It's Official: There's Another Dance Comp TV Show in the Works
World of Dance is the organization that's been giving artists a huge platform (think more than 30 million monthly views on their YouTube and Facebook videos) since 2008. They now also host events and contests around the world. Lopez describes WOD as “an organization that has had an immeasurable impact on the dance community,” and we love that she's bringing all of this dance-love to an even bigger audience on the small screen.
“Dance has always been my passion. It's raw, it's emotional, it's healing," said Lopez in a statement introducing the series. She goes on to describe this show as "Broadcast television's biggest, fiercest, most talent-heavy dance competition ever seen." It's not yet clear whether or not JLo will be making any on-camera appearances throughout the show (but we’re crossing our fingers). Oh, and did we mention that Nappytabs will be involved as well? We’re officially pumped.
It's been a great year for dance on television—ICYMI, World of Dance is actually the second dance show that NBC has approved this year, the first being another dance competition in which Step-Up superstar Jenna Dewan Tatum will executive produce, as well as serve as judge and mentor. Honestly, the limit to the number of dance TV shows needed does not exist, so keep ‘em coming, TV networks!
World of Dance is in the process of casting now. Check out the details here, because who couldn’t use a million dollars and maybe even a chance to meet Jennifer Lopez?!
Misty Copeland. Her name is synonymous with exquisite artistry and outspoken advocacy. And her visibility has made a huge impact on the ballet world. Ballet's relationship with race has always been strained at best, hostile at worst. But Copeland's persistent message and star quality have finally forced the ballet industry to start talking about racial diversity, inclusivity, and representation. "The rarity of seeing ourselves represented is sad," Copeland says. "The more we see every hue and body shape represented on the stage, the more possibilities young dancers feel they have for themselves."
We love, love, LOVE figure skaters who completely embrace the dance aspect of the sport, putting real time and thought into their choreography and music choices (while also, you know, casually pulling off death-defying jumps). This Olympics, a lot of attention has (rightly) been focused on frontrunner Nathan Chen, whose ballet background lends him a beautiful grace and fluidity on the ice. But it was Chen's teammate Adam Rippon who stole our dance-loving hearts yesterday, making his Olympic debut with a routine choreographed by none other than "So You Think You Can Dance" alum Benji Schwimmer.
Friends: HE. SLAYED. And because Rippon is the first openly gay U.S. man to qualify for any Winter Olympics—ever—the performance marked a major milestone.
Contemporary phenom Christina Ricucci has super-flexible hips, which means she can stretch her legs to unbelievable heights. But when she noticed herself making contorted positions in class, Ricucci realized she was approaching her extensions all wrong. "I went back to the basics in class, squaring my hips and using my turnout," Ricucci says. "I learned to create proper positions, rather than whacked-out versions of them."
Some dancers are so wonky they have a hard time supporting their high legs, while others struggle with limited flexibility. But no matter your facility, you can find a balance of stretch and strength to achieve your fullest range of extension. It's not about how high (or not) your legs can go: It's the quality of the movement, and how you get those legs up, that counts.
Yesterday, the dance community was heartbroken to learn that Jaime Guttenberg and Cara Loughran, both 14-year-old dancers, were among the 17 people killed on Valentine's Day in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane charms audiences with her bright energy and crisp technique. The San Francisco, CA, native first started dancing at age 4 at a local community center, and at age 7 started training in Memphis, TN, at the Classical Ballet Memphis. Her family later moved to Rochester, NY, where she continued studying at the Draper Center for Dance Education. In 2002, she was a YoungArts Foundation winner in dance, allowing her to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 2003, was made a soloist in 2007, and was promoted to principal last fall. Recently, she originated the role of Princess Praline in Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream. Catch her later this spring during ABT's Metropolitan Opera season. —Courtney Bowers
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 just moved up a level at my studio, and I'm really intimidated by the dancers in my new class. They're older than I am, and they're all so good. I feel like I don't belong, and that makes me even more likely to mess up. What can I do?
Though ballet has come a long way from its early days, New York City Ballet corps member, Olivia Boisson—one of the handful of black dancers in the industry—says there's still plenty more that can be done to promote diversity within the art form. Boisson got real about her experience in an article for Women's Health, which discusses everything from Boisson's early training to her work with NYCB.