I love the Olympics, but the one thing I look forward to above all else? The opening ceremonies! This year was no different. I was pumped on Friday night and all prepared to write a blog about the dance-iest moments of the show. But then, no dancing… for almost an hour! Yes, the Abraham Lincoln look-alikes did some fun hand motions and the kids jumping on the bed were very precious (and surprisingly un-fazed by the 100-foot-tall Voldemort), but it wasn’t until the “Frankie and June Say Thanks Tim” section that the dancers really got to show their chops… kind of.
I was a little confused by the story (how did they have Facebook and smart phones in the 60s?), but by the time they got to the 70s, I was having a good time. Then, it got even better with the awesome, 80s-tastic neon costumes. The choreography by Kenrick “H2O” Sandy wasn’t exactly mind-blowing, but it got the job done—representing each era—and I can’t imagine how hard it would be to choreograph that many people! The best part? Jasmine Breinburg, 18, the formerly unknown dancer who played June couldn’t have asked for a better big break—billions of people will now recognize her face.
Overall, this opening ceremony didn’t really compare to the Beijing games in terms of dance-iness. But, I did learn a lot more about British history. And nothing beats seeing the Queen leaving her corgis behind to skydive with James Bond. Only in England…
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.