Courtesy NYCDA

NYCDA Foundation's Annual "Destiny Rising" Performance Was All Kinds of Inspiring

Every January, students, parents, professionals, and lovers of dance all gather for the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation's annual fundraising performance "Destiny Rising" at The Joyce Theater. And every year we fall a little bit more in love with the foundation's mission: "Investing in the next generation of professional performers by offering scholarships for secondary and college education." Since its founding in 2010, the foundation has awarded over 2.5 million dollars in scholarships. Because of the program (and its uber-generous donors), kids across the country literally get to attend college and pursue their dance dreams. What could be better than that?! Not much...


It's always very emotional watching the former scholarship recipients (who are out in the dance world doing huge things) come back and talk about how much the foundation means to them and why their careers wouldn't be where they are today if they hadn't had those scholarship opportunities. Last night, we got to hear more about the story and journey of the lovely Courtney Celeste Spears, a new Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member, and it was some serious #Mondaymotivation.

The night also always proves to be a super-glitzy and fun performance thanks to lots of high-profile guests, and last night was no exception. New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia performed a dazzling excerpt from Stars and Stripes, Marymount Manhattan College students performed a stunning piece by Gabrielle Lamb, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet presented an excerpt from the ethereal Dwight Rhoden piece Bach 25, to name just a few. (And can we just say it was SO FUN getting to watch former DS Cover Model Search finalist Tatiana Melendez perform her heart out with her new company fam CCB! Go girl! đź’Ą)

If you're a current junior or senior in high school who's wanting to go to college for dance, make sure you don't miss the next NYCDA Foundation audition date: July 1, 2019 in NYC. You never know what might happen... ✨

And ICYMI, enjoy this peek at Marymount Manhattan College's performance:


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.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
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.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search