The Dirt with Kelli Berglund
by Keith Munyan
You may know Kelli Berglund as lightning-fast bionic teenager Bree on Disney XD’s “Lab Rats.” But did you know she’s also a star on the competition scene? Kelli started dancing at age 4 and has trained in jazz, ballet, hip hop, acrobatics, tap and contemporary (her favorite) at the Camarillo Academy of Performing Arts in Camarillo, CA, and The Dance Company in Moorpark, CA. Her performance skills scored her early roles on TLC’s “Hip Hop Harry” and in various commercials. A fierce competitor, Kelli has won many awards, including first overall solo at MOVE Regionals when she was 14.
Now 16, she’s on the “Lab Rats” set all day, every day, but whenever she has time off from filming, she’ll take classes at Millennium Dance Complex or EDGE Performing Arts Center in L.A. And her dance training comes in handy on set as well. “My character on ‘Lab Rats’ is very athletic. She gets into fights—which include high kicks and jumps—and even has a few dance scenes,” Kelli says. “Plus, having to remember tons of choreography over the years has helped me when it comes to remembering lines.”
Kelli’s already working on her next big thing—a show in the works (which will feature both her dance and singing talent) called “My Dance Turn.” Want to learn more about this triple threat? Read on for The Dirt.
If you could dance with any performer, past or present, who would it be?
Biggest guilty pleasure:
Candle-lit bubble baths
Swiss cheese fondue
One thing most people don’t know about you:
I have a huge phobia of bugs.
If you weren’t a dancer/actress, what would you be?
A graphic designer or director
Favorite city in the world:
What are your pet peeves?
People who never want to work hard and chipped nail polish
What’s the strangest thing in your dance bag?
My audition number from a convention two years ago
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
On the big screen!
So you Think You Can Dance' Season 14 finalists Lex Ishimoto and Taylor Sieve shocked fans at home (at least the ones who hadn't thoroughly scoured their respective Instagrams) during Episode 14, when choreographer Mia Michaels asked if either of them had ever experienced "the kind of love that takes your breath away." They confessed that, yup, they had—with each other. The two met at The Dance Awards in the summer of 2016, where they were each named Senior Best Dancer, and went on to tour with the convention as assistants. Before long—and long before their "SYTYCD" journey—they became a couple.
Take a look at Dance Spirit's exclusive interview where they dish on everything from their favorite dates to the dance moves that give them all the feels.
There's a surprising twist to Regina Willoughby's last season with Columbia City Ballet: It's also her 18-year-old daughter Melina's first season with the company. Regina, 40, will retire from the stage in March, just as her daughter starts her own career as a trainee. But for this one season, they're sharing the stage together.
You're obsessed with class videos. We're obsessed with class videos. The passion, energy, and talent showcased in these clips, which give us an insider-y peek at the commercial dance world's hottest classes, are totally irresistible.
But at what point does the phenomenon go from being a good thing to a bad thing for dancers and the dance world? Is the focus on filming distracting from the work dancers are supposed to be doing in class? Are overproduced videos presenting a dangerously misleading picture of the dance world? Is the pressure to be a class video star becoming too much for dancers to handle? These are some of the questions A-list dancer and choreographer Ian Eastwood—no stranger to the class video himself—has been asking on Twitter. And they've sparked a lively, important debate.
Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
Yes, we all know dancers are strong. But sometimes it takes a truly epic workout video to remind us JUST HOW INSANELY STRONG they actually are.
Behold, National Ballet of Canada principal Svetlana Lunkina's oh-so-casual pre-class exercise:
Dance Spirit is beyond excited to announce the first round of 2017 Future Star winners! Every year, DS partners with competitions to recognize dancers with exceptional presence and ability. The second round of winners will be featured in our January issue, so stay tuned!
Our favorite drama-filled, dance reality show may have ended this past fall, but "Dance Moms" stars Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall aren't about to let that end their dance careers. In fact, these dancing kweens are taking their moves to a city near you with their Irreplaceables Tour! The girls are going all out for the three-week dance production, which is taking them across the country. And these dazzling dancers aren't just content with showing off their dance skillz—they want to pass along their tips and tricks in a dance workshop where they'll lead fans in stretches and dance routines from the show.
Dance Spirit caught up with Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall to find out what they love about tour life and where they see themselves five years from now.
When most of us think of The Nutcracker, we imagine a growing Christmas tree, dancing mice, and a little girl named Clara (or Marie) traveling to the Land of Sweets. But companies around the world have been reinventing the holiday classic, changing the storyline or adding their own spectacular sets and characters. To get in the Nutcracker spirit this season, check out these out-of-the-box productions.