As one of the Bad Boys of Dance, Albert Blaise Cattafi serves up an edgy but sleek style with razor-sharp technique. He loves dancing with this talented, motley crew because, “We get to change it up every time we perform and push ourselves,” he says. “ We’re always thinking, where can we throw in another turn, a higher jump?”
On top of this daredevil attitude, an affable personality and enthusiasm for all things dance help Albert stand out as a dynamic all-around performer. From competition to ballet to theater, Albert’s will-do attitude and can-do abilities help him nab impressive gigs. Now, the 24-year-old is performing in Jerry Mitchell’s long-awaited PEEPSHOW in Las Vegas—alongside DS April cover model Keltie Colleen!
Originally from Wayne, NJ, Albert trained at Joffrey Ballet School, competed all over the map and was Mr. Dance of America 2004. He also worked for choreographers like Ray Leeper and Mia Michaels (MOG!) and was featured in the tours of A Few Good Men…Dancin’. As if that weren’t enough, Albert also teaches and choreographs.
Now, you can try out his style for yourself. Below, Albert breaks down a DS-exclusive, contemporary 10-count! And for more of his great material, check out Bob Rizzo’s Contemporary Turns & Jumps on DVD.
COUNT 1: Begin in a parallel, small, first position plié, facing the left side of the room with right leg downstage. Fold your torso over your legs and grasp your left wrist with your right hand as if you are checking your watch. Glance over your right shoulder and keep your elbows out to the sides, parallel to the floor. Pop your right heel off the floor.
COUNT 2: Slide your right foot back in parallel. Then gently turn out into a full second position plié that faces front. Your right arm swoops down and up into half of a “V,” and your left arm moves into second position with palm down. Look up at your right hand.
COUNT 3: Slide your right leg and arms back into the same position from COUNT 1, but this time lift your right leg into a small knee-to-knee attitude. Look at the audience.
COUNT 4: Lunge out with your right foot in parallel and keep your right leg straight. Pop the heel of the left leg and bend the knee to exaggerate the slight lunge, with your weight on this leg. Push your right arm overhead with a broken wrist, and splay the left hand, with the left upper arm parallel to the floor. Continue looking at the audience.
COUNT 5: Shift your weight onto the right leg as you swoop your left leg around into a turned in, battement/sauté en dedans. You should now be facing the right downstage corner. Wrap your right arm around your neck and left arm around your torso. Don’t forget to point your bottom foot as you jump!
COUNT 6: Land in a lunge with the right leg front croisé and both feet slightly turned out. Look up at the right corner so that the audience sees your profile, twist your torso to the back wall and lift your left shoulder. Hands should be relaxed and your arms are at your sides.
COUNT 7: Swoop the right leg up into a high jump facing the audience, with the right knee tucked into your chest and the left knee just below it. The arms both fly first down and then up into a wide “V” to create a cannonball—or Batman!—effect.
COUNT 8: Land facing the left side in a medium-sized, parallel fourth position with the left leg front. Both legs are bent, with the back, right foot popped up. Bend your arms, palms up as if carrying a tray, and look down at your fingers.
COUNT 9: Pop into a small sauté, with straight legs and (very!) pointed feet. Your torso straightens, and your left hand touches your right wrist as if you are calling a time-out.
COUNT 10: Finish in a large lunge, with your left foot forward. Look front and slice your right hand back toward your left hip pocket. Your right hand meets the left.
(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?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.