Lauren Volo, Courtesy Sudeikis

The Songs That Give Kristin Sudeikis the Chills

Anyone who has taken Kristin Sudeikis' class knows that her love of music is contagious. It's hard to leave her classes at Broadway Dance Center or Peridance without a new favorite song—partially because she has great taste, and partially because of the experiences she builds around what she plays. Music artists have taken note: Sudeikis has become a go-to choreographer for music videos, having worked with Mumford & Sons, Ben Harper, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and more.

Sudeikis told us about how she discovers new music, and made us a road trip-worthy playlist:

On What Draws Her to Songs

"There's something outside of me that pulls me in towards it. It's a magnetic sort of excitement when I hear a song and it gives me the chills. You can't make yourself get the chills. I'll want to go deeper into the baseline or the drum or a lyric or the way a singer's voice will hit a certain frequency, and I'll want to converse back with that song. It's almost like I want to be a part of that song."

On the Song that Launched Her Career

"When I was 13, 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)' by Eurythmics was the song I danced to that gave me my first scholarship. I was in the back of the room, dancing for my life, and Mia Michaels pulled me up onstage."

On Music & Her Choreographic Process

"It's almost always music first. I sometimes just let a playlist play and move and move and move to different songs. Then the song I'm most drawn to I'll play from the beginning and start to move the phrase to that song and find the nuances within it. There's an element of discovery while you're in motion in real time. It invites us to be fully present and listening, not just with our ears but on a cellular level."

On Moses Sumney's "Ascension" 

"He opened for Sufjan Stevens and I was massively blown away and started to research his sounds. This is a song that I play in warm up. It has a very dreamy, otherworldly feeling to it that I play especially in New York City as a juxtaposition to the city."

On How Discovering Music is Like Fishing

"I'll go somewhere and my ear will be up. I'll Shazam it or ask the DJ or the server at a restaurant. Different pals of mine are musicians or choreographers or artists and we're always passing music around. I'm also actively searching a lot. Some people fish; discovering music has been something I've always loved to do.

"I also love making mix CDs or playlists for people. If someone's going through something, make them a mix CD. If something exciting happens in someone's life, make them a mix CD."

On Why Music Is So Essential to Her Life

"To me, music is like water in that it's in us and all around us. It's essential. It nourishes, it cleanses. I can't get enough of it. I like to feel fully immersed in it. It's a force greater than any one person, something that connects us with all that's unseen. Music is simultaneously rooting and transcendent. It's exciting to me to think about creating a memory for other people with music, if i can invite them in to have a shared experience."

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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.


Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

Enter Our Video Contest