New Documentary Shows What it Takes to Become a Dance Legend

Attention ballroom dance fanatics! Get ready to set your DVRs, because we’ve got the perfect fix for your “Dancing with the Stars” withdrawal.

On Monday, July 21st, the PBS documentary series "POV" (Point of View) is featuring two young competitive ballroom dancers in a new film called Dance for Me. The episode follows teen partners Egor and Mie as they experience personal struggles, heartbreak and triumph while trying to make names for themselves in the competitive world of DanceSport. The two don’t always see eye-to-eye, but they both share the same goal: to become legends in the world of ballroom dance. Obviously that’s quite a big goal to have—but this talented pair is putting in the hard work to achieve it.

The stars of Dance for Me, Mie (left) and Egor (right)
(photo courtesy of Sophia Olsson, © klassefilm)

We caught up with Mie Funch (who is, btw, the absolute sweetest!) to chat about the film and see what she’s been up to since it wrapped.

Dance Sprit: What excites you most about the film? And what do you hope viewers take away from it?

Mie Funch: I’m very honored that this will be shown in America. As a young person from Denmark, this is quite big! I'm excited for viewers to understand what it actually takes to be a dancer. I also hope they see that even though you and your partner may be very different—you may even come from different countries, like Egor and I do (he’s from Russia)—you can find ways to communicate and work together to get along. Even if that means agreeing to disagree, it can all work out if you accept your differences.

Mie at the European Championships
(photo courtesy of Sophia Olsson, © klassefilm)

DS: What were your initial thoughts after seeing the documentary for the first time? Are you happy with how it turned out?

MF: I was quite surprised! Seeing myself on the big screen was overwhelming, but I like the film very much. It’s very real. I like that it shows all of the hard work it takes to become an athlete and a dancer at a high level.

DS: What's your training schedule like?

MF: It depends if a competition is coming up or not, but in general, I train six days a week for two to six hours every day. When I’m not in the studio, I like to go running for stamina training. Yoga and ballet are both great for ballroom dancers too!

DS: What are you working toward now?

MF: Currently, I don’t have a partner—Egor and I decided to move on to new partners after we got home from the World Championship in China. Egor is now dancing with another Danish girl and living with her family—he’s very happy. There are so many factors to having a working partnership: chemistry, style, ability and more. So my immediate goal is to find a partner and start dancing competitively again. Many top competitive dancers travel around to find partners, but I can’t relocate yet because I’m still in school. It makes finding a partner quite difficult!

Dance for Me airs Monday, July 21st at 10 pm EST on PBS (check your local listings for times). Watch the trailer here:

Dance News
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

Keep Reading Show less
Cover Story
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)

If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.

Keep Reading Show less
Musical Theater

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Giveaways