Exclusive Sneak Peek at "The Next Step," Hulu's New Dance Show
The dance world is a high-drama place—and don't the creators of reality series like "Dance Moms" and "So You Think You Can Dance" (catch the Season 11 premiere tomorrow night!) know it. There's nothing like the pressure of competitive dance to generate anxiety and conflict, qualities that make for pretty compelling television.
Sometimes, though, the drama on these shows feels forced or even scripted, creating an uncomfortably blurry line between reality and "reality." Why not simplify things by putting together a full-on fictional dance-y show?
The creators of Hulu's new series "The Next Step" have done just that, constructing a show around the nonexistent Next Step Dance Studio. But they didn't do away with the reality show format entirely. Instead, they had the actors on "The Next Step" stage partly improvised scenes—complete with reality-style to-the-camera interviews. And that gives the whole package a bit of what's-going-to-happen-next snap.
The best part? Every member of the teenage cast is a legitimate dancer. (One is a freshman at Juilliard!) If the intrigue-filled storyline doesn't get you, their high-octane performances will.
"The Next Step" premieres tomorrow on Hulu. But we've got a few sneak peeks for you today—including one that's a Dance Spirit exclusive. Take a look!
DS exclusive! "The New Routine"
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