"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.
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.
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.
Lani Dickinson's power, grace, and raw presence make her a standout with AXIS Dance Company, whose mission is to change the face of dance and disability by featuring a mix of disabled and non-disabled performers. Born in China, Dickinson was adopted by an American couple and started dancing at 8 in Towson, MD. She attended the Boston Ballet School for two summers, studied at the Idyllwild Arts Academy for the last two years of high school, and graduated with a dance degree from Alonzo King LINES Ballet's BFA program with Dominican University of California. In 2015, she joined AXIS and won a Princess Grace Award. Catch her this month during AXIS Dance Company's 30th-anniversary season—and read on for The Dirt!
Week five of "Dancing with the Stars" proved to be one of the best weeks of the season so far. (And we're not just saying that because Mickey made a cameo debut on the piano during one of the routines—although that certainly didn't hurt!) Everyone brought their A-game, and with such a fun theme the contestants were able to really let their guards down. There was true sincerity in their dancing that we hadn't seen before. But not all Disney stories end with a "happily ever after," and one couple still had to hang up their dancing shoes.
If there's one week you should watch all the routines of it's undoubtedly this one... But, ICYMI, scroll below for our highlights of the night.