Presenting Spidey Ninja
It's a fact: We at Dance Spirit cannot get enough of dancing animal videos. (Examples A and B—and take a peek inside your April issue for our cutest round-up ever,"Puppy Love," with dancers and their dancing pooches.)
So imagine our glee when we discovered a new video, this time with the exotic peacock spider bustin' a move. OK, fine—it's really a mating call to female spiders, not a real "dance" per se. But watch the 'lil furry guy in action! (And if you don't love spiders, consider yourself warned, and skip to what's below the clip.)
Javier Ninja, photo by Erin Baiano for DS
Remind you of anything? The tick-tick-tick staccato motion totally made me think of Javier Ninja, the world-renowned vogue dancer from the Legendary House of Ninja. Of course, put the two in a dance battle and spidey would totally get schooled by Javier. In fact, the new-way-voguer typically takes home the top prize in major competitions, including the House Dance International Championships. He's performed not only on super-sized Superbowl stages with Madonna, but also in major concert dance venues—at the Joyce Theater in Doug Elkins' work Scott, Queen of Marys, and at NYC's downtown Danspace with fellow voguer Archie Burnett. Before Javier was named a 2014 Dance Magazine "25 to Watch," Dance Spirit asked the master to explain just what exactly vogueing is. His demonstration is to die for:
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.
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. 💃🏽 💃🏽