Mandy Moore’s star just keeps rising. She’s best known as a choreographer and judge on “So You Think You Can Dance,” but she also takes her unique style to students around the country, teaching at the JUMP convention and L.A.’s Edge Performing Arts Center. Dancers and audiences alike can’t get enough of her playful, intricate, fluid style! Whether she’s creating rocking eighties jazz pieces or bringing tears to our eyes with narrative contemporary numbers, this is one choreographer we love. Read on to find out what inspires Mandy to create her phenomenal pieces.
Jillian Meyers, freelance dancer and teacher with Monsters of Hip Hop: “Jillian dances in such a way that it makes me want to create more movement to keep her moving.”
Jiří Kylián's “Black and White“ series: “Before seeing the 'Black and White’ ballets, I never knew partnering like that existed. I realized they were partnering the way I move as an individual: I like to go through space and get crazy to see what kind of shapes I can create, and they were doing it with two people! I knew then I wanted to learn how to do that.”
Skydiving: “I love skydiving! Flying is always an inspiration.”
Mia Michaels’ Hometown Glory on Season 4 of
“So You Think You Can Dance”: “I loved Hometown Glory and the way Mia was able to pull emotion out of the dancers’ bodies. It wasn’t about a prop or a crazy concept, but beautiful dancing that created an amazing feeling.
The Company of "Wicked." Photo by Joan Marcus
Wicked: “I am a closet Broadway person. Wicked rejuvenated my love of Broadway with all its bells, whistles and fun stuff onstage.”
Dancers: “I am always inspired by the dancers in front of me. I was especially moved by the dancers I worked with on Celine Dion’s Taking Chances tour.”
Staying Alive: “My piece Sweet Dreams was inspired by Staying Alive, my favorite movie of all time. I think I was born in the wrong decade: I was supposed to be in that 1970s movie doing those moves. Sweet Dreams was my shout-out to hard, amazing, hot jazz.”
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