Ballet Music Kinda Just Won Olympic Figure Skating

Once upon a time (until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi concluded, to be exact), figure skaters had to compete to music without words. Before this rule change, a skater faced an automatic point deduction if the music even hinted at vocals. Understandably, there were *a lot* of Olympic programs skated to classical music, and you'd tend to hear the same music selections over and over and over.

Fast-forward to this Olympics, where skaters are having tons of fun with their music selections. (I mean, did you see how Adam Rippon brought Coldplay up to crazy new heights through his Benji Schwimmer-assisted free skate? He better slay.) But we're also thrilled to see many skaters continuing to breathe triple-lutzious (#sorrynotsorry) new life into music from the world of classical ballet—and ending up on the podium for their efforts.

Last night in the ladies' free skate, Olympic athlete from Russia Alina Zagitova nabbed gold performing to selections from Don Quixote. At just 15 years old, her maturity of expression and épaulement have a ways to go, but check out how terrifyingly brilliant those jumps are! And yes, we're big fans of the very Kitri-worthy mini red tutu.

And then there's Kaetlyn Osmond, who turned in what commentators Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski said was "the skate of her life" to music from Swan Lake. Dressed as the black swan Odile, Osmond bourréed, arabesqued, and generally flew across the ice to snag a well-deserved bronze for Canada.

What do you think of figure skaters paying homage to classical ballet—love it or leave it? As long as their port de bras is pretty, I'm so here for it. How about a Rose Adagio next?

(Editor's note: Footage from last night's free skate competition has not yet been released to YouTube etc., so we've included clips from past major competitions that closely matched how well these athletes skated last night in PyeongChang.)

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search