#FollowFriday: @issadancelook Is the Dance Fashion Account You're About to Be Obsessed With

Our story begins on January 3, 2018, when an account called @issadancelook suddenly appeared on the Insta-horizon. Almost immediately, the page was chock-full of artsy shots of SUNY Purchase dancers in their quirkiest, most stylish classwear and rehearsalwear. Barely half a year later, the page has an intensely engaged base of followers and plans to highlight looks from dancers around the world.


Why are we obsessed with this account (and you should be, too)? First of all, the fashion choices are EVERYTHING. Clearly, Purchase attracts students who apply creativity to every part of their lives. (First among equals being Joy-Marie Thompson, who started and ran the page through the end of last month, and Dava Huesca, a rising senior who recently took on the project.) But what's really hooked followers like yours truly are the fantastic captions replete with dancer humor, excellent emoji use, and fascinating backstories behind the clothing pieces that make up dancers' in-studio wardrobes.

"Joy-Marie created this account as a platform to celebrate her peers at the Conservatory, as well as embrace our uniqueness in ways that aren't critiqued and in which technical ability doesn't matter," Huesca said in an email. "Issadancelook highlights our artistry through fashion. People are often curious about life behind the curtain; this page is a sneak peek into our eclectic style and ability to pull together looks that can be worn both inside and outside of the studio."

We're not the only ones impressed by these looks. The end of last month saw a collab conceptualized by Robert Wagoner, a freelance photographer and Purchase alumnus, with dancers modeling clothing by NYC-based clothing brand Supreme. I mean, will you just look at these in. cred. i. ble. pictures!

I can't, y'all. It's just too good.

By now, you're probably wondering if what you're wearing to class or rehearsal today in fact issa dance look or, um, is not. There's only one way to find out: The page accepts submissions! So what are you waiting for? Hit those DMs with your best ensemble and prepare for your 15 minutes of studio-style fame. And, in the wise words of Joy-Marie, "Stay looking good. Always arrive to the studio in your BEST attire and your BEST intentions." We couldn't agree more.

Latest Posts


Trans dancer, choreographer, and activist Sean Dorsey in his work Boys in Trouble (Keegan Marling, courtesy Sean Dorsey Dance)

8 Phenomenal Trans and GNC Dancers to Follow

Whether through color-specific costumes, classes separated by sex, or the "traditional" view of the roles boys and girls should play in ballet, most dance students are taught that their gender determines their role in the studio beginning in elementary school. And, especially for those struggling with their own gender identity, that can cause harm and confusion. "From a very young age, I did not see myself reflected anywhere in the modern dance field," says trans dancer, choreographer, and activist Sean Dorsey. "There was a really intense message I received, which was that my body and identity don't have a place here."

Despite significant societal progress in regards to gender representation, the dance world has trailed behind, and many transgender and gender nonconforming teenagers still feel lost within the world of dance. Prominent trans and GNC professional dancers are few and far between. "Being a Black trans woman means I have to work extra, extra, extra hard, because I have to set the tone for the people who come after me," says Brielle "Tatianna" Rheames, a distinguished voguer.

But the rise of social platforms has given Rheames, Dorsey, and other trans and GNC dancers a path to visibility—and that visibility helps create community and change lives. "Social media plays an extremely big part," Rheames says. "You can't just hide us anymore." Here are eight incredible trans and GNC dancers to add to your own Instagram feed.

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