Wade at Nationals!

So many amazing teachers were out in full force during Nationals this year. One of them even made me weak at the knees: Wade (OMG he's so brilliant) Robson. Dancing to Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" and dressed in jeans and a white button-down shirt, the totally down-to-earth dancer/choreographer/producer/teacher spoke to a room full of young hopefuls at Broadway Dance Center's The Pulse about musicality (getting inside the music instead of dancing on the surface of it) and dynamics (deciding which moves should be punched out and which should be more casual).

 

During a class attended by 11- to 15-year-olds he stopped and asked, "How many of you are counting the music?" When hands shot up all over the room, he said, "Well, stop it!" He explained that counting the music helps you pick up the steps, but once you know them, you need to let go of the counts and concentrate on listening to the music. This enables you to go deeper into the dynamics of the actual dancing.

 

Robson taught and demonstrated everything himself-he didn't have any assistants onstage with him. Watching him move through his own choreography was an education in itself. And after teaching, instead of being ushered around by a bodyguard or a posse, he was just fine on his own. He peeked his head into other classes and sauntered through the lobby quietly, without fanfare. And guess what? No one bothered him. Incredible.

(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

And then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

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Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe

It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.

But is this jet-setter lifestyle really the most effective road to take? Can weekends of dancing with top talent truly replace the bread and butter of daily work at your home studio? The answer, according to most industry experts, is no. We asked five pros to explain why.

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