And Australia's Next Favorite Dancer Is...Jesse Tyler Ferguson
"So You Think You Can Dance" has undergone a number of format changes over its ten seasons—some good, some bad: Adding the All-Stars? Awesome. Male and female winners? Great. No separate results show? Meh. Elimination at the beginning of the show? Awful. Elimination no longer at the beginning of the show? Phew.
You've gotta admit, they sure keep it interesting.
But one change we're still not quite sure about is the addition of celebrity guest judges. It's really a mixed bag. You get those celebrities with real experience in the dance world: Kenny Ortega, Megan Mullally, Rob Marshall, Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Applegate and Paula Abdul, to name a few. But you also get those completely clueless celebs, who resort to common catchwords—like Great!, Inspirational!, Pretty! or Wow!—or to describing how much they like the contestants' "outfits." (Not mentioning any names here...ahem...Carly Rae Jepsen.)
But some dance-newb celebrity judges we can forgive for their lack of expertise, especially if they're cute, funny, humble and passionate about dance.
Oh, and if they happen to have red hair, three names and fashionable bow ties, we're totally sold...
Jesse Tyler Ferguson claims his rightful spot at the "SYTYCD" judges' table. (Mike Yarish/FOX)
Yep, that's right. We're talking about "Modern Family" star Jessie Tyler Ferguson. As an avid fan, JTF really takes "So You Think You Can Dance" seriously. He believes in the show's mission—finding undiscovered talent from across the U.S.—and his critiques are just downright entertaining.
Well, last week he gave "SYTYCD" fans another reason to love him. While kickin' it in Australia filming "Modern Family," he decided to take a trip to see his good friend Paula Abdul.
Selfie! (via JTF's Instagram)
But wait, it gets better. He didn't just visit Paula. He surprised her, showing up at the "So You Think You Can Dance Australia" auditions (where Paula was serving as a judge) for a cameo performance:
That pirouette at the end demonstrated so much commitment.
So what do you think? Could Jesse Tyler Ferguson become Down Under's next favorite dancer?
Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.
The dancers who take our breath away are the risk-takers, the ones who appear completely fearless onstage. "When you see somebody trying to travel more, go farther, push the limits of their physical abilities, that's always going to be inspiring," says Ballet BC dancer Alexis Fletcher.
But dance training can feel like it's in conflict with that idea. We spend thousands of hours in the studio trying to do steps perfectly, and that pursuit of perfection can make us anxious about taking risks. What if we fail? What if we fall?
Luckily, fearlessness is a mental skill that you can work on, just as you work on your technique. Here's how you can learn to push yourself past your limits.
If you're in need of a piece that's both trendy and sophisticated, look no further than this Só Dança crop top. Featuring elegant long sleeves, a high neckline, and a delicate lace trim, it's both classic and contemporary—perfect for everything from that big audition to a long night in the studio. Enter below for your chance to win it!
Auditioning for summer intensives in person may be the ideal—but for Anna McDowell, a 16-year-old student at Juneau Dance Theatre in Juneau, AK, it's rarely possible. “Living in Alaska, it's difficult to travel to auditions," she says. “It gets way too expensive!" Instead, each year, with help from her teachers and a videographer, she puts together a well-crafted video and submits it to schools around the country. Last year, her high-quality video helped her earn acceptance to nearly every program she applied for. Most summer intensive programs, eager to attract students from far and wide, will accept video auditions from those who can't travel to take class. But major schools look at hundreds of submissions each year, which means video auditioners have just a few minutes—or even seconds—to make a great impression. If you're about to create an audition video, follow these tips from the professionals to put your best digital foot forward.
There are zillions of things to think about when choosing a summer program, but here's one you might not have considered: using an intensive as an opportunity to focus on a new style. Maybe you're a tap dancer who's ready to see where else your rhythm and quick feet can serve you, or a contemporary dancer curious about the more traditional roots of your genre. A summer program can be the perfect place to broaden your horizons, giving you the opportunity to make technical and artistic changes that stick throughout the year.
Happy birthday, George Balanchine! The great choreographer and founder of New York City Ballet would have been 114 years old today. Balanchine revolutionized ballet, especially American ballet—and he also had quite a way with words. To celebrate Mr. B's birthday, we rounded up some of our favorite iconic Balanchine quotes.
There's a common misconception that a dancer's body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist's capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer "should" look like.