You probably know Ava Cota as the lovely, leggy dancer who was rejected from the Abby Lee Dance Company, on "Dance Moms," because she was "too tall." Now, that lanky frame is propelling her career as a model. Ava just made her New York Fashion Week runway debut, and we're guessing it won't be the last time the six-foot beauty graces NYC's catwalks.
With her long limbs and delicate features, Ella Titus could pass as a model—and she has actually posed for fashion photographers on her days off from Miami City Ballet, where she's in the corps. But Titus also sets fashion trends: For several years now, she has designed and hand-knit her own line of legwarmers, Ella Warmers. Read on for her tips on achieving that pastel-pretty ballerina look.
We've been captivated by former cover star Michaela DePrince since her teenage days, when she was starring in First Position and turning heads at The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. (She was featured in our You Should Know column way back in 2012!).
These days, she's all grown up and shining at the Dutch National Ballet.
She's also been doing super-stunning collabs with major brands, NBD. Case in point: the vid below, which features DePrince dancing in some seriously cool Air VaporMax Nikes in a commercial shot for Vogue Nederland.
Venus and Serena Williams, aka the coolest sisters in tennis, are world champions on the court, but their dance skills are equally amazing. Case in point? The Williams Invitational, which they've now hosted for seven straight years. It's a private tournament consisting of ping-pong, dodgeball, tennis and—you guessed it—a dance-off.
Vogue got the inside scoop with their behind-the-scenes video, where we see a fiercely competitive Serena waiting for the rest of her (already late) team to show up for rehearsal (we feel you). After all, it is a competition. Of the Williams Invitational's origins, Serena says, "It started out as a friends and family thing. And then it got overboard serious, and then it got Broadway." They've got judges, a stage, some pretty intense lighting situations and medals—it's like Nationals, Williams sisters-style. And as we see Serena spinning at lighting speed on a suspended hoop (no, seriously), she says, "I just love dancing. It makes me so happy, and I didn't know how much I loved it until I started this journey." Same, girl, #same. Check out the entire video below!
Want more Dance Spirit?
The latest project to stoke our WilldaNestra obsession? A New York Fashion Week video the duo choreographed for Vogue. It's an awesomely fun backstage dance party featuring Korean pop star CL, celebrating the close of NYFW.
The vid's a whirlwind mash-up of amazing dancers (including former PULSE Elite Protégé Elyssa Cueto, vogueing icon Javier Ninja, and our April 2015 Cover Model Search Editors' Choice winner Kerrynton Jones) and strutting models—all sporting the trendiest of outfits, naturally. It's the stuff that dance/fashion dreams are made of. Plus, videographer/director Tim Milgram was involved, so it's no wonder the finished product is pure #perfection.
Sooooo we want to be best friends with Serena Williams.
For many, many reasons. I mean, yes, it would be amazing to have a world-champion tennis player in our posse. We'd obviously love to hear her workout tips, because that body is a work of ART. But mostly she just seems like a lot of fun. And apparently she's also kind of a fantastic dancer?
Let's back up for a second. The reason we and the rest of the world are swooning over Williams right now is because she's featured on Vogue's April 2015 cover. It's a gorgeous image, of course, but it's a also a really big deal—she's the first black female athlete to appear solo on the cover.
Here's the cover. In case you didn't believe us when we said it was gorge.
And how did Williams celebrate? By making a music video to Beyoncé's "7/11." You know, as one does, when one is the Beyoncé of tennis.
The result is funny and silly and full of pretty legit dancing. (Those pirouettes at :48 though!) And of all the "7/11" choreography we've seen, it makes by far the best use of the lyrics "smack it in the air." TENNIS!
Now excuse us while we daydream about a sunshiney unicorn rainbow world in which Beyoncé, Williams and little Heaven from "Ellen" all dance to this song together.
It's Super Bowl Sunday! Are you rooting for the New England Patriots or the Seattle Sea Hawks? I'm still hoping that the Pittsburgh Steelers make a miraculous comeback, but I'm pretty sure that's not how football works...
Before I embarrass myself with anymore football talk (Aren't the Sea Hawks' costumes pretty?! Can't wait until Katy Perry performs at intermission!), I'm gonna go ahead and bring the convo back to dance.
Dancers, like football players, are incredible athletes. But you already know that. A couple of weeks ago, Vogue.com spotlighted two dancers as a part of their "Year of No Excuses" campaign: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet's Madeline Wong and voguer/choreographer Danielle Polanco. They also featured a triathlete (Katie Botini) and a yogi (Briohny Smyth), whose bodies are equally incredible. Check it out!
P.S. Wondering where you've seen Madeline Wong before? Turn to p. 46 in your February 2015 issue of DS to see Ms. Wong rocking her best audition look!