Kendall got a chance to shine this week.
It’s recital week at the Abby Lee Dance Company! A hectic time for every dancer and dance mom, studio showcases come with the stress of crazy costume changes, remembering months and months of choreography and the pressure of performing in front of your family and friends. The ALDC showcase never fails to deliver all of the above—not to mention the inevitable drama. Here are my top three AWESOME and AWKWARD moments from this week.
AWKWARD: Pyramid time. Paige and Brooke take the bottom two slots, much to Mom Kelly’s dismay. In an effort to defend her kids, she challenges Abby’s decision to place Maddie higher up despite her costume malfunction—a retort that results in Abby appeasing Kelly by ordering Maddie to drop and give her 20 pushups as punishment. To create even more tension, Abby reminds pyramid-topper Mackenzie that her toughest competitor, Asia, is back in Pittsburgh. It can’t be easy for a 7-year-old to hear that her new teammate could easily replace her.
AWESOME: Since recital prep isn’t time consuming enough, Abby surprised the girls with a photo shoot for an online magazine, Dance Track. In honor of their back to school issue, each dancer was assigned a character to represent a stereotype—and they rocked it. Only one girl would be awarded the opportunity to grace the cover…and Kendall won! The moment her cover was revealed, the girls, moms and even Abby grinned and screamed with delight and rushed to congratulate her. It was awesome to see everyone having a great time not only at the shoot, but also in celebration of Kendall’s accomplishment.
AWKWARD: In honor of the showcase, each girl would be performing a solo. The twist? One dancer’s routine would be brand new choreography, and that dancer was Paige. Abby explained this as an opportunity, but Mom Kelly didn’t see it that way. Outraged that Paige was the only dancer learning new choreography during this hectic week, a screaming match ensued, ending with Kelly pulling both of her girls from the show. With Paige’s slot open, Abby announced that one girl could add an additional new solo. When no one spoke up, Abby volunteered Maddie. So uncomfortable. While Maddie’s solo was undeniably beautiful, any attentive "Dance Moms" fan knows it wasn’t new: This was the same solo she performed during her visit to the AUDC set.
AWESOME: Although Paige and Brooke were missed, the remaining dancers seriously brought their A-game. Shown in an awesome montage of turns and jumps, the girls’ solos looked polished and technically flawless. Asia delivered the attitude despite her pants being on backwards (whoops), and Kenzie nailed her routine even after a pre-performance mini meltdown. Throughout the solos, the moms beamed with pride in the audience, not just for their own children, but for all the girls on the team. It looks like a week without score sheets did the group some good!
AWKWARD: Abby quickly filled Paige’s slot, but Brooke’s remained open, and her solution was inviting Mom Jill to perform a tango number. Fun fact: Jill learned this number as a contestant in “Dancing With the Celebrities of Pittsburgh,” a local fundraising event—where she took home the first place trophy! All was going well until moms Christi and Melissa brought roses and a crown onto the stage at the end. Abby was NOT pleased with their impromptu appearance. You can watch Jill’s winning performance here:
AWESOME: What’s an episode of "Dance Moms" without a show-stopping group number? In honor of the showcase, Abby choreographed an upbeat musical theatre routine, “Sugar Babies.” (Anyone else remember the showcase group routine, “Sugar Daddy,” from Season 1? They’ve come so far!) The girls looked strong and sassy, and their acting skills were spot-on. I’d love to see this full dance, as well as all the senior company dances we only saw split-second glimpses of. Looks like I’m going to have to get my hands on an ALDC Showcase DVD!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Is it gonna be cray-cray?” —Kristie Ray, anticipating her first recital with the ALDC
Next week, it’s back to normal as the ALDC prepares for yet another competition (complete with Candy Apples.) Our team is still incomplete, so let’s hope the Hyland crew makes a triumphant return!
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.
Want a chance to get personally involved in the HOTLY anticipated TV show "World of Dance"? Of course you do. That's why J. Lo. and the rest of the "WOD" team have launched an interactive version of the upcoming NBC series that lets Snapchatters get in on the action.
On Saturday morning, Russell Horning—aka 15-year-old Instagram king @i_got_barzz—was already kind of famous. His admittedly bad but weirdly mesmerizing dance videos had earned him shoutouts from the likes of Rihanna (and dance tributes from the likes of Josh Killacky).
But by Sunday morning? By Sunday morning, Russell Got Barzz had reached an entirely different level of memedom. Because Katy Perry tapped the teen—signature backpack and all—to perform "Swish Swish" with her on "Saturday Night Live." And the internet lost its darn mind.