The cast of "The Cher Show" on Broadway (Joan Marcus, courtesy Rubenstein PR)
Welcome to the fifth annual Dance Spirit Jazz Hand Awards—aka "The Jazzies"—where we honor the most dancetastic new Broadway shows. Some are shining onstage right now, others will open in the next few months, and they're all worth a ticket. Consider this your official guide to the season's latest and greatest.
At 17, commercial standout Natalie Bebko ("Nat Bat") has already accomplished more in her career than most adults: She was an assistant choreographer for the 2016 BET Awards and has worked with tons of music greats, including Trey Songz, Flo-Rida, Sia, Mila J, and Big Sean. She trains with immaBEAST dance company and consistently breaks the internet by slaying in class videos. Catch her on Instagram, where she has a casual half a million followers, and read on for The Dirt!
It's been a crazy few years for dancer, singer, and actress Ariana DeBose. After performing in Hamilton's original cast (where she earned viral fame as The Bullet), she scored a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Disco Donna in last year's Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Now, she's set to play Anita in Steven Spielberg's remake of the iconic West Side Story movie, which starts filming this year.
DeBose's star turn is coming at a time when true triple threats have become a rarer breed on Broadway, with shows favoring dancers who dance and singers who sing. But the multifaceted DeBose has always defied categorization—and her versatility has proved to be the key to her success.
Dorrance Dance's Elizabeth Burke's dynamic technique and intricate musicality have made her a tap-scene standout. A Chapel Hill, NC, native, she trained with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble, led by her mentor, Gene Medler. She's an alumna of The School at Jacob's Pillow and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with bachelor's degrees in political science and communication arts. Burke appeared on a Dance Spirit cover in 2010, and has danced with Dorrance Dance since its formation in 2011. Catch her performing at the company's New York City Center run tonight through Saturday, and read on for The Dirt!
Photo by THEGINGERB3ARDMEN Photography, courtesy Gogo Public Relations and Marketing
Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Larissa Gerszke is a standout, thanks to her gorgeous lines and easy grace. An Ottawa, Canada, native, Gerszke began training at Canterbury Arts High School, and later earned her BFA from Fordham University and The Ailey School—while simultaneously working and touring with Complexions. Catch her this month and next on tour with the company throughout the country, and read on for The Dirt!