The 90th Academy Awards Show Needs Fred Astaire

Yo 2018, I'm really happy for you and Imma let you finish, but the 1970 Oscars had the BEST DANCING OF ALL TIME!


Despite our disappointment that there's no Academy Award for Best Choreography, you'd best believe the entire Dance Spirit team will be watching the 90th annual Oscars ceremony tonight to see just how much dancing sneaks its way into the program. To get into the Hollywood dance spirit (#sorrynotsorry), we've unearthed a priceless gem from the 1970 televised ceremony, in which entertainment legend Bob Hope—not too shabby a dancer himself—"tricks" Fred Astaire (who was at the time a cool seventy-one years old) into performing the most adorable, charming, dapper, debonair soft-shoe routine that has ever graced the Academy. Travel back in time with Fred, and then get ready to analyze every last eight-count on the live broadcast tonight!

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Photo by Brooke Fera

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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