Last night was Disney night on "Dancing with the Stars," and it left me somewhere between gleeful and totally creeped out.
On the gleeful side: DISNEY! So much happiness, so many childhood memories, so many fabulous princess dresses!
Just look at all the pretty princess dresses in the opening number! (screenshot from "DWTS")
On the creeped-out side: Ballroom is crazy sexy, and it is weird to see sexed-up versions of characters originally designed to charm people under the age of 10. (Also: there was a lot of lip-syncing. STOP LIP-SYNCING, EVERYBODY.)
Ultimately, though, the "DWTS" competitors won me over with their sheer enthusiasm. If there's one thing Disney does well, it's energy, and that's something that every ballroom number can use.
When did things really get supercalifragalisticexpealidocious? Not, unfortunately, in Robert Herjavec's underwhelming Mary Poppins–themed number. But Rumer Willis immediately got our attention by deciding to embody a deliciously evil, deliciously seductive Disney villain, rather than donning a princess-y hoop skirt, and her risk paid off. She made an eerily good Ursula—props to the hair and makeup team—and I love that Val Chmerkovskiy's Samba choreography was super-duper-technical. Rumor had it Rumer could handle it, and that rumor was true. (Sorry, I've been holding on to that one for a while.)
Also fantastic: Riker Lynch channeling Johnny Depp in a fantabulously intense Pirates of the Caribbean–themed Paso Doble. I'm not really sure who Alison Holker was supposed to be playing—an especially gorgeous pirate wench?—but the two of them looked amazing together, so I'm not complaining.
We also need to give a shoutout to the RETURN OF THE DANCING CRABS, who appeared in a Little Mermaid filler number alongside Peta Murgatroyd's Ariel. Way to get a ton of mileage out of those borderline-disturbing crab costumes, "DWTS."
In the end, we said goodbye to Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani—which, much as I worship Ms. Somers and her leeeeegs, was about right. Who'll be next to face the chopping block? Will Julianne Hough's pink Coachella hair survive to see another taping? (PLEASE KEEP IT IT'S AMAZING.) We'll be back after next week's ep with all the details!
(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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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer