They got to live out their dreams onstage with Jackson during last night's Billboard Awards. (NBC)

Meet the Truly Incredible Winners of Janet Jackson's #DanceWithJanet Competition

When Janet Jackson puts out a call for new dancers, basically the ENTIRE WORLD responds. More than 75,000 people entered Jackson's epic #DanceWithJanet contest, announced earlier this spring, which let hopefuls from around the globe audition via social media for a chance to perform with the icon.

So, out of those tens of thousands, who became the newest members of the #JTribe? Meet Phillip Galbert and L'Vala "Lala" Moss, the winners of the competition. Last night, they joined Janet onstage at the Billboard Music Awards. And they more than earned their place in the spotlight.


First, watch the moment the two of them found out they'd won—directly from Ms. Jackson:

You probably already know the 26-year-old Moss: Her original audition tape went crazy viral. Filmed in the middle of a street in Birmingham, AL, it was almost derailed by a police officer who asked her to move. After discovering her quest, he ended up stopping traffic and lending her his spotlight:

Galbert, a 28-year-old Bronx native, nearly missed his chance to dance for Janet. When he found out that his video audition had earned him a spot at the final callbacks in L.A., he responded that he didn't have the money to buy a flight to the West Coast, and was actually on the verge of eviction from his home. Thankfully, Jackson's team made the trip possible.

Watch Moss and Galbert living out their dreams onstage with Jackson in this clip from her insanely good Billboard Awards performance:

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On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

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Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

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Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

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Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti


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