"In Tap Dancing, I Found Another Language"
The ability to communicate clearly is something I've been consumed with for as long as I can remember. I was born in the Bronx and always loved city living. But when I was 9, a family crisis forced my mom to send me to Puerto Rico to live with my grandparents. I only knew one Spanish word: "hola." I remember the frustration and loneliness of having so many thoughts and feelings and not being able to express them.
But as children, we are resilient, we absorb information quickly, and I learned the language with the help of my grandmother. I wound up returning to New York City six years later where I then struggled with English since I'd been out of practice. Determined, I walked around with a pocket-sized dictionary and thesaurus in my backpack.
Michael Higgins, Courtesy In The Lights PR
During my senior year of high school, I discovered the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They were magical to me. I wanted the ability to move like them, and I started to teach myself. I took my first tap class as a sophomore in college and became obsessed.
At the time, I thought tap dance was simply a joyful way of moving one's feet and body. But when I learned about its origins being rooted in the power of communication, self-expression and traditions of African-American people, I found myself tethered to this art form for life. In tap dancing, I found another language.
I dance because I still get excited every single time I lace up my tap shoes. I dance to express joy and to express gratitude for the gifts I've received in my life. Though it was difficult as a child to leave a place of familiarity, I am so thankful for the experience of being placed in an environment where I had to learn to communicate, to learn another culture and another way of living. I love sharing that part of who I've become.
I love that after all these years of practice and performance, I am still inspired and intrigued by this musical art form. I am still trying to figure it out. Still learning. Still growing.
It's hour three of an intense rehearsal, you're feeling mentally foggy and exhausted, and your stomach hurts. Did you know the culprit could be something as simple as dehydration?
Proper hydration helps maintain physical and mental function while you're dancing, and keeps your energy levels high. But with so many products on the market promising to help you rehydrate more effectively, how do you know when it's time to reach for more than water?
Inside a bustling television studio in Los Angeles, Lindsay Arnold Cusick hears the words "Five minutes to showtime." While dancers and celebrities covered head to toe in sequins whirl around preparing for their live performances on "Dancing with the Stars," Cusick pauses to say a prayer to God and express her gratitude.
"I know that it's not a given, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to do what I love for a living," says Cusick, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For her, prayer is a ritualized expression of her faith that she has maintained since she was a girl in Provo, Utah. Even with her seven-plus years of industry experience, she always takes a moment to steady herself and close her prayer in Christ's name before rushing onto the stage.
The hotly-debated Michael Jackson biomusical is back on. Not that it was ever officially off, but after its pre-Broadway Chicago run was canceled in February, its future seemed shaky.
Now, the show has secured a Broadway theater, with previews starting July 6 at the Neil Simon Theater.
In the October 1969 issue of Dance Magazine, we spoke with Jacques d'Amboise, then 20 years into his career with New York City Ballet. Though he became a principal dancer in 1953, the star admitted that it hadn't all been smooth sailing.