I misSU Danceworks!

I spent this past weekend at my alma mater, Syracuse University, screaming, reminiscing and missing the stage. I’ve anticipated seeing 2008 Danceworks, a student-run dance showcase, since my final bow last year. Marnie, my co-choreographer, and I spent two hours being razzled and dazzled by our old friends and fresh faces. Danceworks isn’t just some dance show. It’s one of the biggest clubs at SU and most widely attended performances. The audition process begins in September and the practices continue until the show in late February/early March.

Last year, Marnie and I picked our 18 dancers (12 girls and 6 guys) from the hundreds of students who auditioned. Tryouts can be vigorous and extremely competitive. But once the choreographers have selected their dancers, the creative juices start flowing and the bodies start moving. As choreographers, we chose and cut the music—a mix of Bodyrockers “I Like the Way” and Bob Sinclair’s “Rock This Party—created the lighting concept and styled the costumes. Our dance emulated a massive dance party at a nightclub, complete with vintage t-shirts, sassy partnering and even a fake “live DJ” on stage. I danced in three other numbers including Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Idioteque” and Britney Spear’s “(I Got that) Boom, Boom.” Because Danceworks dominated our lives last year, we’ve been counting down the days until we could participate in the show again—this time sitting on the other side of the curtain.

It was a bittersweet night for us. We had to hold each other back from running on stage and apologized numerous times for blowing the eardrums of the people in front of us. Overall, we were so proud of what the ’08 cast and choreographers accomplished. The satisfaction of knowing that we took chances on dancers who are now stars helped us let go. Legacies don’t necessarily graduate when you do. So for all those seniors (high school or college) whose final recital with your studio, dance team or theater troupe is approaching—know that when it’s over the beat goes on and you will too.

Latest Posts


Because there's never been a better time to binge-watch "Bunheads" (via Freeform)

5 of the Danciest TV Shows Streaming Right Now (and Where to Stream Them)

We're about two months into #SocialDisDancing, and let's be real—while we all wish we were spending every spare minute stretching, cross-training, or taking online classes, sometimes we just need to Netflix and chill.

We figure, if you're going to be watching TV anyways, why not make it dancy TV? After all, watching pros dance on-screen is basically dance class homework...or at least we'll say it is. Here are five of the danciest TV shows for you to watch—and where to find them.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
The cast of Center Stage in a promotional poster (courtesy Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Making of "Center Stage," as Remembered by Its Dance Stars

Whether you first watched it in a theater two decades ago or on Netflix last week, odds are you feel a deep connection to Center Stage. The cult classic, which premiered May 12, 2000, is arguably the greatest dance film ever made. (Dance obsessives might take issue with the "cult" before "classic," not to mention the "dance" before "film.") Jody Sawyer's ballet journey—which combines oh-wow-I've-had-those-blisters realism with wait-does-she-have-magic-color-changing-pointe-shoes fantasy—stands the test of time, early-aughts fashion be darned. We've memorized its highly quotable lines, laughed with (and, gently, at) its heroes, and been inspired by its sincere love of dance and dancers.

To celebrate Center Stage's 20th anniversary, we asked five of its dance stars to talk through their memories of the filming process. Here are their stories of on-set bonding, post-puke kissing scenes, and life imitating art imitating life.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

2020 Dance Grads: We Want to Put You on Our Cover!

Hello, all you members of the great Dance Class of 2020. With the world on lockdown, this hasn't been the graduation season you expected. You likely weren't able to go to prom; your commencement ceremonies have probably been delayed or canceled; and you might not have been able to take your planned-for final bow onstage.

Since you're missing out on so much, we'd like to give you a virtual ovation, to recognize all you've accomplished. And what's the highest honor we can bestow? The cover of Dance Spirit!

Here's the plan:

  • If you're a high school or college senior dancer, use this form to submit your information and dance portrait.
  • Each day during the month of May, we'll create a digital Dance Spirit cover starring one of you, chosen at random—31 covers in total.
  • At the end of the month, we'll create a "commencement video" featuring even more of your submitted dance photos.
  • 100 of you, selected by lottery, will also receive free one-year subscriptions to the print magazine.

Merde, 2020 graduates, as you dance your way into the future!

High School and College Senior Dancers: Submit Your Photo Here

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search