Yes, we've all heard the stories about football players taking ballet classes to improve their agility. We've seen the funny, faintly sweet images of 350-pound dudes stretching their massive legs on straining barres. We've chuckled, shaken our heads, and thought, Bless their hearts.
But a football player moonlighting as a member of his own squad's dance team? And legitimately dominating the choreo, which is significantly more advanced than your average touchdown celebration? That's a new one.
Last weekend, the Sidewinders, who cheer for the Arizona Rattlers arena football team, featured an unusual guest star in their halftime show: a huge, cleated-and-padded gentleman, who proceeded to twerk his brains out and drop into a full split. It's even better than it sounds:
So much SASS.
Real talk, now: This is clearly a setup. The "player"'s jersey number is 75, and his name is "Oscar," but there's neither an Oscar nor a #75 on the Rattlers' current lineup.
Well played, Sidewinders. Well played indeed.
Here's the full video:
We don't generally think of ballet directors as "fun." But Peter Boal, artistic director of Seattle's Pacific Northwest Ballet, has broken the mold. In fact, a recent YouTube video proves that he is possibly the most fun, most good-spirited, most trash-talkiest AD out there. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
And the award for Best Stank Face goes to...
Before this year's Super Bowl (no, this is not another Left Shark love letter) between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, the dancers of PNB and Boston Ballet made a little wager: The ballet company of the losing team's city would have to film a manège, set to a song of the other company's choosing. Long story short, the Pats won, and totally unsurprisingly, the dancers of Boston selected the most Bostonian anthem out there: The Dropkick Murphys' "I'm Shipping Up to Boston."
What came next is the Best. Thing. Ever. Instead of filming a sad, woe-is-me manège, the dancers of PNB turned up (and out) hard. At the helm of it all?
QB AD Boal, who not only zinged Bostonians several times in just over a minute, but also proved why his company reigns supreme—even if his sports team doesn't.
Check it out!
We've talked and talked and talked about sports guys getting their dance on. But what about the dancers who stand out in the world of sports? Last year we told you about Michael Morris Jr., who earned a $2,500 college scholarship after killing it in a football toss competition. And this weekend, "So You Think You Can Dance" champion Ricky Ubeda proved that he's not only America's Favorite Dancer, but also America's National Pastime's Favorite Amateur Pitcher.
For those of us plié-inclined humans not super-familiar with the intricacies of baseball, games often start with a ceremonial first pitch. In our language: Right before showtime (the first inning), teams invite a local celebrity to lob a ball from center stage (the pitcher's mound) roughly 60 feet downstage (at home plate). It's not an easy feat. Yet look at the panache Ubeda brought to the task during Sunday's Miami Marlins game:
(Vine from Bethany @RickyUbedafann)
Don't you just love him? Plus, the Marlins won that day. Clearly his signature tilt-a-pitch inspired the rest of the team.
Michael Morris, Jr., a dance student at the prestigious Boston Conservatory, is looking for ways to fund his education. But he's not just going through the usual scholarship channels.
Instead, he's setting his sights on football—the "Dr. Pepper Giveaway" football-throwing contest, to be precise.
For the past few months, Morris has been working on his football arm for 45 minutes every day, preparing for a chance to win $100,000 of tuition money by throwing footballs into a big ol' Dr. Pepper can.
Tomorrow, he'll travel to Arizona to challenge four other wannabes in the semifinals. If his aim is as good as his dancing, he'll advance to the final round on Saturday afternoon.
And it looks like his dancing is pretty good! (screenshot via YouTube)
This is not some pipe dream, either: He's pretty darn talented. Apparently he can now toss off 20 footballs in 30 seconds, and usually about eight of them will make it into his mock-up barrel.
Check out this video of Michael practicing for his big moment. We don't know the appropriate send-off for a dancer-turned-footballer, but just to cover all the bases: Good luck! Break a leg! Merde!
