A New Breed

 I distinctly remember having a lively intermission conversation at a Youth America Grand Prix gala performance several years ago. We had just had our minds blown by a tiny dancer who performed with a technical ability far beyond his years. And he wasn’t the only one. Several child prodigies debuted that night in an astonishing display of flexibility, musicality and precision. The question several of us in the audience shared was, “Where do these dancers go from here?” When a child reaches the pinnacle of his/her ability before hitting puberty, what is left to aspire to?

Since that night, we’ve watched a generation of prodigies graduate from pre-professional training and land coveted company positions. In “Nurturing the Gift,” writer Caitlin Sims talks with their teachers about what it took to prepare these most gifted students for professional life.

Nick DeMoura (on the cover) is a prodigy of a different breed. A street dancer who hit Hollywood at an early age, he’s made a name for himself in the competitive pop music industry. In “On Top of the World,” he tells Alison Feller what it’s like to choreograph for stars like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. And we love the images photographer Jino Abad took of DeMoura doing his thing in the studio. It’s clear to us that DeMoura is a big-picture thinker. Though he was extremely busy with preparation for the Ariana Grande tour, he arrived at our photo shoot with a complete vision of how he wanted to present himself—head to toe.

That’s the kind of mindset one needs for keeping goals and priorities in the forefront, while also balancing the many aspects of a busy life. Meditation is a proven tool that can help, and in “Finding Your Om,” we give you some quick tips on how to get started.

One of my favorite stories in this issue is “From “‘Ho Hum’ to ‘Aha’” about some surprising changes that worked out well for three studio owners. Maybe it’s time for you to consider a bold move. If you do, please write and tell me about it. khildebrand@dancemedia.com.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

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