Dance Spirit's Ultimate NYC Itinerary
The Big Apple is dancer heaven, with more to do and see than anyone could possibly exhaust. Want to make the most of your visit? Take the personality quiz below to get an itinerary tailor-made for your dancer needs.
Meet Your Tour Guides
- Traci Finch of New Chamber Ballet, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet and CelloPointe
(Photo by Rachel Neville, courtesy CelloPointe)
- Jacoby Pruitt of Ailey II
(Photo by Whitney Browne, courtesy Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater)
- Katie Currier of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company
(Photo by Cesar Brodermann, courtesy Peridance Contemporary Dance Company)
- Kaleigh Cronin of A Bronx Tale: The Musical on Broadway
(Photo by Jeffrey Mosier, courtesy Kaleigh Cronin)
1. What's on your feet?
c. heeled booties
2. You never leave the house without:
3. Your ideal Friday night includes…
a. …dressing up for a fancy dinner with a few friends
b. …getting lost in a new neighborhood
c. …throwing a dance party in your basement
4. Pick one:
5. Your spirit animal is:
a. cat–graceful and elegant
b. snake–grounded and flexible
c. bird–energetic and flashy
6. What hurts the most right now?
a. your hips
b. your knees
c. your feet
7. What do you look for in a theater?
a. marley flooring and orchestra seating
b. intimate seating and unique character
c. great acoustics and trap doors
8. Your favorite song…
a. …has incredible instrumentals
b. …isn't being played on the radio right now
c. …has lyrics that give you the feels
If you answered mostly A's: You're an Uptown Girl
Everything is beautiful at the ballet, and you like to keep things classy.
1. Start off at Milos Café and Yogurt Bar (135 W 56th St) for a morning yogurt. Traci Finch says: "It's right outside of New York City Center, where I rehearse with New Chamber Ballet. I love going there for a healthy pick-me-up before a long day of dancing."
2. Try out a Cunningham Trust class at New York City Center Studios (130 W 56th St). "At just $15, it's a real bargain in the city. And it's a great technique challenge for ballet dancers," Finch says.
3. Grab a light lunch at Fairway Market (2131 Broadway). Finch says: "It's great because their bowls are cheap, and you get to choose exactly what you want. I love the rice with chicken and veggies."
4. Head back to class at Steps on Broadway (2121 Broadway). Finch says: "I always take Wilhelm Burmann's ballet class. He can be a bit intimidating for the walk-off-the-street dancer, but he'll really push you."
5. Treat yourself to a giant cookie from Levain Bakery (167 W 74th St).
6. Dress in your theater best for an evening at Lincoln Center to see American Ballet Theatre (Metropolitan Opera House, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza).
7. Get your postshow noms at Souvlaki GR's Midtown location (162 W 56th St). "We love hanging out there after performing at City Center—great food and environment," Finch says.
- If you're a ballet fanatic, consider heading down to Gibney Dance's 890 Broadway location. "Ashley Tuttle gives a great all-around ballet class. She's so encouraging, and you'll end up doing all this crazy stuff you never thought you could do," Finch says.
If you answered mostly B's: You're a Downtown Diva
You love getting grounded in hole-in-the-wall studio spaces and unique, hidden venues.
1.Start your day off at Café Mocha (116 Second Ave) for a flavored latte and a breakfast sandwich, or at Liquiteria Juice Shop (Union Square East, 145 Fourth Ave). "The Mean Green Smoothie is the perfect healthy sugar boost," Katie Currier says.
2. Stop by Peridance (126 E 13th St) for a ballet or contemporary class. "Julia Ehrstrand's contemporary is a great class to just move your body," Jacoby Pruitt says.
3. If it's a nice day, head east to Alphabet City for brunch at Pardon My French (103 Avenue B). Currier says: "They have an outdoor garden that's the perfect place to relax in."
4. Head over to Movement Research (55 Avenue C) for a $14 drop-in class, or just to check out the dance-lab space. Or head south to Gibney Dance (280 Broadway). "If anyone from Bill T. Jones is teaching, take the class. It's life-changing," Pruitt says.
5. For your evening entertainment, check out the lineup at Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church (131 E 10th St), or head up to The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave).
