Did you know that a lot of your favorite dancers have very special four-legged friends? While you probably won’t see these adorable dogs onstage alongside their dancing moms and dads, DS found out that plenty of them do perform their own pooch-style pirouettes and pliés!
Griz (left) and Cali (courtesy Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild)
New York City Ballet principal dancers Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild
“Cali is a Maltipoo, and she’s my little stuffed animal. She comes to class without a leash and just lays next to my spot at the barre.” —Tiler
“Griz is a toy Australian shepherd. He’s got much more energy than Cali—he wouldn’t just sit there during class, so when I bring him he’s on a leash. But when center happens, he gets so stimulated by everybody moving that he stands up and tries to say hello.” —Robert
“Cali’s been onstage before by accident, when I was rehearsing The Sleeping Beauty. In our studios, we have TVs upstairs that show what’s happening on the stage. I was watching once during a break, and suddenly was like, ‘Whose dog is onstage?’ Then I realized it was Cali. The dancers were doing bourrées in a circle, and she was jumping up on her hind legs, trying to join in!” —Tiler
Bandit (courtesy Aaron Albano)
Newsies’ Aaron J. Albano
“Bandit, my purebred beagle, is 2 1/2 years old. We have this trick we call ‘barre’: I put my arm out and he puts both front paws on it, like he’s standing at the barre. I’ve even started to get him to do a tour en l’air. He doesn’t quite jump all the way around yet, but he’s getting there.”
Mila with Jamie and Jamie's boyfriend, Bryan Tanaka (courtesy Jaime Goodwin)
Shaping Sound’s Jaimie Goodwin
“Mila has a lot of tricks up her sleeve. One of my favorites is her downward dog pose. Ever since she was a puppy, she would sit with her chin on the floor and her bum in the air. Sometimes she even falls asleep like that…and then slowly tips over! She’s also extremely flexible—she sits in her straddle and jazz splits a lot.”
Kamille and Max (courtesy Kamille Upshaw)
Flashdance: The Musical’s Kamille Upshaw
“My shiba inu, Max, is usually pretty chill, but sometimes he can be a bit of a prima donna—he’ll lie near my feet and paw at my leg until I rub him. I haven’t brought him to class or rehearsals because I think the music and people running around would be too much for him to handle. But occasionally I can get him to stand on his hind legs and do a spin.”
Ashley with (L to R) Minion and Atreyu (photo by Marilyn Abalos)
Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Ashley Murphy
“My boyfriend and I have two dogs: Atreyu (a mixed breed) and Minion (a Yorkie). I bring the dogs to work some days because our rehearsal schedule can be taxing, starting at 10 and lasting until 6:30 or 7. Having the dogs around helps—they bring a smile to everyone’s face.”
Audrey with (L to R) Smoke, Smalls, Jett and Jojo (courtesy Audrey Douglass)
Commercial dancer Audrey Douglass
“My housemates and I have four dogs: a 9-year-old Maltese/poodle named Jojo, an 8-year-old Maltese/shih tzu named Smokey, a 2-year-old affenpinscher named Smalls and a 7-month-old Maltese/poodle, Boots. We have a small dance studio in our house where we occasionally rehearse or choreograph, and the dogs will watch us. They’re always waiting for us to do choreography on the ground, so they can lick our faces. At least one of the dogs makes an appearance in every choreography/rehearsal video we’ve shot in that room.”
Last May, we told you about a special exhibition of the Mark Ryden artwork that sparked Alexei Ratmansky's sweet-treat of a ballet, Whipped Cream. Well, hold on to your tiaras, bunheads, because there's a brand-new exhibit featuring actual costumes from this megahit production. The Nutcracker's Land of Sweets has some serious competition!
Kyle Van Newkirk is a tap dancer you probably remember from the premiere season of NBC's World of Dance. In case you missed it, he is also one of Showstopper's incredible convention teachers. What makes Kyle stand apart from some of today's other incredible tappers? He isn't afraid to change what tap means to his audience and even himself. This modern view of tap dancing is important because it shows us that tap dancers are just as versatile and dynamic as dancers of any other genre. We sat down with Kyle to get his advice on bringing tap dancing into the 21st century.
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
Turnout—a combination of rotational flexibility and the strength to properly hold that rotation—is the foundation of ballet. But it's also a source of frustration for many dancers. After all, not everyone (actually, hardly anyone) is born with 180-degree rotation. “When I first started dancing, my hip flexors were strong, but I was forcing my turnout without using the right muscles," remembers Amanda Cobb, a former dancer with The Washington Ballet.
The good news is that it's possible to both improve your turnout and to dance beautifully with less-than-perfect rotation. But there's a lot of misinformation out there about how turnout works and why it's important. To help separate fact from fiction, DS asked the experts to disprove six turnout myths.
Picture this: You've scored tickets to Ellen DeGeneres' hit show, "Ellen." The day has come, the show is as hysterical as ever, Ellen is debating the biggest hot-button issue since the blue/black or white/gold dress, "Laurel vs. Yanny" (side note: it's LAUREL, people), and tWitch is killing it over at the DJ booth, as always. Ellen decides it's the perfect time to single out an audience member and, lo and behold, that person is "SYTYCD" champ ( and December 2017 cover star!) Lex Ishimoto.
The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center is the 54,000 square foot home of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, one of the largest facilities dedicated to dance on a private university campus. Designed for their innovative new curriculum, that supports a range of dance styles, the school's staff designated Harlequin to provide wall-to-wall flooring for the large 3,500 square foot Performance Studio as well as five dance studios in their new state-of-the-art building.
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's safe to say that faux-diamond earrings are a dancer's best friend. A fixture onstage at just about every competition weekend, these blinged-out baubles are also the surest sign that recital season is upon us again. And what better way to get into the sparkly spirit than by drooling over these 5 diamonds in the rough? (Sorry not sorry!)
DancerPalooza, America's Largest Dance Festival, is moving to sunny SAN DIEGO, California from July 24-29, 2018.
Check out all of the NEW Intensives DancerPalooza has to offer this year!
You could say that a perk of dancing with Los Angeles Ballet is its proximity to Hollywood. It's no wonder, then, that when actor and comedian Kevin Hart was looking for someone to teach ballet lessons for his new "What the Fit" YouTube show, he reached out to the nearby company. The series follows Hart and his celebrity friends as they try different forms of exercise (such as sumo wrestling and goat yoga), with hilarious results. For his ballet episode, Hart brings along Hangover star Ken Jeong—and the dancers do their best to keep these madcap comedians under control.