Dance News

"Dance Moms: Break a Leg" Recap

Thank goodness, “Dance Moms” is back after their week off. And for this episode the team headed to Philadelphia to compete at Starbound. Of course, it was chock full of drama and dancing. Let my top five moments begin:

5. Chloe and Paige got a duet, which apparently they really wanted (although we’ve never heard anything about it). But then, shocker of shockers, Paige has a broken foot after her debacle last week. What does that mean? Mom Jill sniffs out an open spot, and (bam!) she’s there, Kendall in tow. As much as I sometimes want to drop heavy objects on her mother’s head, Kendall is really sweet, and it was a nice challenge for her to dance alongside Chloe. They deserved that first place win.

4. Maddie had to miss rehearsal to film her part on "Drop Dead Diva." The tension was high: Would she remember to rehearse Abby’s choreography? Would she still be able to perform her solo and come out on top? Obviously, Maddie had no problem multitasking because she’s the bomb. Her solo was typical Maddie—it was pretty, emotional, had lots of turns, and she ended lying down. She won Top Junior Soloist. No surprises there.

3. The group number, Allouette, incorporated “more ballet technique,” which I must say, is severely lacking from a lot of these girls’ repertoire. Showing that to the judges may not have been the wisest decision. But their awesome French costumes were so cute that I barely noticed their lack of turnout. That Abby is one tricky lady. First place, baby.

2. I was actually on mom Kelly’s side when she pulled Brooke’s routine despite Abby getting really mad about it. After all, the girl’s back was in so much pain that she couldn’t breathe! Ten points for the moms! Oh wait, remember when mom Kelly didn’t know who Anne Frank was? Points revoked.

1. It would be hard for a solo by Mackenzie to not make it into my top five. But then, in addition to just being her adorable self, she absolutely killed her routine. “My dance is called Do You Love It?” she says. “I know I love it!” Cuteness overload. Second place?! This girl was robbed.

Tune in next week for more "Dance Moms" madness, and don't forget to let me know what you thought of this week's episode.

 

 

Photo by Lee Gumbs, courtesy Taja Riley

Taja Riley's bold, full-out presence and unique ability to mix hard-hitting hip hop with smooth, sensual choreography paved the way for her success in the commercial industry. She's danced with music icons like Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Ne-Yo, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Pitbull, and Bruno Mars, and has assisted with choreography for Britney Spears' Femme Fatale tour, Demi Lovato's Skyscraper tour, and Beyoncé's Mrs. Carter tour. She also appeared in Beyoncé's groundbreaking visual album Lemonade. Raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Riley grew up training at Denise Wall's Dance Energy. Currently, she's on faculty at New York City Dance Alliance, where you can catch her touring the convention circuit. —Courtney Bowers

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New York City Ballet's iconic production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker opens on Friday, and for the past week, the company has been Tweeting out some seriously eye-popping #NutcrackerNumbers. The stats cover everything from the number of jingle bells used on each Candy Cane costume (that'd be 144) to the watts of light used in the show's grand finale (ONE. MILLION. WATTS.).

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Oh hey there, Hallmark Channel! The producer of all those sweet, homey movies best watched in your PJs with your mom has a super dance-y film on its holiday lineup this season: A Nutcracker Christmas. And the casting is—to use a very Hallmark-y pun—perfectly on pointe.

A Nutcracker Christmas tells the story of a talented professional dancer, Lilly, whose supportive sister dies just as Lilly is about to perform the role of Clara in The Nutcracker with New York City Ballet. (Nit-picky fact-checking: In New York City Ballet's Nutcracker, she's known as Marie and danced by a child, but OK.) Lilly's boyfriend and dance partner, Mark, keeps her from performing in the show, which makes Lilly declare she'll never dance again. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Lilly's niece, Sadie, is about to dance Clara in a different company's Nutcracker—a company run by, of all people, Mark. And tons of drama ensues.

Yes, it's a whole lot of plot to wrap your head around. But the real story here is that Sadie is played by none other than the phenomenal Sophia Lucia, and the ever-dashing Sascha Radetsky is also involved in the project. (Radetsky's exact role is unclear from the press material, but he seems like a pretty natural fit for Mark, no?) The odds seem good that we'll get the gift of some very high-quality dancing. Merry Christmas to us!

Sophia Lucia showing off those banana feet (via @sophialucia5678)

You can catch A Nutcracker Christmas on December 10 at 8 pm. Get your slippers and hot cocoa ready.

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