6. Grab a postshow dinner at Brazen Fox (106 Third Ave). Currier says: "We spend most of our postshow nights there. Their burgers are unparalleled, and the brussels sprouts are surprisingly delicious."
- Want to get away from the crowds? "I love wandering west to Battery Park. There are grassy spaces by the piers that are super-calm and inspiring," Currier says.
- If you can pull yourself away from the East Village, drop by Ailey Extension (405 W 55th St) to take class—and enjoy the studios' beautiful views!
If you answered mostly C's: You're a Midtown Mama
The Great White Way is your runway, and you're ready to see your name in lights.
1. Start your day with a good sweat at Dance Body (939 Eighth Ave and 520 Eighth Ave). Kaleigh Cronin says: "Take Rachel's cardio and toning class. You'll get an amazing workout without even noticing."
2. Get your caffeine fix at La Masseria Café (235 W 48th St). "It's run by the sweetest Italian men, and the coffee with caramel is delicious," Cronin says.
3. Head west for class at Broadway Dance Center (322 W 45th St), where you can take everything from Broadway jazz to locking.
4. Grab lunch at City Kitchen (700 Eighth Ave). Cronin says: "It's an urban upscale cafeteria right in the Broadway theater hub. There are several different restaurants to choose from, with communal seating, so it's a great place to hang out preshow."
5. Head north to Steps on Broadway (2121 Broadway) for Nick Palmquist's commercial jazz class. "It's easy to get sidetracked with the business side of performance. Going to Nick's class reminds me of my pure love for dancing, and since a lot of my Broadway friends take his class, as well, it gives me an opportunity to get re-inspired," Cronin says.
6. Drop by TKTS Times Square (1565 Broadway) for last-minute, discounted theater tickets.
7. After your show, dine at Glass House Tavern (242 W 47th St) for some Broadway people-watching. "It's the Broadway hangout, so you'll spot tons of familiar faces," Cronin says.
- Step off Broadway! While not in the heart of midtown, Sleep No More at McKittrick Hotel (530 W 27th St) is a must-see for performers. "It's an immersive theater experience, and it's so different from Broadway," Cronin says.
- "Midtown isn't just Times Square craziness. I love taking a calm stroll down Ninth and Tenth Avenues, where there are fantastic, quiet restaurants and less-trafficked music venues," Cronin says.
Final Tips from Your Tour Guides
Traci Finch: "While the Upper West Side may be the hub for ballet dancers, it's nearly impossible to find affordable rehearsal space there. It's a bit of a hike, but Spaceworks NYC in Long Island City, Queens [33-02 Silkman Ave] is the rehearsal spot for independent projects right now."
Jacoby Pruitt: "It's really fun to walk the streets of the East Village. Drop into galleries, check out graffiti, lose yourself in the energy and art of the environment."
Kaleigh Cronin: "Don't prejudge the hop-on-hop-off double-decker bus tours! Even as a local, I learned so many things about Broadway on the midtown loop."
From competing on "So You Think You Can Dance" to performing on "Dancing with the Stars" for seven seasons (and earning an Emmy nomination for her work on the latter), Chelsie Hightower has lived the pro dance dream. Though Hightower retired from "DWTS" several years ago and now teaches and choreographs in her home state of Utah, she admits that her dance career exceeded even her own high expectations. "I've accomplished things that I didn't know were possible," she says.
But most fans of "DWTS" would never have guessed that while filming, the talented and seemingly fearless ballroom pro was facing her fiercest competitor off-camera. Hightower has struggled with anxiety for most of her life, but the issue became especially severe during her years on the show.
With the help of therapy and other coping exercises, Hightower has found healthy ways to manage her anxiety. Now, she hopes that sharing her experience will inspire other dancers struggling with mental illness to get help.
More fabulous TWall routines. More passengers on the Hot Tamale Train. MORE CAT DEELEY BEING DELIGHTFUL.
That's right, y'all: "So You Think You Can Dance" was just renewed for a 16th (!) season, to air this summer on Fox. And audition dates have already been announced.
Something's coming, I don't know when
But it's soon...maybe tonight?
Those iconic lyrics have basically been our #mood ever since we first heard a remake of the West Side Story film, directed by Steven Spielberg and choreographed by Justin Peck, was in the works. THE CASTING. THE CASTING WAS COMING.
