Every once in a while, you stumble across a choreographer or dancer on YouTube, and you're like, Wait,how on EARTH am I just now discovering this person?! Where have they been all my life? Did I just reach dance nirvana? And then you proceed to watch every single video you can find, scouring the interwebz for one more glimpse of your new-found idol.
Don't judge: I know you've all done the same thing
This week, Japanese hip-hop choreographer Koharu Sugawara is the artist responsible for blowing the DS editors' minds. While she's based in Japan, Sugawara frequents Urban Dance Camp, the annual international hip-hop workshop in Germany that floods YouTube with brilliant excerpts from choreographers like DS faves Keone and Mari Madrid. We have UDC to thank for facilitating our recent Sugawara binge. And we would be remiss not to share the experience with you.
Simply scroll down, and prepare to experience sheer hip-hop-nerd bliss.
The video that first caught our attention was of Sugawara's combo to Sia's "Elastic Heart." (You know we already have a soft, Maddie-Ziegler-shaped spot in our hearts for this song...) The choreography shows off Sugawara's molten, dare we say elastic style. This girl knows how to work a pair of harem pants, and her use of tension is the perfect example of how to bring the subtle sexy.
But then we learned she can hit hard and bring the stank when we watched her combo to Mary J. Blige's "The One."
Oh, and apparently she also has Michael-Jackson swag—and a rare ability to make the running man look cool (at 1:15)—as made evident by her clip to Ed Sheeran's "Sing."
While watching her video to Clean Bandit's "Rather Be," we saw her overwhelming love and joy for dance.
And then she did a combo to Destiny's Child, and we pretty much lost it.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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.
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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.
Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?