Life Lessons from a Brooklyn Nets Kid
Here's a Dance Spirit NBA playoffs update: Last night, the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Toronto Raptors in Game 4.
Vako (center) and his awesome hair performing with the Brooklyn Nets Kids (photo by Adam Pantozzi/Brooklyn Nets)
OK, that felt weird. You've probably guessed that we're not here to talk about basketball. Instead, we're concerned with something far dancier...the Brooklyn Nets Kids!
For those of you who don't already know, the Brooklyn Nets Kids is a team of insanely talented professional dancers who perform during Nets games at Barclays Center.
On Saturday, in preparation for Sunday's big game, the New York Daily News did a special on one Brooklyn Nets Kid with a particularly inspiring story. Vako Gvelesiani, 13, auditioned for the team last year. Only 17 out of over 500 auditionees made the cut, and Vako was one of them.
But three weeks into practice, the coaches noticed something off about Vako—he didn't seem to be listening to instructions. After speaking with his parents, they were shocked to find out that Vako has moderate to severe hearing impairment. Vako didn't want any special treatment—he wanted to earn a spot on the team fair and square—which is why he and his family originally kept his hearing impairment a secret.
Talk about overcoming obstacles to achieve your dreams! Check it out:
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. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night:
They've impressed the judges, now it's time for the Top 100 dancers to enroll at The Academy—and to impress the All-Stars. Welcome to So You Think You Can Dance Academy!
The 100 dancers who made it through auditions in NYC or L.A. are now at The Academy, which is basically a beautiful building with floor-to-ceiling windows. The show opens with that Mandy Moore-choreographed Academy routine which, even after watching it 12 times and trying to learn all the choreography at home, is still delightful.
This Nationals season, Dance Spirit followed four talented dancers from The Dance Awards, NYCDA, Showstopper, and Starpower for an inside look at everything that goes into the biggest competitions of the year. First up: Isabella Torres from Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, who competed at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals for the first time this year. (All photos courtesy Shannon Torres.)
Merritt Moore is a ballerina who just so happens to be graduating from Oxford University with a PhD in quantum physics. Is she even human? The jury is still out on that - but the 29-year-old, who earned her undergrad degree from Harvard, has actually found dance to be a powerful tool that assists her in her studies.
Happy #WorldEmojiDay, dance friends! 🎉 👯 🎉 👯
Because it's just the cutest, we thought we'd share the emoji challenge the Royal Opera House is currently hosting on Twitter. They've retold a series of ballets (and operas, for that crowd) in emoji form. If you correctly guess the name of a ballet, you'll be entered for a chance to win two tickets to a ROH production.