Proud To Be A New Yorker

Six years ago, I moved to New York City to take a job at Dance Spirit.

I always knew I wanted to live in NYC. I grew up in a teeny tiny New Hampshire town, and the thrill of the city appealed to me. I wanted to, as Frank Sinatra sings, "be a part of it—New York, New York."

Now, after what NYC has been through this week, I feel more "a part of it" than ever before.

Hurricane Sandy took a major toll on Manhattan, where I live and work, and its surrounding areas. The Jersey Shore, where my aunt lives and where I spent many summers and Christmases, is completely devastated. My former college campus in Connecticut is littered with debris and fallen trees.

The area is a mess and it's very, very sad.

But it's also empowering. As I sat on the floor of my swaying apartment on Monday night (living in a high rise building is cool, except when the wind is gusting at 90 MPH) while the worst of the storm blew through, I was scared. I hated seeing the photos come in of the flooded subways, the waterfalls plowing through Ground Zero and the blacked-out downtown where so many of my friends were without power.

When I woke up Tuesday morning, though, I wasn't scared anymore. I was heartbroken by the damage, but I felt so much pride. I'm proud to call myself a New Yorker. I'm proud to work for a magazine that devotes an entire issue to "making it in NYC."

And of course, I'm proud to be a part of a community that uses its resources—and the power of a simple song—to lift the city's spirits however possible.

To the Broadway community, I salute you. Thank you for coming together yesterday, when your shows were all canceled, to sing.

The sun will come out tomorrow. And until it does, NYC will stay strong and rebuild this incredible city.

To all of our friends and readers: I hope you are safe and with your loved ones.

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

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!


Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?

Chrissy

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Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

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