Fourteen-year-old Rachel Parkinson may be petite, but she moves with an infectious joy that fills any stage or convention room. In 2012, Rachel won Junior National Dancer of the Year at Hollywood Vibe Nationals, and this past season, despite being one of the youngest dancers in the teen category, Rachel snagged a scholarship at every competition and convention she attended, including Teen Female Non-Stop Dancer at 24 Seven and Teen VIP at JUMP.
"My older brother plays lacrosse, and my parents always tell him to leave it all on the field. When I perform, I leave it all on the stage. You’ve got to be fearless."
(Photo by Chandler Ford Photography)
Birthday: November 16, 1999
Studio: The Dance Club in Orem, UT
What she’s listening to right now: “Royals,” by Lorde
Favorite food: “Orange chicken and white rice.”
The best advice she’s ever received: “My dance role model, Alexia Meyer, told me never to leave a competition with regrets. It’s OK not to win. Don’t be a sore loser.”
The strangest thing in her dance bag: “A porcupine-shaped air freshener that smells like strawberries. My dad doesn’t like the smell of my dance bag.”
Dance crushes: Kent Boyd and Jakob Karr
Performers she’d die to work with: One Direction, Pink and Katy Perry
Must-see TV shows: “Cake Boss” and “Toddlers & Tiaras”
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. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night: