Eva Nys Photography, courtesy Elliana Mannella

Why You Should Know Budding Ballerina Elliana Mannella

14-year-old Elliana Mannella feels right at home in crowded convention ballrooms. After earning the title of Junior Core Performer at Radix Nationals in 2018, the young dancer spent the year traveling as a Radix convention assistant. That experience further honed her incredible musicality and versatility. While she's worked with notable choreographers like Teddy Forance and Talia Favia, most of Elliana's solos are actually a collaboration between herself and her father, Frankie. The dynamic duo loves to create together and their work so far has paid off: Elliana was 1st runner up for Junior Female Best Dancer at The Dance Awards in 2018 and 2nd overall at The Dance Awards in 2019. She is currently training abroad in her first year at the Académie Princesse Grace in Monaco.


Fast Facts

Full Name: Elliana Dawn Mannella

Age: 14

Birthday: September 22, 2005

Hometown: Anoka, MN

Three words to describe her dancing: stillness, emotion, breath

Favorite thing about dance: "Being able to connect life experiences to dance, and to communicate a story with your body, without using words."

Favorite styles: improv, contemporary and lyrical

Dance idols: "Too many! My family, my teachers, and the dancers around me are ultimately my idols. I'm always inspired by them."

Advice for other dancers: "You should never feel like you have to change for others to like you. Focus on enhancing your own unique qualities, because no one else can be you."

Dream dance job: Joining Nederlands Dans Theater

Something no one knows about her: "I love baking and interior design."

Place she'd love to visit: Greece

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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