We're busy at work on our Summer Study issue (look for it in January!) and it's making me think a lot about my summers as a competitive gymnast (as a pre-teen) and of my college/post-college years at dance festivals....These experiences can be truly amazing—spending all your time dancing, hanging with other dancers, soaking in as much info as you can from amazing teachers—but they can also be slightly overwhelming. It can sometimes feel like you're in a world devoid of anything but dance; where all that matters is getting noticed by your teacher or sticking that combination. And that can be...a little claustrophobic? For me it was. Not that I wasn't happy spending so much time dancing, but just having an afternoon to myself to look through a magazine, take a walk outside or hang with a friend made me remember that there was a world outside the dance studio. There are people out there who have nothing to do with the dance world—and it's great to have those people in your life. They can only enrich it.

So when you start to look for summer programs, remind yourself that no matter how much you want to succeed—no matter how badly you want to dance with ABT, or on "SYTYCD," or in JT's next video—don't cut EVERYTHING else out. Friends, family and other hobbies are key to your success—and to your happiness. So enjoy your dancing, but remember that dancing is just one thing in a world full of amazing experiences!



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Photo by Brooke Fera

Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer

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