Just for Fun

The 8 Dancers You See at Every Audition

No matter what you're auditioning for—whether it be a company or Broadway show—you're bound to run into a few of the same types of people over and over. Here are eight dancers you're pretty much guaranteed to see at every audition.


The One Who Always Has to Be Front and Center

Annoying as she might be, you've gotta admire that confidence.

The One with the Kind Soul

Struggling with the choreography? If she sees you having trouble, she'll be right there to help.

The One Who Already Knows the Choreographer

She's worked with this artist before, and they're basically best friends. Which means she probably has this part in the bag. Which means your odds are that much slimmer. Ay.

The One with the Insane Body

Seriously, are her abs real?

The One Who's in Over Her Head

Yes, dancers should push themselves, but at every audition, there's always one dancer who's clearly out of her league. (Enter the One with the Kind Soul to get her through it!)

The One Who's a Childhood Friend You Haven't Seen in Years

OMG! Ashley? From that summer program that one time?? How are you, girl??!!

The One Who Got the Part You Wanted Last Time

We don't hold grudges, but...

The One with the Perfect Technique

We just learned the combo five seconds ago, but she's already nailing it—and making every pirouette a quad? WE WANT TO BE HER WHEN WE GROW UP.

Broadway
The "Merde" bag. Courtesy Scenery

Jennifer Kahn knew the theater industry could do better. As a professional stage manager for 17 years she worked on regional, off-Broadway and Broadway shows. Nearly each time a show closed, something unsettling happened: "I would watch them throw away our shows. All of the beautiful artwork by my friends in the paint shop would go in the trash." The elaborate backdrops? Gone.

But she had an idea: What if the material used in the backdrops and legs could be upcycled into something new? And what if theater lovers could literally keep a piece of a beloved show?

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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Left: Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston Ballet's Dance Lab; Courtesy Harlequin. Right: The Dance Lab pre-Harvey; Nic Lehoux, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.

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News
Photo by Gabriel Davalos, Courtesy Valdés

For decades the name Alicia Alonso has been virtually synonymous with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the company she co-founded in Havana in 1948. Alonso died on October 17, just shy of what would have been her 99th birthday. In recent years, she had stepped back from day-to-day decision-making in the company. As if preparing for the future, in January, the company's leading ballerina, 42-year-old Viengsay Valdés, was named deputy director, a job that seems to encompass most of the responsibilities of a traditional director. Now, presumably, she will step into her new role as director of the company. Her debut as curator of the repertory comes in November, when the troupe will perform three mixed bills selected by her at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso. The following has been translated from a conversation conducted in Spanish, Valdés' native tongue.

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Health & Body
Sara Mearns in the gym. Photo by Kyle Froman.

New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns wasn't sure she was strong enough. A ballerina who has danced many demanding full-length and contemporary roles, she was about to push herself physically more than she thought was possible.

"I said, 'I can't. My body won't,' " she says. "He told me, 'Yes, it will.' "

She wasn't working with a ballet coach, but with personal trainer Joel Prouty, who was asking her to do squats with a heavier barbell than she'd ever used.

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