What happened this week on "Dance Moms?" Well, Paige and Brooke’s mom Kelli was really angry the whole time, and then Melissa (Maddie and Mackenzie’s mom) tried very hard to suck up to Abby Lee. But as usual, I will skip over all of the silly things that the moms did, and get to what is really awesome about this show: the kids and the dancing. Here are my top five moments.
5. Maddie’s Helen Keller solo. I have to admit, when Abby first described it, I was skeptical. I tend to cringe when little kids do serious solos about things they just don’t understand. But when Maddie got out there and acted her little butt off, I was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes this little winner reminds me why she’s always on top of the pyramid. This was one of those times. I thought she deserved higher than a fourth place title.
4. Nia, the constant underdog, showed us how awesome she can be last week in her duet, so Abby rewarded her with a more mature role that, honestly, may have been a little beyond her technical level. But she embraced it! Though she only placed ninth (a failure in the world of Abby Lee Miller), she really showed that she’s working her way to being one heck of a dancer.
3. Maddie and Chloe’s duet was just really good. Abby even referred to this routine as her secret weapon against the two schools that came to the competition specifically to beat them. Well played, Abby. I dare anyone to find two other kids that can fouetté in unison like that. Phenomenal.
2. Mackenzie’s solo. Yes, it’s true that this girl can do no wrong in my eyes, but I was so proud of her for nailing that solo! Especially after all the pressure Abby put on her—she even threatened to throw little Mac back on stage if she ran off before her dance was over. But apparently having Abby manning the wings only makes her stronger. She remembered every shoulder shimmy and back walkover in that routine. A well deserved first place—plus, her first crown ever! (I might have just cried a little.)
1. What do you mean one kid can’t be on my list twice in a row? Mackenzie has officially nailed the first place spot (for the second week in a row, I might add) by saying this little gem: “I wish Justin Bieber was one of the judges. He’s cute.”
Will Mackenzie ever not make the number one moment on my countdown? My bet’s on no, but check back next week to find out!
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.