Kate's Note: Star Search

One thing the editors of Dance Spirit have known for a long time is that competitions and conventions are great places to discover talent. That’s why each year when Nationals roll around, the DS office turns into what feels like a traditional newsroom. We’ve got charts detailing which events are happening when, and which ones overlap in what cities, with yellow notes specifying who is traveling where. All summer we’re in constant contact—e-mailing trends we’ve spotted, photos we’ve taken, master teachers we’re obsessed with (Misha Gabriel, Mandy Moore, Andy Blankenbuehler, Ray Leeper) and names of dancers we want to write about.


We get ourselves worked up because each season there’s never a question of if we’re going to spot dancers we fall in love with—there’s only a question of who they’re going to be. And we can’t wait to see who will pop up in our pages for years to come.


Two years ago Deputy Editor in Chief Alison Feller and I elbowed one another when we saw Jakob Karr perform at Nationals, long before he landed a spot on the “So You Think You Can Dance” stage. Last year we loved Alexa Anderson (this year’s Cover Model Search winner!), Kaitlynn Edgar, Mason Manning and Richard Villaverde. And this year Jorgen Willard, Jayci Kalb and Joey Arrigo had us all atwitter (literally).


Turn to p. 68 and you might even see yourself! In “Best of Nationals,” we highlight our favorite things from competition. Plus we point out what we loved (honest onstage emotion and awesome props) and loathed (an overabundance of tilts and rhinestone chokers).


Our fashion story, “Red Hot Runway” (p. 56), highlights even more young talents spotted on the comp circuit. It also features great looks that can take you from studio to stage with a quick hair and make-up adjustment.


Now’s the time to plan your 2011 comp season, so flip to our annual “Competitions and Conventions Guide” (p. 104) to check out more than 145 events!


Lastly, as you know, DS has just wrapped up a competition of our own. Congratulations to Alexa Anderson for winning the 2010 Cover Model Search, sponsored by Discount Dance Supply! To read all about Alexa and what she hopes to accomplish this year, turn to p. 64.


We also want to thank Patricia Zhou and Emily James for being incredible finalists—we look forward to watching them dazzle audiences with their talents—and all of the DS readers who went online to vote at dancespirit.com/.


As you read this note, time is ticking to apply for next year’s contest. As of now, you’ve got three more months to apply for the 2011 Cover Model Search competition. (The deadline to apply is December 31.) So go to dancemedia.com and click on “Contests” to upload your video. Two semifinalists are chosen each month—one Viewer’s Choice and one Editor’s Choice—and all semi-finalists are considered for a spot in our Top Three.


Will the October 2011 cover feature your photo? You can’t win if you don’t compete. We’re waiting to discover you!


Kate Lydon



Photo of Alexa Anderson, winner of the 2010 Cover Model Search, performing at JUMP courtesy Break the Floor Productions.

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