While millions of dancers around the world have been filming their best takes on Beyoncé's viral craze since Queen Bey kicked off the contest last week, we don't think anyone can top Charles Smith Jr.'s submission. The fabulous choreographer—who's worked with everyone from the Brooklynettes to Lizzo—shut down NYC's Times Square for an epic dance party with his squad. And it's the most joyful thing we've seen in a long time.
The Times Square vid is actually Smith's second contribution to the challenge. "After the initial video"—which featured dancers performing on a basketball court, and which Beyoncé reposted to her Stories—"I received crazy amounts of DMs asking me to teach it again in a class setting," he told VIBE. "I decided to just do it again in a larger setting, and where else but Times Square?"
Tons of dancers turned up for the shoot, many of them having learned the choreo off Instagram. In his caption, Smith wrote that the challenge "is bigger then just a 'challenge' to me. It's about spreading joy to folks through the art of dance!"
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer