Photo by 4Star Productions Courtesy Spirit of Dance Awards

The second round of 2018 Future Star winners showcases dancers with singular talent and ability. We're thrilled to celebrate their success!

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Dance News

The iconic 1990s musical Rent is the latest Broadway show to get the live treatment. Airing January 27, the star-studded cast includes Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson, Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen, Tinashe as Mimi Marquez, and "RuPaul's Drag Race" contestant Valentina as Angel. Keala Settle of The Greatest Showman will also make an appearance to sing "Seasons of Love," and Sonya Tayeh will provide brand-new choreography. We caught up with ensemble dancer Khori Petinaud to get the inside scoop on the movement—and why fans of the original will be super-satisfied with this version.

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via @therealabbylee on Instagram

The year 2019 is already off to a dramatic start for dance fans, thanks to Abby Lee Miller's latest announcement. The infamously tough dance coach just let the world know that she'll begin filming Season 8 of the hit reality series "Dance Moms" at the end of January.

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Dance News
(From left) Caitlin Kinnunen, who plays Emma, and Isabelle McCalla, who plays Alyssa Greene (photo by Natasha Razina, courtesy Polk & Company)

Casey Nicholaw, one of the masterminds behind last spring's Mean Girls, is bringing yet another upbeat musical set in a high school to Broadway—but this one tells a drastically different story. Choreographed and directed by Nicholaw, The Prom follows the experience of a lesbian couple in Edgewater, IN, who are barred from going to prom together. After reading about the girls' plight, four (fictional) Broadway stars descend on the small town to help—and exuberantly dancy chaos ensues. Dance Spirit caught up with dancer Isabelle McCalla, who stars as Alyssa Greene (one half of the central couple), for the inside scoop.

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Dance News
Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams in George Balanchine's Agon (courtesy Dance Magazine Archives)

Former New York City Ballet principal dancer and Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell passed away today in a Manhattan hospital. He was 84 years old.

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Dance News

The iconic New York City dance studio Steps on Broadway has a new leader coming on board: Joe Lanteri. The New York City Dance Alliance founder will be Steps' new co-owner and executive director.

"For me, it's a big full circle," says Lanteri, who used to take class at Steps when he first moved to New York City, and started teaching there in the mid-1980s. The 4:30 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday Advanced Intermediate Jazz slot he held down for many years taught a slew of young talent—including choreographers-to-be like Jessica Lang and Sergio Trujillo. "As a young teacher, Steps was a platform for me to travel the world giving master classes; it became the underlying foundation for what I'm doing now in my life."

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Dance News
Photo by Caleb Woods, courtesy Unsplash.com

When news about the lawsuit against New York City Ballet and Chase Finlay emerged last week, plaintiff Alexandra Waterbury, a former School of American Ballet student, told The New York Times:

"Every time I see a little girl in a tutu or with her hair in a bun on her way to ballet class, all I can think is that she should run in the other direction," she said, "because no one will protect her, like no one protected me."

It was quite a statement, and it got us thinking. Of course, it's heartbreaking to imagine the experiences that Waterbury lists in the lawsuit, and it's easy to see why this would be her reaction.

But should aspiring ballet dancers really "run in the other direction"? Were her alleged experiences isolated incidences perpetuated by a tiny percentage of just one company—or are they indicative of major problems in today's ballet culture within and beyond NYCB's walls?

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Dance News
Denise (center left) and Travis Wall (center right). (courtesy of Auroris Media, Inc)

Dance phenomenon Travis Wall and his mom Denise are no strangers to the spotlight. Travis' success on "So You Think You Can Dance," followed by his own reality show, have propelled him to reality dance stardom. Though he's working behind the scenes as a choreographer these days, you can still catch him performing occasionally with his dance company, Shaping Sound. And Denise is a recognized dance expert in her own right, having taught dance for 38 years, founded her own studio, and produced over 50 dancers who have gone on to pursue dance professionally. Now these two are shining a light on the world of competitive dance with their new documentary "I Dream of Dance."

The film follows Denise as she inspires her students to achieve the impossible when they attempt to win Nationals for the third time in a row—a feat that's never been done before. The Walls aren't the only familiar faces you'll see either. Dance celebs like tWitch, Allison Holker, and Stacey Tookey also make appearances in the film. Dance Spirit spoke with the Walls about what it's like being surrounded by cameras all the time and what they hope people will take away from the film. You can also catch an exclusive look at the trailer before the film comes out on October 2nd.

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Dance News

Yesterday, modern dance giant Paul Taylor passed away. He had turned 88 at the end of July.

Considered the last of the 20th-century modern dance titans, Taylor celebrated the 60th anniversary of his company in 2014. A prolific dancemaker, he continued to make new works into his final year, the last of which premiered during the company's annual Lincoln Center season in March—his 147th. Aureole, Cloven Kingdom and Promethean Fire are among his iconic works, though perhaps none is so beloved as his 1975 masterpiece Esplanade. During his performing career, Taylor danced roles created for him by Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and George Balanchine, as well as in his own work.

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Dance News
via @mtv on Instagram

Last night Jennifer Lopez "danced the night away" at the MTV Video Music Awards, and though no words can truly do justice to her jaw-dropping performance, we have to try. The dance legend began her 10-minute mash-up of best hits descending from the heavens, like the dance goddess she is—and somehow things only got better from there. The 49-year-old pulled out some of the fiercest moves we've ever seen, proving why she's such an icon in the industry.

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Dance News
Photo by Andrew Ross, Courtesy Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Where in the world is Miko Fogarty? Just three years ago, she seemed unstoppable. After being featured in the 2011 ballet documentary First Position, she became a teenage social-media star, winning top prizes at competitions in Moscow and Varna and at Youth American Grand Prix, and dancing in galas around the world. Last most of us heard, it was 2015 and she had just joined the corps of Birmingham Royal Ballet—and even appeared on Dance Spirit's cover. A year later, she dropped off the ballet radar.

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Dancer to Dancer

In case you missed it, our favorite actress/dance fangirl Jennifer Garner hit the studio this weekend to brush up on her technique (stars, they really are just like us). And the end result might be even better than Garner's #TutuTuesday posts. At the request of American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, Garner took to her Instagram story to participate in Lil Buck's #GoinInCirclesChallenge.

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