I've always been drawn to the Radio City Rockettes and dance teams. It's not just the sparkly costumes and the eye-high kicks that get me—it's the precision.
Have you ever watched the Rockettes and, at the end of the show, been like, "Wow, that one Rockette was so good?!" Probably not. Because that's not the point. The point is synchronicity. The point is uniformity. The point, simply put, is perfection.
Now, look no further for a seriously-rehearsed routine than to the Ohio State University...marching band?
Oh yes. We're not talking about dancers, here—we're talking a massive group on a field, playing instruments while simultaneously marching into mind-blowingly creative formations.
And by "formations," I mean "they create a silhouette of Michael Jackson—single white glove included—and they make him moonwalk."
Spend the next 11 minutes of your day watching this "but seriously, how did they do that?" halftime performance tribute to Michael Jackson, in honor of the 25th anniversary of his "Bad" album.
I always wanted to be one of those "cool girls" who's all into sports and understands the difference between a first down and a field goal. Sorry, Dad: I didn't get the Feller family football gene I guess.
So while I won't necessarily appreciate Sunday's big battle between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens (the only reason I know that's who's playing is because I happened to watch the "Today" show this morning), there is one thing I'm absolutely looking forward to during the Super Bowl: the halftime show. And this year, Beyoncé will be taking center stage, flocked by what appears to be tons and tons of dancers.
I'm a huge Queen Bey fan, so while I couldn't care less about who wins the game, I will be glued to the TV during the in-between moments, attempting to master those all-too-good "Single Ladies" moves in the comfort of my own living room.
Mrs. Jay-Z (oh please...homegirl hardly needs that title—she's cool enough on her own, but having a hot superstar husband certainly doesn't hurt her street cred) seems to be pretty pumped about the pending performance herself, and she posted these photos on her website yesterday:
Go Team Bey!
(Don't forget to tune into the big halftime show—er, game—Sunday at 8 PM!)
As the girlfriend of a football-loving dude, I've spent many an uncomfortable Sunday afternoon watching big guys in serious padding beat up on each other. (To be fair, the dude has also spent many an uncomfortable Friday evening watching tiny girls in serious tutus pirouette around each other, so.) But maybe NFL showdowns aren't as far out of my comfort zone as I thought. These days, the right football game can almost qualify as a dance event.
Yes, the intricate plays these NFL teams are running are a kind of choreography. And many of the players do take ballet classes to improve their grace and agility. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the celebratory dances.
In the end zone or after a sack, football players seem to be breakin' it down more than ever these days. Take, for example, the Steelers' Ziggy Hood, who lived up to his made-for-dancing name after sacking Eagles quarterback Michael Vick yesterday:
And then, of course, there's the Giants' Victor Cruz, who celebrated each of his three touchdowns against the Browns yesterday with his trademark salsa (a tribute to his grandmother):
Cruz, by the way, is apparently considering adding some even spicier moves to his salsa routine. “Stay tuned,” he said after the game. “I am not quite ready to let the cat out the bag, but there might be a little something.” Maybe I can review his new and improved choreography after the Giants' next game?
Anyway: The point is, these guys make football more fun to watch. And on that note, I'll leave you with this compilation of some of the best, and wackiest, gridiron dancers. Enjoy!
For years we've heard about football players taking ballet classes to improve their flexibility and agility. It's a trend I wholeheartedly support—I'm sure ballet can do amazing things for football players. (And, OK, a tiny part of me just can't resist the image of a linebacker sidling up to the barre.)
It sounds like hockey players might be the next group of ballathletes (I tried) to emerge. Apparently a struggling Swedish ice hockey team is now counting on ballet classes to pull it out of its slump. The Malmö Redhawks' new trainer says that by improving the players' balance and coordination, ballet classes could actually help them skate faster—and body check more effectively. You read that right: body check. Cool! I think we just discovered reason #3493874957 why ballet is awesome.