January 2016 Table of Contents

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Teenage Mutants
Gabe De Guzman and Kaycee Rice are a stage match made in hip-hop heaven.

Choose Your Own Summer Adventure
Not sure which intensive is right for you? Take our quiz to find out.

"The Summer Program that Changed My Life"
Four pros talk about their most influential intensives.

The Dance Spirit 2016 Summer Study Guide

My Life on Insta
Seven days in Lucy Vallely's oh-so-photogenic life.

Up Front: Buzz
Jennifer Lopez's Las Vegas show; talking to "Grease: Live!" choreographer Zach Woodlee.

Up Front: The Dirt
San Francisco Ballet's Isabella DeVivo.

Dear Katie
Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions.

Letter To My Teenage Self
American Ballet Theatre principal Stella Abrera.

Off The Record
Commercial dancer Cassandra Naud refused to let a birthmark get in the way of her dreams.

Body Buzz
The surprising ways seeds can benefit your body; how to prevent and handle Achilles tendinitis.

Health
Dancing with scoliosis.

Fashion
Meet four "Dancers of New York"—and find out how to get their studio style.

Style Lab
The unitard is back, and you'll love its new look.

Spotlight: Ballroom
Tips for tackling hip action.

College Corner
How to make the most out of your overnight visit.

Future Star
The second round of 2015 Future Star winners.

Branch Out
Inside "The Ensemblist" podcast.

You Should Know
Hip-hop phenom Bailey Sok.

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

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Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

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Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

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