How Miss America Tap Danced Her Way to the Crown

After watching the Miss America competition this weekend, I have a whole new respect for pageant contestants. Not only are they drop-dead gorgeous (and so fit—I mean, dang girls!), but they're articulate, super-talented and insanely hard working. (I can't fathom the crazy number of hours they put in preparing for Saturday night!)

But it was the talent portion of the competition that really caught my eye. I was shocked to see four of the ten women dance: three tappers and one lyrical-ish dancer. Aside from the lyrical number (I'll save my thoughts about that for another day), I was actually pretty impressed. Even the winner, Miss New York Mallory Hagan, tapped (in rhinestoned tap shoes, no less)! While her tap technique wasn't perfect, her showmanship and song choice (James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing") took the cake.

Take a look:

What do you think? Did you watch the competition? Did Miss New York deserve the crown? Tell us in the comments below!

Dance News
(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 by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

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.

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Dancers are naturally "in their heads" all the time—but not always in productive ways. Long days of receiving and applying corrections, taking class, and performing can get to even the most composed individuals. What should you do when you feel like your mind is just as busy as your rehearsal schedule? Try meditation. Dance Spirit turned to Adreanna Limbach, a head teacher at NYC-based meditation studio MNDFL, for a breakdown of this highly beneficial practice.

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Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe

It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.

But is this jet-setter lifestyle really the most effective road to take? Can weekends of dancing with top talent truly replace the bread and butter of daily work at your home studio? The answer, according to most industry experts, is no. We asked five pros to explain why.

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