October 2018 Table of Contents

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Cover Model Search Winner

Sydney tapped her way to the top as the 2018 CMS winner.

Love, Jacalyn/Love, Shelby

CMS runners-up Jacalyn Tatro and Shelby Patterson write thank-you notes to their fans.

Sensational Nationals

The very best of Nationals 2018.

Competing on a Budget

How to make the most of competition and convention season—without breaking the bank.

Competition Besties

Meet four sets of adorable BFFs who found winning friendships at a competition.

Poetry In Motion

How to nail a spoken-word piece in competition.

That (Ballet) Comp Life

Inside the USA International Ballet Competition with standout Quinn Starner.


The inside scoop on Broadway's The Prom.

The Dirt

San Francisco Ballet's Lauren Strongin.

Letter to My Teenage Self

Dorrance Dance's Warren Craft.

Off the Record

Jay Ledford's journey as a transgender ballerina.

Body Buzz

The best uses for pumpkin go way beyond jack-o'-lanterns.


Everything you need to know about protein.

The Look

Stay cozy in the season's chicest one-piece warm-ups.

World Dance

The classical Japanese dance form nihon buyo.

College Corner

How to go to school part-time while pursuing a pro career.

You Should Know

Contemporary kid Dyllan Blackburn.

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 courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

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