Oh my gosh, you guys: so much crying. There was SO MUCH CRYING during last night's "Dancing with the Stars" semi-finals. Even Tom Bergeron, The World's Least Flappable TV Host, just about lost it. It was an emotional time in the ballroom. (Heck, it's an emotional time everywhere.)
We're getting to the end of this roller-coaster ride of a season. And last night, the maybe three people who haven't already completely fallen for Laurie and Val got not one but two rounds of routines to help them figure out who should take home the Mirror Ball Trophy—including the always-intriguing Trio dances. Let's get to the cryhighlights:
We have to start with Laurie Hernandez and and Val Chmerkovskiy. Because Laurie isn't just our favorite performer on the dance (or gym) floor—she's also a kind, courageous person, and last night made that abundantly clear. Her tribute to her grandmother Brulinda, who passed away just after Laurie gave her heart-rending interview for the show, moved the entire world to tears. And then Laurie somehow managed to perform a powerful, emotional foxtrot. Grandma would have loved it.
Then—because we needed a big dose of goofy happiness to stem our lingering Laurie waterworks—James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess teamed up with Jenna Johnson for a jive trio that featured James' racing car and a champagne bottle full of glitter. Thank you for that, James—and for the surprisingly impressive knee action, too.
We'd like to posit on the record that paso doble trios are the best trios, and to submit this, this, and the Jana Kramer/Gleb Savchenko/Alan Bersten paso from last night as evidence. Jana got wayyyy into her role as the sexy-evil princess of an enchanted digital forest, a concept that in theory makes zero sense but in practice was good, campy, neck-fringed fun.
In the end, Terra Jole and Sasha Farber got the boot—not surprising, but pretty heartbreaking given how close they came to Mirror Ball glory. Next week: the finals, aka Laurie's coronation (right? RIGHT??)!
In our "Dear Katie" series, MCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm 14 and have been studying ballet seriously for about three years. Even though I feel ready,my teachers haven't put me on pointe yet. Am I doing something wrong? Should I ask them about it, or is it pointe-less?
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Samantha Figgins (Andrew Eccles)
Samantha Figgins is currently in her fifth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (and was a Dance Spirit cover girl back in 2013!). But what many people don't know is that the gorgeous dancer suffers from single-sided deafness. As a baby, Figgins contracted spinal meningitis, which caused her to lose all hearing in her right ear. She never gave up on her dance dreams, though, and fought her way through uncomfortable situations, never missing an opportunity to learn and grow. Now, after getting her first pair of hearing aids, she opens up about her path to success. —(As told to Courtney Celeste Spears)
Sara Esty as Maggie in "A Chorus Line" (courtesy Esty)
Sara Esty's ethereal grace and sophisticated charm have won over ballet and Broadway audiences alike. The bunhead-turned-Broadway-baby began training near her hometown in Gorham, ME, at the Maine State Ballet's School for the Performing Arts (with her equally fabulous twin sister, Leigh-Ann). She enrolled full-time at the Miami City Ballet School in 2004, and joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2005. In 2006, Esty won the Princess Grace Award, and she was promoted to soloist at MCB in 2011. After leaving MCB in 2014, she made her Broadway debut in An American in Parisas the understudy for Lise, and went on to share the role of Lise with her sister on the show's national tour. Most recently, she was seen in 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Marie, Dancing Stillin Seattle, WA. —Courtney Bowers