Dancer to Dancer

Celebrate #NationalSiblingsDay with Our Favorite Dancer Siblings

Gorgeous dancing twins Samantha (left) and Jenelle Figgins (photo by Jefry Andres Wright, courtesy the Figgins)

Happy National Siblings Day, dance friends! While every sibling relationship is special, there's nothing quite like dancing alongside your sister/brother/twin. To commemorate this delightful little holiday, we've rounded up our favorite dance sibling duos, trios, and even sextets (yes, that'd be six dancing sibs), all of whom have been featured in the pages of Dance Spirit.


Nicole, Claire, and Emma Von Enck

The Von Enck sisters at a New York City Ballet gala (courtesy the Von Encks)

As kids, the lovely Von Enck ladies would put on shows together in their living room. These days, they're performing in slightly more prestigious venues: Nicole, the oldest, is with Texas Ballet Theater, and younger sisters Claire and Emma are at New York City Ballet. "It's never felt competitive between us, since we all dance completely differently," Nicole says. "I have a lot of drive and passion onstage. Claire has clean technique and the most flexibility. Emma has amazing feet and natural coordination. I honestly couldn't be prouder of both of them, and I probably brag about them far too often."

Samantha and Jenelle Figgins

Samantha (left) and Jenelle Figgins (photo by Jefry Andres Wright, courtesy the Figgins)

These fabulous twins grew up dancing together, but have never worked in the same dance company. (Currently, Samantha's with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Jenelle is with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.) "We each want to maintain our individuality, and if we were in the same company at the same time, that might be difficult," Jenelle told us. And despite their near-identical faces, they have different things to offer as dancers: " I've always been a really good turner, and Jenelle is a beautiful jumper," Samantha says. "I think she's more striking and I have a smoother quality."

David and Jacob Guzman

David (left) and Jacob Guzman (photo by Heidi Gutman)

The Guzman twins are both Broadway vets, and they frequently share the same stage: Both were in Newsies on the Great White Way, and now they're on tour with Hamilton. Unsurprisingly, they're super close—despite their competitive streaks. "Whether it's a video game or a physical sport, sometimes we'll get so into it that we'll get mad at each other," David told us. "But then two seconds later we'll say, 'Whatever, it's just a game.' We're best friends."

The DelGrosso Sisters: Amber, Ashly, Autumn, Averie, Afton, and Abreá

The DelGrosso dynasty (photo by Omi)

These six ballroom belles, daughters of Center Stage Performing Arts Studio director Kim DelGrosso, graced our January 2011 cover. We dubbed them "the A team," because, well, obviously, their names—but also because they're all super hardworking and, as a result, super successful. Learn more about them here.

Devin and Julia Ruth

The Ruth sisters (center) in "Tappin Thru Life" (courtesy the Ruths)

It's a tap sister act! The gifted Ruth siblings recently had the opportunity to perform together—alongside tap legend Maurice Hines—in the Off-Broadway show Tappin' Thru Life, and they absolutely loved sharing the spotlight. "It was surreal to be dancing next to my sister for four shows a week," Julia told us. "It was the most amazing experience."

Savanna and Serena Petruzello

(From left) Serena and Savana Petruzello (courtesy the Petruzellos)

Odds are good that you've seen these talented sisters dominating a class video (or fifteen) on YouTube. The identical twins frequently book commercial gigs together, because they not only look alike—they also dance, and even think, alike. "When teachers ask us to freestyle in class, we'll usually do similar things, even if we're on opposite sides of the room," Serena told DS. "We might even hit the same move or trick at the same time. It's so freaky!"

The Conversation
How To
San Francisco Ballet's Frances Chung in rehearsal (Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet)

Even for natural turners, pirouettes from fifth can be a challenge. You need to take off from a small crossed position and stay straight over your supporting leg, from start to finish. "It's the hardest place to turn from, because you can't access your plié as much as you can from fourth," says Jennie Somogyi, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet and director of Jennie Somogyi Ballet Academy in Easton, PA. "I'm always telling my students to plié more!"

If you're struggling with pirouettes from fifth position or want to refine your approach, try these pro tips.

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via joffreyballetschool.com

It's never too early to start thinking about your dream job. And summer intensives are an essential step down the road to achieving your dance dreams—whether you want to perform in music videos, ballet companies or Broadway shows.

With 19 programs across the U.S. (plus additional international programs) Joffrey Ballet School offers options for all types of dancers with all types of goals. Whatever you may be working toward this summer, there's a program that will help you get that much closer. We put together a guide to help you find the right one, based on your dream job:

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Rising Stars
Sykes Photography, courtesy Keisa Glover

At the tender age of 9, Destiny Wimpye moved cross-country with her mom so she could train at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. The leap of faith paid off: Destiny's spent summers training at the School of American Ballet, the Ailey School, and Pacific Northwest Ballet; performed for Michelle Obama at the White House; and danced beside Mariah Carey in a TV special for Disney. Now she's a full-time student at the Colburn Dance Academy under the direction of former New York City Ballet principals Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette, and it seems fated that Destiny will one day dance her dream role, Dewdrop in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. "I'm a jumper and a turner," Destiny says, "so I think it fits me pretty well."

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Dear Katie
Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I've been battling Achilles tendinitis for months—it never seems to get better. How can I deal with it? Could there be an issue with my technique that's causing the problem?

