May/June 2016


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  • Up Front: The Dirt with Raven McRae

    A New Yorker through and through, Raven McRae lights up any stage with her big-city energy. She started training ... More »

  • Letter To My Teenage Self: Kellie Epperheimer

    For the past decade, Kellie Epperheimer has captivated Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s audiences with her graceful fluidity and elegant ... More »

  • Dear Katie

    Former New York City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Dear Katie, I’m going to my ... More »

  • Broadway Baby

    Pint-size triple threat Evie Dolan has played bass-guitarist Katie in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock—The Musical since the ... More »

  • Farmer’s Market Picks

    It’s finally farmers’ market season! Every table is full of produce that looks perfectly delectable. But before grabbing one ... More »

  • Summer Level Letdown

    You fought through your audition nerves and earned admission to your dream summer program. You managed to pack all ... More »

  • Max Out Your Turnout

    Christina Pazcoguin, a teacher at Pure Barre in NYC and a former ballet dancers, walks us through three stretching ... More »

  • Skirting the Issue

    Step up your ballet skirt game with cool cuts, pretty patterns and bright colors. Related

  • Smooth Sailing

    Few things are as beautiful as a seamlessly executed grand rond de jambe: There’s something majestic about the high ... More »

  • Sand Dancing

    Five women in leather-soled boots sweep their feet across a sand-covered stage, accenting the music in maraca-like rhythms. With ... More »

  • Festival Fever

    Summer means ballet intensives and Nationals, right? Right. But it also means dancers are descending on college towns around ... More »

  • You Should Know: Nina Bartell

    Nina Bartell is such a complete performer that when she was crowned Teen Outstanding Dancer at the 2015 New ... More »

  • #Twinsies

    How did hip-hop prodigies Taylor Hatala and Larsen Thompson become the “Fraternal Twins”? Well, let’s see: Both are rising ... More »

  • How I Got The Gig

    Wondering how people actually book the dance world’s most coveted jobs? Cattle-call auditions aren’t the only route to a ... More »

  • Caught On Camera

    Odds are good you’ve seen a T. Milly—aka Tim Milgram—production: He’s filmed class routines for the likes of Tricia ... More »

  • The Cool Kid’s Guide to L.A.

    The City of Angels has a lot more to offer than overcrowded tourist spots. It’s also home to flourishing ... More »

  • Punk Ladies

    Release your inner rebel in edgy commercial looks that’ll set you apart from the crowd. Related

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

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Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

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Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

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