We've all fantasized about dancing backup for Britney Spears. We've learned the choreo to every one of her iconic videos by heart, hoping that maybe, someday, we'll be able to dance it for the Holy Spearit herself. (The "Oops!...I Did It Again" heartbeat? Got it. The "Slave 4 U" body roll? Yup.) We've seen just enough of our favorite dancers land gigs with Spears to hold out hope for that not-quite-unachievable goal.
But actually taking class from the Princess of Pop? Not just dancing alongside her, but hearing her words of teacherly wisdom, even getting corrections from her? Learning how to dance like Britney Spears, FROM BRITNEY SPEARS? That seems like a truly impossible dream.
Except it wasn't, a few days ago, for a very lucky group of girls.
Hold on to your crop tops: It sounds like Broadway might be getting a piece of Britney. EEE!
Well, not Ms. Spears herself, or at least not that we know of. But Forbes recently reported that Brit's managers met with Broadway veteran Jerry Mitchell to discuss making a jukebox musical out of her epic song catalog.
Here is a sentence that will immediately brighten your day: American Ballet Theatre principal/#queen James Whiteside—or, rather, his pop-art alter ego, JbDubs—just released a music video that is, and here we are quoting directly from the YouTube description, "an homage to his life in NYC, Britney Spears, and 90s competition jazz."
Friends, it is exactly as magical as those 13 words make it sound.
"NYC Piece of Me" cleverly retools Britney's "Piece of Me" with lyrics about Whiteside's own experiences ("I'm Mr. 'Who is this queen?' since I was 17, don't matter if I'm Prince Siegfried or JB in them red high heels"). But the real highlight is, unsurprisingly, the dancing.
Why? First, because Whiteside's choreo pays cheeky tribute to his early days as a comp kid/jazzerina (Luigi warmups!), which, YUP YUP YUP. But also because his co-stars in the video are ABT's Jeffrey Cirio, Courtney Lavine, Calvin Royal III and Cassandra Trenary. And while we already knew they could do things like this...
...we didn't know they could do things like THIS:
We will never, ever tire of seeing super-classical dancers getting in touch with their nasty selves. Especially when it turns out they're really good at it.
So, the #MannequinChallenge has now achieved world domination. And since dancers are singularly well-suited to this weird, wonderful thing—what with their whole lives being devoted to the development of impressive body control—there've been a lot of excellent dance submissions. Everyone has been feeling the freeze, from the Rockettes to the "Dancing with the Stars" crew to the members of Cincinnati Ballet.
But it's done, you guys. The end. Game over.
Because Britney Spears and the dancers from her Vegas phenomenon Piece of Me just did the best #MannequinChallenge of all time. Of ALL TIME.
The only misstep here is that Brit didn't use her 2008 song "Mannequin" as the soundtrack, because that is a real thing she actually made that definitely exists in the universe. But we're going to assume that's because she knows true perfection requires the inclusion of one tiny flaw, just to keep things interesting. (Also she's got a new album to promote and girl, we get that.)
💕 We'll never stop loving you, Britney. 💕
We are seriously, seriously 'shipping the epic best-friendship of Brian Friedman and Yanis Marshall, a match made in a heaven where everyone wears fabulous 5-inch stilettos at all times. And when the two of them team up to create a routine to the new Britney Spears song? I MEAN.
For their recent joint class at Millennium, Friedman and Marshall cooked up some spicy flamenco-tinged choreo that perfectly complements Britney's "Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortés)." Naturally, a veritable who's-who of L.A.'s all-star dance scene came out to slay it, including Kaelynn "KK" Harris, Noelle Marsh, Sloan-Taylor Rabinor, Mollee Gray, Madison Cubbage and 2016 Cover Model Search finalist Kerrynton Jones. And, thank the dance gods, Friedman and Marshall decided to kick off the class video themselves, showing the rest of the world what the dance embodiment of the fire emoji looks like. Just #goals for days.
Happy #MotivationMonday, friends:
Oh, the MTV Video Music Awards. Aka the night we're gifted with performances by some of music's hottest names. Aka the night where crazy costumes, fabulous gimmicks and fierce dancing reign supreme. We truly missed you.
But...to our surprise, last night's show was a tad tame, amirite? There weren't any hosts, no feuding or drama and zero performances that were stunningly over the top, per usual. All in all it was still an iconic night, though, and there were plenty of dance-y moments to gush over. Take a look at our top highlights:
The Beyoncé Takeover
It's been a long six months since Queen Bey's Super Bowl domination and we were desperate for another live performance to obsess over. Thankfully, last night's VMAs gifted us with more Beyoncé perfection than we ever could have dreamed. Case in point: A record-setting 8 award wins (including Video of the Year for "Formation") and an epic 15-minute long Lemonade highlights performance complete with a fierce squad of dancers like Ebony Williams. Oh, and then there was that adorable mommy-daughter red carpet fashion moment that's currently breaking the internet. Long story short, Bey slayed.
Like mother like daughter before the show. (Photo via Instagram, @Beyonce)
Prepare to be mesmerized:
Rihanna also stole the show with four different performances to a ton of her hit songs. The best part? She surrounded herself with lots of new faces like Lilly Leithner, Kimberley Taylor, Kacie Noel, Dani Vitale, Sisley Loubet, Khadija Nicholas, Taeko McCarroll, Asabi Alexander, Katherine Diaz, Diana Matos, Aseil Hardison and Lance Savali to name a few. Rihanna was also presented the prestigious Vanguard Award by Drake.
See the dance goodness for yourself:
The Britney Comeback
After consistently killing it in her Vegas show and releasing a new album a few days ago, Britney Spears made her VMA comeback last night (sans a live snake, unfortunately), in her first awards show performance since 2007. She sang "Make Me" with rapper G-Eazy, and although the internet is calling her out for her apparent lip syncing, the choreo (by Charm La'Donna) was still seriously on point. We loved watching her and her awesome dancers, including Aja DePaolo and Sarah Mitchell. And tbh Brit Brit will always be the #PrincessofPop in our eyes.
Check out her full performance below and let us know what your favorite moments were!
Few dance jobs are as thrilling as being a backup dancer for a major pop star (just ask our May/June 2013 cover stars!). The guaranteed high-octane atmosphere, the costumes, the hair and makeup, the top-notch choreo—we could go on and on. So it's obviously a dream job, but how do you get it? Luckily, one backup dancer shared her journey. Pam Chu spoke with Cosmopolitan Magazine about her path to becoming a backup dancer for Britney Spears. There were lots of great takeaways, including how to know what judges are looking for at an audition, and how to handle any situation:
"At the audition, I remember having a feeling like, I want to get this. You have to psych yourself up and you have to believe you can get it. You have to have that confidence without being arrogant. From the way the choreographers were teaching, I knew they wanted people who had technique, style, and would dance full out all the time. I knew not to sit down in the audition — ever. We were there for nine hours."
Chu working it during a performance. (Photo by Denise Truscello)
(Photo by Denise Truscello)
Chu's journey is anything but ordinary, with lots of varying dance jobs prior to landing the Britney gig. Her story goes to show that when it comes to your career, every experience is a valuable one, even if you may not realize it at the time. Check out the full story here!