Wendy Whelan's Top 10 Reasons to Never Stop Dancing

Whelan in Mozartiana (photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy New York City Ballet)

The New York City Ballet principal gives her final performance with the company this month, but her career is far from over! Next year, she’ll be touring her contemporary production, Restless Creature, and premiering an all-new program in London. Here’s why Wendy Whelan will never give up dance—and you shouldn’t, either.

10. Dancing keeps you flexible and agile. “Move it or lose it!” Yes, there are some days when you’re hurting and you don’t want to dance—but it’s when you stop dancing that the pain really starts.

9. A moving body is a healthy body. Exercise generally, and dance especially, is good for you. Understanding your physicality will help you become a stronger adult.

8. Dance friendships are special. You build a unique bond with the people you dance with—a deeper, different kind of closeness. I value those people in my life, and I don’t know how I’d ever live without them.

7. Dancing keeps you challenged. Working through combinations, learning choreography, hearing new music—mastering those types of challenges will make you a better problem-solver in other areas of your life, too.

6. You should always be trying new moves. Dance pushes you. It forces you to keep testing yourself, to keep working on your weaknesses and to keep thinking about the next step. Dancers can’t just do what they’re good at all the time.

5. Dancing keeps your imagination going. It’s creative work, and it spurs creativity.

4. Dancing energizes you. One of my favorite quotes is, “Energy produces energy.” I’m always more energized after a performance!

3. There’s a way to dance at every age. Some people might say, “Oh, I’m too old for that,” or, “Oh, I’m not old enough for that.” But if you’re inventive, there are always opportunities to dance.

2. It feels good. When you first begin dancing, it might be painful. But once you start working at it regularly, it opens up your body, and you feel wonderful. Nothing compares to that feeling.

1. It’s fun! The energy, the social aspect, the challenges—they create a kind of enjoyment you can only get from dance, because dance is the only thing that mixes all of those elements. Dance charges your spirit.

(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 on their profile pages, 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.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!


Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?

Chrissy

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Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

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