Well, last night—after an extensive search process that focused on finding the best actors within the Puerto Rican/Latinx community—the WSS team finally revealed who'll be playing Maria, Anita, Bernardo, and Chino (joining Ansel Elgort, who was cast as Tony last fall). And you guys: It is a truly epic group.
The Super Bowl is America's most-watched television event. Last year, when the incomparable Justin Timberlake took center field for the halftime show, more than 106 million viewers were watching his every move—and that's not even a record!
What's it like to perform for such an incredibly huge audience? Dancer Tony Bellissimo has plenty of experience with high-pressure dance gigs, having worked with artists including Rihanna, Britney Spears, John Legend, and Chris Brown. But stepping out alongside Timberlake during last year's halftime show was a next-level experience. We talked to Bellissimo about how he scored such a coveted job—and how he handled the pressure.
Y'all, it's time to call a spade a spade: The first month of any New Year kind of sucks. It's way too cold, you're probs failing at one or two of those ambitious resolutions, and spring (with its exciting performing opportunities) feels so very far away. And yet, in the midst of so much darkness, a hero has emerged. His name is Donté Colley, and you're about to double-tap every single thing he's ever posted.
It's almost 2019 and the ballroom dance scene is positively booming! From prestigious world championships to TV shows, kids are at the core of all this hip-shaking action—and we're so here for it. These eight up-and-comers in particular are shaping the field. They're the next generation of superstars to make the leap from technically exquisite ballroom-ites to bona fide celebrities.
Think back to your newbie dancer days. Can you remember your introduction to spotting? It might've involved staring hard at your own reflection in the mirror as you wrestled with your first pirouette. Or maybe your teacher had you put your hands on your shoulders as you attempted a series of half-chaînés across the floor.
Get Dance Spirit in your inbox
Dance teachers have to deal with a lot. While open communication with your teacher is obviously key, lame excuses for less-than-great behavior are guaranteed to get on her nerves. Always avoid these seven excuses that will 100 percent get your dance teacher's blood boiling.
Something's coming, I don't know when
But it's soon...maybe tonight?
There are dance routines, and then there are dance routines. Andrew, a 21-year-old dancer with Down Syndrome, performed the latter on the new British reality dance show "The Greatest Dancer." He brought the audience to tears as he unabashedly freestyled to Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop The Feeling."
Today, January 11, is #AlexanderHamiltonDay: A very happy 264th birthday to Alexander Hamilton! Thanks to this most unlikely of Founding Fathers—a brilliant and ballsy orphaned immigrant who dramatically rose, then fell, then rose again—we have possibly the most successful musical of all time. We also, of course, got priceless GIFs such as this one:
Aaaaaaaaaaanyway, while we can't get you "in the room where it happens" with tickets to the show's current Broadway, touring, or Puerto Rico productions—the last of which opens tonight!—we CAN offer up some fun ways to fête A.Ham's day of birth. Just you wait:
Every once in a while, the stars align, things fall precisely into place, and the perfect marketing campaign is born. Such is the case with New York City Ballet's new trailer for their upcoming run of The Sleeping Beauty, which was conceived and directed by company soloist Sean Suozzi.
Washington Ballet's Nardia Boodoo is turning heads these days, and not just at the barre. The brilliant ballerina shines in Tory Sport's latest commercial and we can't help but feel a little bit of pride as our March 2018 cover star brings ballet to the masses. What better way to show off stylish and comfy athletic wear than with Boodoo's strong and luminous dancing?
As the name suggests, summer intensives are, well, intense, encouraging you to eat, sleep, and breathe dance for a significant chunk of the summer. But they're not for every dancer—or every summer. Maybe you're not ready to be away from home just yet, or you want to spend your last summer with family before going off to college. Intensives can also be expensive, and not every household has the financial flexibility to cover the high cost of auditions, travel, room and board, and tuition. Whatever your reasons for seeking alternatives, it's important to recognize that, when it comes to summer study, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. "The most important thing is to keep dancing," says Lindy Mandradjieff, owner of the Dance Conservatory of Charleston in South Carolina. "Without the added stress of school, you can improve as much in one summer as you would in an entire school year." Here's how to keep up your training even if you don't plan on attending an intensive.