Long-time Answers4Dancers member and A4D Leader, Holly Dayton, is having one incredible 2018! After working for years in Las Vegas and Los Angeles before that, Holly relocated to New York City and recently embarked on her second NYC audition season. Her persistence paid off when she hit the booking jackpot with productions of Mary Poppins, Crazy For You,Footloose, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and she’ll be closing out the year performing with the National Tour of Elf.
Holly reflects on her good fortune, ‘Along the way, I learned a lot about myself. I’m so grateful for the growth. I learned how to improve my teaching and produce more creative movement while learning the original Susan Stroman choreography from ‘Crazy For You’ at Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre. Stroman's musicality and ability to produce amazing visuals was really inspiring. Learning that show made me take a look at my own teaching and choreography and it inspired me to better improve my craft.’
She continues, ‘I also learned that I come alive in a position of leadership and when given an opportunity to help others. I was the dance captain for ‘Footloose’ at Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre and for ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. I long to encourage others and help to build stronger casts and a stronger community. I sometimes struggle to take up space or step into the light as in individual, but as a leader, everything seems to fall into place. It's not about me, but the overall picture. And I love that. I love helping others work through their hardships and turn their weaknesses into strengths.’
Holly also discovered that her desire to create is a driving force in her life… a common thread among all artists. While at Arrow Rock, she created a short piece of choreography and taught it to some of the cast. She took it one step further and created her Higher Ground video.
Holly is the perfect example of a hungry dancer who pushes herself to achieve amazing results. She sets a strong example for others of how a dancer can thrive and grow in this business. And for Holly, there's no limit in what she can achieve!
Are you a student considering a career in dance? Are you thinking about taking that next step? Check out ARE YOU READY? with insights from working dancers, choreographers, and agents that will help you know what to anticipate. How did they get to dance on Broadway or tour with Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, or Justin Timberlake? What issues did they face? Use this image to read the full article.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE RECAP: TOP 10 PERFORM IN LIVE SHOWS & AMERICA VOTES FOR THE FIRST TIME Beginning with this week’s first live broadcast of So You Think You Can Dance, it's now up to America to decide which contestants end up in the Top 4 and one of them will eventually win the top prize and a role in FOX's live production of Rent set to air on January 27, 2019. tWitch was on the judging panel joining Nigel, Mary, and Vanessa. This week, each contestant couple performed twice: once in the girl's style and once in the guy's. The show kicked off with a gold-adorned contemporary group routine to Dream State by Son Lux, choreographed by Travis Wall. That gave Cat Deeley a chance to congratulate him on another Emmy nomination, along with Mandy Moore, Al Blackstone, and Christopher Scott, plus a nod for Outstanding Lighting Design. The surprise performance of the night was given by Slavik and Genessy who both nailed their choreography and earned the first live show standing ovation of the season. The weakest performance was the most unfair pairing of jazz dancer Chelsea Hough who had to take on a tap routine with her partner and fellow contestant Evan DeBenedetto who's a tapper. The judges noted this was the first time anyone on the show was asked to perform a tap routine when it wasn’t their own style since it requires such a specific skill set. And the outcome was pretty rough. It’s our guess Chelsea will surely be in the bottom next week through no fault of her own. The best performance of the night was surprisingly by Magda and Darius who performed a Travis Wall contemporary piece set to Glass Heart Concerto by Blondie and Phillip Glass. The piece was aggressive, intense, and powerful. At the end of the show, voting opened up for individual dancers which will determine who makes it through to the top 8 and which one guy and one girl will be eliminated in next week’s second live show.
WORLD OF DANCE SEASON 2 RECAP: THE DUELS ROUNDS CONTINUE This week featured another World of Dance Duel round of highly competitive match-ups and a surprise three-way battle! First, contemporary soloist Jaxon Willard chose to go up against the young tap dancer Lucas Marinetto. Jaxon blew everyone away by flying high during his Qualifiers with his emotional story of adoption. Lucas, on the other hand, gave an uplifting and energetic performance that the judges loved. Jaxon put himself out there once more with his stunning choreography that demonstrated the pain he feels toward his birth mom and the love he has for his adoptive mom. His storytelling through facial expression, flexible choreography, and stunning turns was truly impressive. Lucas received a solid 88 from the judges while Jaxon stunned with a 96 advancing him to the next round. The results from the other match ups were Marissa & The Heartbreakers received an 83.7, while the Poreotics took it to the next round with a 97.7. Jonas and Ruby (remember her from SYTYCD Juniors?) received a strong 91.3 score, while Freshh came in behind them with an 88 and were sent home. In a tight race, Pursuit received an 82.3, while The Ruggeds just barely made it through with an 84.7. Then there was a surprise three-way battle between Junior groups Raider Boyz step team went against the adorable hip hop Cubcakes Dance Crew and the Waacking team Flip. Dem Raider Boyz locked in an 85.3. Cubcakes received a strong 88 from the judges. Flip impressed with a 90.3, sending them to the next round and Cupcakes just missed the cut. And in the tightest round, Connection received an 85.3 while Funkywunks scored an 85. Next week, World Of Dance will air at 9 PM ET.
