Y'all already know that the lineup of "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" pros is stacked with DS favorites. So, how to pick our absolute favorite number from Sunday night's premiere ep? A few crucial factors weighed in Artyon Celestine and Ariana Greenblatt's favor.
Major Yule Ball vibes from "Harry Potter" alumna Evanna Lynch and her pro partner Keo Motsepe (screenshot via YouTube)
Televised dance competitions are downright notorious for mercilessly manipulating the emotions of contestants and audiences alike. But there's perhaps no other reality-TV phenomenon with the tearjerking potential of the Most Memorable Year tradition on "DWTS." The always-emotional episode comes around super-early each season, letting us get to know intimate, often painfully sad details of each celeb's life, just moments before an unlucky couple gets eliminated. That's right: It's only Week 3, but here come the waterworks already.
Kana Yamato dancing Fujimusume (courtesy Yamato Mai)
A poised young woman stands completely motionless, balancing a branch of wisteria flowers over one shoulder. With the twang of a shamisen (a three-stringed instrument akin to a guitar), her head rolls in a languid figure-eight and her arms carve delicate shapes through the air. Within these first few captivating moments of Fujimusume (Wisteria Maiden), it's clear why the 19th-century solo is arguably the most famous and popular work in nihon buyo—Japanese classical dance.
But beautifully stylized movement alone doesn't tell the whole story of nihon buyo. From its origins in traditional forms of theater to modern-day performances, nihon buyo has always been about communicating a clear narrative through an intricate physical language.
Dyllan Blackburn's sweet, low-key personality means she might initially fly under the radar—but once she's onstage, she's undeniably a star. With spectacular control and versatility that would put a chameleon to shame, Dyllan's bound to accomplish her dreams of "touring with famous people, and maybe becoming a choreographer." For now, though, she's plenty busy winning national titles at The Dance Awards and Radix, plus performing as part of the Beat Squad at DancerPalooza.
The best advice I ever received was when Tessandra Chavez told me to just enjoy the process, and not focus my energy on being competitive with others. —Dyllan Blackburn
Here at Dance Spirit, we get so, so excited when it's revealed that a mainstream celeb secretly (or not-so-secretly!) loves dance. So get this: two-time Grammy-nominated soul singer Leon Bridges grew up dancing—and that background in dance is the secret sauce behind his newest music video.
James Whiteside and Misty Copeland showing off Odile's Gemini tendancies in "Swan Lake" (original photo by Gene Schiavone)
Over the last couple of months, I've gotten really (like really) into astrology, by way of memes on Instagram. If you're a millennial or Gen-Zer locked in an eternal scroll like I am (except it's my job, so I have an excuse!), then you're no stranger to these types of posts. One popular format? A list assigning zodiac signs with their corresponding "things," from foods to colors and everything in between. And since y'all love our memes (we're making more, we swear), I decided to spend my Friday afternoon figuring out each sign's classical ballet equivalent. I recruited fellow DS editor Helen Rolfe, and we proceeded to conduct a VERY scientific and THOROUGHLY researched study. If you don't like yours, I truly am sorry, but the stars don't lie. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Behold, the signs as classical ballets!
(L to R) Vikas Arun, Gerson Lanza, and Jabu Graybeal in Chloe Arnold's "GLORY" (screenshot via Facebook)
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Tap dancer and choreographer extraordinaire Chloe Arnold was inspired by these words from Martin Luther King, Jr. to create a piece in solidarity with the #SayTheirNames movement (a campaign to highlight stories of police brutality as told by the victims' families).
Released earlier this week, the heartbreakingly beautiful clip stars Vikas Arun, Jabu Graybeal, and Gerson Lanza, all dancers with Arnold's Apartment 33 company. Watch closely: Reigning NYCDA National Teen Male Outstanding Dancer David Keingatti also makes a memorable cameo towards the end.
Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alison Stroming in a Capezio leotard (via capezio.com)
There's a change in the air these past few weeks—is it fall? Not quite yet. More importantly, it's PUMPKIN SPICE SEASON. And now, the quintessentially autumnal flavor isn't just for lattes anymore. Dancewear companies are picking up on the trend, offering more and more pieces in rich, sweet orange shades. Behold, eight of our favorite pumpkin spice-inspired pieces for your dancing enjoyment.
You've probably heard that protein is essential in a dancer's diet. But you might not know what protein actually does for your hardworking bod, how much you should be eating, and—gasp!—why it could actually be overrated. We asked Andrea Chernus (a registered dietitian nutritionist who advises Juilliard students and Hamilton cast members) and Nora Minno (a certified personal trainer, registered dietitian, and former pro dancer) to spill all the protein pointers they share with their dancer clients.
We're thrilled for our Cover Model Search winner Sydney Burtis—but we also love our two runners-up, Jacalyn Tatro and Shelby Patterson! We talked to Jacalyn about how life has changed since her NYC visit for the contest.
You could forgive Cover Model Search runner-up Jacalyn Tatro for resting on her laurels a bit. After all, by May of this year, the 19-year-old was already a three-time New York City Dance Alliance National Outstanding Dancer winner and a member of The Juilliard School's Class of 2022. But this superstar lives in the moment and focuses on the process.
Over the summer, that process included preparing to head off to college in NYC and soaking up every minute of one last Nationals season with her home studio, Inspire School of Dance. "I think it was a great ending to my competition career, if you will," she says. "We had two other seniors at my studio too, so it was a good send-off to college for all three of us."
Now almost a month into classes at Juilliard, Jacalyn's enjoying the intensely dance-focused environment and looking forward to all the learning opportunities that the next four years have in store. Read on to find out what's changed for Jacalyn post-Cover Model Search!
In case you haven't heard, "Step Up: High Water" is returning for a second season. Yay! In fact, production for the 10-episode, hourlong series is currently underway in Atlanta, GA. As if we weren't already excited enough, check out who's returning for Season 2—and all the stars who'll be entering the "High Water" universe for the very first time.