Meet the Editors

Margaret Fuhrer, Editor in Chief

Photo by Erin Baiano

When I was 3, I told my mom that I wanted to be a ballerina. She thought I just wanted a tutu, so she made me one—but she quickly discovered I was serious! Two years later I started taking ballet classes, and I've been dancing ever since. During high school I attended summer programs at the Chautauqua Institution and Boston Ballet, and performed with a youth ballet company. Bad knees kept me from auditioning for professional groups, so I ended up at Princeton University, where I discovered choreography (and hip hop!) in a fantastic student-run dance troupe, diSiac Dance Company. College was also where I fell in love with writing. After graduation I pursued a master's degree in journalism as part of New York University's Cultural Reporting and Criticism program (where I met my idol, New Yorker dance writer Joan Acocella). Now I'm lucky enough to be combining all of my passions at Dance Spirit.


Courtney Bowers, Managing Editor

Photo by Nathan Sayers

For my first tap performance, at age 5, I wore the world's itchiest blue tutu—but I couldn't have cared less, because from that moment on I was absolutely in love with being onstage. A few years later, I got into musical theater dance and began attending summer programs at Broadway Dance Center. While studying at Georgia State University, I performed in regional productions—Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, 42nd Street—and also discovered my love of magazine journalism. After working for a few years at a publishing company in Atlanta, I decided it was finally time to make the move to NYC. Now, I'm beyond grateful to be merging my passions here at Dance Spirit.


Olivia Manno, Assistant Editor

Photo by Lucas Chilczuk

I was 4 years old when my mom thought it would be a good idea to put me on a pony rather than in a dance class. 18 years later, I have no regrets—I had an incredible competitive horseback riding career—but the itch to dance never really disappeared. So, instead of attempting an art form that takes a lifetime to master (not to mention some serious natural ability), I decided to admire dance as a spectator and a student. Attending New York University as a fine arts major was especially eye-opening. There was so, so much amazing dance within NYC. I started going to New York City Ballet and to shows at the Joyce Theater as much as possible, and was lucky enough to witness works of every dance genre by some insanely talented student-choreographers at NYU. Now I'm reading and writing about dance all day, and I couldn't be more excited!


Helen Rolfe, Assistant Editor

Photo by Erin Baiano

Because she knew I'd end up tall (I'm just over 5'10"), my mom thought I should learn to stand up straight and wear my height with pride. So she put me in a combination ballet/tap class when I was 4—and I hated it right off the bat. Everything changed a few years later, when I realized working hard meant improved technique and—even better—time in the spotlight! I tackled every style I could get my hands on in my hometown of Norfolk, VA, and on weekend trips to D.C. and NYC. During high school, I trained in musical theater at the Governor's School for the Arts and spent summers at the Rockettes Summer Intensive, Ballet Chicago and Interlochen Arts Camp before moving to NYC to model professionally. After four years studying Japanese, dance and philosophy at Connecticut College, I'm thrilled to be living my dance-writing dreams in the greatest city in the world. (Yes, that was a Hamilton reference!)


Katherine Beard, Assistant Editor

Photo by Jayme Thornton

I started studying ballet at three years old, and have been smitten with it ever since. When I was seven, my mom asked me why I liked dancing so much, and I told her that when I danced nothing else mattered and everything just made sense. (Although I 'm not gonna lie—the gorgeous tutus were a major draw, too.) Though I've tried to quit ballet a few times since, the little girl within just won't relent. After working at Marie Claire, U.S. News & World Report, and The New York Times, as well as a stint in Africa, I now get to combine my passion for journalism and my love of dance, working at the company that nurtured my dreams of tutus and pointe shoes to begin with.

Show Comments ()
Dancer to Dancer
James Whiteside and Misty Copeland showing off Odile's Gemini tendancies in "Swan Lake" (original photo by Gene Schiavone)

Over the last couple of months, I've gotten really (like really) into astrology, by way of memes on Instagram. If you're a millennial or Gen-Zer locked in an eternal scroll like I am (except it's my job, so I have an excuse!), then you're no stranger to these types of posts. One popular format? A list assigning zodiac signs with their corresponding "things," from foods to colors and everything in between. And since y'all love our memes (we're making more, we swear), I decided to spend my Friday afternoon figuring out each sign's classical ballet equivalent. I recruited fellow DS editor Helen Rolfe, and we proceeded to conduct a VERY scientific and THOROUGHLY researched study. If you don't like yours, I truly am sorry, but the stars don't lie. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Behold, the signs as classical ballets!

