If you've ever seen the Rockettes perform, you know that the dancers, whose bodies move in perfect synchronicity, look remarkably similar. This year, two Rockettes (performing on different stages) are actually identical: twin sisters Kristin and Lisa Jantzie, who are part of the NYC and Providence Christmas Spectacular casts, respectively. As young dancers in Alberta, Canada, Lisa and Kristin trained together, and after graduating from high school, they both worked for Tokyo Disney. Then they parted ways, each sister pursuing her own individual goals. Kristin moved to L.A., where she auditioned for the Rockettes, which she joined in 2005; Lisa toured with Alberta Ballet and then danced on cruise ships before joining the Rockettes this year. DS talked to the twins about sharing the Rockette experience.
Dance Spirit: Kristin, what advice did you give Lisa when she auditioned for the Rockettes? Kristin Jantzie: I knew that she had strong technique, but the Rockettes use a different style. It's really about listening carefully and paying attention to the details of the choreography.
DS: Lisa, what was your reaction when you found out you'd be joining your sister as a Rockette? Lisa Jantzie: Actually, I think Kristin knew before I did because I was on a cruise ship. I was so excited and happy!
DS: What's it like for you to be part of the Rockettes together? KJ: It's brought us closer. The last couple years we've only been able to see each other a few times a year. She's done a lot of traveling. Now, she's in Providence and I'm able to take the train from NYC to visit her.
LJ: It's really nice that I can talk to my sister because this is my first season and it's been quite a learning experience for me.
KJ: When we're hanging out, we can relate to each other's experiences. Now we have a whole other language we can speak, this Rockette language.
Pictured top to bottom: Kristin Jantzie and Lisa Jantzie. Photos by MSG Entertainment.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?