We Rounded Up All the Best Dancing at the 2019 VMAs

The MTV Video Music Awards are really a dancer's dream awards show. Think about it: we get to hear our favorite songs sung live, see the music industry's brightest stars decked out in ridiculous, over-the-top costumes, and watch some insanely full-out performances, courtesy of the dance world's most talented dancers and choreographers.

This year's VMAs were no exception. From start to finish, we saw act after act chock-full of some of the best dancing television has seen in a minute. In the (highly unlikely) event you missed the show, we gathered up all of the best dancing from last night.

Lil Nas X's First VMAs

We're all a little devastated that Lil Nas X didn't use the VMAs as a chance to release yet another life-changing remix of "Old Town Road" (or as a chance to show off his underratedly amazing square dancing skills). But watching him perform—and I mean perform— his hit single "Panini" was entirely enjoyable. And, important life update: Lil Nas X can seriously MOVE, and he was there hitting every single step alongside his talented crew of backup dancers. Welcome to the VMAs, Lil Nas.

Lizzo, Lizzo's Backup Dancers, and Queen Latifah in the Audience During Lizzo's Performance

Friendly reminder from diva extraordinaire and general queen Lizzo that even if it's starting to feel like fall, #HotGirlSummer is never really over. Lizzo's VMAs performance was exactly what we expected in all the right ways, full of self-love affirmations, legendary costume changes, big-booty worship, and, of course, some of the best dancing of the night. Lizzo was backed up by an all-black, all-women, all-sizes dance troupe that we will probably never stop talking about. Watching them get down to her two self-love anthems, "Truth Hurts" and "Good as Hell," was truly amazing. BRB, watching this performance any time we feel sad ever again.

Normani's "Motivation" Solo

While Normani's entire performance of her new hit single "Motivation" was completely full of to-die-for dancing, what we really can't get over was her breakout solo. We have no choice but to stan a queen who is able to overcome a wardrobe malfunction and perform the hottest combination of floorwork, twerking, acrobatics, and hip hop we've ever seen. "Motivation" is right—Normani is out here reminding us we need to hit the studio.

Missy Elliott. Full Stop. 

If you're sitting here wondering if Missy Elliott just gave the best VMAs performance of all time, you're not alone. Elliott performed all of her classic hits, from "Work It," "Get Ur Freak On," "Pass That Dutch," and even "Lose Control," the classic bop that soundtracked roughly 99% of all bad hip-hop routines at recitals across the country in the early 2000s. One of the highlights of the performance (and the night) was when Elliott brought out phenom Alyson Stoner who appeared in the original music video for "Work It." Top to bottom, Missy Elliott's necklace says it all: this performance was iconic.

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All photos by Jayme Thornton. Wardrobe styling throughout by Chloë Chadá Van for The QUIRK Group.

Lizzo's Leading Ladies: Meet the Big Grrrls

Rising pop superstar Lizzo is changing the game in all kinds of ways. (A singer who also raps and plays the flute? You'd better believe it.) But she's become an especially important leader in the body-positivity revolution. And that emphasis on diversity and self-love extends to her fabulous group of backup dancers, known as The Big Grrrls.

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Because there's never been a better time to get your TikTok on. (Getty Images/TikTok)

7 of the Best TikTok Dance Challenges to Learn While Stuck at Home

Right now, a lot of us are social-distancing. Which is a good thing for the community. But for dancers, being at home—read: not in the studio—can be especially tough.

Enter TikTok. The app is blowing up right now, with everyone from Hailey Bieber to LeBron James to former Bachelorette (and "Dancing with the Stars" champ) Hannah Brown making accounts to stave off the stir-craziness.

To get you started on your TikTok journey, Dance Spirit rounded up seven of the best dances for you to learn. And when you're ready to share the fruits of your TikTok labors, be sure to tag us @dancespiritmagazine—we'll repost some of our faves!

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.


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