"DWTS" Week 8: Halloween Night

Here's a fun challenge: Try to think of anything better than a "Dancing With the Stars" episode on Halloween night. I'll wait. Yep, that's what I thought. Last night's Halloween-themed "DWTS" was spooky (in the best way), sort of sad (Sharna's injury) and super-sweet (because of all the candy...and also Laurie and Val, duh). On to the dancing!

Laurie and Val's 30/30 Willy Wonka Routine

I've run out of ways to describe these two. Carrie Ann Inaba literally cried while watching this routine (tears of joy, obviously). Laurie's sweeping elegance was on full display in this beautiful Viennese waltz, as was Val's incredible ability as a partner and teacher. The props were adorable and perfect, as was the Pure Imagination soundtrack, and it's been amazing watching this partnership blossom week after week.

Calvin and Lindsay's 30/30 Quickstep

Calvin Johnson Jr. is so, so fun to watch, especially coupled with the always-charismatic Lindsay Arnold. They've been great every week, but this quickstep—sparkly skeleton costumes and all—was energetic, fast and oh, so fun.

James and Jenna's Waltz to Sharna's (Amazing) Choreo

While Sharna Burgess is getting over a minor injury, Jenna Johnson filled in for her last night and delivered a steamy waltz with partner James Hinchcliffe. The choreo was ?? and it was really inspiring to watch James dance with a new partner, because that's a big adjustment for even a professional, but he handled the pressure amazingly.

This is "DWTS" though, and the fun always comes to an end for an unlucky couple, and this week, Olympic luck was not on Ryan Lochte's side—he and pro partner Cheryl Burke were sent home. Do you agree? Sound off in the comments. And as always, same time, same place next week.

 

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(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to 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.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

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,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?

Chrissy

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Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

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