Rylee Arnold and Miles Brown were standouts this week. (via YouTube)
We still can't get over the talent on "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors"—like how many YouTube tutorials do we have to watch to become half as good as these mini dancing machines? And just in case you forgot how skilled these prodigies are, this week's theme was sure to remind you: Last night, the ten couples performed to songs that came out the year they were born. (But let's be real, most of these songs aren't really that much of a throwback.)
A Chance to Dance students competing at Worlds (courtesy Kim Smith)
Kim Smith has been a dancer for most of her life. And now, she wants to make sure that anyone who wants to dance, can. Her program A Chance To Dance offers differently abled children the opportunity to express themselves through dance. "Dance is one of the most beautiful forms of communication and these children and teens need to be able communicate without having to use words," Smith told Dance Spirit. Three years after creating this inclusive dance program, Smith's students aren't just communicating, they're competing. The program has grown to include Senior, Junior, and Mini comp teams—A Chance To Dance students even competed at Worlds, placing in the top 10. But for Smith, it's not about the titles or the awards. "I'm all about breaking down barriers," Smith says. Read our interview with Smith below to find out how A Chance To Dance is further redefining dance culture norms.
Gigi and Bella Hadid are what most of us would call #blessed. I mean, they have a wardrobe even Barbie would envy. Turns out the supermodels are blessed in other ways too: They can actually dance. And those dancing chops are on full display in Vogue's latest fashion film called "Hadid! Hadid! Hadid!" In fact, the whole Hadid family breaks it down in the funny parody made to resemble the classic movie Beetlejuice. The clip starts with the Hadid's preparing to enjoy a family dinner, when suddenly Yolanda, Gigi, Bella, and Anwar release their inner dancing queens to Harry Belafonte's "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)."They whip outeverything from classic moves like the Egyptian to more trendy moves like flossing.
Kylie Shea is no stranger to showcasing her quirky take on ballet to the masses. The Instagram star continues to entertain us with her unconventional dance routines on pointe, be it on her social media platforms, in music videos, and even commercials. And her collaboration with the Canadian band MAGIC is one of our favorites yet. Dancing to their hit song "Expectations," Shea and the band's lead singer Nasri have a low key dance-off. The video starts out somewhat somber, but as things progress, Shea's sense of humor shines through—culminating with a fabulous scene that has her jiving in a tutu.
Ellenore Scott posing in shoes from the latest Marc Fisher fashion campaign that she choreographed (courtesy Marc Fisher LTD)
It's the most wonderful time of year for fashion and fierce fall fashion/dance collabs are all over the place. But we had to pick our jaws up off of the floor after watching the new dancetastic Marc Fisher LTD footwear commercials. The shoe brand created one of the most compelling ads we've seen thanks to the fancy footwork of six dancers and the choreography of "So You Think You Can Dance" alum Ellenore Scott. We talked with the multi-talented artist to find out how choreographing for a fashion commercial compares to creating routines for live shows on Broadway, like King Kong (which opens Nov. 8th). Check out our interview where Scott shares tips on what you can do to also become a choreographer in the biz one day.
When we first met Sydney Burtis back in April, she already had a resumé most seasoned pros would covet, peppered with competition titles, choreography credits, and even the co-founding of a dance festival. Now, the 18-year-old can add Dance Spirit Cover Model Search winner to that impressive list of accomplishments.
As soon as Sydney laced up her lime-green tap shoes at our photo shoot, we knew we had a star on our hands. She can fuse tap and contemporary dance in a brilliant way thanks to her impressive musicality, but it's her joy that makes her a real standout. You feel it with every click of her candy-colored shoes: Dance isn't just Sydney's passion. It's her life.
These days, the CMS winner is starting the next part of her dance journey as a freshman in Pace University's commercial dance program and honors college. We chatted with the new NYC resident to find out everything that's happened since we last saw her.
Denise (center left) and Travis Wall (center right). (courtesy of Auroris Media, Inc)
Dance phenomenon Travis Wall and his mom Denise are no strangers to the spotlight. Travis' success on "So You Think You Can Dance," followed by his own reality show, have propelled him to reality dance stardom. Though he's working behind the scenes as a choreographer these days, you can still catch him performing occasionally with his dance company, Shaping Sound. And Denise is a recognized dance expert in her own right, having taught dance for 38 years, founded her own studio, and produced over 50 dancers who have gone on to pursue dance professionally. Now these two are shining a light on the world of competitive dance with their new documentary "I Dream of Dance."
