Stop us if we sound like a broken record (but don't, because you guys totally deserve it): 2017 was seriously the best year yet for Nationals. From minis to seniors, solos to production numbers, you comp kids proved once again that you've got all of the technique, presence, and fierceness. Until next summer—when you'll undoubtedly make our collective jaws drop yet again—here are the top 10 hottest trends we spotted at Nationals 2017.
1. Bendy Backs
This year, you literally bent over backwards to impress the judges—not to mention the audience!
2. Low Buns
Modern and classic, sleek and edgy, this style kept our focus on the elegance and power of your dancing.
3. It's a Setup
Props to you for using set pieces without letting them distract from your incredible dancing.
4. Suit and Tie
Justin Timberlake would be more than proud of the dapper, dashing costumes for many of this year's classic jazz and swing numbers.
5. Ms. Robot-o
Sci-fi themes were everywhere this year, showcasing a dancey vision of the future.
6. Sheer Elegance
Mesh, lace, and other sheer inserts on costumes made for a trendy, but never overdone, style #upgrade.
7.Ladies in Red---and Burgundy
💃🏽 much? You really brought the fire this year, in ruby, garnet, and crimson shades.
8. Free Lunge
We're declaring 2017 the Year of the Lunge. Adding drama, power, and excitement, this versatile move showed up consistently to great effect.
9. Military Time
Atten-TION! We were mesmerized by the sharp, clean routines that soldiered on with inspiration from the armed forces.
10. Comps Get Real
We fell hard for the true-to-life costumes and gestural choreo that lit up Nationals stages with authenticity and relatability.
A version of this story appeared in the November 2017 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "The Finals Countdown."