After baby me spent several months glued to the window at my older sister's dance classes, my mom finally decided to let me join in, and I've been hooked on dance ever since. I grew up a classic #compkid, performing and competing with my dance team throughout Florida and spending my summers training at Broadway Dance Center, where I fell in love with all things NYC. So I was ecstatic to move to the Big Apple, first to study dance and journalism at Marymount Manhattan College, and then to train full-time in BDC's Professional Semester program. Now, it's a dream come true to be writing about my #1 passion—and even cooler to be working for the magazine I grew up reading!
Fearlessly expressive, triple threat Liam Redford is undeniably Broadway-bound. But the 13-year-old isn't waiting until he's older to step into the spotlight. Liam's already played one of his dream roles, the title character in Billy Elliot: The Musical, in five regional productions of the show, beginning with his debut at the Grand Theater in Williamstown, NJ, and concluding at the Opera House Theatre Company in Wilmington, NC, this past summer. In less than two years, Liam performed as Billy exactly 100 times, but he says he never got tired of the role, finding something new to explore and appreciate in every show (can you say #professional?). A seasoned storyteller, Liam hasn't just excelled in the role of Billy–most recently, he performed in Fun Home at the Front Throw Theatre Company in Philadelphia, while continuing to train in dance, voice and acting.
Dancers definitely excel when it comes to Halloween: We're all about the tricks, and our vast collection of old recital wear guarantees that our costumes will be on point(e).
Check out this Monster Mash(up) of the dance world's spookiest moments of 2019—and have a happy and safe Halloween!
Further showing that whatever mere humans can do, ballerinas can do more gracefully, the Australian Ballet created the most beautiful obstacle course we've ever seen, and then put their dancers to the test. Naturally, when it came to execution, the company members went above and beyond: Why jump over a hurdle when you could pas de chat, or run to the finish when you could chaîné?
Watch the full video (which first premiered on World Ballet Day) below, featuring soloist Nicola Curry and dancers of the Australian Ballet.
Between their flawless onstage performances and carefully crafted class videos, dancers can seem superhuman—especially to the general public. But even the most famous dancers have surprisingly relatable, offstage lives. For the select few who take audiences behind the scenes, a quick dive into their YouTube channels will show you exactly that.
Robbie Downey may spend most of her time performing in Colorado Ballet's Studio Company, but she also has fun goofing around backstage. Mackenzie Davis, a trainee at CityDance School and Conservatory in Bethesda, MD, makes ballet look easy but admits that learning to drive was a #struggle. And Rollettes Dance Team founder Chelsie Hill is on the stereotype-busting-dancer grind nonstop, but she also loves to take fun vacations.Dance Spirit spoke to the top dancers in the vlogosphere to learn how they're using their videos to connect with their fans and share their unique perspectives.
If you want some quick inspo on how to #doitall, look no further than Tate McRae. The 16-year-old somehow manages to balance approximately 25 different careers in fields including dance, singing, songwriting, acting, and modeling. Every project is imbued with her signature off-beat relatability.
Bailey Muñoz's journey to stardom on "So You Think You Can Dance" may have seemed instantaneous (he and his partner Mariah Russell quickly won over viewers' hearts and became the last two contestants standing). But as it turns out, Bailey's been showing off his b-boy chops on TV for longer than you'd think: He competed on "America's Got Talent" in 2010, and was featured on "Dancing With The Stars" in 2011. And our hands-down favorite throwback performance? That'd be this segment from "Make Your Mark" on Disney Channel, which shows Bailey performing at World of Dance New York in 2013.
With effortless extensions, sky-high leaps, and equal parts elegance and strength, Ailey II company member Caroline Theodora Dartey is impossible to miss onstage. Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Dartey actually started out training in rhythmic gymnastics, where she earned both national and international titles. She later took up dance, training at the Conservatoire Populaire de Musique, Danse et Théâtre of Geneva before deciding to move to NYC to pursue her dream career. She joined The Ailey School as a scholarship student in 2016, and is now embarking on her second season with Ailey II. Catch Dartey on tour with Ailey II all over the world this fall, and read on for The Dirt.
You already know how much we love Vanity Fair's "Movies in Motion" YouTube series, with its deep dives into the most iconic movie dance scenes of all time. (It's basically SparkNotes for your required dance-movie watching.)
Now it's back—and this time, our favorite dynamic dance duo (and IRL couple), Chris Grant and Lauren Yalango-Grant, are breaking down the epic finale of the 1987 cult classic Dirty Dancing. Set to "Time of My Life," the familiar scene was originally choreographed by the legend himself, Kenny Ortega.
We're not sure which is the best part—Chris' goofy dance moves between takes, the couple's struggle to achieve the famous final lift (come on, you know you've tried it too), or the interesting movie trivia they spill while attempting to perfect the choreo. Watch the full video below!
Being a dancer is—say it with us—HARD. WORK. Hours and hours of work for a tiny bit of progress? It's no joke. But if you've stuck with it, you know that those magical breakthrough moments make all the less-than-glamorous stuff totally worth it. Read on for the top 10 best moments, both large and small, in every dancers' daily life.
The beautiful short film, titled "Mobile Devices" (we see what they did there!), is directed by former Miami City Ballet dancer Ezra Hurwitz. It follows a day in the life of American Ballet Theatre soloist Calvin Royal III and New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns, and also includes appearances by NYCB principal Gonzalo Garcia and ABT principal Isabella Boylston. "I wanted to showcase the experience of an African American male ballet dancer alongside the more traditionally featured white female ballerina," says Hurwitz, who frequently collaborates with stars of the dance world. "That said, I also wanted to keep it fun and visually driven, and make it a real celebration of these dancers' artistry, athleticism and determination."
The whimsical film is believe it or not, entirely shot on the new iPhone 11 Pro Max. Hurwitz was one of the first artists to try out the new phone last month. "What better way to showcase its capabilities than with the world's greatest dancers?" he says.
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Today, thanks to social media and the popularity of shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" and "World of Dance," people know more about dance than ever before. But when it comes to actually being a dancer, there are some things our friends outside the studio will never understand. To reassure you that you're not the only one explaining "I can't, I have dance" every five minutes, we present to you the top 10 phrases dancers would like to stop hearing (please).
Saturday, September 21st was one for the books, as dancers all across the country showed up and showed OUT for our favorite holiday: National Dance Day. From attending the flagship Orange County and DC events to posting epic videos of the official NDD routine, dancers of all ages, styles and skill levels joined in on the action. We at Dance Spirit were thrilled, and super proud, to see the dance community come together to celebrate the art form we love the most. Take a look at some of the highlights from the 10th annual NDD!
Apart from her insane flexibility, precise control, and ability to pirouette for days, what stands out the most about 13-year-old Rebecca Myles Stewart is her beaming smile. One thing's for sure: This girl loves to dance.
When you hear "Nigel Lythgoe" and "Debbie Allen" in the same sentence, there's got to be some major dance tea brewing. In this case, it's super-exciting news: The two industry icons are joining forces to launch a new, L.A.–based dance festival that's basically going to bring dance heaven to earth.
Take another bow, comp kids: Nationals 2019 was INCREDIBLE. From jaw-dropping solos to showstopping production numbers, you guys brought nothing less than your A-game to every number—and it showed. Before visions of next season start dancing in your heads, let's reflect on some of the top trends of this past summer's Nationals.