Photo by Melissa "MJ" Jackson, courtesy Christian Burse

Why You Should Know Technical Powerhouse Christian Burse

Christian Burse's long, flexible limbs create showstopping shapes onstage. But what really captivates audiences are her seamless transitions between those gorgeous shapes, showing incredible technique and control. Christian is a student at both Dance Industry Performing Arts Center and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and her long days in the studio have paid off, earning her accolades like first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019. This summer, she'll be attending intensives with Complexions Contemporary Ballet and at the Juilliard School, as well as returning to NYCDA's Nationals in NYC.


Fast Facts

Full name: Christian Burse

Age: 16

Birthday: January 8, 2004

Hometown: Austin, TX

Typical training day: "I have ballet and modern in the morning at school, then my academic classes, then I go straight to the dance studio for the evening."

Three words to describe her dancing: articulate, crafted, sensitive

Why she loves dance: "Your creativity is endless. You can do anything! It's so beautiful to be able to have that freedom."

Favorite styles: Contemporary, ballet

Nondance hobbies: Binge-watching TV

Photo by Melissa "MJ" Jackson, courtesy Christian

Favorite movie/TV show: "Ru Paul's Drag Race" and The Princess and the Frog

Song on repeat: "Right Back," by Khalid

Place she'd love to visit: "I would love to visit London, England. I've heard that the chocolate there is really good."

Dance idols: Martha Nichols, Misty Copeland, and Jordan Pelliteri

Advice for other dancers: "Always stay true to who you are. No one can be you better than you. That's super-important!"

Dance goals: "Go to college in NYC, be in a professional company, and dance as long as I can."

Something no one knows about her: "I'm a really big sneakerhead. I love tennis shoes."

Favorite foods: Salad and cheesecake

Latest Posts


Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Dear Katie: What Can I Do to Get More Flexible?

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,

I'm a strong dancer, but I don't have a lot of flexibility. I stretch every day, but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. What can I do to get more flexible?

Meghan

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search