Adrienne Gregorek working on physical therapy exercises with a patient (courtesy Gregorek)
When Adrienne Gregorek was 14, she injured her hamstring and was sent to physical therapy. "I was super frustrated," she remembers. "I went to a clinic where there were mostly older people being treated and felt like the staff didn't understand the needs of a dancer. When they were re-testing me at the end, they said, 'You're good,' even though I really wasn't where I needed to be for optimal strength and flexibility."
For many dancers looking for their next step beyond the stage, a career that continues to connect them to the art is a no-brainer. In Gregorek's case, her interest in the human body, coupled with her passion for dance, led her to a career in physical therapy and landed her a job at Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, where she treats dancers, including members of New York City Ballet and students at the School of American Ballet.
When we asked what her proudest accomplishment so far is, Kiarra Waidelich paused for a moment. That's because she has so many to choose from: In the past two years, Kiarra's earned Mini and Junior Female Best Dancer at The Dance Awards, snagged Youth America Grand Prix's Hope Award, and made it to the divisional finals on Season 2 of "World of Dance." Equally gifted in ballet ("I love the mental and physical challenge") and contemporary, it's the latter that made Kiarra realize dance was her passion. "If something bad or stressful happens in my day, I use contemporary as a way to express and release what I'm feeling," she says. "Dance is a way for me to emote and let things go."
To say it's been a great few weeks for dance movies is an understatement—we found out mere days ago that "Driven to Dance," starring Juliet Doherty, was streaming on Netflix. And now, in what can only be described as the single best way to start the weekend, "I Dream of Dance" is streaming on Netflix.
America's Favorite Judges were LIVING for Darius and Comfort's hip-hop routine (screenshot via YouTube)
Yesterday's episode was the all-important final step before the live TV episodes begin. Last Monday night, Vanessa, Mary, and Nigel cut half of the remaining ladies after seeing them perform a duet outside their style with a male All-Star. And last night, it was (finally!) the men's turn. Here's what went down.
Are you a high school senior who's been accepted to a four-year accredited college or university program? Congrats! Within the 2017-2018 season, have you competed in events run by at least two of the organizations in the above graphic? Double congrats, because the Association of Dance Conventions and Competitions, or ADCC for short, wants to give you $1,000 (!!) towards college tuition.
Presenting awards at Showstopper Nationals in 2017 (photo by Aaron Williams, courtesy Showstopper)
Competition award ceremonies represent the culmination of months of preparation. It's no wonder dancers feel the pressure! But the truth is, most of us won't come away with the grand prize. How do you prepare yourself for the results, whatever they may be? DS spoke with teachers and comp judges on how to cope at different stages of the competition—and to use any disappointment to your advantage.
Future Star winner Kaitlyn Chapa (photo by Rainbow Dance Media Center, courtesy Jennifer Chapa)
Dance Spiritis beyond excited to announce the first round of 2017 Future Star winners! Every year, DS partners with competitions to recognize dancers with exceptional presence and ability. The second round of winners will be featured in our January issue, so stay tuned!
Whether you've just started on the circuit or you're already the proud owner of several medals, dance competitions can be nerve-wracking. How can you make the most of the experience? Three former comp kids who've gone on to find major success in their careers shared their top tips.
For more on choosing whether to compete or not, click here.
I started dance classes at a young age. By the time I was 3, I was training at The Dance Club, and I grew up there. I started with the basics—ballet and jazz—and eventually added tap, tumbling, contemporary, and hip hop.
Early on, I did compete. I remember my first time: I did a trio at a small local competition, and it got first place. The trophy was as tall as I was, and I loved it. I attended conventions as a mini, and had the opportunity to take classes from Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Andy Pellick, and Joey Dowling-Fakhrieh. There was so much variety—I was in awe.
After hundreds of routines, millions of votes, and dozens of mispronunciations of a certain contestant's name, last night the winner of "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 14 was finally crowned. But first, of course, there was a whole lotta fanfare and a ton of dancing down memory lane.
Um, how fantastic was last night's ep of "So You Think You Can Dance"? As if the performances by this season's fabulous Top 10 and their All Star partners weren't enough to send us to dance heaven, we were also treated to a guest performance by the Lethal Ladies step team from the crazy-fierce documentary STEP. And as if that guest performance wasn't enough to get us to dance nirvana, the Ladies were also joined onstage by the All Stars themselves:
Everyone had their game faces on last night, as the final six "World of Dance" acts competed for a coveted spot in the World Finals. To say that all of them #slayed on the dance floor would be an understatement of epic proportions. Here's the low down on who emerged victorious— and who ended their journey toward the $1 million prize.
Yes, the other dancers in your company or on your team often feel more like family than friends. But what if the girl next to you at the barre is actually your sister? These six sets of siblings gave Dance Spirit an inside look at what stage-ready sisterhood is all about.
It's no secret that "So You Think You Can Dance" alum Carly Blaney—who's now Sidekick program director for 24 Seven Dance Convention, and who recently performed at the Grammys—can turn for days. We needed to know just how she does it. So we caught up with the pirouette princess to find out her tricks for becoming #turngoals. Give them a try!
Susan Pilarre leading a class at the School of American Ballet (Ellen Crane, courtesy SAB)
As dancers, we're always trying to take our dancing up a notch, to improve our technique and artistry. Here are six crucial things that'll make all the difference in your training this year. Check them out!