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Renato Penteado, one of last year's winners. PC Alexandre Dufaur

Have you ever seen a performance and thought, "Wow, this was so good. Dance Magazine should really be writing about this!"? You're in luck.

We're collecting nominations for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we need your help! We'll compile our favorite nominations, and then you'll vote on what should make it into our December issue. But for now, we want to hear about the most memorable dance you've seen so far in 2017.

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Photo via Instagram: @kelerobersonn

When I saw Kele Roberson dancing at New York City Dance Alliance Foundation's college scholarship audition, I only had to watch a deep plié before writing down a 10 out of 10 on his score sheet and scribbling a giant star next to his name. Before he even had a chance to show off his incredible lines, I was mesmerized by his nuanced grace in even the simplest of movements.

He walked away from that audition with NYCDA Foundation's Dance Magazine College Scholarship worth $25,000 to the college of his choice, which happened to be Juilliard, where he was planning to attend this fall.

But shortly after winning, it turns out, his plans changed. I caught up with him earlier today to find out what happened.

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Yep, you read that right.

Alpaca dance classes are a thing, thanks to 313 Farms in Manitoba, Canada. Students can take classes like "Barn Barre," "Mommy, The Alpacas, & Me" and "Poppin' Pacas" while the animals roam—and you're welcome to stop and pet them mid-class.

"Having worked in a dance studio, I had quite a few students visit the alpacas and they loved being around them," says owner Ann Patman. "Most studios have no windows and even though the class might be great, you don't get any fresh air or see what's going on outside."

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Melissa Barak's E/Space, PC Dave Friedman

Nominations for our Readers' Choice Awards are underway, and you've been sending in tons of exciting ones.

As a reminder, we're compiling nominations in seven categories:

  • Best Viral Video
  • Most Moving Performance
  • Biggest Choreographic Breakthrough
  • Coolest Collaboration
  • Best Dance Documentary
  • Most Inventive New Work
  • Funniest Performance

We'll choose our favorites, then ask you to vote on what will make it into our December issue.

Here are some of our favs so far:

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PC Sarah Walker

American dancer Kira Blazek Ziaii was hooked after her first experience with Countertechnique—so hooked that when touring to Europe with Hubbard Street 2, she would go to Amsterdam to take class with creator Anouk van Dijk.


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Dancers & Companies
Urban Bush Women, a Brooklyn-based company. PC Julieta Cervantes.

Last month, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled Create NYC: A Cultural Plan for All New Yorkers. Stemming from two years of research into arts organizations throughout the five boroughs and feedback from over 200,000 New Yorkers, the plan seeks to diversify cultural institutions and increase funding within underserved communities.

So what does this entail for dance artists? While there is nothing specifically dance-related in the plan, many dance companies and artists within marginalized and lower-income communities stand to benefit from increased funding.

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Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass. PC Christopher Duggan

Performance Spaces for the 21st Century (aka PS21) is possibly the best-kept secret on the route from New York City to Jacob's Pillow. In Chatham, New York, PS21 has quietly built an annual dance festival with a diverse array of excellent groups. A small but adventurous center dedicated to presenting dance, theater, music and film, it is currently in the midst of its 12th annual Chatham Dance Festival.

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Advice for Dancers
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My orthopedist says I need hip arthroscopy to repair a torn labrum from doing an upside-down split in a contemporary piece. He says I'll most likely be able to dance again, but I'm worried. My best friend had the same surgery and wasn't able to perform ballet afterwards. How risky is this operation? I'm only 28!

—Katie, New York, NY

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