OK, so "most memorable year" isn't usually the stuff inspiring dances are made of. It makes me think of a cheesy recital-opening group number that you have to be in with the pre-ballet girls before you can do your solo.

However, "Dancing with the Stars" always delivers, so we can cut right to the good stuff. Last night we learned that even newbie dancers can get to the emotional heart of a performance if it feels really personal for them. Let's revisit my top two.

I have one word for you: Tango. Derek Hough's choreography was heavy on the technical fireworks and a bit light on smoldering passion, but I kind of don't care. When you're Nastia Liukin and you've got legs like whoa, you might as well kick them around and put everyone else to shame. I especially loved that she chose to dance to the same song that helped her win a gold medal, and that she dedicated the performance to her parents. Awww.

Perfect.

 

Iraq War veteran Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess' contemporary routine represented Galloway's return to mental and physical health after losing his left leg and arm in Iraq. He effortlessly partnered Burgess with only two normally functioning limbs (!) and while he's still growing as a dancer, he definitely showed how far he's already come.

Sadly, Michael Sam went home. But on a night that's all about people's personal triumphs, everyone's a winner, amirite?!

Meet us back here next week for (drumroll...) DISNEY WEEK!!

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How Gorgeous Is Our New Site?

Hey. Hi there. Hello. We notice you, noticing us.

What's that you say? We seem more…glamorous than usual?

Why yes, thank you! We DID have a glow-up.

Welcome to the new dancespirit.com. Our redesigned site is full of all the same great Dance Spirit content you love—but now it's delivered in an even more beautiful, reader-friendly package.

Take a look around. Stay a while. We're excited for you to get to know the new-and-improved us a little better.

A young Juliet Doherty performing as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Gene Schiavone, courtesy Doherty)

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There’s Still No Oscar for Best Choreography, So We’re Giving Out Our Own Award—with the Help of Your Votes

2019's movies featured some truly fantastic dancing, thanks to the hard work of many talented choreographers. But you won't see any of those brilliant artists recognized at the Academy Awards. And we're (still) not OK with that.

So we're taking matters into our own jazz hands.

On February 7—just before the Oscars ceremony—we'll present a Dance Spirit award for the best movie choreography of 2019. With your help, we've narrowed the field to seven choreographers, artists whose moves electrified some of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year.

Check out our nominations for best choreography below, and vote for the choreographer you think deserves the honor. (You can vote once a day through February 6.) Haven't seen some of the nominated movies? Click here for a look at each one's choreography.

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