Teddy Forance Writes a Letter to His Teenage Self

Rob Daly, courtesy Teddy Forance

Whether he's onstage with Shaping Sound—the company he helped co-found with Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Kyle Robinson—or performing with artists like P!nk, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga or Usher, contemporary dancer Teddy Forance never delivers anything less than jaw-dropping performances. His technique is flawless and he leaves everything he has on the stage, every single time. The Easthampton, MA, native grew up dancing at the Hackworth School of Performing Arts, which was founded by his great-grandfather and has been owned by his family for more than 80 years. At 17, Forance toured Greece as a dancer with pop star Anna Vissi. He later assisted on Céline Dion's Taking Chances world tour and was a lead dancer in Cirque du Soleil's Delirium. He's performed on and choreographed for “So You Think You Can Dance" and “Dancing with the Stars," and starred in the Step Up Revolution film. Currently, he choreographs for Shaping Sound and is on faculty with JUMP Dance Convention.


Dear Teddy,

You have no clue about the roller coaster ride you're about to go on, so buckle up! I don't want to tell you too much because being surprised is the best part of experiencing life.

The journey we all go on to find ourselves is infinite. Keep creating choreography until 3 am because it's good for your soul. Stay focused on what matters. Talk to strangers on your travels and learn about life every chance you get. When you let go of your insecurities, you truly begin to see all the possibilities in your art and vision—and of what your career can be.

Very soon, your life will change drastically and you'll be in Europe for a while. Every person you meet along the way shifts your path into the direction you need to go. These inspirations, artists, friends and family are the fuel to your artistic spirit. The desire to create will rattle your bones early every morning and give you no choice but to wake up! This feeling is what you live for and it's why you'll have the opportunity to collaborate with so many brilliant minds. You're 28 now and recently performed with P!nk at the Billboard Music Awards and you're about to be a dad for the first time! Start saving your money, take more ballet classes and breathe in all the moments that are about to happen...

Good luck, Tiger!

Teddy

Dancer to Dancer
(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.

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Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe

It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.

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