Kate's Note: We Love America's Favorite Dancer

A big part of Dance Spirit’s mission is to discover young dance talents before they’re famous. Just like the judges on “So You Think You Can Dance,” the DS editors are constantly on the lookout for future dance stars to write about. We get so hyped up when we spot a first-year corps de ballet member who we just know will rise swiftly through the ranks, or a competition dancer who we think has what it takes to have a successful commercial career—or even win the “SYTYCD” title someday!


So in August, when Cat Deeley announced that Lauren Froderman was “America’s Favorite Dancer,” we, the DS editors, jumped off our couches. Although we would have been happy to feature any of the three talented “SYTYCD” finalists on the cover (Kent Boyd and Robert Roldan are obviously phenomenally talented), we were over the moon for Lauren. You see, DS first featured Lauren in an October 2007 fashion spread along with Season 5 finalist Kayla Radomski and three more of that year’s “hottest dancers on the competition circuit.” Now, three years and one month later, Lauren’s on the cover!


Along with Lauren’s profile, this issue is packed with fresh faces and genuine superstars: New York City Ballet prima Maria Kowroski (p. 30), "Glee"’s brilliant choreographer Zach Woodlee (p. 64), “SYTYCD” Season 6 runner-up and current “Bad Boy” Jakob Karr (p. 32), this year’s queen of the competition circuit, Kaitlynn Edgar (p. 96) and so many more. Plus we’ve got hot topics galore. Our annual L.A. Guide (p. 60) opens with an exclusive peek inside one of Hollywood’s most talked-about auditions: the remake of Footloose. And in “The Contemporary Conundrum” (p. 68) DS finally answers the question that’s been on everyone’s mind lately: What the heck is contemporary dance, anyway?


So get reading! And when you’re finished, we want to know what you think—send us an e-mail, write on our Facebook wall or tweet us on Twitter!




Kate Lydon


Photo of Lauren Froderman by Erin Baiano.




Congratulations to Lauren Froderman for winning the “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 7 title of “America’s Favorite Dancer,” $250,000 and the cover of this month’s magazine!


Before They Were Stars...

DS is known for spotting stars before they hit the big time. During this season of “SYTYCD,” we had already featured Lauren Froderman, as well as Alex Wong (July/August 2009), Alexie Agdeppa (April 2009) and Melinda Sullivan (May/June 2003). Ida Saki (she left Vegas Week to go to YoungArts Week and her departure got a lot of airtime) was our 2009 Cover Model Search winner and Nicole Knudson (the Vegas finalist who got flak about her big hair) was also a CMS finalist. We can’t wait to see who we’ll recognize next season!

(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to 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 on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?


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Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

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