The Dance We're Grateful for This Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving, dance friends! Are you about to be stuffing yourself with turkey, or in the process of stuffing yourself with turkey, or already stuffed with turkey? We hope so. Because that's what Thanksgiving is all about. (Also, Pilgrims.)
But seriously: The world needs a little cheering up right now, and that's why we're glad to have this minute to think about all that dancers have to be thankful for this year. Because there's a LOT. Let's not forget that 2016 gave us the #MannequinChallenge, and Laurie Hernandez's floor routine, and the NYC Dance Project book, and the #PantsuitPower flashmob, and Jenna Dewan Tatum for Danskin, and the Cats revival, and Ashley Bouder's "fouetté-ing while pregnant" videos, and Center Stage: On Pointe, and SO MUCH MISTY COPELAND.
Feeling better already? Me too.
Let's keep the happy feels going: Here at Dance Spirit, we have a Turkey Day tradition in which I force the other editors to tell me what dance-y things they're thankful for. And because they are the best, their responses make me all 😊😊😊. Without further ado:
Courtney Bowers, managing editor: "I'm thankful that I got to watch all those littles kill it all season on 'SYTYCD.' And for the heartwarming feels the relationships they had with their All-Star mentors gave me. And for the awesome pieces that I'll continue to obsess about through next year."
Nicole Loeffler-Gladstone, assistant editor: "I'm grateful for all the choreography that goes unseen and unrecorded, but exists nonetheless; for ReQuest Crew in the 'Sorry' music video, which makes me feel giddy with excitement every time I watch it; for Beyoncé's dancers, who should be worshiped like demi-goddesses; for Crystal Pite's The Statement, which is literally breathtaking; and for the dancers who, in a sometimes scary world, keep showing up and trying to make a difference."
Olivia Manno, assistant editor: "Last year, I was thankful for James Whiteside's calves, and that still stands. In fact, I think I'm more thankful for them this year. But I'm also thankful for Crystal Pite for being a boss-lady and making some incredible work, like The Statement and The Season's Canon; for all the sequined dresses on 'DWTS'; and for Amar Ramasar (no reason—just for existing)."
Helen Rolfe, fashion editor: "This year, I'm dancing with gratitude because: there's so much amazing dance on Broadway right now (oh hey, On Your Feet! and Cats); Cloud & Victory's HILARIOUS Instagram gives me life; and—last but definitely not least—I get to play with the prettiest dancewear and costumes all day. In other words, I'm super grateful to be DS's new fashion editor!"
Enjoy your Thanksgiving feasts! And also this gif, which I am thankful for every minute of every T-day every year:
Last week Disney Channel star Sofia Wylie released a behind-the-scenes look at the making of her YouTube dance series. Along with some stellar dancing, the video shows the dance community featured in her "4k Dance Series" and the things they've learned from being a part of the dance project. And though the project features dance, we love that it also emphasizes supporting and building up fellow dancers.
Showstopper has been making its impact on the dance world since 1978. Before then, dancers didn't have a stage to perform on, the opportunity to learn from peers, or a competitive outlet like most sports. Debbie Roberts recognized this missing piece in the dance community and that is how America's first and longest running dance competition, Showstopper, was born. Debbie taught dance for over 26 years and owned and operated her own dance studio for 20 years. She is now the owner and National Director of Showstopper, along side her husband, Dave Roberts. Dancer, teacher, business owner, author, and mother, Debbie has made dance her life's career.
Sometimes, you hear talk about an upcoming class video and it sounds too good to be real. Wait: Todrick Hall made a track featuring RuPaul, and then Todrick personally asked Brian Friedman to choreograph it, and then Brian got Maddie and Charlize and Jade and Kaycee and Sean and Gabe and Larsen and Bailey to come out for the class? I just...that can't be right. Can it?
It is right, friends. It is SO RIGHT.
Team USA is totally taking over "Dancing with the Stars" this season! Casting for the upcoming athletes-only "DWTS" cycle, which kicks off April 30, was just announced. And the roster includes a whole bunch of Olympic favorites—including not one, not two, but three figure-skating standouts.
Winter is drawing to a close and you know what that means -- It's time to really kick this year into gear! Move U has done the research so you can find your best match, look good, and feel great this season with a twist unique to your team! Here are five looks to put your performance on the map in 2018.
With several Shaping Sound tours and TV credits like "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing with the Stars," and "Boardwalk Empire" to her name, you wouldn't expect Kate Harpootlian to be refreshingly down-to-earth. But that's exactly how she is: As soon as you start talking to the gifted dancer and choreographer, it becomes clear that she doesn't take herself too seriously. And she's happy to tell hilarious stories to prove it. (Ask her about the time she did a Mr. Peanut impression when Mia Michaels asked her to improvise, or the time she starred in a Japanese makeup commercial and had to do grand pliés wearing one pointe shoe and one flat shoe.)
That mixture of humor and grace is evident in Harpootlian's growing body of choreographic work. Her one-act show Better Late Than Never, for example, which premiered last summer, has a jazzy, West Side Story vibe, offsetting heavier moments with touches of whimsy. "There's always a balance in my work," Harpootlian says. "I want to use humor to balance out the darker aspects. It's like one of my friends once said: 'You make me laugh, and then you make me feel bad for laughing.' "
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I grip my quads, and I don't know how to stop. I'm totally overdeveloping my quad muscles. How can I retrain myself so I use my legs correctly? Help!
You know that pirouette dream, when your placement is so perfect you can keep turning forever? That dream is the reality for highly technical tappers, who benefit from the decreased friction of their shoes. Get the placement right and, with a strong spot, they can pirouette for days.
But turning in tap shoes isn't all easy. In fact, those delightfully friction-free shoes bring their own set of challenges, and dancers can easily fall into the spinning-top trap by letting the turn control them, rather than the other way around. Here's how to harness your tap-turning potential.
Given that we're still processing our own sadness about the recent dissolution of the couple formerly known as #TeamTatum, we can only imagine how many feelings Jenna Dewan must be feeling. But like all dancers, Dewan knows the best way to deal with big emotions is to dance through them.