"Dance Moms: Solo Fever" Recap
This was a fabulously kid-focused, (almost) drama-free episode. The moms kept their fighting to a minimum, everybody got a solo and my not-so-secret favorite, Mackenzie, got tons of screen time. L.A. clearly suits this crazy bunch. It was hard to choose, but here are my top five moments:
5. Mackenzie’s on top of the pyramid! Enough said.
4. Kendall stepped up her game. She’s finally officially on the team—and showed everybody why. Her solo, “Kiss Kiss,” was well danced and well acted. Since when does she have stellar technique? I don’t remember seeing that at Candy Apples. She even beat Chloe! And did someone sedate her mother? Jill was eerily mellow. All in all, an excellent week for Kendall.
3. Mackenzie’s solo “A Perfect Day in the Sun” was just, well, perfect. “In my solo, I forgot a split second, and then I just kept going on,” said Mac. Silly editors making it look like that pause lasted a lifetime. While I was super proud that she kept dancing after she forgot her routine, Abby was less than impressed. How can you be mad at anyone who pulls of painted-on freckles so well? Mac sure showed Abby—high score Elite Mini solo! What a pro.
2. Brooke’s debut as a recording artist. It was great to see Brooke have a chance to stand out—even if it wasn’t because of her dancing. I have to admit, “Summer Love Song” is super catchy. (“Spin that record round and round, ‘cause I can’t get enough of that summer sound…”) Plus, seeing Abby attempt to direct a music video was just comical—especially since the dancers doubled as videographers. (Where are all your entertainment industry connections, Abby?) I love that everybody got the chance to be involved. Not surprisingly, Mackenzie has a phenomenal voice. Seriously, that child can do no wrong.
1. Maddie’s comeback. Abby kept Maddie hanging for way too long as to whether or not she’ll get a solo (of course she will!). Maybe I just needed a couple weeks off to truly appreciate what Maddie can do, but wow, that was a great solo. “Close to perfection,” as Abby said. I can’t believe that girl is only in 4th grade. A well-deserved first place win.
Next week looks like a doozy. We’ll find out who Abby will use at Nationals, Cathy comes back and Kelly cries (uh oh). Until then… What did you think of Mackenzie’s freckles? Is Brooke’s song permanently stuck in your head, too? Don’t forget to let me know what you think!
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.
If you've ever seen a Janelle Ginestra class video, you know how lit her combos are. What you don't see in those clips is how devoted Ginestra is to her students. We went behind the scenes at one of her sold-out IMMA SPACE classes to see Ginestra in her element, mentoring some of L.A.'s most talented dancers. It was an inspiration feedback loop.
All photos by Joe Toreno.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I love ballet, and I've been told that I have a lot of potential. I can see myself dancing professionally one day. But I'm also working toward my black belt in karate—and I'm passionate about that, too. How can I keep up my technique while also making time for the other things I love? Is that even possible?
What do you get when you combine a Beyoncé anthem, fierce girls from all over the world, and choreography by legends like Ellenore Scott and Lamar Lee? You get the epic music video below. The viral video features little girls who live everywhere from Tanzania to Washington D.C. dancing and lip-syncing to Queen Bey's song "Freedom," and the result is electrifying. These littles can dance—and they bring a determination and enthusiasm to their movement that's truly inspiring.