Ellen DeGeneres Releases First Episode of "tWitch and Allison's Kids Dance Challenge"

It has been quite the year for dance littles. First, "So You Think You Can Dance" announced its new format, which will feature competitors between the ages of 8 and 13 (we crashed the NYC auditions and the talent was insane!), and now Ellen DeGeneres’ newly released "tWitch and Allison's Kids Dance Challenge" allows kids ages 1014 to compete for a performance slot on "The Ellen Show."

The 8-episode online series features our fave husband-and-wife-duo tWitch and Allison as judges, mentors and, unsurprisingly, really great hosts. They'll choose 6 young dancers out of submissions from all over the world, then split them into two teams: Team tWitch and Team Allison. The two teams will be given various choreography challenges and one star dancer from each team will be picked to compete against each other in a final dance battle. The last dancer standing gets to perform live on Ellen's show!

Episode 1 dropped today over on Ellentube and we're already in love with 11-year-old hip-hopper Romeo Blanco who joined #TeamtWitch. And tWitch already dished up some fab mentor wisdom about perseverance. We also saw tons of familiar faces in the preview footage (Oh hey, former cover stars Kaycee Rice and Gabe De Guzman, and comp queen McKenzie Morales!). So, long story short, we're officially hooked.

See for yourself:

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Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer


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