Notes from a Hollywood Insider

As I stood in line for my press pass, I knew it was going to be a star-studded night at the CBS studios in L.A.: Jerry O’Connell and Step Up 2: The Streets star Adam Sevani stood in front of me. But the real stars were definitely the “SYTYCD” crew! After watching Joshua take home the $250,000, I headed backstage to get the scoop.

 

Still reeling from her surprise $50,000 win, Katee was all about paying it forward: “I want to buy my parents a present—they’ve flown down here from Northern California every week!” Courtney was sweet as pie even though she was nursing an injured big toe. Twitch let me try on his glasses—I felt like the coolest nerd around! Plus, both Courtney and Twitch told me they’re DS subscribers!

 

I also got to chat with Debbie Allen, Mia Michaels and Nigel Lythgoe, most of whom told me they were secretly rooting for Twitch—scandalous! But everyone was buzzing about the fact that a street dancer had finally landed the “SYTYCD” crown.

 

“Everything we’ve seen on TV has been choreographed, so the dancers have never gotten to show their soul and where they come from,” Shane said. “But Twitch and Joshua represented. The street scene around the world is incredible, and they gave us a little taste of it tonight!” For Real. —Jen Jones

(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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