Football's Dancin' Fiends

As the girlfriend of a football-loving dude, I've spent many an uncomfortable Sunday afternoon watching big guys in serious padding beat up on each other. (To be fair, the dude has also spent many an uncomfortable Friday evening watching tiny girls in serious tutus pirouette around each other, so.) But maybe NFL showdowns aren't as far out of my comfort zone as I thought. These days, the right football game can almost qualify as a dance event.

Yes, the intricate plays these NFL teams are running are a kind of choreography. And many of the players do take ballet classes to improve their grace and agility. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the celebratory dances.

In the end zone or after a sack, football players seem to be breakin' it down more than ever these days. Take, for example, the Steelers' Ziggy Hood, who lived up to his made-for-dancing name after sacking Eagles quarterback Michael Vick yesterday:

And then, of course, there's the Giants' Victor Cruz, who celebrated each of his three touchdowns against the Browns yesterday with his trademark salsa (a tribute to his grandmother):

Cruz, by the way, is apparently considering adding some even spicier moves to his salsa routine. “Stay tuned,” he said after the game. “I am not quite ready to let the cat out the bag, but there might be a little something.” Maybe I can review his new and improved choreography after the Giants' next game?

Anyway: The point is, these guys make football more fun to watch. And on that note, I'll leave you with this compilation of some of the best, and wackiest, gridiron dancers. Enjoy!

(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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