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Put Bruno Mars in front of a camera. Turn on "That's What I Like." Let him dance his talented little feet off. Add a bit of creative animation.

Watch the view count explode.

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Sometimes, after a long week—and thanks to Hurricane Sandy, for many of us, this week has felt epically long—you just need a good laugh. If that laugh is prompted by a funny dance video, well, all the better.

As ever, we're here to help. Here are the two videos that've been our saving graces recently.

Behold: The (3-year-old) reincarnation of Michael Jackson.

Behold: The crazy dude in the commercial for UNO Roboto (which looks totally creepy, by the way).

Feeling better now? We thought so. And if you need more, spend some time poking around on dancemedia.com, a veritable treasure trove of danspiration.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Dance News

Ah, the Super Bowl halftime show. For dance fans, it's, well, the Super Bowl of live performances. It's the glorious moment when literally hundreds of millions of people see 12 solid minutes of dancers (and, OK, giant musical acts) being amazing.

Of course, not every halftime show is a dancestravaganza. I mean, for what felt like 100 years following 2004's Nipplegate (oh, I so want to hashtag that, but it's FROM A PRE-HASHTAG WORLD, GUYS), the Super Bowl powers that be chose old rock-and-roll headliners, who were less inclined to get their dance on and more inclined to, um, sit at pianos.

But other years? Other years, we got lucky. Other years, we got MJ. Or Britney. Or Madonna. OR BEYONCÉ.

In honor of this Sunday's sure-to-be dance-filled spectacular (Beyyyyyy we're so glad you're back!), we put together a little #FBF list of the danciest moments in Super Bowl halftime history. And it starts in the 90s, which is when the halftime show as we know it really became a thing. (Before that, it was mostly just marching bands, believe it or not.)

Meeeemorieeeeeeesss!

1991: New Kids on the Block

OK, yes: There's an awkward Disney "It's a Small World" opening. But push through it, because afterward we get the slickly choreographed beauty of that glorious 90s phenomenon, the boy band:

1993: Michael Jackson

Here's what's most amazing about this performance, which essentially pioneered the modern Super Bowl halftime spectacle: MJ JUST STOOD THERE FOR A SOLID MINUTE. He was so charismatic that that was literally all it took to drive the crowd insane. But then he started dancing, and—I'll shut up now. Just watch him:

2001: Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly

Can you tell that MTV had started presenting the halftime show at this point? Basically their approach was to take all the people who had top 40 hits and throw them onstage together. Luckily, in 2001, that group included both 'N Sync and Britney, which meant we were in for some solid choreography (THE "BYE BYE BYE" DANCE <3<3<3):

2004: Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake (et al)

Yeah, Nelly and Kid Rock and the artist then known as Diddy also performed. But this one was all about the dance stylings of Janet and Justin—not to mention the appearance of one infamous, star-adorned nipple (yes, it's in this video, so proceed with school/work-appropriate caution):

2011: The Black Eyed Peas, Usher

Oof, the post-Janet boob years were long, dull and dance-less. (The Who? Bruce Springsteen? Tom Petty? The Rolling Stones? At least Dad was happy.) But then the Black Eyed Peas flew in on their futuristic stripper poles and brought choreography—specifically, choreography of the fluorescent-light-suit variety—back, as did one of our favorite MJ protégés, Usher:

2012: Madonna, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee-Lo Green

Leave it to Madge (and Lil Buck! and that crazy tightrope bouncer!) to cement dancing's return to the Super Bowl:

2013: Beyoncé

YESSSSSS!!! YES YES YES. Bless the Super Bowl crew for knowing that Queen Bey didn't need 15 other guest acts to make her halftime show the most #flawless of all time:

2014: Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers

I'll admit it: After the amazingness of 2013's halftime show, I came into this one with low expectations. But Bruno Mars' high-energy, old-school choreography was surprisingly delightful, wasn't it?

