Paloma Garcia-Lee Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self
(Matthew Murphy for Broadway.com)
Broadway baby Paloma Garcia-Lee has been all over the Great White Way: She's performed in The Phantom of the Opera, Nice Work If You Can Get It and On the Town, and was the dance captain in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Her mom was a Broadway performer as well, and Lee grew up training at the studio her mother owns, The Pennsylvania School of the Performing Arts, in Newtown, PA, and commuting back and forth from NYC to take class at Steps on Broadway during the day. By the time she was 14, Garcia-Lee was studying ballet seriously at North Carolina School of the Arts. These days, the 26-year-old is performing in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
You're first and foremost a passionate human being. Keep that endless fire burning. Never stifle the passion you have in your heart and soul. You're so driven and you never let anyone stand in the way of what you want. Never, ever lose that tenacity. It's one of the things I adore most about you.
You don't know exactly where you're going to land yet, but know that what is meant for you will not pass you by. You love to dance, sing and act, and, most importantly, you love to work. Keep loving the work and the process; always be a student and seek to better yourself as a person and an artist. If I ask you to trust that it's going to be even better than you imagined, take a chance and believe me. Trust that the universe is conspiring for your greater good at all times.
In "Natasha Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812" (photo by Matthew Murphy for Broadway.com, courtesy Garcia-Lee)
You're not conventional. You're unique, and while that might be uncomfortable at times, it's something I want you to start celebrating. Each of us has a magic all our own, and the people you look up to now have embraced their singular magic. Soon, you'll see that you need to step up and claim yours, too.
I'm learning that the journey is still just beginning. I'm 26 and am dreaming bigger than ever before. I feel like I'm just now at the very beginning of my career and there is so much that I still want to do. I want you to know that I'm very, very proud of you, and I really believe that you would be proud of me too.
I love you. I can't wait to see what the future has in store.
Garcia-Lee as a young dancer (courtesy Garcia-Lee)
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancyFX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list: