No matter how many years it's been, it's impossible to discuss dance movies and not mention Center Stage. Now 18 years since its premiere (May 12, 2000, FYI), the movie was the talk of the ballet studio for months after it hit theaters, and it even had our non-dancer friends excited. Plus, it starred some of ballet's biggest names—American Ballet Theatre's Ethan Stiefel, Julie Kent and Sascha Radetsky (and a few brief appearances from dancers like Gillian Murphy and Janie Taylor). It also, of course, starred San Francisco Ballet apprentice turned actress Amanda Schull as the movie's beloved Jody Sawyer.


Not only is Center Stage still one of our fave movies after all theses years, but its stars have since gone on to do many more amazing things in dance (often collaborating together, in the case of Stiefel and Kent). Which is exactly why we're dedicating today's #TBT to our favorite scene. While there are undoubtedly multiple dance moments to choose from (like Jody crashing Cooper Nielson's jazz class or even the opening of Cooper's piece to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel"), the very best moment also happens to be the movie's very last dance sequence.

We'll never forget how Jody completely commanded the stage, transforming from a long, blue dress and loose hair to a bold red costume and an updo—all without ever leaving the stage (ah, the magic of movies). Seeing Jody nail her performance to Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat" after all of her studio struggles was a moment every bunhead cheered for. It also provided us with plenty of choreography to play with in the studio, as we tried to recreate the scene with our friends.

Rewatch it for yourself above (then go ahead and watch the whole film). Happy #TBT!

Ballet Careers
Roderick Phifer in Trey McIntyre's The Boogeyman . Bill Hebert, Courtesy BalletX.

This is one of a series of stories on recent graduates' on-campus experiences—and the connections they made that jump-started their dance careers. Roderick Phifer graduated from University of the Arts with a BFA in dance in 2017.

While walking out of a technique class during the first semester of his senior year at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, Roderick Phifer was approached with an unexpected offer. BalletX needed a guest artist for an upcoming performance, and after seeing Phifer perform in one of his senior shows, a UArts alumnus dancing with the company had offered up his name. Phifer ran straight from his technique class to a company class with BalletX, and the troupe's artistic leadership quickly gave him the green light to perform. "It was so last-minute, that, I kid you not, I had three rehearsals," he says. He performed with BalletX as a guest artist that fall, auditioned for an open company position in the spring and had a contract by the end of his senior year.

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

What inspires busy pros to keep returning to their alma mater? We talked to three of The Rock School's buzziest alums about why they make it a priority to come back and teach:

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Viral Videos

In this video ThePointeShop's Josephine Lee may not be giving her usual pointe shoe advice, but she is putting pointe shoes to good use... in the classic wedding shoe game. She plays with newly engaged Ballet West dancers Beckanne Sisk and Chase O'Connell to find out how well the couple knows each other.

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Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

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