Olympic Opening Ceremony Recap (aka Where Has All The Dancing Gone?)

I love the Olympics, but the one thing I look forward to above all else? The opening ceremonies! This year was no different. I was pumped on Friday night and all prepared to write a blog about the dance-iest moments of the show. But then, no dancing… for almost an hour! Yes, the Abraham Lincoln look-alikes did some fun hand motions and the kids jumping on the bed were very precious (and surprisingly un-fazed by the 100-foot-tall Voldemort), but it wasn’t until the “Frankie and June Say Thanks Tim” section that the dancers really got to show their chops… kind of.

I was a little confused by the story (how did they have Facebook and smart phones in the 60s?), but by the time they got to the 70s, I was having a good time. Then, it got even better with the awesome, 80s-tastic neon costumes. The choreography by Kenrick “H2O” Sandy wasn’t exactly mind-blowing, but it got the job done—representing each era—and I can’t imagine how hard it would be to choreograph that many people! The best part? Jasmine Breinburg, 18, the formerly unknown dancer who played June couldn’t have asked for a better big break—billions of people will now recognize her face.

Overall, this opening ceremony didn’t really compare to the Beijing games in terms of dance-iness. But, I did learn a lot more about British history. And nothing beats seeing the Queen leaving her corgis behind to skydive with James Bond. Only in England…

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.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

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James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)

Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.

Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.

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