(Photo by Adam Rose/FOX)
“Sail, with Tiffany Maher and Audrey Case on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Season 9, was about showing that athleticism can be beautiful. I’ve often heard that my choreography is strong—as if it’s a surprise. People call my work androgynous. But androgynous, to me, sounds like a woman trying to be masculine. Instead, I call my work genderless.”
(Courtesy Sonya Tayeh)
“Erica Wilson-Perkins (second from left) and Diane Mancinelli, my professors at Wayne State University, shifted my world completely. They had their own voices and taught full-bodied movement. The first piece I choreographed was in a college class. Then I couldn’t stop.”
(Photo via ALLCDCovers.com)
“Björk is my go-to lady. She’s my ultimate hero, who embraces her unique creativity. When I requested her music for my Possibly Maybe duet on ‘SYTYCD’ Season 9, Björk asked me to write what the song meant to me. So I broke it down, lyric by lyric. That was the first time she allowed her music to be used on the show.”
“Allison Holker and Cole Horibe execute movement in this really stunning way—an urgent, eager way. Being in a room with them during Season 9 was inspiring. They made me want to do better for them. I’m excited to incorporate Cole’s martial-arts background while choreographing Kung Fu, which opens off-Broadway February 4.”
(Courtesy Sonya Tayeh)
“My mother was my date to the Emmys. She’s a religious Muslim woman, who raised three girls. She’s always embraced us and been open to who we are. She’s had many struggles in her life, and she’s definitely the one who inspired my strength.”
(Photo by Mike Yarish/FOX)
“Whenever I do a piece for ‘SYTYCD,’ like for the Top 6 on Season 9, I start by just talking to the dancers. Then we move together so I can see what their instincts are, instead of just demanding what I want. I reach for the root of my dancers first before I build on it myself.”
(Photo by Matthew Murphy)
“The Last Goodbye is a rock musical set to Jeff Buckley’s music that played in San Diego last fall. The inspiration for the movement came from Jeff’s music, which I’ve been a fan of since the ’90s. The show retells Romeo and Juliet, the ultimate love story, which is so honest and heart-wrenchingly beautiful.
(Photo by Kevin Sandlow)
“I met my father for the first time while he was dying. I was 12. That’s where the excessive emotion in my work comes from—my sense of urgency, my speed. There’s an underlying angst in my choreography that stems from experiencing death at a really young age.”
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:
They've impressed the judges, now it's time for the Top 100 dancers to enroll at The Academy—and to impress the All-Stars. Welcome to So You Think You Can Dance Academy!
The 100 dancers who made it through auditions in NYC or L.A. are now at The Academy, which is basically a beautiful building with floor-to-ceiling windows. The show opens with that Mandy Moore-choreographed Academy routine which, even after watching it 12 times and trying to learn all the choreography at home, is still delightful.
This Nationals season, Dance Spirit followed four talented dancers from The Dance Awards, NYCDA, Showstopper, and Starpower for an inside look at everything that goes into the biggest competitions of the year. First up: Isabella Torres from Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, who competed at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals for the first time this year. (All photos courtesy Shannon Torres.)
Merritt Moore is a ballerina who just so happens to be graduating from Oxford University with a PhD in quantum physics. Is she even human? The jury is still out on that - but the 29-year-old, who earned her undergrad degree from Harvard, has actually found dance to be a powerful tool that assists her in her studies.
Happy #WorldEmojiDay, dance friends! 🎉 👯 🎉 👯
Because it's just the cutest, we thought we'd share the emoji challenge the Royal Opera House is currently hosting on Twitter. They've retold a series of ballets (and operas, for that crowd) in emoji form. If you correctly guess the name of a ballet, you'll be entered for a chance to win two tickets to a ROH production.