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."

Latest Posts


Viktorina Kapitonova in "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" (photo by Ryan Capstick, courtesy Corey Baker Dance)

Please Enjoy the Quarantine Genius of “Swan Lake Bath Ballet”

That old saying about limitations breeding creativity—hat tip to Orson Welles—has never felt more relevant than in these lockdown days. Here's the latest brilliant dance project born (hatched?) of quarantine restrictions: "Swan Lake Bath Ballet," a contemporary take on the classic featuring 27 A-list ballet dancers performing from their own bathtubs.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search