Scantlebury leads Aadel in a Skype stretch (Andrew Lamberson for The Wall Street Journal)
You guys, the dance world is so small. Think about it: You've probably met someone at a summer intensive who knew a girl from your local studio. Or maybe you've taken a master class from a choreographer who knew your teacher from home, or recognized the same group of regulars from one competition to the next. Chances are, you've had at least one instance of these one-degree-of-separation moments, thanks to dance—because when you decide to be a dancer, you join this tight-knit community of people from across the globe, united by their passion.
Nothing demonstrates dance's connecting power quite like the partnership of Aadel Qies Aadel and Sean Scantlebury. Aadel is a 22-year-old law student from Baghdad, Iraq. Scantlebury is a dancer with Battery Dance Company in NYC. What do these two men have in common? Law isn't Aadel's main passion: He dreams of becoming a dancer. But finding dance classes, or even studio space, in Baghdad is no easy task.
Instead of giving up, he reached out to artistic director of Battery Dance Company (and founder of "Dancing to Connect") Jonathan Hollander on Facebook. Hollander was impressed with Aadel's raw talent, so he reached out to Scantlebury to begin bi-weekly dance classes via Skype. How cool is that?! Check it out:
(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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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.
Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer