I love that Michelle Obama is getting kids across the country off the couch with her “Let’s Move!” campaign. From supporting a redesign of the food pyramid to encouraging families to get active together, she’s making a serious difference in the way Americans think about health. And she’s a big fan of dance, too! Back in September, she kicked off the White House Dance Series by bringing young dance students from across the country to her home for a one-of-a-kind dance show and lessons from the stars of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Washington Ballet, Super Cr3w and New York City Ballet. (Check out a video here.)
But on Saturday, the First Lady Showed off her own dance skills, and it was awesome! At the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, she talked to kids and their parents about the importance of healthy living, and made friends with a few Disney stars: Debby Ryan, Roshon Fegan, Doc Shaw and Kelsey Chow. They all joined together to do The Platypus Walk dance with Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb. Simple as these moves may be, there’s no question that our first lady’s got rhythm!
(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.
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.
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?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.