing a lot of different styles—not only ballet—so it brought me back to my roots, and reminded me why training to be as versatile as you can when you're a young dancer is so important," she says.

Juliet Doherty (right) with co-stars (from left) Kerrynton Jones and Nataly Santiago (Jo Bee, courtesy Sicily Publicity)

The movie's stylistic diversity is largely thanks to its head choreographer, Tyce Diorio. Along with associate choreographers Myles Thatcher, Phillip Chbeeb, and Nakul Dev Mahajan, he wove multiple styles into High Strung: Free Dance.

"Sometimes in dance films, I feel that the movement and the dance get introduced to a storyline and it doesn't seem organic," Diorio says. "But the theatricality of this film makes total sense."

Both Diorio and Doherty hope that High Strung: Free Dance inspires the next generation of dancers to never stop chasing their dreams. "Of course it's important to get other people's perspectives, but listen to your inner voice and chase your own passions," Doherty says. "If you have a strong feeling about something, try not to get swayed by other people."

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.


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