NDA College Dance Team Nationals
If you've read the April 2010 issue, you know we love dance teams. So naturally, we've been counting down the days to the NDA college dance team nationals, and it's finally here! This morning I hopped on plane and headed to Daytona Beach, FL, to make sure DS didn't miss a beat. As soon as I stepped off the plane a flood of memories came rushing back--the hot, humid weather, the cloud of hairspray following every team and the competitive edge lingering in the air. I love competition!
Heading to the Peabody Auditorium for Prelims, I was all nerves. I know what it feels like to watch your competition perform a flawless routine as you wait in the wings. I know what it feels like for the MC to announce your school and the crowd go wild. It's a feeling beyond words. Your stomach is twisted with anticipation and nervousness, but all you want to do is get out there and show them what you've got. And the teams today did just that.
Division I favorites:
Towson University. WE LOVE THESE GIRLS!! You saw how cute they were on our cover, but let me tell you, these girls can dance! With unmatched energy and an almost uncanny precision, the "Dream Team" is in first place after prelims with a score of 9.573.
Utah Valley University. These girls shocked me and the rest of the auditorium with their fabulous technique, edgy choreography and vogue-esque costumes. Watch out Division I- these girls are here to win! Score: 9.358.
Division IA favorites:
Penn State University. Where did these girls come from? With a routine very similar to Towson (in caliber and choreography), this team is one to watch out for. Explosive energy, cleanliness and passion puts them in 4th place but my top three with a score of 9.115.
Brigham Young University. My alma mater! (No bias here, wink wink). But seriously, this group of girls is F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S! What I love most about BYU is their ability to keep beautiful technique and artistry in their routines and still be a powerhouse. This is one team that looks just as great in ballet class as they do shaking the poms at a basketball game. I LOVE their choreography, I love their all-black costumes and I love their ability to captivate the audience. Score: 9.548.
University of Louisville. There is no doubt about it--their energy is unmatched. This team explodes the second the music starts and does not let down until the last count. Their jumps seem almost unhuman as they soar in the air, perfectly synchronized of course. Also, I LOVED their costumes. Straying from their traditional black and red, the absolutely rocked the stage in hot pink and black, landing them in first place after prelims. Score: 9.631.
Finals are tomorrow morning and it's bound to be a showdown. All I have to say is that every team better bring their A-game!!
Dancer Yesenia Ayala first caught our eye in the off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity with Sutton Foster earlier this year. So, we were super excited when we found out she was making her Broadway debut in this spring's sweetest new show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Both productions were choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.)
Since the NYC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre's spring gala Monday night, the DS editors haven't stopped talking about its creepy-cute sets and costumes, created by artist Mark Ryden. Well, the obsession is about to get even crazier, because we just heard that Ryden's artwork for the ballet is now on display in not one, but TWO locations in NYC.
Yes, yes, we know: Dancers are athletes as well as artists. But we haven't seen anything hammer home just HOW athletic dancers are quite as well as this video from Self magazine, which features American Ballet Theatre principal/fairy princess Isabella Boylston trying to teach top-level CrossFit enthusiasts ballet.
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.