Witney Carson on the set of "Dancing with the Stars" (via Instagram)

The Best Long-Lasting Lipsticks To Get You Through Nationals

Nationals season is just around the corner, and we're getting SUPER pumped. Although it's truly one of the greatest times of the year for dancers, Nationals are also insane, tbh. Between running from convention classes to onstage performances to award shows, and trying to squeeze in a bite to eat or stay hydrated, it can be constant chaos. Which is why it's so important to find a lipstick that actually sticks—comp queens don't need anything else to stress over. And because we are not here for smudges or reapplying every hour, or ending up with a dry, cracked pout in every selfie, we rounded up the top picks that'll stand up to all things Nationals.


First things first, though, it's super important to have fresh lips before you apply your lipstick. This means gently exfoliating any dead skin with something like a sugar or salt scrub. It'll ensure that the lipstick goes on more evenly and that your lips stay more moisturized throughout the day, which will prevent the color from cracking. Check out Julianne Hough's super simple DIY recipes and make your own sugar scrub at home.

And now for the fun part. 💄 💋 ✨


Maybelline SuperStay 24 Hour Lipcolor

This drugstore favorite promises no flaking, caking or fading. It also comes with a step 2 hydrating balm at the other end of the tube to fully seal in moisture.

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick

Smashbox's super pigmented, yet super light weight, formula guarantees a bold pout without feeling like you even have anything on. It also offers tons of different shades.

Rimmel London Provocalips 16 Hour Kiss Proof Lip Colour

Another 2-step product, this liquid lipstick comes with a second product to help lock in the color. The formula is also really flexible and adapts to the movement of your lips. Aka, it'll stand up to some serious face.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

You wouldn't think a lip pencil would be able to last all day, but this NARS one seriously delivers. The pencil tip also makes it much easier to apply quickly (you don't have to be as precise as you would with a tube or liquid version).

ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip

ColourPop is known for its bold, saturated colors, and this liquid one says that just one swipe will do. The finish is a cool, transfer-proof matte.

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick

Although the majority of the best long-lasting lipsticks on the market these days are liquid versions, this tube offers superior coverage. It's infused with antioxidants to keep lips healthy and smooth, and comes in fun finishes like metallic and shimmer. It also smells like créme brûlée (YUM!).

Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick

This cult classic is known for its silky feel and is incredibly long-lasting. It also comes in lots of trendy colors. Fun fact: Kendall Vertes (of "Dance Moms" fame) is a huge fan of the Kylie lip line to complete her comp look!

DS Pro Tip: To ensure your lipstick lasts no matter what, apply a layer of lipstick and then dab on a layer of face powder or translucent powder all over your lips. Then reapply with another layer of lipstick and repeat these steps for as many layers as you feel like you need. The layers of powder will help set the color—it's also a handy way to make any lipstick more matte.

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Photo by Lindsay Thomas

Ashton Edwards Is Breaking Down Gender Barriers in Ballet

When Ashton Edwards was 3 years old, the Edwards family went to see a holiday production of The Nutcracker in their hometown, Flint, MI.

For the young child, it was love at first sight.

"I saw a beautiful, black Clara," Ashton says, "and I wanted to be just like her."

Ashton has dedicated 14 years of ballet training in pursuit of that childhood dream. But all the technical prowess in the world can't help Ashton surmount the biggest hurdle—this aspiring dancer was assigned male at birth, and for the vast majority of boys and men, performing in pointe shoes hasn't been a career option. But Ashton Edwards, who uses the pronouns "he" and "they," says it's high time to break down ballet's gender barrier, and their teachers and mentors believe this passionate dancer is just the person to lead the charge.

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All the Hollywood and Broadway Musical Moments to Look for in “Schmigadoon!”

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of about two dozen dancers got the rare opportunity to work on an upcoming Apple TV+ series—one devoted entirely to celebrating, and spoofing, classic 1940s and '50s musicals from the Great White Way and Hollywood. "Schmigadoon!", which premiered on AppleTV+ July 16, stars Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key, who get stuck inside a musical and must find true love in order to leave. The show features a star-studded Broadway cast, including Aaron Tveit, Ariana DeBose, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Jane Krakowski and Dove Cameron, and is chock-full of dancing courtesy of series choreographer, Christopher Gattelli.

"The adrenaline was pretty exciting, being able to create during the pandemic," says Gattelli. "I felt like we were representing all performers at that point. There were so many who wanted to be working during the pandemic, so I really tried to embrace this opportunity for all of them."

Gattelli says it was a dream come true to pay tribute to the dance geniuses that preceded him, like Michael Kidd, Agnes de Mille, Onna White and Jerome Robbins, in his choreography. Each number shows off a "little dusting" of their work.

Dance Spirit spoke with Gattelli about all the triumphs and tribulations of choreographing in a pandemic, and got an inside look at specific homages to look out for.

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Shouldering the Load: What kind of dance bag should dancers use?

Walk into any dance convention, audition or class, and you'll see a vast variety of dance bags lining the walls. But can the style of bag you use (and how you wear it) have an impact on your dancing?

Don't worry—you won't have to shoulder the load alone. Dance Spirit spoke with two physical therapists who specialize in working with dancers to find out what dance bag is best.

What should dancers look for in a dance bag?

Dr. Meghan Gearhart, physical therapist and owner of Head2Toe Physical Therapy in Charlotte, NC, recommends dancers opt for a backpack-style dance bag rather than a duffel or cross-body bag.

"A bag that pulls the weight all to one side creates a side bend and rotation in the trunk," Gearhart says. "That is going to lead to muscle imbalances that will affect dancers while they're dancing, as well as just in regular everyday life." Muscle imbalances can mean limited mobility on one side of your body, as the muscles on one side are overly contracted and the other side is overly extended to compensate.

Gearhart suggests dancers pick a backpack made from a lightweight yet durable and breathable material, such as cotton, linen, nylon or polyester. Straps should be wide enough to not dig into your shoulder muscles, so avoid drawstring styles with rope straps. Adjustable and padded straps are best, so you can wear the straps at a length where the bag rests at the middle of your back.

Dr. Bridget Kelly Sinha, physical therapist and founder of Balanced Physical Therapy and Dance Wellness in Matthews, NC, emphasizes the importance of finding an even weight distribution when choosing a dance bag.

"If a dancer has a lot to bring, like when heading to the theater for a full day of rehearsals and performances, then I recommend a rolling suitcase to offset the load," Sinha says.

How should dancers wear their bags?

Even if you've selected the perfect dance bag, it's important to be mindful of how you wear it.

Gearhart advocates wearing both straps when carrying your backpack. She also suggests placing heavier items towards the back of the bag, where they will sit closer to your body. A bag with straps that are too loose (or a bag that is too heavy) can create an increased arch in the lower back or cause a dancer to compensate for the weight by leaning forward. Ideally, Gearhart recommends a dancer's dance bag weighing no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight.

"I usually tell dancers to use their common sense. If you don't have tap today, you don't need to bring the tap shoes," she says. "If your water bottle makes the bag too heavy, just carry it." If your studio offers lockers, take advantage of that storage space to lessen the number of clothes, shoes, and dance accessories that live in your dance bag.

And if you think your bad dance-bag habits have given you alignment issues, seek out a dance physical therapist to prevent further injuries.

"As a dancer, your body is working so hard all day," Sinha says. "It does not need excess strain from your bag."

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