Avery Gay's chameleonlike abilities have earned her comp-world celebrity. In a testament to her versatility, she won the 2015 Hope Award—a prize reserved for the best classical and contemporary dancer in the pre-competitive age bracket—at the Youth America Grand Prix Las Vegas semifinals. Then she won it again at the 2016 Austin, TX semifinals.
Considering her strong work ethic and love of performing, it's no surprise the 12-year-old didn't stop there: She also scooped up the bronze medal in her age bracket at the 2015 YAGP NYC finals, was named The Dance Awards 2015 Mini Division Best Dancer in Las Vegas and is a member of the 2016 Beat Squad at DancerPalooza in L.A.
Avery logs 30 to 35 hours per week at Master Ballet Academy in Scottsdale, AZ, honing her classical technique. To accommodate her intense schedule, she attends public school in the morning before hitting the studio. This summer, Avery will have the opportunity to perform at the Gala de Danza in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, alongside other top pre-professionals and international stars.
“I love to act onstage. I always come up with a story, even in a contemporary piece."
Birthday: May 25, 2004
Favorite musical group: The Beach Boys
Favorite dancers: Gisele Bethea and Maria Kochetkova
Hidden talent: “I'm obsessed with organizing things."
Favorite food: Pickles
Stress reliever: A hot bath with Epsom salts
Dream role: “Odile in Swan Lake. I love her attitude and drama."
Her dancing in three words: “Technical, powerful and dramatic"
Advice for Dance Spirit readers: “Hard work always pays off."
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.
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 dancyFX 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.
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: