Shannon Bex of Danity Kane

Before she became a member of Diddy’s girl-group Danity Kane (from MTV’s “Making the Band 3”), Shannon Bex was grooving courtside as
a Portland Trail Blazer dancer. Now, after working with renowned choreographers and touring with pop stars, she still enjoys a plain old dance class. So how did dance prepare the Bend, OR, native for the big, bad world of stardom? While it was a whirlwind summer—including lighting up the stage for
a nationwide Six Flags tour, recording Season 5 of the TV show and helping promote the group’s new clothing line—Shannon finally had time to spill to DS.

DS: How did you first get into dance?
Shannon Bex: I was 6 when I began formal ballet training, but I was dancing down grocery aisles before that.  


DS: How has your ballet training prepared you for the pop world?
SB: Ballet is so immensely challenging because there is so much strength and technique required; it’s very disciplined.


DS: Describe being a BlazerDancer.
SB: We would learn choreography the day of a game, and have to perform it on the court in front of 20,000 people that night. It definitely prepared me for Danity Kane on so many levels.


DS: What made you try out for “Making the Band 3”?
SB: I couldn’t see letting a singing, dancing and recording opportunity pass me by. It’s the hunger of the dancer: You always have to try to get the job.


DS: What’s a typical dance rehearsal like?
SB: It’s about eight hours. We work for three hours, take a break, work another three, take a break, then bang out two hours.


DS: What’s the hardest part of practice?
SB: Learning how your body works. If you need to get some water, get some water.


DS: What advice would you give aspiring professional dancers?
SB: You are the first one who has to believe in yourself. Take criticism and don’t become discouraged. Learn from every situation.


Carrie Schmelkin

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.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
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.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
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

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search