Photo by Joe Toreno

It was fall 2016. Gianna Reisen—then 17 and in her final year at the School of American Ballet, New York City Ballet's official training school—had just been made the offer of a lifetime: the chance to choreograph a work for the company's fall gala. She would be the youngest person ever to do so.

Two weeks later, Reisen went from an all-time high to an all-time low: She found out she wouldn't be getting an apprenticeship with NYCB. "I absolutely deflated," she remembers. "Imagine if, after seven years of working towards something, it simply doesn't happen. It's sort of heartbreaking."

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Cover Story
Chris Moore, Courtesy Dream Duffel

Berkley Houchin is a dance competition powerhouse. At just 12 years old, Houchin boasts the resume of a much more seasoned dancer. When she isn't at home on her ranch in Amarillo, Texas with her family and her horse, Jazz, Houchin is managing a whirlwind schedule of dance competitions. She is currently a Pro Reveler at the Revel Dance Competition, and she was awarded "Junior Miss Encore" and Encore "Performer of the Year" in 2018, among others.

When Houchin travels for competitions, she currently has 14 dances in tow. She knows that having things packed correctly is the difference between being able to focus on her dancing or fretting over where her next headpiece is. We took a look in Houchin's Dream Duffel bag to find out how she keeps all the details straight so she can focus on the stage (and, we're giving away all her favorite Dream Duffel products!):

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Sponsored by Dream Duffel
Friendly reminder that tWitch and Allison Holker are absolute goals. (Via YouTube)

Regardless of any drama surrounding Ellen DeGeneres which may or may not have occurred this week, we're still major fans of the majorly adorable Ellen-tWitch friendship. tWitch is a regular DJ and dance-master on Ellen's show, and we love to watch the duo do their thing. But today, Ellen is giving her bestie a shot at the big job: hosting.

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Dance News
Courtesy Just for Kix

Purple is often associated with royalty, power and wisdom. Sound like qualities you'd like to bring to your dancing? Same.

We rounded up our favorite purple looks from Just for Kix, for inside the studio or on the stage:

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Just for Inspiration, Sponsored by Just for Kix
Kyle Froman, courtesy Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

With effortless extensions, sky-high leaps, and equal parts elegance and strength, Ailey II company member Caroline Theodora Dartey is impossible to miss onstage. Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Dartey actually started out training in rhythmic gymnastics, where she earned both national and international titles. She later took up dance, training at the Conservatoire Populaire de Musique, Danse et Théâtre of Geneva before deciding to move to NYC to pursue her dream career. She joined The Ailey School as a scholarship student in 2016, and is now embarking on her second season with Ailey II. Catch Dartey on tour with Ailey II all over the world this fall, and read on for The Dirt.

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Dancers Dish
Chris Moore, Courtesy Dream Duffel

Competition season is just around the corner. In anticipation of all the craziness to come, we asked comp star Berkley Houchin about how she survives her busy schedule. Turns out, the secret is her Dream Duffel bag—and the many products in it.

We're giving away all Houchin's Dream Duffel competition essentials. Click here to enter by October 31st.

Sponsored by Dream Duffel
Via YouTube

You already know how much we love Vanity Fair's "Movies in Motion" YouTube series, with its deep dives into the most iconic movie dance scenes of all time. (It's basically SparkNotes for your required dance-movie watching.)

Now it's back—and this time, our favorite dynamic dance duo (and IRL couple), Chris Grant and Lauren Yalango-Grant, are breaking down the epic finale of the 1987 cult classic Dirty Dancing. Set to "Time of My Life," the familiar scene was originally choreographed by the legend himself, Kenny Ortega.

We're not sure which is the best part—Chris' goofy dance moves between takes, the couple's struggle to achieve the famous final lift (come on, you know you've tried it too), or the interesting movie trivia they spill while attempting to perfect the choreo. Watch the full video below!

Dance Videos

The hotly-debated Michael Jackson biomusical is back on. Not that it was ever officially off, but after its pre-Broadway Chicago run was canceled in February, its future seemed shaky.

Now, the show has secured a Broadway theater, with previews starting July 6 at the Neil Simon Theater.

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Musical Theater
Jenna Dewan (Fox)

Have you missed having the delightful Jenna Dewan in your living room on a regular basis since her departure from "World of Dance"? Well, happy news: Dewan is about to step up (NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT SORRY) to another dance TV show hosting gig. And the premise of this new series is…really something.

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Dance News
Juliet Doherty and Thomas Doherty in High Strung Free Dance (Cos Aelenei, courtesy Sicily Publicity)

It's been over three years since the first High Strung was released, and fans of the dancetastic movie have been itching for more ever since. Thankfully, the film's sequel, High Strung: Free Dance, is set to premiere tomorrow, October 11.

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Dance News
Photo by Michael Cairns Photography, courtesy Exline

Congratulations to the September Cover Model Search Editors' Choice video winner, Chloe Exline! Catch her solo below, and make sure to enter the Cover Model Search here.

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Cover Model Search
Unity Phelan and director Chad Stahelski on the set of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (photo by Niko Tavernise, courtesy Lionsgate)

When New York City Ballet soloist Unity Phelan appeared as a ballerina training to become an assassin in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum earlier this year, it could have easily been a one-off. This particular backstory has become prevalent at the movies over the last few years—take Jennifer Lawrence's character in Red Sparrow and Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though it's become its own trope, it's also been dealt with in a fairly cursory manner.

But we had an inkling that this might not be the last we heard of the idea in the John Wick franchise—and it seems our suspicions that Parabellum was testing the waters for a female-led, ballet-infused spin-off were correct.

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Dance News
University of Utah dance students in rehearsal (photo by Nora Lang, courtesy University of Utah)

Dance has always been a huge part of your life. But now that you're about to head to college, you might be wondering: In order to feel fulfilled and successful, do you need to major in dance? The answer, of course, depends on the person. But for some, a dance minor is the best option. We asked a group of experts to answer all your questions about minoring in dance.

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Higher Ed
There's something so magical about getting to see Dawson dancing a quickstep. (Photo by Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

Was it just us, or was this week's "Dancing with the Stars" the quick-and-dirty edition? There was no theme, and no opening number. It felt like we were just barreling on towards the second elimination of the season. (Maybe it was a palette cleanser before next week's Disney Night to look forward to, which is bound to be chock full of the glitz and glamour we love so much?)

Luckily, the episode wasn't lacking on the dance front. In case you missed it, we rounded up the highlights.

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Dance Videos
Joe Toreno/Getty Images

We may be less than two weeks into October, but Mark Kanemura—dancer, Instacelebrity, wig whisperer—has already won #SpookySeason.

How, you ask? Why, with a frightfully delightful Lizzo-meets-Elphaba dance mashup for the ages, of course. (A special thank-you, Mark, for introducing us to the #broomtwerk.)

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