I, for one, am thrilled. I've been #TeamWitfonso since day one. From that first jive, to the Carlton dance, to that paso trio, this dynamic duo has had so many memorable moments throughout the season—and I can't help but feel a little proud.
OK, OK. Enough gushing! On to our highlights from the two part "Dancing with the Stars" Season 19 finale extravaganza.
It all started off on Monday night, when the final four couples competed for the Top 3 spots. Each couple performed twice: one "judge's pick" and one freestyle. As per "DWTS" ushe, it was the freestyle round that really struck a chord—with the audience and the judges. All teams earned perfect 40s, but in my opinion, Sadie Robertson and Alfonso Ribeiro out-danced their opponents. TBH, it could've been Mark Ballas and Witney Carson's keen eye for choreo that won me over.
I'm a complete sucker when it comes to classic video games, so Mark and Sadie's Super Mario Bros.-themed freestyle dance gave me all of the nostalgia feels. That moment when Sadie popped into the air like those piranha plants that would pop out of those green pipe thingies?!? (My nerd is showing...) Gah it was just so, so good.
When Witney revealed that Alfonso would be tap dancing in the finale, I just about lost it. And let me tell you, their freestyle to "Sing, Sing, Sing" would've made the Tap Dancing Kid proud.
But the absolute highlight of Monday night had to be the live performance by the cast of the upcoming remake of Annie, starringQuvenzhane Wallis. The girls performed a show-stopping routine to "It's a Hard Knock Life," choreographed by Mandy Moore.
At the end of the show, Bethany Mota and Derek Hough were eliminated, leaving Alfonso Ribeiro, Sadie Robertson and Janel Parrish to battle it out for the Mirror Ball Trophy.
Last night's episode felt more like a celebration than a competition (although, I'm sure the Top 3 were sweatin' in their boots...err dancing shoes). The show brought pack eliminated contestants to revisit some season faves, and we got a good dose of candid behind-the-scenes clips. Most importantly, we got to see the pros do their thing! #Finally. We've been asking for more performances from the Pro Troupe Team all season.
First, we got to see Lindsay Arnold and Artem Chigvintsev dance a SMOKIN' hot routine to Nick Jonas' live performance of "Jealous."
Then, the ladies of "DWTS" got "All About That Bass" with Meghan Trainor.
But nothing from last night's show could top Alfonso and Witney's reaction when they earned that coveted Mirror Ball Trophy. So many emotions!! Congrats, #TeamWitfonso, you totally deserve it. I'll let Carlton Banks have the final word (read: dance) on this one, folks.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.