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
@brittanytemple_ Bohemian And Barefoot Blog

From Mandy Moore to Boston Ballet, the most trusted professionals in the dance community are recommending Apolla Shocks. We decided to investigate further and learn more about the footwear company that has started a new revolution in the dance world.

The revolution begins

Apolla Shocks are everywhere right now. Your favorite dancers on "So You Think You Can Dance", on tour with "Shaping Sound", at conventions, in class, and on competition stages. These dancers are not just wearing socks. They are wearing Shocks!

What do all these dancers know that you don't? Why are they building such a strong and loyal customer base? To understand better, we asked some of the most trusted dancers, choreographers, and physical therapists in the dance community why they recommend Apolla Shocks?

Mandy Moore (award winning producer, director & choreographer)
"I wear Apolla Shocks when I am in the studio all day creating. They make my feet feel like they are on clouds! Who knew that a little sock could bring such happiness to my aching feet…"

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
(L to R) Vikas Arun, Gerson Lanza, and Jabu Graybeal in Chloe Arnold's "GLORY" (screenshot via Facebook)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Tap dancer and choreographer extraordinaire Chloe Arnold was inspired by these words from Martin Luther King, Jr. to create a piece in solidarity with the #SayTheirNames movement (a campaign to highlight stories of police brutality as told by the victims' families).

Released earlier this week, the heartbreakingly beautiful clip stars Vikas Arun, Jabu Graybeal, and Gerson Lanza, all dancers with Arnold's Apartment 33 company. Watch closely: Reigning NYCDA National Teen Male Outstanding Dancer David Keingatti also makes a memorable cameo towards the end.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet soloist Lauren Strongin's classic grace and powerful acting skills captivate audiences. The Los Gatos, CA, native trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet and the John Cranko School before joining Houston Ballet in 2009. In 2015, she came to SFB as a soloist and has since danced principal roles in ballets including Giselle, Swan Lake, "Rubies," and Onegin. This month, catch her performing with SFB in New York City Center's Balanchine: The City Center Years program. —Courtney Bowers

Keep reading... Show less
Just for Fun
#2: High School Musical. We've waited long enough! (Giphy)

Producers just looooove turning hit movies into huge Broadway shows. From Legally Blonde to Hairspray to Billy Elliot, some of our favorite dancetastic musicals got their start on the big screen. So listen up, Broadway: Here are 10 movies that need to be turned into musicals ASAP.

Keep reading... Show less
Editors’ List: The Goods
Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alison Stroming in a Capezio leotard (via capezio.com)

There's a change in the air these past few weeks—is it fall? Not quite yet. More importantly, it's PUMPKIN SPICE SEASON. And now, the quintessentially autumnal flavor isn't just for lattes anymore. Dancewear companies are picking up on the trend, offering more and more pieces in rich, sweet orange shades. Behold, eight of our favorite pumpkin spice-inspired pieces for your dancing enjoyment.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer

This past January, 18-year-old Jay Ledford did what tons of aspiring dancers do every day: She posted a beautiful dance shot to Instagram. But this photo carried more weight than most. Clad in a black leotard, tights, and pointe shoes, and hitting a stunning arabesque, she was beginning a new journey—as a transgender ballerina. Ledford, then a student at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC, never thought she'd come out on Instagram, let alone experience such an outpouring of support. Here, she talks to Dance Spirit about the experiences she's had over the last 10 months, her hopes for the future, and what she wants the dance world to understand about trans dancers. —Olivia Manno

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
James Whiteside and Misty Copeland showing off Odile's Gemini tendancies in "Swan Lake" (original photo by Gene Schiavone)

Over the last couple of months, I've gotten really (like really) into astrology, by way of memes on Instagram. If you're a millennial or Gen-Zer locked in an eternal scroll like I am (except it's my job, so I have an excuse!), then you're no stranger to these types of posts. One popular format? A list assigning zodiac signs with their corresponding "things," from foods to colors and everything in between. And since y'all love our memes (we're making more, we swear), I decided to spend my Friday afternoon figuring out each sign's classical ballet equivalent. I recruited fellow DS editor Helen Rolfe, and we proceeded to conduct a VERY scientific and THOROUGHLY researched study. If you don't like yours, I truly am sorry, but the stars don't lie. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Behold, the signs as classical ballets!

