Dance News
Via YouTube

With all the ugly headlines these days, it's inspiring to see people who can move past their differences—especially when they find common ground in dance. And a new video from Jubilee Media proves that dance can even transcend language barriers.

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Dancer to Dancer
(Courtesy ABC)

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.

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Dance News
A still from Kyle Hanagami's video set to Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" (via YouTube)

You know how it goes: a fantastic new song drops, and next thing you know, you can't go to a dance competition or scroll through Instagram without seeing a routine choreographed to it. Certain music has the power to speak to a lot of choreographers—often in completely different ways. Below are six recently released albums that have made a big impact on the dance community. Will they inspire your next piece of choreo?

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Popular

Who among us hasn't been sucked into watching hours on end of dance videos? (✋ Guilty 😬 )

Irresponsible? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely!

Think you're a true dance video guru? Challenge your dance world knowledge by matching these screenshots from popular dance videos with the choreographers who created them. It's trickier than you might expect!

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Dance News

Every once in a while, you stumble across a choreographer or dancer on YouTube, and you're like, Wait, how on EARTH am I just now discovering this person?! Where have they been all my life? Did I just reach dance nirvana? And then you proceed to watch every single video you can find, scouring the interwebz for one more glimpse of your new-found idol.

Don't judge: I know you've all done the same thing

This week, Japanese hip-hop choreographer Koharu Sugawara is the artist responsible for blowing the DS editors' minds. While she's based in Japan, Sugawara frequents Urban Dance Camp, the annual international hip-hop workshop in Germany that floods YouTube with brilliant excerpts from choreographers like DS faves Keone and Mari Madrid. We have UDC to thank for facilitating our recent Sugawara binge. And we would be remiss not to share the experience with you.

Simply scroll down, and prepare to experience sheer hip-hop-nerd bliss.

The video that first caught our attention was of Sugawara's combo to Sia's "Elastic Heart." (You know we already have a soft, Maddie-Ziegler-shaped spot in our hearts for this song...) The choreography shows off Sugawara's molten, dare we say elastic style. This girl knows how to work a pair of harem pants, and her use of tension is the perfect example of how to bring the subtle sexy.

But then we learned she can hit hard and bring the stank when we watched her combo to Mary J. Blige's "The One."

Oh, and apparently she also has Michael-Jackson swag—and a rare ability to make the running man look cool (at 1:15)—as made evident by her clip to Ed Sheeran's "Sing."

While watching her video to Clean Bandit's "Rather Be," we saw her overwhelming love and joy for dance.

And then she did a combo to Destiny's Child, and we pretty much lost it.

#winning

courtesy the Kimmel Center

Rennie Harris is one of the most sought-after hip-hop choreographers today. Growing up in Philadelphia, PA, he danced with several crews, including The Step Masters and The Scanner Boys. He started teaching at 15, and continues to teach hip-hop technique and history around the world. This year marks the 15th anniversary of Harris’ Illadelph Legends Festival, the longest-running festival of its kind, as well as the 20th anniversary of his company, Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM), which is known for critically acclaimed works like Rome & Jewels and Facing Mekka. In 2007, Harris founded a second company, Rennie Harris Awe-Inspiring-Works (RHAW), to educate and mentor young dancers. Harris has also set works on ballet, modern and jazz companies, including Pennsylvania Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. —Komal Thakkar

Dear Rennie,

I’m writing from 2012 to share some advice with you. 

Rennie Harris in Sixth Grade

Think about the harmful situations you’ve allowed yourself to be in. It’s OK to say no! You don’t have to do what others do to be considered “cool.”  

When introducing yourself, begin with “I am.” Be sure to look people in the eyes when speaking to them. Be honest, even if it’s uncomfortable. 

Seek the input of those who have experience in your field. You can’t do everything by yourself. And don’t be afraid of structure. It’s a “guide-line,” not a “God-line.” You can go off the path as long as you get back on it eventually.  

As a choreographer, make sure to create when you’re inspired—and find a choreographic mentor. Both will keep you from wasting time in the studio.

Most importantly, always remember: Movement is the manifestation of your reality. It’s not what you say but what you do that confirms you. Reality is defined as what is tangible, what we can see and feel. For example: The shirt you have on right now was once someone’s idea, but it required a physical action—sewing—to make that idea into reality. All your dreams can manifest if you take action. Don’t get lost in talking about it. Do it!

Rennie Harris 

Dance News

If you're in the L.A. area tomorrow, don't miss your chance to see WilldaBeast make his TEDx debut. Wait, say what?

According to an Instagram from the other day, our favorite choreographer/dancer/entrepreneur/all-around dance revolutionary WilldaBeast has been invited to speak at TEDx Watts, an independently organized all-day conference showcasing "ideas worth spreading."

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