“Dance Moms: Diva Las Vegas” Recap
So glad she put her super-cute pants on the right way this week!
It’s Vegas Week! Oh wait, wrong show. But the “Dance Moms” crew did head to Sin City for this week’s installment—the last competition before Nationals. Here are my most AWESOME and AWKWARD moments:
AWKWARD: Mackenzie wasn’t with the team this week. I hate this.
AWESOME: Asia’s solo. This pink-flamingo persona suited Asia’s personality far more than the little puppy dog she had to play on her first episode. (Remember that? That outfit was so Mackenzie.) Say what you will about Asia’s choreography being mostly fouettés. I say, if you can fouetté like that, who needs anything else? Just kidding, Asia, stay in class. But your turns were fierce and so was your attitude. First place, baby!
AWKWARD: The whole Ricky Palomino debacle. Abby told Brooke and Paige that none of the ALDC teachers wanted to work with them—probably because Abby threatened to fire them—so outsider Ricky would be coming in to choreograph their solos. That’s all fine and good (I’m all about guest teachers!), but this Ricky character didn’t seem to have a good grasp on the girls’ styles. Brooke’s solo was pretty dull, and Paige’s solo had a whole lot of undulating. At least Paige had a $500 costume, because that’s what’s really important.
AWKWARD: Paige had a very hard time this week. First, she had a panic attack when asked to do the group routine by herself. Then, she was beyond terrified before going onstage. Poor thing. As we knew from the previews (Stop ruining things, “Dance Moms”!), she froze mid routine, cried and ran offstage. Rough. Abby made it clear afterward that she had nothing to do with this routine and that this wouldn’t have happened if Ricky hadn’t been choreographing for her. Wait, Abby, whose idea was it to have Ricky choreograph for the Hylands? Oh yeah, it was yours. Awk-ward.
AWESOME: The Brat Pack. Abby challenged the kiddos to be “cool” instead of “cute” for their group routine. But then she put them in the cutest little costumes ever, contradicting herself yet again. I’m just happy Brooke and Paige got to join in. The result was an awesome, age-appropriate and quirky number. I loved it—so did the judges. Another first place win!
AWESOME: Next week on “Dance Moms”: Dance Spirit spends a day on set! No spoilers here, but let’s just say it will be eventful.
And finally, the QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Remember: Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” —Abby comforting Paige after she messed up her solo. See, people, she’s not all bad!
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
For more on choosing whether to compete or not, click here.
I started dance classes at a young age. By the time I was 3, I was training at The Dance Club, and I grew up there. I started with the basics—ballet and jazz—and eventually added tap, tumbling, contemporary, and hip hop.
Early on, I did compete. I remember my first time: I did a trio at a small local competition, and it got first place. The trophy was as tall as I was, and I loved it. I attended conventions as a mini, and had the opportunity to take classes from Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Andy Pellick, and Joey Dowling-Fakhrieh. There was so much variety—I was in awe.
For more on choosing whether to compete or not, click here.
My mom was a dancer growing up, and she went on to become a dance teacher, so I've really grown up in the studio. I started classes when I was 2, and by the time I was 9, I was training at The Dance Club and knew I wanted to dedicate all my time to dance.
Daphne Lee is a queen, and not just in the "OMG Girl Boss Alert" sense of the word. She's an actual queen—a beauty queen. Crowned Miss Black USA in August, she's been doing double duty as she continues to dance with the Memphis based dance company, Collage Dance Collective. Lee's new title has given her the means to encourage other black girls and boys to pursue their dreams, while also pursuing dreams of her own. The scholarship money awarded with the pageant title will assist her as she earns a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Hollins University.
When a choreographer finds a composer whose music truly inspires her, it can feel like a match made in dance heaven. Some choreographers work with the same composers so frequently that they become known for their partnerships. New York City Ballet soloist and resident choreographer Justin Peck, for example, has tapped composer Sufjan Stevens numerous times (last spring, the two premiered The Decalogue at NYCB, to rave reviews); L.A. Dance Project's Benjamin Millepied's working relationship with composer Nico Muhly has spanned a decade and two continents; and when tap dancer Michelle Dorrance premiered the first-ever Works & Process Rotunda Project, a site-specific work for New York City's Guggenheim Museum, last year, percussionist Nicholas Van Young was by her side as an equal partner. Successful collaborations require compatibility between artists, direct and honest communication, and flexible, open minds. But when the stars align, working with a composer can be extremely rewarding.
For ballerinas, it's the dream role to end all dream roles: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the type of part dancers spend years preparing for and whole careers perfecting. And it's a role that New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck never thought she'd dance. Though Peck is one of the world's preeminent ballerinas, her short stature made Odette/Odile, typically performed by longer, leggier dancers, seem (almost literally) out of reach.
Then—surprise!—her name popped up on the cast list for NYCB's fall season run of Swan Lake.