TONY WINNER RUTHIE ANN MILES MAKES STAGE RETURN IN LONDON’S KING AND I
Ruthie Ann Miles reprised her Tony-winning role as Lady Thiang in The King and I at the London Palladium on August 3. Kelli O'Hara, who is also revisiting her Tony-winning role as Anna Leonowens in the West End transfer of Bartlett Sher's revival, posted the news on Instagram with kind words for her co-star. Joining the cast is Naoko Mori who will take on the role of Lady Thiang at certain performances of the production, which is scheduled to run through September 29. You may recall Miles and her husband, Jonathan Blumenstein lost their four-year-old daughter, Abigail Blumenstein, who was killed in March after a car hit her. As a result of the accident, Miles also lost the unborn baby she was carrying weeks after the tragic accident. Miles had been due to give birth in May.
EMILY BAUTISTA, RED CONCEPCIÓN & ANTHONY FESTA WILL LEAD MISS SAIGON NATIONAL TOUR Emily Bautista, Red Concepción, and Anthony Festa will star in the national tour of Miss Saigon as Kim, The Engineer, and Chris, respectively. Directed by Laurence Connor (School of Rock, Les Misérables), the traveling production of Miss Saigon will kick off on September 21 in Providence, RI, before continuing on to cities all across the country. Bautista made her Broadway debut in the recent revival of Miss Saigon where she understudied and played the role of Kim. She was most recently seen as Éponine in the national tour of Les Misérables. Concepción is currently starring as The Engineer in the U.K. tour of Miss Saigon. His many stage credits in his native Philippines include Priscilla Queen of the Desert, West Side Story, and Hairspray. Festa was most recently seen in The York Theatre Company production of Desperate Measures. His other stage credits include Wicked, Finding Neverland, and West Side Story.
ANDREW SAMONSKY, MEGAN MCGINNIS & BECKY GULSVIG WILL STAR IN NATIONAL TOUR OF COME FROM AWAY Becky Gulsvig (School of Rock), Megan McGinnis (Les Misérables) and Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific) will star in the national tour of Broadway's hit musical Come From Away. Directed by Tony winner Christopher Ashley, the traveling production will kick off in October in Seattle, WA, before continuing on to cities all across North America. Come From Away features a score and book by Tony nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein and musical staging by Tony nominee Kelly Devine. The musical is currently playing Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, where it opened in March 2017. Set in the week following the September 11 attacks, Come From Away takes theatergoers into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, that welcomed them.
Lady Gaga will kick off her Las Vegas residency on December 28 at the Park Theater. The 27-show slate for 2018-2019 will feature two shows: Lady Gaga Enigma and Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano. The Enigma show will focus on her upbeat pop hits, while the Jazz & Piano show will feature a bare bones version of her original songs and covers… Charlotte Rae, a star of the stage and screen, who garnered Tony nominations for her performances in Morning, Noon and Night and Pickwick, died on August 5. She was known for her small screen roles on Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.
TONY WINNER ROSEMARY HARRIS TO REPLACE DIANA RIGG IN BROADWAY’S MY FAIR LADY Tony-winning actress Rosemary Harris will step into the role of Mrs. Higgins in Lincoln Center Theater's revival of Lerner & Loewe's My Fair Lady, directed by Bartlet Sher, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater beginning on September 11. She replaces original cast member Diana Rigg, whose final performance is September 9. Harris’ Broadway credits include nine Tony-nominated performances in The Royal Family, Waiting in the Wings, A Delicate Balance, Hay Fever, Pack of Lies, Heartbreak House, Old Times, and The Lion in Winter, for which she won the 1966 trophy for Best Lead Actress in Play. Her films include playing Aunt May in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and Notorious Woman, for which she won an Emmy Award and her Golden Globe-winning performance in Holocaust. Harris joins a company that includes Lauren Ambrose as Eliza Doolittle and Harry Hadden-Paton as Henry Higgins.
NOAH WEISBERG WILL STAR IN NATIONAL TOUR OF CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Noah Weisberg (Broadway's Legally Blonde, South Pacific, Elf) will star as Willy Wonka in the national tour of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical. Directed by Tony winner Jack O'Brien, the traveling production will kick off September 21 in Buffalo, NY, before continuing on to cities all across the country. The touring cast will include Henry Boshart (Fun Home), Collin Jeffery (Kinky Boots), and Rueby Wood (Mary Poppins) sharing the role of Charlie Bucket. Featuring songs from the original film, including Pure Imagination, The Candy Man, and I’ve Got a Golden Ticket, alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from Hairspray Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory boasts a book by David Greig and choreography by Tony nominee Joshua Bergasse.
NEW REVIVAL OF RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CAROUSEL TO END BROADWAY RUN The talent-filled revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel, starring Jessie Mueller and Joshua Henry, will conclude its run at the Imperial Theatre on September 16. The new staging began performances on February 28 and officially opened on April 12. By closing, the production will have played 47 previews and 181 regular performances. Jack O'Brien directs the revival, which features Tony-winning choreography by Justin Peck. Set in a small New England factory town, Carousel follows the tragic romance between a troubled carnival barker (Henry) and the young woman (Mueller) who gives up everything for him. The cast also includes Lindsay Mendez in a Tony-winning turn as Carrie Pipperidge, Renée Fleming as Nettie Fowler, John Douglas Thompson as the Starkeeper, Amar Ramasar as Jigger, Brittany Pollack as Louise, Alexander Gemignani as Enoch Snow and Margaret Colin as Mrs. Mullin.
A Bronx Tale played its final performance on August 5, 2018. The show played 29 previews and 700 regular performances at the Longacre Theatre. The show began previews on November 3, 2016 and opened Thursday, December 1, 2016…