- The Latest
- Breaking Stereotypes
- Rant & Rave
- Dance As Activism
- Dancers Trending
- Viral Videos
- The Dancer's Toolkit
- Health & Body
- Dance Training
- Career Advice
- Style & Beauty
- Dance Auditions
- Guides & Resources
- Performance Calendar
- College Guide
- Dance Magazine Awards
- Meet The Editors
- Contact Us
- Advertise/Media Kit
- Buy A Single Issue
- Give A Gift Subscription
Wayne McGregor on Why He Isn't Keeping His New Studios to Himself
Wayne McGregor has a new home, and he intends to share it. In March, the British choreographer and his company moved into Studio Wayne McGregor, a new, state-of-the-art venue in London. They have since announced two ambitious initiatives: FreeSpace, a program gifting studio time to other artists, and PEER, a mentorship program for final-year dance students and recent graduates.
Studio Wayne McGregor was one of the organizations selected to move into the repurposed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; its other tenants include tech companies, local universities and an innovation hub. "Connectivity was very important to us, as well as the human capital," says McGregor. "We'll have access to diverse thinkers." The facilities include three large studios and a series of smaller collaborative spaces, as well as cross-training facilities and open areas throughout the building that double as gallery space.
Meeting room at Studio Wayne McGregor. Photo by Richard Davies, Courtesy Studio Wayne McGregor.
The innovative FreeSpace and PEER programs were born out of McGregor's desire to share the facilities with the wider dance community at a difficult time in the UK, with repeated government funding cuts. "It's easy to talk about the issues facing the dance sector, but I thought we had to do something," McGregor says, citing the cost ("around £2,000 per week," or over $2,500) of renting a studio in London.
As part of FreeSpace, 5,000 hours of studio time will be gifted to 25 artists over one year. In exchange, for each week spent in the Studio they are asked to devote one day to outreach projects. Candoco Dance Company and Didy Veldman are part of the first cohort selected by McGregor, who curates FreeSpace directly rather than through an application process. "I select the companies based on work I've been interested in, and the entrepreneurial vision of the director," he explains.
Didy Veldman. Photo by Stephen Wright, Courtesy Studio Wayne McGregor.
PEER, meanwhile, is a little different from standard apprentice schemes. A yearlong program for final-year dance students and recent graduates, it isn't based on "dancing ability," says McGregor, but is instead tailored to budding choreographers or future leaders. "The business of making choreography is about many things besides talent. A lot of it is presentation, or having time with professional dancers," he says.
With that in mind, McGregor has devised a program combining company class with his dancers, creative labs, mentoring and professional development sessions. PEER participants (there are currently six) must be UK-based and are selected through application and interview.
For McGregor, it is a step on the way to turning the "raw space" of the new Studio into an open hub for dancers and artists: "We want to have an engaged artistic community."
One of the biggest myths about ballet dancers is that they don't eat. While we all know that, yes, there are those who do struggle with body image issues and eating disorders, most healthy dancers love food—and eat plenty of it to fuel their busy schedules.
Luckily for us, they're not afraid to show it:
Looking for your next audition shoe? Shot at and in collaboration with Broadway Dance Center, Só Dança has launched a new collection of shoes working with some pretty famous faces of the musical theater world! Offered in two different styles and either 2.5" or 3" heels, top industry professionals are loving how versatile and supportive these shoes are! Pro tip: The heel is centered under the body so you can feel confident and stable!
When I wrote about my struggle with depression, and eventual departure from dance because of it, I expected criticism. I was prepared to be challenged. But much to my relief, and horror, dancers from all over the world responded with support and stories of solidarity. The most critical response I saw was this one:
"Dance isn't for everyone."
This may as well be a mantra in the dance world. We have become entrenched in the Darwinian notion that the emotionally weak will be weeded out. There is no room for them anyway.
Growing up in a family-owned dance studio in Missouri had its perks for tap dancer Anthony Russo. But it also earned him constant taunting, especially in high school.
"There was a junior in my sophomore year health class who was absolutely relentless," he says. "I'd get tripped on my way to the front of the classroom and he'd say, 'Watch out, twinkle toes.' If I raised my hand and answered a question incorrectly, I'd hear a patronizing 'Nice one, Bojangles.' "
What does a superstar like Carlos Acosta do after bidding farewell to his career in classical ballet? In Acosta's case, he returns to his native country, Cuba, to funnel his fame, connections and prodigious energies back into the dance scene that formed him. Because of its top-notch, state-supported training programs and popular embrace of the art of dance, Cuba is brimming with talented dancers. What it has been short on, until recently, are opportunities outside of the mainstream companies, as well as access to a more international repertoire. That is changing now, and, with the creation of Acosta Danza, launched in 2016, Acosta is determined to open the doors even wider to new ideas and audiences.
There's so much more to the dance world than making and performing dances. Arts administrators do everything from raising money to managing companies to building new audiences. With the growing number of arts administration programs in colleges, dancers have an opportunity to position themselves for a multifaceted career on- or offstage—and to bring their unique perspective as artists to administrative work.
While Solange was busy helping big sis Beyoncé give Coachella its best performances of all time, an equally compelling project was quietly circulating on Instagram:
New York City Ballet continues its first year without Peter Martins at the helm as our spring season opens tonight.
When he retired at the start of the new year, we plunged headfirst into unknown, murky waters. Who would the new director be? When would we know? Would we dancers get some say in the decision? Who would oversee the Balanchine ballets? Who would be in charge of casting? Would a new director bring along huge upheaval? Could some of us be out of a job?
In the world of ballet, Arcadian Broad is a one-stop shop: He'll come up with a story, compose its music, choreograph the movement and dance it himself. But then Broad has always been a master of versatility. As a teenager he juggled school, dance and—after the departure of his father—financial responsibility. It was Broad's income from dancing that kept his family afloat. Fast-forward six years and things are far more stable. Broad now lives on his own in an apartment, but you can usually find him in the studio.
Bales of hay, black umbrellas, bicycles—this Midsummer Night's Dream would be unrecognizable to the Bard. Alexander Ekman's full-length, inspired by Scandinavian solstice traditions and set to music by Mikael Karlsson, is a madcap celebration of the longest day of the year, when the veil between our world and that of the supernatural is said to be at its thinnest. The Joffrey Ballet's performances mark the seductively surreal work's North American premiere. April 25–May 6. joffrey.org.