Lloyd Knight performing in Martha Graham's Night Journey (photo by Brigid Pierce, courtesy Knight)
Principal Lloyd Knight has become a true standout in the Martha Graham Dance Company thanks to his compelling presence and dynamic technique. Knight, who performs leading roles in iconic pieces like Appalachian Spring and Embattled Garden, was born in England and raised in Miami, where he trained at the Miami Conservatory and later graduated from New World School of the Arts. He received scholarships to The Ailey School and The Dance Theatre of Harlem School in NYC and joined MGDC in 2005. Catch him onstage with MGDC during its New York City Center season this month. —Courtney Bowers
Your professional dancer dreams may seem a little silly sometimes, but know that they'll always be around, and will carry you along your path to success. Hope and self-determination are what will guide you towards your goals! Stay focused and keep pushing.
You see great things for yourself, but lack self-esteem from time to time. You'll succeed as long as you know your worth and that you have something special no one else has. Respect and watch performers you admire, but don't compare yourself to them. Everyone brings something different to the art form. Your biggest concern should be yourself and continuing to stay open.
Knight at age 5 (courtesy Knight)
You want to "make it," but always remember why you started dancing in the first place. That feeling that can never be fully explained—the coming together of your physical, mental, and spiritual states all at once.
You'll go through a couple of injuries that'll test how badly you want this life, but they'll also remind you why you love to perform. Stay grounded and humble in your career and know that at some point you'll inspire future teenagers wanting to follow their dreams. Be a positive example of how giving this career can be.
A version of this story appeared in the April 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Letter to My Teenage Self: Lloyd Knight."
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancyFX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list: