Kate's Note: On The Comp Scene

Every summer, when it comes time for the Dance Spirit editors to attend national competitions, the energy in our office is electric. We know we’ll see dancers who will surprise us (Sarah Pippin!), group routines that will make us stand up and cheer (Center Stage Performing Arts Studio’s “Monsters”) and trends that will get us talking (the Black Swan/White Swan theme was a popular one this year). We count on competitions to draw fresh talent from across the country that will knock our socks off. This past season did not disappoint.

Inside this October issue—the annual competition and convention issue—you’ll find the DS editors’ Nationals trend-spotting report (“Our Favorite Things,” p. 78) and the competition and convention listing (p. 100)—a must-read resource that will help you, your teachers and your parents gear up for 2012. Choreographer Travis Wall shares his best tips for dancers who are starting to navigate the professional world (p. 88); “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 3 star Jaimie Goodwin dishes “The Dirt” (p. 46) and Kenny Wormald spills about the filming of his new movie, Footloose (p. 43). Plus Houston Ballet II dancer Makensie Howe shares the diary she kept throughout the Youth America Grand Prix finals in NYC (p. 52).

But before you dig in, this month we crown a winner in a competition of our own. Please join me in congratulating Kaitlynn Edgar, winner of Dance Spirit’s 2011 Cover Model Search! Thousands of readers voted for each of the finalists—Maddie Swenson, Zoey Anderson and Kaitlynn. These girls are not only talented and beautiful dancers—they care about being educated, as well. This fall Kaitlynn and Maddie are studying at Juilliard (Kaitlynn as a freshman and Maddie as a sophomore), and Zoey is a freshman at Marymount Manhattan College. Turn to p. 74 to find out how Kaitlynn’s experiences last year changed the way she’s thinking about her dance future.

One last thing: Entering the 2012 Cover Model Search competition is easy! Just log on to dancemedia.com and upload a video of yourself dancing. You (yes, you!) could be one of the three dancers selected to come to NYC and compete for the featured spot on next year’s cover. Remember: You can’t win if you don’t try!

Best of luck,

Kate Lydon

Photos top to bottom: Sarah Pippin, photo by ProPix/New York City Dance Alliance; Center Stage Performing Arts Studio's "Monsters" routine at NYCDA, photo by ProPix/New York City Dance Alliance

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