Dear Katie
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

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Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Keep reading... Show less
How To
Choreographic partners Audrey Lane Ellis (right) and Sarah Capua of a+s works (courtesy a+s works)

Choreographing a dance means standing alone at the front of the studio…right? Not necessarily! Many choreographers prefer making work with a partner. Two heads can definitely be better than one, but creating collaboratively does come with some strings attached. Whether you're working in a duo or group by choice or you've been assigned to develop a piece with someone else, try these tips to foster a positive process.

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Dance News
Mackenzie Ziegler's new book (courtesy Simon and Schuster)

Mackenzie Ziegler was blessed with skillz. Between dancing, singing, and partnering with tween retail chain Justice to design her own line of activewear, Mackenzie continues to wow fans with her versatility and willingness to take on exciting new projects. And now the dancer is adding author to her list of side hustles.

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Dancer to Dancer
Western Michigan University Department of Dance students in Frank Chaves' Charanga (photo by John Lacko, courtesy Western Michigan University Department of Dance)

For many non-dancers, planning a post–high-school gap year can feel like a necessary step toward getting college-ready. For potential dance majors, though, taking a year off between high school and college might sound counterintuitive. After all, you're essentially delaying your entry into dancing professionally. But a gap year can provide helpful experience, training, or personal growth—it all depends on how you use the time.

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Dance News
Misty Copeland in her US Misty Copeland Signature Bodysuit (courtesy Under Armour)


Misty Copeland just designed her very own collection with Under Armour—and it seems like a natural fit. She's been part of the activewear brand since 2014. On May 2, the American Ballet Theatre principal took a break from rehearsing for the upcoming spring season to officially unveil her Misty Copeland Signature Collection in New York City.

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Health & Body
Sydney Magruder Washington (photo by Rachel Neville, courtesy Washington)

Twenty-five-year-old Sydney Magruder Washington had dreams of auditioning for ballet companies and Broadway shows when she moved to NYC four years ago, as a recent graduate of Skidmore College. But after completing an apprenticeship with Connecticut Ballet in 2015, her anxiety and depression became so severe that she could barely leave her apartment—let alone go to a dance class or audition. After working with a therapist and trying out new medications with a psychiatrist, she's finally starting to get her training and career back on track. And she's also realizing she was misdiagnosed for a decade. Here, she tells her story. —Courtney Bowers

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Dancer to Dancer

In February 2016, "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation" released a casting call for dancers ages 8 to 12. Determined to make it onto the show, then–10-year-old Emma Hellenkamp prepared a jazz solo for the L.A. audition. The next part of her story may come as a surprise to fans of the series: She didn't make the cut. But Emma's competition background meant she was well-versed in several dance styles, so she opted to audition again in Chicago—this time with a tap solo. And the rest is history: Emma not only made it onto the show, but also progressed all the way to the final four.

"SYTYCD: The Next Generation" is part of a larger trend of dance-competition TV embracing younger dancers, with shows including "World of Dance" and the upcoming "Dancing with the Stars Junior" following suit. And like Emma, many of the dance kids trying out their skills on these shows come from the competition-and-convention circuit. What is it about these two worlds that smooths the transition from one to the other?

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