On MTV’s new dating show “My Own,” enthusiastic wannabes are transformed into carbon copies of the pop stars they idolize, in hopes of capturing a fellow fan’s heart. Though training these budding Justins and Ciaras may sound like a tall task, the mission was far from impossible for the show’s choreographer, Chantal Robson. Off-screen, Robson has made a career out of coaching up-and-coming artists such as Hope Seven on personality and performance.
To prepare choreography for “My Own,” Robson watched hours of music videos to adapt the moves for contestants. (The show airs 6 pm EST Monday through Friday.) On a shooting schedule of several shows per week, Robson found herself memorizing the dance steps of everyone from Ashlee Simpson to Jennifer Lopez at a breakneck pace. Added to the pressure was the challenge of getting the contestants camera-ready to perform.
“Sometimes people are afraid of movement,” says Robson, who as a dancer has shared the stage with stars like *NSYNC, Madonna and Usher. “They’re afraid of what they’ll look like, so they shut down and don’t let their personalities shine onstage. I help them have fun without over-thinking it.”
Robson now has her sights set on the Robson Project, a six-city dance convention that converges her own creative energies with those of her brother Wade, mother Joy and sister-in-law Erica. “We want people to embrace the idea that being a performer incorporates acting, singing, and dancing,” says Robson. After all, when talent is abundant, why keep it all in the family?
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night: