As a young, pre-professional dancer, I always looked forward to summertime with great anticipation. While my academic school friends thought I was crazy to want to spend my vacation inside a dance studio, I couldn’t wait for the chance to concentrate on my technique without any interruptions. Most of all, I remember the excitement of traveling to new places (I often went to summer programs in cities away from home), making new friends from all over the country (many of whom later became my professional peers), learning from new teachers and exploring different ways of moving. I was always drained when the summer intensives ended, but I was also satisfied. I could tell that I’d grown and that I would be returning home with a deeper understanding of my dancing, plus great memories.
Although right now it’s the middle of winter, this is Dance Spirit’s Summer Study issue! Trust me, if you plan to attend a summer program this year, now’s the time to figure out where you want to study. Here’s my suggestion: Dream up your ideal program and then peruse our “2011 Summer Study Guide” (p. 70). This year there are 187 listings to check out! But before you make any decisions, don’t miss “Leap of Faith” (p. 56). This story describes the journey of four dancers who stepped out of their comfort zones and chose programs that would challenge them in totally new ways.
Next, turn immediately to p. 46 and read Alison Feller’s story about our three cover girls and their three sisters. (Yes, there are six beautiful DelGrosso sisters, and they all dance!) The DelGrosso’s ballroom training has not only helped them win major ballroom championships, but also paved the way for all kinds of other dance successes. Perhaps Ashly is the most recognizable sister, thanks to her four seasons on “Dancing with the Stars.” But Amber, Autumn, Afton, Averie and Abreá are just as intriguing.
Then, in “Dance Idols Divulge,” get tips from Heather Morris, Alex Wong, Desmond Richardson, Jeanine Mason, Tiler Peck and more. Just for you (yes, you!), we asked these dance luminaries to think about what tips they would share to help make you a better dancer. Turn to p. 52 to read what each one of them had to say.
And there’s so much more. Happy reading!
Happy New Year!
It’s January and you know what that means: Time to make your New Year’s resolution! Here, the DS editors share theirs.
Create more opportunities to share great meals and conversation with dance friends past and present. —Kate Lydon
Take dance classes outside my comfort zone. —Michael Anne Bailey
Read more dance history books. —Colleen Bohen
Spend some time at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts watching archival footage. —Katie Rolnick
Work on upper back and arm strength and reconnect with my core. I plan on doing a lot of military push-ups! —Khara Hanlon
Stop comparing myself to other dancers. —Sarah Badger
See more tap performances, and get back into salsa classes. —Margaret Fuhrer
Pictured: The DelGrosso sisters getting goofy at their DS photo shoot. Photo by Alison Feller.