"Dance Moms: I Know What You Did Last Competition" Recap
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!
Kalani Hilliker made "Dance Moms" fans sit up a little straighter when she first appeared on "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" back in 2013. The then–12-year-old ballerina had charisma, she had sass—and, wow, did she have technique! Abby Lee Miller, the show's infamous host, saw Kalani's star potential from the start, saving her from elimination and ultimately inviting her to perform alongside Maddie Ziegler on Season 4 of "Dance Moms." "I was never supposed to be on 'Dance Moms' beyond that one performance," says Kalani, now 16, but she ended up staying on the show for the whole season—and the following three. "It was my first time, but not my last time, causing drama. And it was also the first time I got to meet the other dancers, who have become like sisters."
We're on somewhat of a dance photography kick here at DS, so we figured we'd keep it going in a very big way: an exclusive interview with Rachel Neville, the photographer responsible for all those absolutely drool-worthy dance photos on your Instagram feed. We caught up with Neville at PurePoint Financial in NYC, where her new show, "A Command Performance," is up on display (and we highly recommend you check it out).
Acupuncture has proven benefits for reducing pain and getting dancers back on their feet, but it's also a way to treat your overall well-being—in both mind and body. "Acupuncture works very holistically," says Cassandra Krug, licensed acupuncturist at the Acupuncture Clinic of Boulder, in Boulder, CO. "Even if you come in because of ankle pain, we're looking at your whole body. We're trying to return you to a place of homeostasis, or balance."
Peter Schmidt, a licensed acupuncturist who works with Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers, thinks that acupuncture—when combined with the work of dancer-friendly Western doctors, physical therapists, and orthopedists—results in a higher success rate for his patients. "Acupuncture can't address everything," he says. "But for things that are bothering you that don't show up on an X-ray or MRI, acupuncture could help." Is acupuncture right for you? We talked to the experts to find out what dancers should know before going under the needle.
Before we get into this week's recap, let's all show some love for Travis Wall, who had a day yesterday. Just hours before "So You Think You Can Dance" was set to air, Wall was at Disneyland (with friend and "Modern Family" star and aspiring Shaping Sound member Jesse Tyler Ferguson, NBD), where he found himself at a bit of a standstill—literally. "Not gonna be able to make 'So You Think' tonight...because I'm stuck on Indiana Jones," Wall shared on Instagram yesterday afternoon.
But hooray! He eventually did get off the stalled ride, and was in the audience alongside Mandy Moore. We're glad you made it, Travis!
On to the show:
This week, the Top 9 performed solos and duets with their All Stars. You know the drill. As always, we'll skip the solos and get right to the good stuff. (Though the solos were, like last week, so good.) Here's how it all went down.
To say that three-time-Emmy-nominated choreographer and dancer Stacey Tookey is in demand is an understatement. One glance at her resumé says it all: She's worked with artists like Celine Dion, Justin Timberlake, and Michael Bublé; performed with R.A.W. (Mia Michaels' dance company), Parsons Dance Project, and Ballet British Columbia; choreographed viral music videos like Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts" and Ingrid Michaelson's recent "Celebrate"; presented full-length works for Los Angeles Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet; and formed her own contemporary company, STILL MOTION. She's currently marking her 10th season choreographing for and judging on "So You Think You Can Dance," which is where she racked up those Emmy noms.
Tulle is the common thread (or should we say fabric?) that has woven its way through the course of Janay Robison's life: She's handled the delicate netting in one way or another since the age of 7. Once a soloist on her university's ballet company, she's now an emerging designer in the wedding dress industry, and has seamlessly transitioned from tutus to big-day gowns.
Robison is currently one of Utah's leading ladies in fashion. She launched Utah Fashion Week, an event that has grown to incorporate over 50 local designers and hundreds of models, make-up artists, and hair stylists, in 2014, and has had her gowns featured in several magazines. But she's found ways to pay homage to her past life as a dancer—and to use her dance knowledge in her new business. From her work ethic to her designs, Robison says ballet has given her a solid foundation from which to launch a successful wedding dress line. Check out our interview with this talented artist, and discover how she's combined her passion for dance and her love of fashion.
Yesterday, Chrissy Teigen posted an Instagram video of her trying out a pair of pointe shoes, with a hand from husband John Legend.
Yes, Teigen is obviously not a trained dancer. Yes, she looks pretty awful in the video. Yes, she could've hurt herself. Dancers and dance fans have been quick to point out all of these facts in many a comments section.
But this video is not the next Kendall Jenner-esque ballet fiasco. And here's why.
P!nk's intense, addictive new single "What About Us" is an anthem worthy of blasting during a killer cross-training sesh, scream-singing out the car window, and inspiring some truly incredible movement.