Kate's Note

When I was a young girl, I used to say a short prayer every night before I went to bed. “Dear Lord,” I would think, with my eyes closed and my hands clasped tightly on my stomach,“please help me to become a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet.” (Later in life, I started wishing for a spot in American Ballet Theatre, as well). Then I would add, “Oh, yeah, and please keep me, my mother, father, sister and brother healthy, too.”

 

While I’m sure that my singular focus played a large part in my landing a corps position with both companies, I sometimes wonder if in the long run it hindered me. As a teenager, I had become so taken with the prestige of the two companies and the possibility of dancing alongside my idols that I never asked myself whether the high-pressure atmosphere was right for my development as a dancer.  

 

As we point out in “The Company Quandary” by Kristin Lewis (p. 50), there aren’t just four ballet companies in the country. And while smaller companies may not be in the largest cities and may have shorter contracts, working with them can be equally—and sometimes even more—fulfilling.

 

Whether a big or small company will be their destination, the artistry is evident in our cover girl Emily Kadow (“The Natural,” p. 46); the five up-and-coming students from American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School featured on our fashion pages (“Prepped to Perfection,” p. 38);  and all of the other young dancers—including Jessi Trauth (“Becoming Sally Bowles,” p. 28) and Garrett Smith (“You Should Know,” p. 72)—in this issue.

 

We at Dance Spirit think all have the potential to live
out their dreams, whatever they may be, as do you! So reach beyond what you think is within your grasp, and don’t be afraid to let go of one dream to follow a new one. A long and fulfilling dance career is always a work in progress.

XXOO

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.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
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.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search