Olympic Opening Ceremony Recap (aka Where Has All The Dancing Gone?)
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…
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.