To call the last two nights of "DWTS" a whirlwind is, IMHO, an understatement. You guys, so much happened. Where to even start? There was an ENGAGEMENT! There were acro tricks and fringe costumes! There was a DOUBLE ELIMINATION?! And, as always, there was #TeamValaur. It's time to relive Cirque du Soleil week—let's do this.
First thing's first: CONGRATS TO SASHA FARBER AND EMMA SLATER! Literally what is better than an on-air proposal? (I mean, if she says no, then obviously anything is better, but I digress.) The streamers, the tears, the cheering—it was perfect. So perfect that it just barely made up for the evil that is the season's first double elimination.
Another important matter of business? Laurie and Val's jazz number to "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson. Like, they have to know how amazing they are, right? And if they do, they're just humble and having A+ sportsmanship, right? Seriously, this routine was flawless from start to finish. Laurie has all the makings of an amazing dancer: musicality, charisma, stage presence and an ability to pick up every style that's thrown her way. And it's clear that Val recognizes this and is making sure to nurture her technically as a dancer, since she's truly growing every single week. You know who else agrees with me? The judges. #TeamValaur got the season's first perfect score (and I may have shed a tear).
Another standout? Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold's Charleston. The super-fast footwork required for this dance was impressively executed by Johnson Jr. (and all with a big smile!), and the always-stunning Arnold is clearly a supportive and helpful teacher and partner. They were a joy to watch, and quite literally breathtaking—those lifts were insane! And Johnson Jr. did them perfectly! But I was still really nervous!
As the minutes passed and commercial breaks dragged on, though, the imminent elimination was hovering like a dark cloud. And that cloud got even darker when we learned two couples would be bidding farewell to the "DWTS" stage. In the end, it was Babyface and pro Allison Holker, and Vanilla Ice and pro Witney Carson who were sent packing. Do you agree with the eliminations? Any predictions for the rest of the season? Sound off in the comments, and as always, catch us here next week with our recap.
(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.