You Should Know 21-Year-Old Dancer/Choreographer Easton Payne

Photo by Wilson Greaton, courtesy Easton Payne

Easton Payne didn't even walk into a dance studio until he was 12, but word of his talents has spread quickly since then. He's choreographed solos for comp-circuit standouts like Lucy Vallely and Ruby Castro, while also performing his own work and creating group pieces for studios like L.A.'s Project21Dance. Now, 21-year-old Easton has his sights set on the Great White Way—he says he's "dying to set a Broadway show, as well as be in one."


"We live in a time when dance is so very accessible, but don't confuse inspiration with duplication. Life is too short to be anyone but yourself!" —Easton Payne

Fast Facts

Birthday: February 11, 1997

Age: 21 ("as well as 85 and 11")

Training at: Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education in Atlanta, GA; Dance Town in Doral, FL

Hometown: Brasstown, NC ("The smallest town known to mankind!")

Favorite quote: "The world needs what you've got."

Three words that describe his choreography: "Is he kidding?"

Favorite step: A grand step-touch

Listening to: "Patsy Cline or 'Cool It Now' by New Edition—five times a day"

Favorite dancers: Emma Portner, Jason Parsons, Bob Fosse, Lucy Vallely, Sylvie Guillem

Best thing about choreographing: "Freedom to build the structures and images I've always imagined."

Most challenging thing about choreographing: "Consistency. Pushing through when I just don't feel like it is difficult, but it's those times that define your true strength as an artist."

Payne (back) choreographing at Dance Town in Doral, FL (photo by KG Photos, courtesy Payne)

Popular
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)

Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.

The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance News
Including, of course, "Single Ladies" (Vevo)

Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancy FX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance Videos
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M

Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.

The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.

As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list:

Keep Reading Show less
Dance News

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Giveaways