'Tis the season to be giving!

Without fail, I always get the warm fuzzies during this time of year (you know that adrenaline rush from the appearance of red and green Starbucks Christmas cups and hearing All I Want For Christmas on every other radio station).  New York City is especially festive during the Thanksgiving through New Years Eve stretch—from seeing the striking lights against the evening skyline to appreciating the dazzling store window decorations on Fifth Ave to the sweet smell of the sidewalk vendors’ chestnuts roasting. With so much merriment in the air, it’s also the time to think about giving to those less fortunate. Consider donating dancewear or holding a benefit to raise money for underprivileged dancers. That’s what dancewear company, Repetto, is doing. The Repetto Foundation has recently paired with UNESCO’s Program for the Education of Children in Need. This partnership will lead to two major charities: 1) donations of Repetto dance items to dancers who can’t afford them, and 2) an auction of rare items to raise money to fund selected dance studios. This is a global movement that will help dancers and dance school everywhere. See, one person or organization can make a difference.

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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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