3 Lasting Professional Dancer Friendships That Had been Solid on the Conference Ground


For a lot of dancers, being a part of a aggressive crew is only a brief chapter in a protracted dance journey. However the private bonds constructed at competitions and conventions can final a lifetime. These three pairs of dancers who solid their friendships on the comp circuit present that having a tried-and-true teammate in your nook could make an enormous distinction within the skilled dance world, too.

Justin Pham, Los Angeles–based mostly choreographer and dancer, and Chryssa Hadjis, New York Metropolis–based mostly freelance dancer

When Hadjis moved from California to New York Metropolis within the fall of 2023, it was the primary time she and former competitors teammate Pham had been separated since they met as children at Murrieta Dance Venture in California. The pair competed in almost each class, together with as profitable duet companions. When Pham enrolled at College of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman College of Dance, Hadjis quickly adopted.

“It was enjoyable to expertise comp life collectively, after which the school conservatory realm felt so completely different,” says Hadjis. “It was nice to have a pal there to share the ups and downs.”

Hadjis danced in lots of Pham’s choreography tasks, together with one he offered on the Capezio A.C.E. Awards. “You wish to work with folks you take pleasure in being round,” Pham says.

“In a manner you may root [our friendship] again to competitors dance, as a result of that’s the place we met,” Hadjis says. “Or you could possibly root it to bounce as an entire, as a result of by dance we’ve skilled life collectively.”

“We actually grew up collectively,” Pham says. “We’ve been capable of expertise one another in all these completely different phases of our lives, and but in a manner we’re doing what we’ve all the time been doing.”

Kylie Dyson, Boston Ballet II, and Marissa Mattingly, Complexions Modern Ballet


Dyson and Mattingly met on the competitors circuit in central Florida and have become shut when Dyson joined the studio Mattingly attended, All American Classical Ballet College, in Tampa. They competed on the Youth America Grand Prix, USA Worldwide Ballet Competitors, and World Ballet Competitors as soloists and in teams, and carried out a duet from Swan Lake throughout their final comp season collectively.

Every time they’d a break from their rigorous schedule of courses and rehearsals, they’d examine collectively in a café. “We’d attempt to do homework, however we’d normally find yourself speaking,” says Mattingly.

“It’s cool to assume again to us speaking about what firms we needed to hitch, and now after we FaceTime to speak about our days, we’re residing the life we used to daydream about,” says Dyson.

Now originally of their skilled careers, Dyson and Mattingly are glad to have one another’s assist. “We textual content on a regular basis,” Dyson says. “Regardless of the space, nothing has modified,” Mattingly provides. “We’re super-bonded.”

Courtney Conovan, L.A. Dance Venture, and Makaila Chiplin (identified professionally as Chip), New York Metropolis–based mostly freelance dancer


Yearly on their respective birthdays, Conovan and Chip submit humorous throwback movies of one another from their competitors days on Instagram.

“It’s such an ideal time capsule of how we had been dancing then in comparison with how we at the moment are,” Chip says. As members of Rise Dance Firm in Spherical Rock, Texas, “we had been simply having fun with ourselves and having a lot enjoyable.”

“The recollections [of that time] that I consider aren’t competing onstage or what items we did—it’s all the time the lodge room after, or the journey to Nook Bakery that we took between each rehearsal,” Conovan says. “I consider us doing life collectively, greater than being dancers collectively.”

The chums stayed in contact by texting and FaceTime as Conovan left for Buy School and Chip, a yr later, enrolled at College of the Arts. Now, as professionals, they are saying not a lot has modified.

“We’ve got a really goofy friendship,” Chip says. “We get collectively and it’s like we’re 11 years previous within the lodge room after a contest once more.”


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