Dance News
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.)

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Dance News
Screenshot via YouTube

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.

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Dance News
Abbie Fitzgibbon, Penelope Dominique, and Myrelle Lam on Hong Kong's Pedder Street (courtesy Twinkle Dance Company)

What's better than dancers doing their thing in unexpected urban locales? TINY dancers doing their thing in unexpected INTERNATIONAL urban locales!

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Dance News
A still from "SHINE" (courtesy GVN Releasing)

And it hits select movie theaters across the country TODAY.

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Justin Peck will choreograph the movie remake of West Side Story. (Cheryl Mann, courtesy The Joffrey Ballet)

Justin Peck has been tapped to choreograph Steven Spielberg's upcoming Hollywood reboot of West Side Story. And we ask, Can you think of anyone better suited for that job than the dancemaker who's been following in many of Jerome Robbins' footsteps?

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Dance News
A moment from the Australian Ballet's live stream (via YouTube)

Bunheads, the day you've all been waiting for is FINALLY here: World Ballet Day! ✨✨✨

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Dance News
(From left) Caitlin Kinnunen, who plays Emma, and Isabelle McCalla, who plays Alyssa Greene (photo by Natasha Razina, courtesy Polk & Company)

Casey Nicholaw, one of the masterminds behind last spring's Mean Girls, is bringing yet another upbeat musical set in a high school to Broadway—but this one tells a drastically different story. Choreographed and directed by Nicholaw, The Prom follows the experience of a lesbian couple in Edgewater, IN, who are barred from going to prom together. After reading about the girls' plight, four (fictional) Broadway stars descend on the small town to help—and exuberantly dancy chaos ensues. Dance Spirit caught up with dancer Isabelle McCalla, who stars as Alyssa Greene (one half of the central couple), for the inside scoop.

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Dance News
Including Justin Peck, who got a nod for The National's "Dark Side of the Gym" music video (screenshot via Vimeo)

You know how angry we get about the fact that mainstream awards shows tend to sideline (or straight-up ignore) choreography. Which is why we love, love, love the World Choreography Awards, recognizing excellence in choreo in movies, TV, music video and other media. A whole glittery event dedicated to honoring fabulous dancing? YES. YES PLEASE.

This year marks the WCA's 8th anni, and the organization just announced its list of nominees. As usual, it's absolutely jam-packed with A-list names from all different parts of the dance world.

Check out the full list below. Winners will be revealed at the ceremony on October 23rd at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, where icon Debbie Allen will also receive the Joe Tremaine Legacy Award. Merde, everybody!

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Dance News
Alan Bersten and partner Alexis Ren (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Guys, the best time of the year has officially started. Not only is it the greatest season that exists (fall, duh), but it's also time for another season of "Dancing with the Stars"! A big welcome back to sparkly outfits, partner drama, and screaming at the TV because we don't agree with the elimination—we've missed you so much.

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Dance News
Sequins! Balloons! Super-talented minis! (ABC)

We legit can't stop smiling.

Why? Because during last night's episode of the grown-up "Dancing with the Stars," we got a sneak peek at the gloriousness that is about to be "Dancing with the Stars Juniors," set to premiere on Sunday, October 7th.

Not only did we finally meet the full cast of mini celebrity contestants (which includes Mackenzie Ziegler!). We also got to see those stars, their junior partners, and their grown-up mentors strut their stuff on the ballroom floor in not one but two infectiously happy numbers.

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Dance News
New York City Ballet principal Taylor Stanley rehearsing with Kyle Abraham (photo by Erin Baiano, courtesy NYCB)

New York City Ballet's fall gala always promises new ballet delights. This year, the company is offering not one, but three world premieres by a diverse lineup of choreographers: Matthew Neenan, Kyle Abraham, and Gianna Reisen. At 19 years old, Reisen is the youngest choreographer to ever work with NYCB, and Abraham will be the company's first black choreographer in more than a decade. We sat down with principal dancer Taylor Stanley to get the inside scoop on Abraham's new piece.

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Dance News
Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope in An American in Paris (courtesy Trafalgar Releasing)

Couldn't make it to the Tony Award–winning Broadway revival of An American in Paris? Or DID make it to the show, but now miss it like ca-razy? Either way, we have fabulous news: Both today and Sunday, September 23, movie theaters across America are screening the gorgeous musical, directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.

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Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams in George Balanchine's Agon (courtesy Dance Magazine Archives)

Former New York City Ballet principal dancer and Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell passed away today in a Manhattan hospital. He was 84 years old.

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Dance News

The iconic New York City dance studio Steps on Broadway has a new leader coming on board: Joe Lanteri. The New York City Dance Alliance founder will be Steps' new co-owner and executive director.

"For me, it's a big full circle," says Lanteri, who used to take class at Steps when he first moved to New York City, and started teaching there in the mid-1980s. The 4:30 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday Advanced Intermediate Jazz slot he held down for many years taught a slew of young talent—including choreographers-to-be like Jessica Lang and Sergio Trujillo. "As a young teacher, Steps was a platform for me to travel the world giving master classes; it became the underlying foundation for what I'm doing now in my life."

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Dance News
The judges started the night off with their own performances (NBC via Newsweek)

This is it, guys. The answer to the question we've been asking ALL SUMMER LONG is finally here: Who went home with the $1 million dollar prize?!

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Dance News
Photo by Caleb Woods, courtesy Unsplash.com

When news about the lawsuit against New York City Ballet and Chase Finlay emerged last week, plaintiff Alexandra Waterbury, a former School of American Ballet student, told The New York Times:

"Every time I see a little girl in a tutu or with her hair in a bun on her way to ballet class, all I can think is that she should run in the other direction," she said, "because no one will protect her, like no one protected me."

It was quite a statement, and it got us thinking. Of course, it's heartbreaking to imagine the experiences that Waterbury lists in the lawsuit, and it's easy to see why this would be her reaction.

But should aspiring ballet dancers really "run in the other direction"? Were her alleged experiences isolated incidences perpetuated by a tiny percentage of just one company—or are they indicative of major problems in today's ballet culture within and beyond NYCB's walls?

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