Outtakes from DM's October 2013 Cover Shoot
With legs like these, who needs pants? That was practically a mantra at Dance Magazine's photo shoot for the October cover feature, "Singular Sensations." And when you have Broadway dancers like Sarrah Strimel, Bahiyah Hibah and Paloma Garcia-Lee, can you blame us?
The day started with Sarrah in the spotlight. Her long limbs were a challenge to fit inside a frame, but she certainly knows how to use them to her advantage. Early in the day we had fun playing around on a dressing room vanity; her custom-made red and white polka-dot bathing suit and a white bathrobe made the scene. But when she finally put her silver dress on, it became clear that this goofball has a truly elegant side.
"Keep a 360-degree view that the ensemble is your family." —Sarrah Strimel
Next up was Paloma Garcia-Lee. Though she's only 22, Paloma has such an old-Hollywood glamour look that the camera couldn't get enough. Modeling seemed to be second nature to this young star. We weren't all that surprised, however; Paloma appeared on the DanceMedia web series Dance212, and her bright enthusiasm for dance lit up each episode. (This episode, in which Paloma rehearses for a music video, is one of my favorites.)
"I always challenge myself to be a better performer, to point my feet harder, set small challenges in each performance, and not to go on auto-pilot...ever." —Paloma Garcia-Lee
Bahiyah Hibah came to the cyc last, beginning the session in a black lace dress that called on her days in Chicago. But her grounded, luscious movement more clearly spoke of her time with Ailey. She, too, seemed to know exactly how to work the camera, and when she laced up an even sexier purple silk corset, the room fell silent. Wowza. This mom (can you believe that?!) has the moves.
"Be prepared and let your work shine for itself. Even in a group, it will be noticed." —Bahiyah Hibah
When all three dancers stepped in front of the camera as an ensemble, it was fascinating to watch how their individual styles played off one another. Perhaps this is what makes them such successful women on Broadway, in the ensemble and out. They don't fade into the background—their ability to work together as a team enhances the whole package.
Want more? Don't forget to watch our behind-the-scenes video from the shoot here.
It's a cycle familiar to many: First, a striking image of a lithe, impossibly fit dancer executing a gravity-defying développé catches your eye on Instagram. You pause your scrolling to marvel, over and over again, at her textbook physique.
Inevitably, you take a moment to consider your own body, in comparison. Doubt and negative self-talk first creep, and then flood, in. "I'll never look like that," the voice inside your head whispers. You continue scrolling, but the image has done its dirty work—a gnawing sensation has taken hold, continually reminding you that your own body is inferior, less-than, unworthy.
It's no stretch to say that social media has a huge effect on body image. For dancers—most of whom already have a laser-focus on their appearance—the images they see on Instagram can seem to exacerbate ever-present issues. "Social media is just another trigger," says Nadine Kaslow, a psychologist who works with the dancers of Atlanta Ballet. "And dancers don't need another trigger." In the age of Photoshop and filters, how can dancers keep body dysmorphia at bay?
If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.
Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.
Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.
So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?
When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.