Andy Blankenbuehler Discovered Her in High School. Now She's in Hamilton
June 3, 2016, was a big day for Justice Moore: It was her 19th birthday, high school graduation and the day she found out she'd been cast in the ensemble of Hamilton's Chicago production. Her controlled, versatile approach to movement, honed on the competition circuit, has only brought her more opportunities since then. Last summer, Andy Blankenbuehler chose Moore for a workshop for his new musical, Only Gold, and this March, she transferred her much-loved "bullet" track to Hamilton on Broadway.
Britney Holmes, Courtesy Moore
Shows: Hamilton productions in Chicago, on tour and on Broadway
Hometown: Allen, Texas
Training: Academy of Dance Arts and Next Step Dance, both in Texas
Accolades: New York City Dance Alliance top 16 senior female, The Dance Awards 3rd runner up senior female in Las Vegas
Moore currently dances on Broadway in Hamilton's much-loved "bullet" track.
Josh Lehrer, Courtesy Moore
Breakout moment: Blankenbuehler taught a master class at Moore's studio and, a year later, asked her director if Moore could fly to New York City to audition for Hamilton. "I always thought that I would start out in L.A.," she says. "I was never really interested in musicals. As soon as I auditioned, I fell in love."
New terrain: Diving into the show gave Moore a crash course in musical theater. She learned how to manage everything from the lightning-paced rehearsals to vocal training to eight shows a week. "I had to learn how to call out. How to take breaks and be like, 'I can't push through this.' "
Meeting her idols: At the workshop for Only Gold, Moore found herself in the room with dancers like Peter Chu, Alessandra Ferri, Georgina Pazcoguin, Ricky Ubeda, Cindy Salgado and Ryan Steele—many of whom she'd looked up to or taken class from at conventions. "Now we were all in the same boat," she says. "I could not believe I was there."
What Andy Blankenbuehler is saying: "Besides being fabulous onstage, Justice has a maturity and work integrity that are far beyond her years. I trusted her immediately," says the Hamilton choreographer. "We will continue to cross paths for years to come."
Overcoming doubt: "Just graduating from high school and then doing Hamilton, I felt unworthy," says Moore. "It took me a while to get over that, and that's why I want to encourage anybody not to let anything hold them back."
Just hearing the word "improvisation" is enough to make some ballet dancers shake in their pointe shoes. But for Chantelle Pianetta, it's a practice she relishes. Depending on the weekend, you might find her gracing Bay Area stages as a principal with Menlowe Ballet or sweeping in awards at West Coast swing competitions.
She specializes in Jack and Jill events, which involve improvised swing dancing with an unexpected partner in front of a panel of judges. (Check her out in action below.) While sustaining her ballet career, over the past four years Pianetta has quickly risen from novice to champion level on the WCS international competition circuit.
Sean Dorsey was always going to be an activist. Growing up in a politically engaged, progressive family in Vancouver, British Columbia, "it was my heart's desire to create change in the world," he says. Far less certain was his future as a dancer.
Like many dancers, Dorsey fell in love with movement as a toddler. However, he didn't identify strongly with any particular gender growing up. Dorsey, who now identifies as trans, says, "I didn't see a single person like me anywhere in the modern dance world." The lack of trans role models and teachers, let alone all-gender studio facilities where he could feel safe and welcome, "meant that even in my wildest dreams, there was no room for that possibility."
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?