October 2015 Table of Contents

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Marvelous Michelle
Michelle May is your 2015 Cover Model Search winner!

Letters of Love for the Runners-Up
Why you voted for Jordan Pelliteri and Gabriella Stilo.

Learn to Turn
Not a "natural" turner? That doesn't mean you can't achieve perfect pirouettes.

Dancers Do Halloween Best
Eight dancers talk about their creative costumes.

Best in Show
Top trends from Nationals 2015.

Movin' On Up
How to prove you deserve to be in a higher level.

When All the World's a Crowded Ballroom
What to expect at your first convention.

Dance Spirit's 2015–16 Competition & Convention Guide
Info on more than 100 of this season's must attend events.

Up Front: Buzz
The Big Apple dance scene has a lot going on this month.

Up Front: The Dirt
Janet Jackson backup dancer Melanie Mah.

Quiz
Can you match the tutu to the ballet?

Letter to My Teenage Self
Martha Graham Dance Company principal Peiju Chien-Pott

Dear Katie
Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions.

Diary
Kate Harpootlian journals a week on tour with Shaping Sound.

Buzz
Tried-and-true taping methods; powerful food pairings.

Nutrition
What it means to be iron deficient.

Fashion
Snuggly warm-ups for chilly temps.

Style Lab
The best new bags to pack all your gear.

World Dance
Irish step dance can improve your musicality and stamina—and your ballet technique.

College Corner
Take your writing to the next level at three colleges with strong dance and dance writing programs.

You Should Know
Budding ballerina Julietet Bosco.

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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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.

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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


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