Tap Superstar Sarah Reich Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self

Photo by Jeremy Jackson, courtesy Sarah Reich

Sarah Reich's crystal-clear sounds, expert musicality, and vivacious energy have solidified her as one of this generation's tap greats. A Culver City, CA, native, Reich began tapping at age 5. At 12 years old, she started going to clubs to learn salsa, where she began mixing tap steps with salsa and merengue movement, creating what's become her signature flair. She's toured with Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, and danced with Chloe Arnold's Syncopated Ladies and Jason Samuels Smith's Anybody Can Get It Tap Company. Reich also started her own company, Tap Music Project, in 2012, which puts on performances and workshops around the country, and recently released her debut tap-jazz album New Change. —Courtney Bowers

Dear Sarah,

You're living your best life right now. You've been studying with the best tap teachers. Cherish this time with your greatest mentor, Harold "Stumpy" Cromer. He won't be around much longer. Remember all the advice he gives you on show business, life, and boys. He always tells you to sing and play the piano. Start now!

Retain the lessons from all your mentors. One day you'll be a mentor and will pass down similar lessons. Continue to pay your dues in all aspects of the dance.

Be thankful for your supportive parents. Their investment in you will be worth it. Remember those jazz CDs Mom gave you? Those CDs are planting the seed for your love of jazz music, which will blossom into the self-discovery that you're a jazz musician yourself.

At age 17, with her mentor Harold "Stumpy" Cromer (courtesy Reich)

Tap is your plan A. There's no plan B. Continue to work hard and be ready for your future to be all that you've dreamed. Don't be afraid of your drive to bring greatness to the art form. You're capable of being a leader. Accept challenges and learn from them.

When you do things from a place of love, they'll resonate. Accept the responsibility of representing tap with class and respect. Believe in yourself. Forget your doubts and have more faith. You should go to temple more and establish a tighter relationship with God. This connection will help you thrive in all areas of your life. Enjoy the journey.

With love,

Sarah Reich

A version of this story appeared in the January 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Letter to My Teenage Self: Sarah Reich."

Dancer to Dancer
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to 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 by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

And then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to 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.

Cover Model Search
Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)

It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)

All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance on TV
Photo by Erin Baiano

When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.

Keep Reading Show less



Get Dance Spirit in your inbox