Does Jared Parker look familiar? That’s probably because he was the bespectacled star of this year’s Tony Awards, standing out among the “Revolting Children” of Broadway’s Matilda: The Musical. Until the role of Nigel in Matilda came along, 11-year-old Jared had been focusing on his ballet training at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. He already has dance credits like The Australian Ballet’s Swan Lake and ABT’s The Nutcracker under his belt—and now Jared can check “outstanding Broadway debut” off his to-do list, too.
Jared Parker with the Broadway cast of Matilda: The Musical (by Joan Marcus)
"I love the live audiences on Broadway. They react differently to things every night, so the show feels different each time." —Jared Parker
Age he started dancing: 5
Who would play him in a movie? “I don’t know. Maybe SpongeBob SquarePants?”
Favorite food: “I like bacon, ice cream, lobster and risotto.”
Hidden talent: “I have really flexible thumbs. I can bend them back so they touch my wrists.”
The best advice he’s ever received: “[Matilda choreographer] Peter Darling said to tell a story when we’re dancing, because otherwise we’re just dancing like robots.”
Dance idol: Ivan Vasiliev
Favorite dance movie: First Position
Must-see TV shows: “So You Think You Can Dance.” “I also like ‘American Ninja Warrior.’ It has really crazy obstacle courses.”
Dream dance role: Ali, the slave, in Le Corsaire
Advice for DS readers: “If anyone gives you a note, really listen to what they say.”
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
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Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)
It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)
All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.
When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.