Fiona

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Health & Body
Getty Images

Ever since starting her professional career, Broadway dancer Amber Ardolino has cupped. Using the holistic wellness practice to improve performance and take care of her body, Ardolino cupped before it was cool—even beating the 2016 Rio Olympics' purple polka-dotted athletes to the punch. But Ardolino's only one dancer who has put this therapy to regular use. Dance Spirit asked Carrie Gaerte, PT, DPT, ATC, and performance rehab specialist with St. Vincent Sports Performance who works with Indianapolis' Dance Kaleidoscope; and Thomas Droge, Chinese-medicine doctor and founder of Pathfinder Institute in NYC, to explain the ins and outs of cupping therapy.

Amber Ardolino in "Hamilton" (courtesy Ardolino)

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See photo credits below

What inspires you most as a dancer? What keeps you going on the days when the motivation just isn't there, and makes you feel like all the hard work, rejection and sacrifice is worth it for the pursuit of your dream? What makes you want to run into an empty studio and create something new?

Cindy Clough, executive director of Just For Kix and a studio owner with over four decades of experience, often hangs posters with dance-related quotes on the walls of her studio, on everything from creativity to the hustle to the importance of teamwork. Sometimes the right words from dancers who have been there are just the push you need to spark your imagination and remind yourself why you love what you do.

In that spirit, here are 10 inspiring quotes from dancers on what their art form means to them, and why it's worth fighting through the hard parts:

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Just for Fun
Inside a Rockette audition (Amanda Schwab/Starpix)

Let's be real: Auditions can be rough. No matter how prepared you are, a lot of variables go into every audition—which means even the best of us mess up sometimes! Here are 7 audition fails every dancer has experienced at one point or another.

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Dance Fashion
Photo by Erin Baiano

4 hiring powers-that-be told DS their "do's" for dressing to audition.

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via joffreyballetschool.com

It's never too early to start thinking about your dream job. And summer intensives are an essential step down the road to achieving your dance dreams—whether you want to perform in music videos, ballet companies or Broadway shows.

With 19 programs across the U.S. (plus additional international programs) Joffrey Ballet School offers options for all types of dancers with all types of goals. Whatever you may be working toward this summer, there's a program that will help you get that much closer. We put together a guide to help you find the right one, based on your dream job:

Keep reading... Show less
Just for Fun

Colder weather is (finally) here, which means it's time for a good dance movie binge. But which iconic films should you put on? To narrow your search, we went ahead and ranked 30 of the greatest dance movies of all time.

Of course, we know a list like this is bound to be controversial—so if you disagree with our lineup, have at it in the comments!

Keep reading... Show less
How To
San Francisco Ballet's Frances Chung in rehearsal (Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet)

Even for natural turners, pirouettes from fifth can be a challenge. You need to take off from a small crossed position and stay straight over your supporting leg, from start to finish. "It's the hardest place to turn from, because you can't access your plié as much as you can from fourth," says Jennie Somogyi, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet and director of Jennie Somogyi Ballet Academy in Easton, PA. "I'm always telling my students to plié more!"

If you're struggling with pirouettes from fifth position or want to refine your approach, try these pro tips.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
Via YouTube

Oh, baby I'm a wreck (wreck) after watching Kinjaz's new music video.

Set to Post Malone's "Sunflower," the lead single from the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, the vid features the dance crew's ever-fabulous men—who appear to have Spidey senses, because seriously, how else do they stay down-to-the-fingertips in sync?—performing Vinh Nguyen's super-tight choreography, with an overlay of comic-book-esque graphics by editor Jonathan Shih.

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Cover Story
Photo by Nathan Sayers

Chloe Misseldine has every reason to be nervous as she and her partner run through the challenging wedding pas de deux from Don Quixote. Their performance is just days away and the two American Ballet Theatre Studio Company dancers have only had a week to prepare. Add to that the fact that ABT principal Gillian Murphy, one of the world's most famous ballerinas, is at the front of the studio taking notes.

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Body Buzz
Getty Images

If you haven't followed through on your New Year's resolution to practice more self-care, then Valentine's Day is the perfect time to start. Below, we rounded up the best ways to pamper, indulge, and heal everything from your muscles, to your skin, to your mind. Your body (and your dancing) will thank you.

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Dance News
State Ballet of Siberia dancer Yury Kudriavtsev wearing Siberian Swan shoes (courtesy Siberian Swan)

As ballet's gender roles grow increasingly blurred, more men than ever are reaching new heights: the tips of their toes.

It's no longer just Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and the few pointe-clad male character parts, like in Cinderella or Alexei Ratmansky's The Bright Stream. Some male dancers are starting to experiment with pointe shoes to strengthen their feet or expand their artistry. Michelle Dorrance even challenged the men in her cast at American Ballet Theatre to perform on pointe last season (although only Tyler Maloney ended up actually doing it onstage).

The one problem? Pointe shoes have traditionally only been designed for women. Until now.

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Dance News

Are you a college student curious about what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite magazine? You're in luck—because Dance Spirit is searching for an editorial intern for summer 2019!

We'll be accepting applications through March 1. Internships pay an hourly stipend and require a minimum two-day-a-week, onsite commitment in our NYC office from June to August. (We do not provide assistance securing housing.)

If you're interested, please send a cover letter, resumé and two writing samples to Margaret Fuhrer at mfuhrer@dancemedia.com. Be sure to put "Summer Internship Application" in the subject line. All attachments must be formatted as PDFs.

We will interview selected candidates in March in person or by phone, and let candidates know by mid-April if they have been chosen. Please note that we do not accept high school students, or any students under 18, and that we give preference to college juniors and seniors.

We can't wait to meet you!

Dance on TV
CBS

Need more evidence that K-pop is taking over the universe, one infectiously catchy song and impeccably choreographed dance routine at a time? Look no further than BLACKPINK's fabulous appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" last night.

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