On the Rise: Samara Seligsohn
Even while tapping with live accompaniment, Samara Seligsohn shows that she is the musician in charge. A percussive chameleon, she can alternate between impeccably crisp rhythmic bursts and delicate melodies, displaying both effortlessness and athleticism. Several burgeoning tap troupes in New York City have already claimed her, and now she’s starting to find her own voice as a choreographer.
Seligsohn's side job at Then She Fell is much more than a paycheck: Watching the cast grow in their roles inspires her to delve deeper into her tap work. Photo by Eric Tronolone, courtesy Seligsohn.
Companies: Nicholas Young’s SoundMovement Dance Company & Chloe Arnold’s Apartment 33
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Training: Ballet, tap, jazz, modern and lyrical at Meg Segreto’s Dance Centre in Davie, Florida; ballet and modern at Barnard College, where she earned a BA in dance.
Her second home: Steps on Broadway, where she spent two years in the work-study program and met three significant mentors: Derick K. Grant, Lynn Schwab and Nicholas Young.
Breakthrough moment: She presented her first ensemble piece this spring at American Tap Dance Foundation’s Rhythm in Motion showcase. The New York Times praised her and her dancers for “punctuating their soundtrack…with unexpected pockets of stillness.” Seligsohn says, “Choreographing filled an artistic void I wasn’t even aware I was feeling.”
Insider tips: During and after college, Seligsohn worked for Divine Rhythm Productions, an artist management collective headed by Elka Samuels Smith, sister of tap star Jason Samuels Smith. “I got an inside look and deeper understanding of what went into a career in tap.”
Improving her improv: “I’m still really working on opening up my flow, looking for a balance between control and spontaneity,” she says. “For me, I think this means developing a fluid translation from idea to action, and keeping my technique sharp.”
What Derick K. Grant says: “Her hunger to get better has set the bar for her friends and classmates—it’s infectious. She’s confident enough to be a leader among her peers, but humble to the point where people are happy to hire her.”
Double life: She’s also an assistant stage manager swing, working behind the scenes about once every two weeks, for Then She Fell, an interactive theatrical experience. “I’ve been so inspired watching these performers stay excited and refreshed in their characters. It gives me something to strive for as a creator and performer.”
On the horizon: Next season, she’ll return as an artist in residence with ATDF. “I come primarily from a concert dance background, so I’m interested in creating concept-based tap works that hopefully stand beside other dance forms more heavily represented on proscenium stages.”
What do Percy Jackson, Princess Diana and Tina Turner have in common? They're all characters on Broadway this season. Throw in Michelle Dorrance's choreographic debut, Henry VIII's six diva-licious wives and the 1990s angst of Alanis Morissette, and the 2019–20 season is shaping up to be an exciting mix of past-meets-pop-culture-present.
Here's a look at the musicals hitting Broadway in the coming months. We're biding our time until opening night!
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
Ah, stretching. It seems so simple, and is yet so complicated.
For example: You don't want to overstretch, but you're not going to see results if you don't stretch enough. You want to focus on areas where you're tight, but you also can't neglect other areas or else you'll be imbalanced. You were taught to hold static stretches growing up, but now everyone is telling you never to hold a stretch longer than a few seconds?
Considering how important stretching correctly is for dancers, it's easy to get confused or overwhelmed. So we came up with 10 common stretching scenarios, and gave you the expert low-down.