Here at Dance Spirit, we like to celebrate Indepen-DANCE Day with a feast of our favorite patriotic dance moments. Because what goes better with hot dogs and corn on the cob than a marathon of George Balanchine's Stars and Stripes on repeat?
This year, we're doing things a little bit differently. Don't get me wrong: We're still going to watch Stars and Stripes at least five times. But we're also going to take a little time today to celebrate our interdepen-DANCE. You guys, we're invited to a July 4th global dance party!
Here's the deal: There's this song called "We Are All Connected," which comes from the Children's Pop Musical Pacha's Pajamas. It honors the connection between kids and teens across the globe. For this holiday weekend, the producers of Pacha's Pajamas hope to take this message one step further. And what better way to celebrate interdependence than through the universal language (and our favorite language): dance?
Here's how it works: An online instructional video teaches simple choreography to the chorus of "We Are All Connected." And when we say simple, we mean SIMPLE. No worries: The verses are left open—so begin polishing your most impressive freestyle. Once you learn the choreo and plan your freestyle, get together with a group of friends and/or family and film your performance. Post the video to YouTube with #WeAreALLConnected and #PachasPajamas, and your video will be featured on the website. To get a better idea of the project, check out the trailer below:
So go ahead and pull grandpa away from the TV, little sister from the pool and dad from the grill and get your global groove on.
Dancer Yesenia Ayala first caught our eye in the off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity with Sutton Foster earlier this year. So, we were super excited when we found out she was making her Broadway debut in this spring's sweetest new show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Both productions were choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.)
Since the NYC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre's spring gala Monday night, the DS editors haven't stopped talking about its creepy-cute sets and costumes, created by artist Mark Ryden. Well, the obsession is about to get even crazier, because we just heard that Ryden's artwork for the ballet is now on display in not one, but TWO locations in NYC.
Yes, yes, we know: Dancers are athletes as well as artists. But we haven't seen anything hammer home just HOW athletic dancers are quite as well as this video from Self magazine, which features American Ballet Theatre principal/fairy princess Isabella Boylston trying to teach top-level CrossFit enthusiasts ballet.
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.