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
@brittanytemple_ Bohemian And Barefoot Blog

From Mandy Moore to Boston Ballet, the most trusted professionals in the dance community are recommending Apolla Shocks. We decided to investigate further and learn more about the footwear company that has started a new revolution in the dance world.

The revolution begins

Apolla Shocks are everywhere right now. Your favorite dancers on "So You Think You Can Dance", on tour with "Shaping Sound", at conventions, in class, and on competition stages. These dancers are not just wearing socks. They are wearing Shocks!

What do all these dancers know that you don't? Why are they building such a strong and loyal customer base? To understand better, we asked some of the most trusted dancers, choreographers, and physical therapists in the dance community why they recommend Apolla Shocks?

Mandy Moore (award winning producer, director & choreographer)
"I wear Apolla Shocks when I am in the studio all day creating. They make my feet feel like they are on clouds! Who knew that a little sock could bring such happiness to my aching feet…"

Keep reading... Show less
Editors’ List: The Goods
Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alison Stroming in a Capezio leotard (via capezio.com)

There's a change in the air these past few weeks—is it fall? Not quite yet. More importantly, it's PUMPKIN SPICE SEASON. And now, the quintessentially autumnal flavor isn't just for lattes anymore. Dancewear companies are picking up on the trend, offering more and more pieces in rich, sweet orange shades. Behold, eight of our favorite pumpkin spice-inspired pieces for your dancing enjoyment.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope in An American in Paris (courtesy Trafalgar Releasing)

Couldn't make it to the Tony Award–winning Broadway revival of An American in Paris? Or DID make it to the show, but now miss it like ca-razy? Either way, we have fabulous news: Both today and Sunday, September 23, movie theaters across America are screening the gorgeous musical, directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.

Keep reading... Show less
Health & Body
Thinkstock

You've probably heard that protein is essential in a dancer's diet. But you might not know what protein actually does for your hardworking bod, how much you should be eating, and—gasp!—why it could actually be overrated. We asked Andrea Chernus (a registered dietitian nutritionist who advises Juilliard students and Hamilton cast members) and Nora Minno (a certified personal trainer, registered dietitian, and former pro dancer) to spill all the protein pointers they share with their dancer clients.

Keep reading... Show less
Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams in George Balanchine's Agon (courtesy Dance Magazine Archives)

Former New York City Ballet principal dancer and Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell passed away today in a Manhattan hospital. He was 84 years old.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News

The iconic New York City dance studio Steps on Broadway has a new leader coming on board: Joe Lanteri. The New York City Dance Alliance founder will be Steps' new co-owner and executive director.

"For me, it's a big full circle," says Lanteri, who used to take class at Steps when he first moved to New York City, and started teaching there in the mid-1980s. The 4:30 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday Advanced Intermediate Jazz slot he held down for many years taught a slew of young talent—including choreographers-to-be like Jessica Lang and Sergio Trujillo. "As a young teacher, Steps was a platform for me to travel the world giving master classes; it became the underlying foundation for what I'm doing now in my life."

Keep reading... Show less
Videos
Screenshot via YouTube

Kylie Shea is no stranger to showcasing her quirky take on ballet to the masses. The Instagram star continues to entertain us with her unconventional dance routines on pointe, be it on her social media platforms, in music videos, and even commercials. And her collaboration with the Canadian band MAGIC is one of our favorites yet. Dancing to their hit song "Expectations," Shea and the band's lead singer Nasri have a low key dance-off. The video starts out somewhat somber, but as things progress, Shea's sense of humor shines through—culminating with a fabulous scene that has her jiving in a tutu.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Hayden Hopkins studying in the theater before transforming into Mystère's La Belle (courtesy Mystère 'by Cirque Du Soleil)

A full-time university isn't your only option for earning a degree. Enrolling in college part-time while pursuing a pro career is a challenge well worth the rewards.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Sponsored

Giveaways