10 Quick Questions with Kaycee Rice
Everything former DS cover girl Kaycee Rice touches turns to viral. From doing Nike campaigns (she has her own collection and self-designed shoe with the brand!) to performing at the Super Bowl to crushing class videos with WilldaBeast and Tricia Miranda, Kaycee's always on the move—and she's always fierce, fun, and full-out.
Kaycee's not one to sit still: She's launching a clothing line called Weirdo (coming soon), which will be designed entirely by her and her mom. It's inspired by that signature "Weirdo" beanie she's always sporting, and her pride in calling herself a weirdo.
She wore one of her "Weirdo" beanies at her cover shoot! (photo by Joe Toreno)
"My mom made me my first Weirdo beanie and told me to never let what other people say bother me," Kaycee says. "Over the years, I've gotten a lot of positive and negative comments on social media. You have people that support you and people that hate on you. I try to show people that it's OK to be different. I always want people to know not to be afraid of trying something new. Always be yourself, because you are incredible at being you!"
We caught up with Kaycee to find out what she can't dance without—and what it felt like when Katy Perry shared her solo video with the world.
1. What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you do before bed every night?
The first thing I do when I wake up is lie there for a few and say to myself, "It can't be morning already!" Then I brush my teeth before stumbling downstairs for breakfast. I eat waffles with lots of syrup, check my Instagram and social media and then start school. At night, I always shower right before bed, and then I fall asleep watching Netflix.
2. What are three things you eat every day?
Waffles with syrup, pasta with lots of parmesan cheese, and fruit.
3. What are three things you can't dance without?
Performance, energy, and music. Without expression and feelings, you're just doing a bunch of steps. I always go full-out in every class. You only get out what you put in. And music, well, that's a no-brainer!
4. In your very expert opinion, what's the best dance movie of all time?
I would have to say Step Up.
5. If you were given an hour to take class from ANY instructor—living or dead—who would you choose?
Debbie Reynolds. Not only was she an icon, but she danced and trained with the best. And she wasn't just a dancer—she was also an actress and mentor. I'm currently working on my acting, so it would have been an honor to ask her questions about her life and train with her.
6. What's the coolest place you've ever performed?
The Super Bowl Halftime Show with Missy Elliott and Katy Perry. Working with Missy was a dream come true. She's such and inspiration in the dance community, and she's super nice. She's a legend! And one of my dreams was to meet Katy Perry to say thank you to her for Tweeting my solo years ago—that set me on my way in the industry. She signed a picture I had of the Tweet, so that was really cool.
7. What songs are in heavy rotation on your playlist right now?
"That's What I Like" by Bruno Mars and "Stay" by Alessia Cara.
8. Other than dance, what's your favorite way to work out?
Dance is my workout! I don't do any other form of working out.
9. What's your favorite way to spend a Sunday?
If I'm not working I love to swim, go to a theme park or just relax and watch TV or sleep.
10. What has been the single greatest moment in your dance career so far?
I have to say when Katy Perry Tweeted my "Werk" solo. That basically launched my career. If that didn't happen, I'm not sure where I'd be now.
Turkey is great and all, but the best part of Thanksgiving? It's watching some truly fantastic dancing on television, courtesy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. On Thursday, when your arms are sore from mashing potatoes and/or you need to escape crazy Aunt Linda, head to the living room to catch these super-dancey parade highlights:
Taja Riley's bold, full-out presence and unique ability to mix hard-hitting hip hop with smooth, sensual choreography paved the way for her success in the commercial industry. She's danced with music icons like Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Ne-Yo, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Pitbull, and Bruno Mars, and has assisted with choreography for Britney Spears' Femme Fatale tour, Demi Lovato's Skyscraper tour, and Beyoncé's Mrs. Carter tour. She also appeared in Beyoncé's groundbreaking visual album Lemonade. Raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Riley grew up training at Denise Wall's Dance Energy. Currently, she's on faculty at New York City Dance Alliance, where you can catch her touring the convention circuit. —Courtney Bowers
P!nk, known for her high-flying, acrobatic awards show sets, has literally raised the bar for pop stars everywhere. For her performance at last night's American Music Awards, P!nk decided to break out some flips and tricks ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING. WHILE FLAWLESSLY SINGING HER FACE OFF. You know, just casually, like you do when you're a full-on goddess.
