It's Tony Time!
On Sunday evening, you will find me curled up on my couch, eyes glued to the TV screen, demanding that anyone in my vicinity, "Please be quiet!"
Oh yes: It's Tony Awards time.
The Tony's are my favorite. I don't care about the red carpet, I don't care about who's wearing diamonds from which fancy jeweler — I care about the performances. And this year, I care about the host, the hilariously entertaining and always-on-his-toes Neil Patrick Harris.
It's guaranteed to be a good show since Harris has proven himself a superstar host. But I'm especially excited about one performance in particular: the Newsies. I'd like to see Newsies take home all the top awards this year because it's my favorite show right now. Once is another top contender in the Best Musical category, so be sure to check back here Monday morning for the full list of winners.
Until then, I'll be singing "Seize the Day" at the top of my lungs. You're welcome, coworkers.
In the spirit of the Tony Awards — and the fact that we just sent our July/August Broadway issue to the printer — I asked the DS staff to share their favorite Broadway songs.
Now, just for you, here's Dance Spirit's Ultimate Broadway Playlist...
- "So Much Better" from Legally Blonde: The Musical
- "96,000" from In the Heights
- "Defying Gravity" from Wicked
- "Seize the Day" from Newsies
- "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray
- "One" from A Chorus Line
- "Seasons of Love" from RENT ("Classic.")
- "Somewhere" from West Side Story
- "I Believe" and "Tomorrow is a Latter Day" from The Book of Mormon
RACHEL'S "OhmygodIlovemusicals" FAVORITES:
- "La Vie Boheme" and "Take Me or Leave Me" from RENT
- "Dance Ten, Looks Three" and "Nothing" from A Chorus Line
- "We Both Reached For the Gun" from Chicago
- "The Circle of Life" and "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King ("Anything Disney automatically jumps to the top of most of my playlists. There's nothing better on road trips.")
- "America" from West Side Story ("Best dance number ever.")
- "If Ever I Would Leave You" from Camelot
- "If I Loved You" from Carousel
- "For Good" from Wicked
- "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables ("I cry like a baby every time I hear it")
- "Make 'Em Laugh" from Singin' in the Rain
- "What I Did for Love" from A Chorus Line
- "Fugue for Tinhorns" and "Adelaide's Lament" from Guys and Dolls
- "The entire Rock of Ages soundtrack." Specifically "Don't Stop Believin'. "
- "Steal Your Rock 'N' Roll" from Memphis
(Oh, and if you're like us and you're Newsies-obsessed, you may kind of love our upcoming July/August issue. Just saying...)
And don't forget to tune in to the Tony Awards this Sunday, June 10, at 8 pm on CBS.
Taja Riley's bold, full-out presence and unique ability to mix hard-hitting hip hop with smooth, sensual choreography paved the way for her success in the commercial industry. She's danced with music icons like Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Ne-Yo, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Pitbull, and Bruno Mars, and has assisted with choreography for Britney Spears' Femme Fatale tour, Demi Lovato's Skyscraper tour, and Beyoncé's Mrs. Carter tour. She also appeared in Beyoncé's groundbreaking visual album Lemonade. Raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Riley grew up training at Denise Wall's Dance Energy. Currently, she's on faculty at New York City Dance Alliance, where you can catch her touring the convention circuit. —Courtney Bowers
P!nk, known for her high-flying, acrobatic awards show sets, has literally raised the bar for pop stars everywhere. For her performance at last night's American Music Awards, P!nk decided to break out some flips and tricks ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING. WHILE FLAWLESSLY SINGING HER FACE OFF. You know, just casually, like you do when you're a full-on goddess.
When you think of a dancer, a double leg amputee may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Eric Graise, who's one of the stars of the upcoming "Step Up: High Water" YouTube Red series, hopes to change that. Graise, whose legs were amputated as a child due to missing fibula bones, will play a character named King in the new dance series, set to debut early next year.
We all suffer from Nutcracker fatigue sometimes. After a zillion performances, it's hard not to. But there's nothing to restore your little-kid sense of Nutcracker wonder like a look at the sheer scale of a world-class Nut.
New York City Ballet's iconic production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker opens on Friday, and for the past week, the company has been Tweeting out some seriously eye-popping #NutcrackerNumbers. The stats cover everything from the number of jingle bells used on each Candy Cane costume (that'd be 144) to the watts of light used in the show's grand finale (ONE. MILLION. WATTS.).
Oh hey there, Hallmark Channel! The producer of all those sweet, homey movies best watched in your PJs with your mom has a super dance-y film on its holiday lineup this season: A Nutcracker Christmas. And the casting is—to use a very Hallmark-y pun—perfectly on pointe.
A Nutcracker Christmas tells the story of a talented professional dancer, Lilly, whose supportive sister dies just as Lilly is about to perform the role of Clara in The Nutcracker with New York City Ballet. (Nit-picky fact-checking: In New York City Ballet's Nutcracker, she's known as Marie and danced by a child, but OK.) Lilly's boyfriend and dance partner, Mark, keeps her from performing in the show, which makes Lilly declare she'll never dance again. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Lilly's niece, Sadie, is about to dance Clara in a different company's Nutcracker—a company run by, of all people, Mark. And tons of drama ensues.
Yes, it's a whole lot of plot to wrap your head around. But the real story here is that Sadie is played by none other than the phenomenal Sophia Lucia, and the ever-dashing Sascha Radetsky is also involved in the project. (Radetsky's exact role is unclear from the press material, but he seems like a pretty natural fit for Mark, no?) The odds seem good that we'll get the gift of some very high-quality dancing. Merry Christmas to us!
Sophia Lucia showing off those banana feet (via @sophialucia5678)
You can catch A Nutcracker Christmas on December 10 at 8 pm. Get your slippers and hot cocoa ready.
Consistent turns are a must for aspiring professional dancers, but pretty much everyone struggles with pirouettes at some point. Luckily, since we're all beholden to the same rules of physics, there are concrete steps every dancer can take to reach his or her top turning potential. “Three is the new two when it comes to pirouettes, but the secret to turning is technique, not magic," says Bojan Spassoff, president and director of The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.
Falling out of your doubles? Aspiring to go revolution for revolution with your class's star turner? No matter where you lie on the turning spectrum, our 360-degree guide to pirouettes will help you improve.
One of the most beautiful things social media has brought us is the ability to feel like we're up close and personal behind-the-scenes with all our favorite dancers. And one of our favorite stars to Insta-stalk are actually two casts of 36 scintillatingly synchronized precision dancers. I'm talking, of course, about my mild obsession with the legendary Radio City Rockettes.
Have we mentioned lately how much we love dance dads? Especially ones who show up to their daughter's ballet class sporting a tutu, like Thanh Tran.
You've seen it a million times: A glamorous, toned dancer posts a perfectly styled shot of her colorful smoothie bowl. The caption gushes about how great you'll feel if you eat "clean"—but what does that actually mean? DS asked registered dietitian/nutritionist Rachel Fine and holistic health coach (and founder of The Whole Dancer) Jess Spinner for all of the dirt.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com a chance to be featured!
I'm being bullied by one of the girls at my studio, and it's awful. I've talked to my dance teacher and confronted the bully directly, but it hasn't made a difference. What should I do?