12 Dance Stars Share the Worst Advice They Ever Received
Raise your hand if you've received bad advice from well-meaning friends or family (or strangers, tbh) who don't know anything about what it really takes to be a dancer.
*everyone raises hands*
Sometimes it's even dance insiders whose advice can send you down the wrong path. We've been asking pros about the worst advice they've ever received in our "Spotlight" Q&A series, and rounded up some of the best answers:
Miami City Ballet's Nathalia Arja
Arja in Symphonic Dances. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev
Her answer: "I've been told, 'be the best' but I completely disagree with that. I believe that the best advice you could give to a dancer is 'be YOUR best and every day try to be a little better than yesterday.' That's my mind set—I think that's a healthy way of thinking for a healthy career!"
B-girl and choreographer Ephrat Asherie
Photo by Christopher Duggan
Her answer: "Someone told me to always have another dancer in the corner of my eye to compare myself to 'because that will push you to be better.' I actually believe the opposite to be true. Your inner drive to grow has to far outshine any external stimuli or comparison you may draw with someone else. That will give you longevity and sustenance. As my breaking mentor Richard Santiago (aka Break Easy) once told me, 'The biggest battle you'll have will always be with yourself.' "
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Leta Biasucci
Biasucci in Coppélia. Photo by Angela Sterling
Her answer: "You should straighten your hair more often."
Commercial darling Emma Portner
Photo by Quinn Wharton
Her answer: "That I shouldn't move to New York."
The Washington Ballet's Ashley Murphy
Murphy in Giselle at The Washington Ballet. Photo by Theo Kossenas
Her answer: "Stay where you are comfortable."
Tap dancer and choreographer Caleb Teicher
Photo by Sally Cohn
His answer: " 'You'll sleep when you're dead!' is a common expression. I disagree—I have to sleep while I'm living, too..."
Former NYCB and freelance star Kaitlyn Gilliland
Photo by Don Norman @don_nor_man for L.A. Dance Project
Her answer: "Don't think too much."
Martha Graham Dance Company's PeiJu Chien-Pott
Photo by NYC Dance Project
Her answer: " 'You will never be able to dance again after you have a child.' As a matter of fact, I auditioned for the Martha Graham Dance Company twice, two years apart. The first audition was before I had my daughter, and I was not picked. The second time was right after I had my baby, and I was hired!"
Pennsylvania Ballet's Sterling Baca
Photo by Alexander Iziliaev
His answer: " 'The best thing you could do is just kinda mark the whole thing so you are able to get through it.' I would rather fall on my face giving everything I had."
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Hope Boykin
Photo by Matthew Karas
Her answer: "I will never forget being told that I had learned all I could where I was studying at the time, and that I should go and try something else. Ultimately, that is what I had to do, but I never worked harder to stay on the path I knew was meant for me. I would never speak to a student in such a way, but it didn't deter me. It only pushed me toward my goals."
San Francisco Ballet's Sarah Van Patten
Photo via YouTube
Her answer: "That I'll never be able to do something or that a specific role isn't for me. Anything that makes me feel limited."
International guest artist Joy Womack
Photo by Vihao Pham
Her answer: "That the best thing an artist can be is a blank canvas."
Essential oils sometimes get a bad rap. Between the aggressive social media marketing for the products and the sometimes magical-sounding claims about their healing properties, it's easy to forget what they can actually do. But if you look beyond the pyramid schemes and exaggerations, experts believe they have legit benefits to offer both mind and body.
How can dancers take advantage of their medicinal properties? We asked Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist and co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies:
Karen Azenberg, a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, stumbled on something peculiar before the union's 2015 move to new offices: a 52-year-old sealed envelope with a handwritten note attached. It was from Agnes de Mille, the groundbreaking choreographer of Oklahoma! and Rodeo. De Mille, a founding member of SDC, had sealed the envelope with gold wax before mailing it to the union and asking, in a separate note, that it not be opened. The reason? "It is the outline for a play, and I have no means of copyrighting…The material is eminently stealable."