"DWTS" Week 3: Latin Night

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.

Latest Posts

Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jayme Thornton

Dear Katie: What Can I Do to Get More Flexible?

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm a strong dancer, but I don't have a lot of flexibility. I stretch every day, but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. What can I do to get more flexible?


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search