Lauren Adams (Lee Cherry)

Lauren Adams Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self

She has movie-star looks and immaculate technique, but Lauren Adams is no superficial beauty: Her greatest gift is her sophisticated choreographic mind. Adams creates deeply felt works—loved by everyone from concert audiences to comp kids—that pulse with an energy at once raw and romantic. A native of Chesterfield, MI, she trained at Shelley's Spotlight (now called Spotlight Dance Works) and went on to perform with IV Dance Company and Jason Parsons Company. Her choreography has been featured everywhere from the Jazz Dance World Congress to the Capezio A.C.E. Awards; she's taught at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and The Juilliard School; and she's currently on faculty at 24 Seven Dance Convention. Keep an eye out for her new short film, “Running," which has screened in NYC and will be shared publicly this month. —Margaret Fuhrer


Dear Lauren,

You love dance. Hold tight to this truth when you're tested. Not every job or opportunity will be for you, but those that are meant for you will be worth the wait.

Work for free if it means helping a fellow artist bring his or her art to life. Trust me: The favor will be returned, and you'll meet many of your lifelong friends and collaborators through passion projects.

Try not to fuss over who likes your work and who doesn't. Some of your favorite work will be the work most criticized by others. You have to create what you feel in your heart and your bones. And on days when loving your own work doesn't seem to be enough, have yourself a good cry. You'll feel much better afterward.

Trust yourself. You know what's best for you and your career. Take the chances and the risks that will push you to grow. No apologies: You're allowed to grow.

You're going to make mistakes along the way. You'll stumble and downright fall. You'll be rejected—a lot. But you'll be in the ring for a long time, so get ready for a beautiful fight!

When you're doubting yourself, think of all of the people who've invested in you: your family, your teachers, your students and your friends. You're not in this alone. Your job is to be generous with what you can give.

Be brave.

Love,

Lauren

Adams at her first dance recital (courtesy Adams)


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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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