"DWTS: Athletes" Week 2 Recap: Ice Skaters and Princesses and Bears, Oh My!
Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Entertainment Weekly
Wanna hear something mind-blowing? Last night marked the second week of the latest "Dancing with the Stars: Athletes." That means we're already HALF WAY through Season 26.
Let that sink in.
This means we get only a few more weeks to watch Adam Rippon absolutely slay on the dance floor (which he did again last night). 😭 (We're not ok, either.) Things are moving fast around here, people! So fast that another TWO couples were eliminated last night. But we'll get to that later.
First, let's savor the highlights:
Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber were joined by a dancing bear.
Yep. You read that right. The couple's quickstep to "Redneck Woman" by Gretchen Wilson became a trio, thanks to someone in a massive bear costume. It was weird on sooo many levels, yet oddly entertaining. Thankfully, Tonya's super-energetic and technically impressive performance drew most of the focus.
Mirai Nagasu made all of our Disney dreams come true.
After being bummed about not scoring higher last week, Mirai—forever a true competitor—brought her A-game last night, winning lots of praise and tying for the highest score of the evening. She and partner Alan Bersten channeled the most graceful of Disney princes and princesses for their fox trot to "It's a Small World." It was gorgeous, romantic, and very sparkly, which is everything we need from a "DWTS" routine.
Adam Rippon's presence is larger than life.
In case we haven't said it before (we have), Adam Rippon is one of our most favorite people ever on the dance floor. His energy is through the roof, and his hilariously adorable personality makes for the absolute best performances. And last night's quickstep with partner Jenna Johnson was no exception. It's no surprise the piece tied for the highest score of the evening.
Sadly, NBA icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lindsay Arnold and Notre Dame basketball star Arike Ogunbowale and Gleb Savchenko were sent packing. We're thinking Ogunbowale deserves a major shoutout, though. In order to finish her college semester, she's been flying back and forth from L.A. to Indiana on red-eye flights after rehearsals, getting home just in time for her morning classes. And her finals are THIS week. That's dedication to dance on another level, Arike, and we commend you. Good luck on your exams!
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancyFX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list: