5 of Our Favorite Class Videos of All Time
How crazy has the rise of the class video been? Within the past year or so, we've basically come to expect that L.A.'s top commercial choreographers will put out a new internet-breaking vid every week. Here are five of our all-time favorites. (And be sure to read a whole lot more about the class video trend in the May/June issue of Dance Spirit.)
"Where They From" - Tricia Miranda
It's a known fact: Tricia Miranda is Queen of the Viral Class Video. While her vid to Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" got over 30 million views on YouTube, her choreography to Missy Elliot's "Where They From" got just as much attention from non-dance outlets. This video features some of our favorite dancers, including Josh Killacky, Kaycee Rice and Aidan Prince Xiong.
"River" - Galen Hooks
Galen Hooks' choreography is so simple, yet so powerful. All the dancers—especially Hooks herself—are invested both physically and emotionally in every movement. Plus, pulling that all off in heels is no mean feat.
"Touch" - Brian Friedman
To be honest, it'd be hard for this list NOT to include a video with Jade Chynoweth front and center. No matter what style she's doing, she's the star of the show. And she's at her best doing Brian Friedman's technical, athletic, sensual choreo.
"Slow Motion" - Matt Stefanina
This video came out in July 2015; we were obsessed with it then and we're obsessed with it now. Two of its teeniest dancers, Tahani Anderson and Sheadan Gabriel, went on to compete on "So You Think You Can Dance" last summer—this video was just a sneak peek at their phenomenal talent.
"Upgrade U" - WilldaBeast
Everyone knows that if you're going to choreograph to Beyoncé, you have to do it justice. And WilldaBeast, who has a whole Beyoncé series, never disappoints on that front. Be prepared to watch this over and over and over again.
Misty Copeland. Her name is synonymous with exquisite artistry and outspoken advocacy. And her visibility has made a huge impact on the ballet world. Ballet's relationship with race has always been strained at best, hostile at worst. But Copeland's persistent message and star quality have finally forced the ballet industry to start talking about racial diversity, inclusivity, and representation. "The rarity of seeing ourselves represented is sad," Copeland says. "The more we see every hue and body shape represented on the stage, the more possibilities young dancers feel they have for themselves."
Last month, we asked why there wasn't a Best Choreography category at the Oscars—and discovered that many of you agreed with us: Choreographers should definitely be acknowledged for their work on the super-dancy movies we can't get enough of.
Now, we're taking matters into our own (jazz) hands.
Contemporary phenom Christina Ricucci has super-flexible hips, which means she can stretch her legs to unbelievable heights. But when she noticed herself making contorted positions in class, Ricucci realized she was approaching her extensions all wrong. "I went back to the basics in class, squaring my hips and using my turnout," Ricucci says. "I learned to create proper positions, rather than whacked-out versions of them."
Some dancers are so wonky they have a hard time supporting their high legs, while others struggle with limited flexibility. But no matter your facility, you can find a balance of stretch and strength to achieve your fullest range of extension. It's not about how high (or not) your legs can go: It's the quality of the movement, and how you get those legs up, that counts.
Yesterday, the dance community was heartbroken to learn that Jaime Guttenberg and Cara Loughran, both 14-year-old dancers, were among the 17 people killed on Valentine's Day in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Once upon a time (until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi concluded, to be exact), figure skaters had to compete to music without words. Before this rule change, a skater faced an automatic point deduction if the music even hinted at vocals. Understandably, there were *a lot* of Olympic programs skated to classical music, and you'd tend to hear the same music selections over and over and over.
There are plenty of current Olympic figure skaters who'd make beautiful dancers (first among them Adam Rippon, whose gorgeously choreographed long program won the internet, if not the gold). But today, as we wait for the women's figure skating competition to crown its new champions, we wanted to throw it back to one of the most beautifully balletic skaters of all time: Sasha Cohen.
The high-flying leaps of grand allegro are meant to be incredibly exciting. But at the end of an intense ballet class, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to give them the attention they deserve. Want to pump up your big jumps? Follow these 10 vital tips from Jennifer Hart, curriculum director and instructor at Ballet Austin.
"Whole, low-fat, or skim?" The question of which milk to drink has gotten a little more complicated lately, with a wide variety of nondairy milks popping up in grocery stores. To find out which ones are worth your milk money, we had registered dietitian Monika Saigal answer some FAQs.