2015: Katy Perry, Missy Elliott

Left Shark got all the love, but we were most impressed with Missy's crew of phenomenal kids:

So, what dance goodies will BeyBey and Bruno Mars (and, um, Coldplay, I guess) bring us this year? We'll have a full recap right here on Monday morning, of course.

And with that: Go forth into Super Bowl weekend, friends! Enjoy the dancing! Maybe enjoy the football, too, if it's your thing! Definitely enjoy lots of nachos!

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Dance News

The Ellen DeGeneres Show is no stranger to amazingly talented guest dancers. I mean, we've got the Hough siblings, hip-hop mini wunderkind Heaven and Stephen "tWitch" Boss as a recurring guest DJ—and that's only naming a few. What could possibly top this list, you're wondering?

#Obsessed (via YouTube)

Enter Willie, the suavest eight-year-old on the block. Willie's Michael Jackson-inspired moves are out of this world, as is his larger-than-life personality. I'm obsessed, and I'm pretty sure you guys will be, too. Check it out below:

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Dance News

Who inspires you to dance? It's a tough question—because there are so many possible answers. Here at DS, Misty Copeland encourages us to be ourselves, and to never let the phrase "I can't" pop into our heads. Ricky Ubeda makes us want to stretch for days in hopes of coming close to his gorgeous extension. Kyle Hanagami inspires us to be courageous and honest as artists. Justin Peck motivates us to exercise our creative brains on a daily basis. Chloé Arnold inspires us to harness our #girlpower. Seriously, we could go on for ever...

For many dancers, it's their teachers who inspire them the most. This is definitely the case for the students of Will "WilldaBeast" Adams. (And unless you've been under a rock for the past year or so, you know WilldaBeast is on our inspiration board, too.) Just a quick scan through his Twitter feed will give you a sense of just how many hip-hoppers look up to him, from his crew of LilBeasts to his fellow pros.

WilldaBeast's LilBeasts (photo by Helton "Brazil" Siqueira)

So who inspires the great inspirer (please pretend that's a word)? This week, WilldaBeast released a video answering that question. It opens with the quote:

"Michael Jackson inspired me to inspire others. This project is made out of the respect and love for him and Janet. Show love not hate. Enjoy." —WilldaBeast Adams

The video is a remake of Michael and Janet's 1995 music video "Scream." Janelle Ginestra plays the Janet to WilldaBeast's Michael, and the two pay homage to the original choreography for much of the video. The bottom left corner of the frame plays the original music video, so you can see how the remake matches up. But we couldn't resist the opportunity to have a little fun with Photoshop.

We've got WilldaBeast and Michael...

...Janelle and Janet...

...some classic MJ choreo...

...and just utter fierceness.

Notice how that last picture of WilldaBeast and Ginestra is in color? That's because about a minute through the video, they break away from the original choreo to really make it their own. And, tbh, that's my favorite part. Enjoy!

Dance News

It's been a heck of a year for dance on the interwebs. Since it's about to be 2015, it's time to sum up the last 12 months with a good old fashioned "Best Of" list. So without further ado, here are the top dance videos of 2014.

15. Keone Madrid's turnip tribute. It was a pretty close call between this one and the more serious, tug-at-your-heartstrings video that he and wife Mari created together back in January. But while almost anyone can make a dance about romance, only a true pro can make vegetables appealing.

14. Glen Keane’s Duet. If this animated short doesn’t make you tear up even just a teeny, tiny, little bit, consider yourself a heartless monster.

13. Cloud's musical theater spectacular. It's like "The Office" meets "Glee" meets the Microsoft Surface Pro commercial. And Danny DeVito is everything.

12. Emily Kikta's ode to an empty apartment. Four New York City Ballet dancers + a gorgeous score + unique camera angles = internet sensation.

11. Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake's "Love Never Felt So Good." It should've been called, "Love Never Looked So Good When You Put So Many Dancers Together in One Amazing Video."

