Kelsey McNeal/ABC

"DWTS: Athletes" Week 2 Recap: Ice Skaters and Princesses and Bears, Oh My!

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!

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.


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