October 2016


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  • Up Front: Buzz

    A year after Hamilton’s Broadway opening, people are still buzzing about the show and its famed creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. ... More »

  • Up Front: The Dirt with Allison DeBona

    Ballet West’s Allison DeBona first became a major figure on the pop-culture scene with her stint on The CW ... More »

  • Letter to My Teenage Self: Teddy Forance

    Whether he’s onstage with Shaping Sound—the company he helped co-found with Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Kyle Robinson—or performing ... More »

  • Dear Katie

    Dear Katie, I’m constantly eating, and I like the way my body looks, but my doctor says I’m underweight. ... More »

  • A Taste of College Life

    High school senior Savannah Gaillard has been attending the New York University Future Dancers and Dancemakers  workshop at Tisch ... More »

  • Light Late-Night Meals

    Running from school to the studio then home can leave little time for dinner—but that shouldn’t mean skipping it ... More »

  • Ankle ABCs

    Healthy, injury-free ankles require three things: mobility, stability and strength. But achieving this trifecta is easier said than done. ... More »

  • Vitamins 101

    Dancers expect their bodies to give 100 percent, year-round—and with no time to feel tired, sick or sore, vitamins ... More »

  • Wild About Prints

    Let your adventurous side show by adding brightly patterned pieces to your dance class wardrobe. Related

  • Beat Burnout

    It’s finally fall, which means competition season is about to launch into full swing. After spending the summer learning ... More »

  • Getting a Hold On Graham Hands

    The signature cupped hands of the celebrants in Primitive Mysteries; the clawed hands of Medea in Cave of the ... More »

  • Assistant Aspirations

    From the excitement of travel to rubbing shoulders with your dance idols, the life of a convention assistant is ... More »

  • Balancing Act

    Dance majors are always busy, but when the weather cools, activity heats up on campus. Back-to-school excitement is replaced ... More »

  • You Should Know: Leili Rackow

    You might have seen 16-year-old Leili posing in a Discount Dance Supply ad, or competing at the 2015 Youth ... More »

  • Brilliantly Briar

    As soon as 17-year-old Briar Nolet hit her first pose (a stunning full layout, no big deal) at her ... More »

  • In Her Shoes

    If you’re one of Dusty Button’s 146,000 (and counting) Instagram followers, you know this ballerina doesn’t fit any molds. ... More »

  • Views From the Top

    To her high school classmates, Sarah Pippin was a regular girl: a good student and a friendly face around ... More »

  • Strength In Numbers

    In 2015, Mishay Petronelli was one of nine dancers to book a spot on Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable world tour. ... More »

  • #Trending

    It’s the best and worst of Nationals 2016! This year’s talent, innovation and power—not to mention the costumes and ... More »

  • Black Out

    It’s winter fashion time! Tap into your dramatic side this winter with dark warm-ups that will keep you toasty ... More »

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 by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

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