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.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.
I'd been a professional dancer for five years when I realized the pain I'd been feeling in my hip and down my sciatic nerve was not going away. I had been treating it for two years as we dancers do—with regular visits to my masseuse, physical therapy, baths, ice and lots of Aleve—but I never stopped dancing. It finally dawned on me that if I kept going at the speed I was going (which was, well, speedy), the pain would only get more severe and unrelenting, and I might never dance again.
I told myself I'd take two months off, and all would be better.
That first morning when I woke up at 10 am, I had no idea what to do with myself. My life until that moment had been dictated by class and rehearsal, every hour accounted for. How should I fill the huge swath of time ahead of me?