Dance Theatre of Harlem's Amanda Smith

Quinn Wharton

Dance Theatre of Harlem Company Member Amanda Smith's Style Reflects Her Sunny California Roots

When she's not representing Dance Theatre of Harlem onstage or in the studio, company member Amanda Smith sports a retro-inspired style. The Orange County, California, native loves a good thrift store, almost as much as she loves throwing pops of color into her look. "Outside of the studio, my style is a mix of the '70s, '80s and '90s," Smith says. "I'm inspired by people like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, Brandy and Sade. I love the vibe of their music and who they are—they represent natural beauty, and I love that."


Smith gravitates towards brighter colors for the studio. "It wakes me up and adds some fun to our rigorous rehearsal schedule," she says. She also likes to play with different hairstyles, switching between a classic high bun and French twist to something more fun, like two buns or two twisted braids at the top of her head.

One studio staple for Smith is her Bloch Axiom pointe shoes, which she alters specifically for her feet. "Dance Theatre of Harlem is all about skin-colored shoes," Smith says. "I like to paint my shoes the same day I sew them because the paint makes them shape differently. If I were to wear the shoes for a day and paint them after, they won't feel the way I want them to."

The Details—Street

Quinn Wharton

Vintage sweater: "I got this sweater at Buffalo Exchange, which is one of my favorite thrift stores. I really like the multicolored fur sleeves."

The Details—Studio

Quinn Wharton

Bloch leotard: "I love Bloch, and I think the burnt orange leotard and ombré skirt makes a statement."

Latest Posts


Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Liam Scarlett with Marianela Nuñez and Ryoichi Hirano during a rehearsal of his Swan Lake at The Royal Ballet. Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH

Choreographer Liam Scarlett Has Died

Over the weekend, news broke that 35-year-old choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former artist in residence at The Royal Ballet, died suddenly at his home in England. "It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam," Scarlett's family said in a brief statement. "At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss."

The cause of death was not disclosed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Fancy Free" (1981)

In Jerome Robbins's 1944 ballet Fancy Free, three sailors on leave spend the day at a bar, attempting to woo two young women by out-dancing and out-charming one another. In this clip from 1981, Mikhail Baryshnikov, who was then both the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre and a leading performer with the company, pulls out all the stops to win the ladies' affections.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks