From competing on "So You Think You Can Dance" to performing on "Dancing with the Stars" for seven seasons (and earning an Emmy nomination for her work on the latter), Chelsie Hightower has lived the pro dance dream. Though Hightower retired from "DWTS" several years ago and now teaches and choreographs in her home state of Utah, she admits that her dance career exceeded even her own high expectations. "I've accomplished things that I didn't know were possible," she says.
But most fans of "DWTS" would never have guessed that while filming, the talented and seemingly fearless ballroom pro was facing her fiercest competitor off-camera. Hightower has struggled with anxiety for most of her life, but the issue became especially severe during her years on the show.
With the help of therapy and other coping exercises, Hightower has found healthy ways to manage her anxiety. Now, she hopes that sharing her experience will inspire other dancers struggling with mental illness to get help.
There are dance routines, and then there are dance routines. Andrew, a 21-year-old dancer with Down Syndrome, performed the latter on the new British reality dance show "The Greatest Dancer." He brought the audience to tears as he unabashedly freestyled to Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop The Feeling."
Washington Ballet's Nardia Boodoo is turning heads these days, and not just at the barre. The brilliant ballerina shines in Tory Sport's latest commercial and we can't help but feel a little bit of pride as our March 2018 cover star brings ballet to the masses. What better way to show off stylish and comfy athletic wear than with Boodoo's strong and luminous dancing?
With over three billion combined views on YouTube and credits from some of the biggest names in the biz, Parris Goebel has become an international phenomenon. And now the New Zealand nativeis taking her #savage choreography to the masses in a new docuseries called "The Parris Project World Tour." Visiting 10 different countries in six weeks, the world class choreographer and her crew (the Royal Family) give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at life on a major dance tour—and it's the perfect blend of glamour and hard work.
The year 2019 is already off to a dramatic start for dance fans, thanks to Abby Lee Miller's latest announcement. The infamously tough dance coach just let the world know that she'll begin filming Season 8 of the hit reality series "Dance Moms" at the end of January.
Yes, New Year's resolutions are still a thing! As obnoxious as it is to be constantly bombarded by "What's your New Year's resolution this year?," this goal-setting tradition can actually be the first step in making healthy changes that will help you improve as a dancer. But in order for those changes to occur you have to have a plan. That's where goal setting comes in. Well-thought-out goals will help set you up for success—so we've come up with a few ideas for you to adopt into your own list of of resolutions this year.
Whether you're prepping for an onstage performance or primping for rehearsal, dancers need makeup that'll last. But smudge-proof products guaranteed to get you through a day of dancing can be hard to come by. That's why Dance Spirit rounded up some of our favorite long-lasting beauty products that'll stay on your face long after you've left the dance floor!
It's no secret that we love a good fashion/dance collaboration, which is why we're fangirling over model Shalom Harlow. And this model took the whole "dance, but make it fashion" vibe to an entirely new level during a Versace photo shoot—and we're in awe. She paired her stylish, spring jumpsuit with an arsenal of dance moves that Michael Jackson himself would be jealous of. Her performance was so captivating that everyone at the shoot couldn't help but cheer her on. Who can blame them—her moves are lit 🔥!
Commercial dance kween, Charlize Glass (photo by Joe Toreno)
One of the best (and most challenging) things about dance is that no matter how good you are, there will always be something more you can do to improve. Dance Spirit talked to some of the biggest dance stars to find out what their hoping to work on during this next year. Between dance resolutions and "real life" resolutions these dance phenoms have their eyes on the prize and are ready to make 2019 their best year yet.
We can't get enough of New York City Ballet's prima ballerina, Tiler Peck. This ballet babe has been featured in the mainstream media quite a bit and is giving people an inside peek at the glamorous and not so glamorous sides of ballet. Peck's most recent media credit includes a video released by Cosmopolitan where she gets real about the challenges she's faced during her demanding career in one of the world's most renowned ballet companies.
Photo by Camryn Elizabeth, courtesy Djouliet Amara
At age 23, Djouliet Amara is a successful professional dancer signed with a talent agency in NYC. She's studied at The Ailey School and even danced in "Memoria" with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Having performed at City Center and appeared in numerous commercial campaigns for brands like Forever 21, Refinery29, and Danskin, it would appear that Amara is living a life most dancers only dream of. But as glamorous and successful as her career has been, Amara's journey to this point has not been an easy one. Her biggest challenge was her battle with an eating disorder that nearly cost Amara her career. Find out how this dancer found body acceptance and, in so doing, uncovered a dream she never knew she had. —Katherine Beard
Warning: This story may be triggering for those who have suffered or are suffering from disordered eating.
Maddie Ziegler is the kween of dance these days and it seems like there's no move this teen dancing machine can't do...or is there? In a recent video with Teen Vogue, Maddie shows us just how lit her dance skills are by demonstrating 10 iconic music video dance routines. From Britney Spears to Michael Jackson, the "Dance Moms" star gets her groove on as she dissects some of the most popular dances of all time. Though Maddie is a great dancer, it's pretty entertaining watching her do moves that might be a little outside of her comfort zone.
Sky Brown and JT Church in the finale of "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" (via @dancingabc on Instagram)
Last night was a Christmas miracle of epic proportions for one lucky couple on "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" as they took home the Mirror Star Trophy. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Four couples competed for the title of champion and each and every performance was lit! With two routines—one holiday themed freestyle and one repeat dance from the season that included their mentors (plot twist!), these dance darlings battled it out on the dance floor. It was truly a night to remember as we enjoyed some of the best performances of the season that got us in the holiday spirit.
Nia Sioux and her co-star from North Carolina Theatre's production of Aladdin and His Winter Wish (courtesy North Carolina Theatre)
Nia Sioux has been entertaining audiences with her fab dance skills since 2011, when "Dance Moms" first aired. Now, two music videos and an acting gig (on the daytime TV series "The Bold and the Beautiful"), later Sioux is proving that she's more than just a triple threat—she's a star. And last week when Sioux debuted in North Carolina Theatre's production of Aladdin and His Winter Wish, she was every bit that star. Sioux opened up to Dance Spirit about her transition from comp kid to a triple threat and offered advice for young dancers hoping to follow in her footsteps.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer and choreographer Hope Boykin shares the best tips she learned. (via Instagram, @hbdance)
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently hosted their first Choreography Unlocked Festival, where artists in the business of creating dance gathered to immerse themselves in workshops, performances, and panel discussions. Young choreographers learned tips, tricks, and all about the creative process of choreographing from Ailey's Artistic Director Robert Battle and other choreography experts, including Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.
Sky Brown and JT Church perform the tango (via @dancingabc on Instagram)
We're nearing the end of "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors" and we're more than a little sad about that. But as the end of the competition nears, the dancing has been taken to the next level. The technique is pretty close to perfect and the performance quality from these little dance darlings is equal to that of the pros! We'll admit we're not jealous of the judges as they score these dance prodigies. It was hard enough to pick one stand-out performance of the night. These kids are talented dancers and the winner is anyone's guess at this point!