10. The Company's second-place routine at VIBE. This is the perfectly synchronized hip-hop piece that took over your Facebook news feed back in May—and if you watch it again, you'll see it really is that good.

9. "The A–Z of Dance." Directed by Jacob Sutton—and highlighting 26 fabulous dance styles—this special project for Diesel and i-D will hold a special place in our hearts for years to come.

8. Kyle Hanagami's #BoomClap. You know we love Kyle Hanagami. And when he comes up with a great choreographic concept for a hit song, you’ve got yourself a little piece of YouTube gold.

7. Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off." So cute. So fun. If only Taylor Hatala were in it...amirite?

6. The "Flawless" tappers. Chloé Arnold and her Syncopated Ladies had a pretty huge year. And while this isn't the video that started it all...it's pretty darn great.

5. The Australian Ballet's pointe shoe prep. Sure, pointe shoes are beautiful. But it's nice to see dancers beating the poop out of 'em once in a while.

4. Sia's "Chandelier." Yeah, yeah, yeah—everybody knows this one was great. Maddie Z's a pro. There's really nothing left to say.

3. The fabulously heeled Yanis Marshall. He even got a shout out from Beyoncé. #werk

2. Carrie Underwood's "Something in the Water." It's game over when Shaping Sound Dance Company's in your video.

1. Taylor Hatala. If you haven't seen this 11-year-old, who broke the internet in September, welcome back to Earth. No matter how many times you watch her renditions of "Anaconda" (or "All About That Bass" or "Shake It Off"), they just get better and better. And the world agrees—many of her videos are past the 10 million viewer mark.

Happy New Year, dancers!

Dance News

Happy Halloween, everyone! One of the best parts of every ghoul's favorite holiday is that it provides a reason to watch Michael Jackson's awesomely creepy "Thriller" video on repeat. (Not that we really need a reason to watch anything MJ-related on repeat, but you know.) This year, rather than just gorging on the original, I decided to put together a round-up of some of my favorite "Thriller" tributes—because truly great music videos inspire truly great imitators.

Let's set the bar verrrry high right off the bat with this detail-oriented remake of the music video by Adam Sevani, aka Moose from the Step Up series (naturally, fellow Step Up-er Alyson Stoner is involved):

On a lower-production-value but equally joyful note, here's the original wedding "Thriller" dance, posted on YouTube in 2006 (13,522,789 views and counting):

How about Jennifer Garner's delightful zombieness from 13 Going on 30 (a film that, I am unashamed to admit, definitely makes my all-time favorites list)?

No "Thriller" list would be complete without the dancing inmates of the Philippines:

I'm especially partial to this spot-on rendition of the "Thriller" dance by the cast of Frozen:

And because a tribute list isn't a tribute list without the one that inspired it all, I'm going to finish this off with the one and only 14-minute original. Stay spooky, friends!

Dance News

Aren't totally-out-of-left-field surprises just the best? Look: When I first heard that Alfonso Ribeiro would be a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" this season, my reaction was...puzzled bemusement. Carlton from "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"? I mean, the Carlton dance is great and all, but...what?

Aaaaaaaaand then last night happened. I don't care if you're a hardcore "DWTS" fan or if you never watch the show: You need to see Ribeiro's performance. It. Is. Fantastic. And I don't mean fantastic for "DWTS"—I mean fantastic, period.

Let's make it clear here that a lot of credit is due to Ribeiro's pro partner Witney Carson, who a) is a gorgeous dancer herself and b) created a routine that showcases Ribeiro at his very best. But goodness gracious, there's a lot of natural dance talent there!

And he knows it.

After a little Googling, this all makes sense: Back in 1983, Ribeiro had a leading role in The Tap Dance Kid on Broadway. (His understudy? Baby Savion Glover, who later took over the show's title role.) The following year, Ribeiro appeared as a dancer in one of Michael Jackson's Pepsi commercials (which you need to go watch right now). He even has a dance instruction book. Who knew??

Enjoy—and keep an eye on this dynamic "DWTS" duo!

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