PRETTYMUCH Is Our Newest Boy Band Obsession—with Some Serious Dance Skills
We'd have to take it back to the days of *NSYNC to find a boy band with the dance skills to match their hit single, but all of that is about to change (finally!): Meet PRETTYMUCH. The five-guy group is made up of Brandon Arreaga, Austin Porter, Edwin Honoret, Zion Kuwonu, and Nick Mara, and following them on social media has shown they're bringing back boy-band dancing—and quite possibly better than ever before. With their catchy first single "Would You Mind" reaching the top 10 on Spotify's Viral 50, they're set to make their official performance debut on the Teen Choice Awards stage, August 13th.
"I started dancing when I was 9," says Nick, who appeared on Season 6 of "America's Best Dance Crew" with the ICONic Boyz. "I took hip-hop, jazz, and contemporary—my aunt, without me knowing, signed me up." Brandon also trained in hip-hop, jazz, and contemporary growing up, but the rest of the boys have been working hard in classes and rehearsals for the past year and a half after being put together as a group by Simon Cowell. "I can't pick up choreography as well," Austin explains when asked about any challenges. "Yeah, we're a little slower, but we catch up," Edwin says. Judging from the videos they've shared on social media and the list of choreographers they've worked with—which includes Matt Steffanina, Lando Wilkins, J.D., Jamie King, and Kinjaz—it seems like they're doing a pretty good job of keeping up.
As they prep for their big Teen Choice Awards performance, the boys agree they're more excited than nervous. "As soon as I step on the stage, the nerves go away," Brandon tells us. "We hype each other up." After the TCAs, the boys are looking forward to putting out new music (we got to hear a few of their upcoming songs, and trust us, they're good). "We have a music video coming soon, too," Zion assures us. Until then, you can get your PRETTYMUCH fix with some of our fave dancing videos, below. And stay tuned—the boys will be taking over our Instagram on August 10th!
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."
The Olympics are always full of inspiring Cinderella stories, where athletes no one had heard of mere months ago end up blowing all expectations out of the water, and maybe even nabbing a medal in the bargain. But we've recently caught wind of a different kind of Cinderella story—and it's one we really, really hope shows up in the Closing Ceremonies of the PyeongChang Olympics, airing tonight on NBC starting at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific time.
Being a dancer comes with the task of having to entertain the same questions over and over again from those outside the dance world. Of course, we love having our friends and family take an interest in our passion—but if someone asks ONE MORE TIME whether or not we've met Travis Wall, we might just go crazy.
Here are 10 questions that dancers hate getting asked.
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.
Last month, we asked why there wasn't a Best Choreography category at the Oscars—and discovered that many of you agreed with us: Choreographers should definitely be acknowledged for their work on the super-dancy movies we can't get enough of.
Now, we're taking matters into our own (jazz) hands.
We've decided to create a Dance Spirit award for the best cinematic choreography of 2017. With your input, we've narrowed the field to four choreographers whose moves lit up some of the best movies of the year. Check out our nominations for best choreography below—and vote for the choreographer you think deserves the honor. We'll announce the winner on Friday, March 2.
Once upon a time (until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi concluded, to be exact), figure skaters had to compete to music without words. Before this rule change, a skater faced an automatic point deduction if the music even hinted at vocals. Understandably, there were *a lot* of Olympic programs skated to classical music, and you'd tend to hear the same music selections over and over and over.
There are plenty of current Olympic figure skaters who'd make beautiful dancers (first among them Adam Rippon, whose gorgeously choreographed long program won the internet, if not the gold). But today, as we wait for the women's figure skating competition to crown its new champions, we wanted to throw it back to one of the most beautifully balletic skaters of all time: Sasha Cohen.
The high-flying leaps of grand allegro are meant to be incredibly exciting. But at the end of an intense ballet class, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to give them the attention they deserve. Want to pump up your big jumps? Follow these 10 vital tips from Jennifer Hart, curriculum director and instructor at Ballet Austin.