When you think of a dancer, a double leg amputee may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Eric Graise, who's one of the stars of the upcoming "Step Up: High Water" YouTube Red series, hopes to change that. Graise, whose legs were amputated as a child due to missing fibula bones, will play a character named King in the new dance series, set to debut early next year.
Oh hey there, Hallmark Channel! The producer of all those sweet, homey movies best watched in your PJs with your mom has a super dance-y film on its holiday lineup this season: A Nutcracker Christmas. And the casting is—to use a very Hallmark-y pun—perfectly on pointe.
A Nutcracker Christmas tells the story of a talented professional dancer, Lilly, whose supportive sister dies just as Lilly is about to perform the role of Clara in The Nutcracker with New York City Ballet. (Nit-picky fact-checking: In New York City Ballet's Nutcracker, she's known as Marie and danced by a child, but OK.) Lilly's boyfriend and dance partner, Mark, keeps her from performing in the show, which makes Lilly declare she'll never dance again. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Lilly's niece, Sadie, is about to dance Clara in a different company's Nutcracker—a company run by, of all people, Mark. And tons of drama ensues.
Yes, it's a whole lot of plot to wrap your head around. But the real story here is that Sadie is played by none other than the phenomenal Sophia Lucia, and the ever-dashing Sascha Radetsky is also involved in the project. (Radetsky's exact role is unclear from the press material, but he seems like a pretty natural fit for Mark, no?) The odds seem good that we'll get the gift of some very high-quality dancing. Merry Christmas to us!
Sophia Lucia showing off those banana feet (via @sophialucia5678)
You can catch A Nutcracker Christmas on December 10 at 8 pm. Get your slippers and hot cocoa ready.
After 13 seasons, "So You Think You Can Dance" viewers probably thought they'd seen it all. From "Ramalama (Bang Bang)" to Bollywood, Travis Wall to tWitch, it seemed like there couldn't possibly be any room left on Mary Murphy's Hot Tamale Train.
Then came 19-year-old Lex Ishimoto. When Lex showed up at the show's Season 14 NYC auditions with an improv solo in lieu of a choreographed routine, the judges were shocked—and then brought to their feet by his show-stopping creativity. From there, the jaw-dropping moments kept coming. In week one of the live shows, Lex busted out a super-crisp tap (!) routine. In his Episode 12 solo, he pulled off a triple (!) tour en l'air. And in Episode 14, he and fellow finalist Taylor Sieve revealed that they'd been dating on the down-low (!!!).
To dance insiders, Lex's name isn't new: It first popped up in playbills when he joined the national tour of the musical Billy Elliot at age 11. Last year, he was featured in Sia's "The Greatest" music video, and he's toured with Travis Wall's critically acclaimed contemporary company Shaping Sound. But now, Lex is officially a household name as America's Favorite Dancer—and has a first-class ticket on that Hot Tamale Train.
We all suffer from Nutcracker fatigue sometimes. After a zillion performances, it's hard not to. But there's nothing to restore your little-kid sense of Nutcracker wonder like a look at the sheer scale of a world-class Nut.
New York City Ballet's iconic production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker opens on Friday, and for the past week, the company has been Tweeting out some seriously eye-popping #NutcrackerNumbers. The stats cover everything from the number of jingle bells used on each Candy Cane costume (that'd be 144) to the watts of light used in the show's grand finale (ONE. MILLION. WATTS.).
One of the most beautiful things social media has brought us is the ability to feel like we're up close and personal behind-the-scenes with all our favorite dancers. And one of our favorite stars to Insta-stalk are actually two casts of 36 scintillatingly synchronized precision dancers. I'm talking, of course, about my mild obsession with the legendary Radio City Rockettes.
Have we mentioned lately how much we love dance dads? Especially ones who show up to their daughter's ballet class sporting a tutu, like Thanh Tran.
You've seen it a million times: A glamorous, toned dancer posts a perfectly styled shot of her colorful smoothie bowl. The caption gushes about how great you'll feel if you eat "clean"—but what does that actually mean? DS asked registered dietitian/nutritionist Rachel Fine and holistic health coach (and founder of The Whole Dancer) Jess Spinner for all of the dirt.