May/June 2019 Table of Contents

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A Star Is Born

Ariana DeBose is poised to become this generation's greatest triple threat.

In the Room Where It Happens

How to mentally and physically prepare yourself for your first NYC musical theater audition.

Presenting Dance Spirit's Annual Jazz Hand Awards

We round up the hottest new Broadway shows.

Stars of the Ensemble

These 5 Broadway standouts prove that self-described "ensemblists" are the real shining stars of the Great White Way.

The King of Broadway

One of the biggest attractions on Broadway right now is also literally the biggest attraction on Broadway right now.

Getting Carded

When should you join Actors' Equity?


The inside scoop on Lady Gaga's Vegas residency.

The Dirt

Commercial star Natalie Bebko.

Letter to My Teenage Self

Ballerina-turned-Broadway-star Sara Esty.

Off the Record

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Samantha Figgins on her journey with hearing loss.

Body Buzz

Dancing through PMS symptoms.


How to handle rejection.


Everything you need to know about exercise addiction.


Dancing more quietly in pointe shoes.

College Corner

What to do when postgrad life gets tough.

You Should Know

Ballet stunner Keaton Gillespie.

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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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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