Things got spicy last night on "Dancing with the Stars," as the ballroom heated up for Latin Night. (With Tom Bergeron around, you can be sure the fire puns were abundant.) Week 3 kicked off with another fabulous Mandy Moore pro troupe performance. Tbh, I didn't realize Latin ballroom was in this contemporary/jazz choreographer's repertoire, but dang, she sure convinced me. (Shout out to Lindsay Arnold, who casually flipped a dude over her arm half way through the routine. #girlpower)
Fire burnin' on the dance floor—literally.
Then we launched head first into the competition. And who better to lead the pack than early front-runner Rumer Willis and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy? Despite some, ahem, questionable injuries during rehearsals, the couple managed to pull off a disco-themed salsa routine. I'll admit, I was skeptical. I guess I'm a bit of a Len when it comes to messing with styles. But disco and salsa share a sense of manic energy, which helped the two styles stitch together quite seamlessly. And we're always a fan of a body roll or two, so there's that.
Also competing with a salsa last night: Riker Lynch and Allison Holker. OK guys, Riker may be my new favorite. (Sorry, Rumer.) Yes, his attempt at being "sexy" was kind of a flop. But he really held his own next to one of our favorite pros out there—which was especially apparent during the unison section at 0:48. Yeah, hip action!
I'd be remiss not to mention Nastia Liuken and Derek Hough's steamy samba. (Does Derek know shirts are allowed on the dance floor?) Given how little time these two had to rehearse (what with New York Spring Spectacular and school getting in the way), the pair looked quite comfortable dancing with one another. In fact, Nastia seemed a lot more confident during the moments in frame than during her solo moments. Girl, you're fabulous. Own it! (Also, did any one else get distracted by her beautifully hyper-extended leg at 0:42? So not fair!)
In the end, Charlotte McKinney and Keo Motsepe were sent home, leaving us with our Top 10 couples for Season 20. What do you think? Did Riker's salsa beat Rumer's? Should Derek put a shirt on? Should Keo get a partner who makes it past week 3 next season?
Catch us back here next week, when we'll discuss the "most memorable year" episode.
(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?