Kate's Note: 2011: The Year of the Dancer

Look around. Dance is everywhere. It’s not just in theaters and on stages across the world—it’s on TV and billboards, in movies and all over the web. In February, Natalie Portman took home an Oscar for her portrayal of an obsessed ballerina in Black Swan. Upcoming movies featuring dance include Footloose, Rock of Ages and Move. Recent television ads for Old Navy have featured some of our favorite dancers in the business (Hefa Tuita and Kayla Radomski, to name a couple). “So You Think You Can Dance” is now in its eighth season, and let’s not forget the dance-filled “Glee”! There’s even an original web series devoted to dance: “The LXD.”


Since the golden days of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, and even before, there have been remarkable dancers in Hollywood. And today, with so much demand for dance artists, L.A. is overflowing with talent.


At Dance Spirit, we cover the commercial scene in every issue, but this month we’ve put Tinseltown at center stage. In “Three Guys, a Girl and the Go-Tos” (p. 46) and “Hollywood Heavy Hitters” (p. 54), you’ll meet 22 people who are invigorating and enlivening the dance scene.


One thing dancers everywhere deal with is criticism: “You’re not right for the part, sorry.” “You’re a brunette, we’re looking for a blonde.” “You’re too short.” Recently, a beautiful young ballet dancer in NYC said to me, “One of the most difficult things about being a dancer is dealing with the constant criticism, both from my teachers and myself. They’re correcting what they see and I’m always looking in the mirror for the things that are wrong so I can fix them. It’s starting to wear on me.” What do you do when striving for perfection starts to suck all of the joy out of dancing? Turn to “Dealing With Criticism” (p. 34) for advice.


Then, since so many of you will be at summer study programs when you read this, turn to “Summer Study Survival Guide” (p. 58) for valuable advice from the pros.

Dig in, and don’t forget to give us feedback. We love hearing what you have to say!

Kate Lydon

In honor of The Commercial Issue, the staff answers the question: What’s your favorite dance commercial?


Sofia Boutella for Nike WomenKate Lydon, Editor in Chief


Britney Spears’ “Joy of Pepsi” commercials —Alison Feller, Deputy Editor in Chief

T-Mobile’s flash mob campaign —Colleen Bohen, Managing Editor


Pilobolus’ “Human Car” commercial for Ford —Margaret Fuhrer, Associate Editor


T-Mobile’s “Sidekick Dance-Off” spot —Katie Rolnick, Associate Editor


Gap’s “Khaki A-Go-Go” ad —Michael Anne Bailey, Assistant/Fashion Editor


The Target commercials featuring MOMIX —Josephine Daño, Senior Art Director


The Pepsi commercial featuring Jimmy Fallon and Parker Posey —Leah O’Donnell, Intern (Leah was Parker’s dance/stunt double for this spot!)



Photo of Daniel "Cloud" Campos by Joe Toreno.

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