"Dance Moms: Revenge of the Candy Apples" Recap
Last night's episode of "Dance Moms" was traumatic, to say the least. There was so much yelling, too much cursing and not enough dancing from those talented kids we adore. But as always, we're not here to complain about Crazy Christi (um, Chloe got a solo and that still wasn't good enough for Christi, but OK) or Even Crazier Cathy (why are the Candy Apples still a part of this show, again?). We're here to highlight the few things that were actually kind of awesome.
Here are the Top 5 Moments from "Revenge of the Candy Apples":
5. Maddie keeps her cool. This poor kid is constantly being put in awkward situations. She's talented, and yet she's always faulted for it. The other mothers hate her, and she remains modest. This week, Abby forced her to do a solo, all in the name of beating Justice The Candy Apple Kid at Starbound. Maddie's mom refused to let her perform—considering it was the night before competition and she didn't even have a routine prepared—but Abby pushed on. Still, Maddie was poised and professional and didn't end up taking the stage with a solo. Keep it up, kid. Stay strong.
4. Chloe's hair. Whether she's rocking her signature braids or her hair is all blown-out for her camera interviews, this girl has some seriously shiny locks. Since there was very little dancing in this week's episode, I am awarding a top spot in my own pyramid to Chloe's hair. It's fair.
3. "Straight legs and stretched feet will never go out of style." Abby said something that I agree with! Abby was at her most crazy this week, and I did my fair share of cringing throughout the episode. She cared far too much about winning, she attacked Chloe and blamed her for the team not getting the "clean sweep" she was after, and the way she acts in front of her kids when she's around Cathy is just...awful. But she's right about one thing: Straight legs and stretched feet are just divine.
2. Kendall and Mackenzie's duet. Now we all know Mackenzie can do no wrong in life, and this week's addition of a polka-dotted two-piece costume and a massive bow made up for the fact that her high-energy front walkovers were kind of spastic. The routine was messy and Kendall and Mackenzie didn't exactly have dream chemistry, but they were cute and they won. This made up for Mackenzie's tearful breakdown earlier which made me want to reach through my TV, grab little Mac and put her in my pocket to protect her from harm forever.
1. Nia is at the top of the pyramid! I'll admit, I'm not the biggest Nia fan. I think her dancing is usually just OK and her technique could use some work. I also passionately hate the "death drop" that everyone raves about. What is that? But did Nia go totally full-out at competition last week? Oh heck yeah she did. She deserved her spot at the top of the pyramid, and it was super-cute how all the other dancers were excited for her, including Maddie and Chloe. Nia's a cute kid and I support her pyramid topping. Of course, landing that spot meant she was "team captain" and Abby later forced Nia to call Maddie telling her to get to practice against her mother's wishes. That wasn't awkward at all. Way to be the adult, Abs. Nia was a champion though, saying being team captain "means you correct your friends even if you don't want to—you have to...I can get used to this." Own it, young Nia. Own it.
What'd you think of this week's episode of "Dance Moms?" I say more dancing, less Mom stuff and please, someone get Abby Lee Miller a Xanax or something, because she has truly lost it. Also, the Candy Apples doing "My Hair Like This" will haunt me for at least three days. Please, no more knee-high patent leather boots on pre-teens. Or anyone. Ever. Vivi scares me.
That was a doozy. I'm exhausted.
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.
For more on choosing whether to compete or not, click here.
I started dance classes at a young age. By the time I was 3, I was training at The Dance Club, and I grew up there. I started with the basics—ballet and jazz—and eventually added tap, tumbling, contemporary, and hip hop.
Early on, I did compete. I remember my first time: I did a trio at a small local competition, and it got first place. The trophy was as tall as I was, and I loved it. I attended conventions as a mini, and had the opportunity to take classes from Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Andy Pellick, and Joey Dowling-Fakhrieh. There was so much variety—I was in awe.
For more on choosing whether to compete or not, click here.
My mom was a dancer growing up, and she went on to become a dance teacher, so I've really grown up in the studio. I started classes when I was 2, and by the time I was 9, I was training at The Dance Club and knew I wanted to dedicate all my time to dance.
Daphne Lee is a queen, and not just in the "OMG Girl Boss Alert" sense of the word. She's an actual queen—a beauty queen. Crowned Miss Black USA in August, she's been doing double duty as she continues to dance with the Memphis based dance company, Collage Dance Collective. Lee's new title has given her the means to encourage other black girls and boys to pursue their dreams, while also pursuing dreams of her own. The scholarship money awarded with the pageant title will assist her as she earns a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Hollins University.
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.