The film follows Denise as she inspires her students to achieve the impossible when they attempt to win Nationals for the third time in a row—a feat that's never been done before. The Walls aren't the only familiar faces you'll see either. Dance celebs like tWitch, Allison Holker, and Stacey Tookey also make appearances in the film. Dance Spirit spoke with the Walls about what it's like being surrounded by cameras all the time and what they hope people will take away from the film. You can also catch an exclusive look at the trailer before the film comes out on October 2nd.
We're only a week away from finding out who will be the champion of "World of Dance." But we're getting ahead of ourselves because this week's episode was lit. With the help of guest judge and all-around-wonder-woman Misty Copeland, the field of talented dance acts was narrowed from 12 to four. Read on to find out which acts won their division and who will be competing in the World Final next week.
Pointe shoes can transform even the simplest steps into ethereal movements of elegance and beauty as anyone who's ever seen a ballerina bourree on pointe can attest. It's no wonder that young dancers long for the day when they too may don a pair of pink satin shoes. But there are a ton of misconceptions—even among dancers—about what pointe work involves. We asked Children's Healthcare of Atlanta physical therapist Colleen Crosby, who specializes in helping young athletes, to debunk common pointe shoe myths.
How many times have you seen a music video that was so amazing that you and your friends wanted to recreate it? And how many times have you actually spent the time and effort to learn the choreography and actually film it? TBH, we've all been inspired by a catchy tune that's paired with some great choreo and cool cinematography. Some of us may even have actual footage of such embarrassing attempts buried deep in the archives of our phones. But four girls from Thailand, did what most of us mere mortals only dream about. They flawlessly recreated one of their favorite band's music videos—and broke the internet in the process.
Last night Jennifer Lopez "danced the night away" at the MTV Video Music Awards, and though no words can truly do justice to her jaw-dropping performance, we have to try. The dance legend began her 10-minute mash-up of best hits descending from the heavens, like the dance goddess she is—and somehow things only got better from there. The 49-year-old pulled out some of the fiercest moves we've ever seen, proving why she's such an icon in the industry.
Summer's coming to a close which means it's time to head back to school and back to the studio. And though we have no doubt that you'll log a lot of dancing this fall, every dancer knows that there's bound to be down time in between technique classes, rehearsals, stretching, and waiting to be picked up. So give your Insta feed a break and check out these dance-tastic books that'll not only entertain you, but might even teach you a thing or two.
What's better then a Disney movie remake? The answer: A Disney movie remake in the form of a musical! Disney Channel's giving the 2003 hit comedy "Freaky Friday" a reboot with all the singing and dancing your heart could ever desire. But choreographing the remake of a classic Disney-movie-turned-TV-musical is no joke, which is why two-time Tony nominee John Carrafa was the perfect man for the job. Known for incorporating real life, everyday movement into his dances, Carrafa brings magic into even the most mundane of movements. From having dancers "slice oranges to the rhythm of the music" to using energetic athleticism, Carrafa's choreography is bound to bring an exciting new spin to this tale.
It's no secret that we're kind of obsessed with the new-ish boy band on the block, PRETTYMUCH. And why shouldn't we be? These boys don't just carry a tune, they can also groove to the beat—and despite the high bar the Backstreet Boys set back in the day with their super dancy music videos, it's not super common these days. What's even more unique is boy bands collaborating with some of the best choreographers in the business. Enter, Ian Eastwood. The dance phenom has been working with the boys on a number of different projects, including their latest release "Summer on You."
Ballet legend David Hallberg and hip-hop dancer Metter Towley may seem like an unlikely pair, especially on the dance floor—but Revlon's new "Lash Loudly" mascara campaign proves otherwise. The ad features Hallberg and Towley as they freestyle to the song "Flava" by Princess Nokia. And surprisingly, the contrasts between these two dancers and their dance genres actually compliments their individuality on and off the dance floor.
Avery Gay and Marcus Sarjeant are the contemporary ballet bosses everyone's talking about. Their daring performance on "World of Dance" last week made for a surprising turn of events, knocking previous Junior Champion Eva Igo out of the competition. Not only are Avery & Marcus the only ballet act on the show to feature pointe work, but they're also hoping their crowd-pleasing approach to the art will change the way ballet is perceived by the public, making it more mainstream than ever before. Find out how these two got ready for their run on one of America's hottest dance shows—while living in different states.