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."
- Spotlight: Emma Portner On The Surprisingly Bad Advice She Once ... ›
- Spotlight: The Worst Advice SFB's Sarah Van Patten Ever Received ... ›
- The Worst Nutrition Advice This Dance Dietitian Has Ever Heard ›
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
Every dancer knows there's as much magic taking place backstage as there is in what the audience sees onstage. Behind the scenes, it takes a village, says American Ballet Theatre's wig and makeup supervisor, Rena Most. With wig and makeup preparations happening in a studio of their own as the dancers rehearse, Most and her team work to make sure not a single detail is lost.
Dance Magazine recently spoke to Most to find out what actually goes into the hair and makeup looks audiences see on the ABT stage.
On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.
SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.