5 Ways Teachers Can Pull More Artistry Out of Students’ Competition Solos

“Everybody’s emotional,” says former Boston Ballet principal Alexandra Koltun. “So, how do you pull that out of a student?” For Koltun, who is the founding artistic director (with husband Alex Lapshin) of Koltun Ballet Boston—a pre-professional ballet school with three Youth America Grand Prix Outstanding School awards under its belt—the process of bringing out more […]

How to Make the Most of Your Competition Win

The way Duncan Cooper tells it, victory at a major dance competition can be a double-edged sword. “Winning does show that you have a high level of ability and skills,” says the Universal Ballet Competition judge and Revel Dance Convention faculty member. “But at a professional audition, some people just won’t care—and others will expect […]

What It Feels Like to Be at a Major Competition Again

When asked to describe the energy at this month’s Youth America Grand Prix Finals, judge Sascha Radetsky had one word: “Stratospheric.” More than 800 dancers from around the United States—selected from 10,000 who’d taken part in regional events—competed onstage at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida, for the competition’s season Finals […]

What I Learned About Judges By Becoming One for Youth America Grand Prix

What’s actually going on in judges’ heads? I got a first-hand chance to find out when, over three days in early March, I judged 334 classical and contemporary solos from dancers ages 9 to 19 at the Boston semi-finals of Youth America Grand Prix. Putting exact numbers to qualities like “musicality” and “épaulement” is just […]

Here’s How to Stay Injury-Free During Crazy Convention Weekends

By the Sunday evening of a long convention weekend, you can expect to be thoroughly exhausted and a little sore. But you shouldn’t leave the hotel ballroom actually hurt. Although conventions can be filled with magical opportunities, the potential for injury is higher than usual. Keep your body safe: Watch out for these four common […]

5 Ways Competitions Can Lead to the Career of Your Dreams

I have to admit, I’ve had a wonderful career. I’ve danced with The Royal Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet, done a stint on the West End in An American in Paris, played the Snow Cavalier in Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms with Misty Copeland, and will soon be performing as Older Billy in […]

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