Suzi Taylor

When Suzi Taylor started choreographing and teaching more than 20 years ago, lyrical dance was just beginning to grow in popularity. Now, Taylor has gained international renown for her lyrical jazz style: In addition to her long-term teaching commitments at New York City Dance Alliance and Steps on Broadway, she’s choreographed and led workshops in countries as varied as Brazil, Japan, Italy, France, Canada, Israel and Scotland!

Originally from La Cañada Flintridge, CA, Taylor started training at what is now the Pasadena Dance Theater. At 18, she moved to NYC, where she studied at The Ailey School and with ballet dancers Finis Jhung and Robert Blankshine. She began subbing at Steps in the late 1980s, and was soon asked to join the faculty. Taylor threw herself into teaching, but throughout her 20s and 30s continued to perform, often making guest appearances with the companies for which she was teaching and choreographing. Taylor’s lyrical choreography—easily recognizable for its unique mix of control and abandon—is now seen at NYCDA conventions across the country, and her much-loved Steps classes are routinely packed. —Amy Smith

To my younger self,

You have so many dreams and aspirations—so many goals you think are set in stone. Remember that dreams are there to guide you, but they don’t always lead you in just one direction. Be open to paths that might not end at your original ideal.

Be inspired by other dancers, but not intimidated by them. Learn from your teachers, but don’t let them tear you down. Work hard—it will bring results—but remember that perfection is elusive. Technique is key, but presence, strength, grace and vulnerability are what make an artist special.

Pay attention to your body. Let it heal when you’re hurting and rest when you’re weary. Doing so will save you so much pain later. And you’re going to want to dance for a long time!

You will have opportunities to travel to amazing places, work with gifted dancers and meet truly wonderful people. Appreciate every moment, because you will treasure these memories forever. And let love and family keep you balanced. You can have it all—maybe just not quite the way you expected.

It’s a wonderful life ahead. Keep dreaming, smiling and dancing!


Suzi Taylor

Latest Posts

Because there's never been a better time to binge-watch "Bunheads" (via Freeform)

5 of the Danciest TV Shows Streaming Right Now (and Where to Stream Them)

We're about two months into #SocialDisDancing, and let's be real—while we all wish we were spending every spare minute stretching, cross-training, or taking online classes, sometimes we just need to Netflix and chill.

We figure, if you're going to be watching TV anyways, why not make it dancy TV? After all, watching pros dance on-screen is basically dance class homework...or at least we'll say it is. Here are five of the danciest TV shows for you to watch—and where to find them.

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The cast of Center Stage in a promotional poster (courtesy Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Making of "Center Stage," as Remembered by Its Dance Stars

Whether you first watched it in a theater two decades ago or on Netflix last week, odds are you feel a deep connection to Center Stage. The cult classic, which premiered May 12, 2000, is arguably the greatest dance film ever made. (Dance obsessives might take issue with the "cult" before "classic," not to mention the "dance" before "film.") Jody Sawyer's ballet journey—which combines oh-wow-I've-had-those-blisters realism with wait-does-she-have-magic-color-changing-pointe-shoes fantasy—stands the test of time, early-aughts fashion be darned. We've memorized its highly quotable lines, laughed with (and, gently, at) its heroes, and been inspired by its sincere love of dance and dancers.

To celebrate Center Stage's 20th anniversary, we asked five of its dance stars to talk through their memories of the filming process. Here are their stories of on-set bonding, post-puke kissing scenes, and life imitating art imitating life.

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2020 Dance Grads: We Want to Put You on Our Cover!

Hello, all you members of the great Dance Class of 2020. With the world on lockdown, this hasn't been the graduation season you expected. You likely weren't able to go to prom; your commencement ceremonies have probably been delayed or canceled; and you might not have been able to take your planned-for final bow onstage.

Since you're missing out on so much, we'd like to give you a virtual ovation, to recognize all you've accomplished. And what's the highest honor we can bestow? The cover of Dance Spirit!

Here's the plan:

  • If you're a high school or college senior dancer, use this form to submit your information and dance portrait.
  • Each day during the month of May, we'll create a digital Dance Spirit cover starring one of you, chosen at random—31 covers in total.
  • At the end of the month, we'll create a "commencement video" featuring even more of your submitted dance photos.
  • 100 of you, selected by lottery, will also receive free one-year subscriptions to the print magazine.

Merde, 2020 graduates, as you dance your way into the future!

High School and College Senior Dancers: Submit Your Photo Here

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