Psyched for Sochi: This Former Ballerina is Ready to Take the Plunge

I am obsessed with the Olympics. It's actually kind of bizarre--to the point where I tear up whenever I hear the Olympic Fanfare and Theme.

So naturally, I'm stoked for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia (only 115 days left! Not that I'm counting...). And when I came across this news report on a new Olympic athlete who credits her ballet training with prepping her for the games, I freaked out a little bit.

I usually schedule my Olympic viewing around gymnastics in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Oh, and diving...I like diving, too! So basically anything that involves pretty lines. But this year, I may just have to save some room on my DVR to record skeleton racing, a sport in which racers plunge face first down an ice track. Yikes.

Canadian athlete Sarah Reid will be competing in Olympic skeleton racing for the first time in 2014. And in an interview with CBC Sports, Reid talked about how her 10 years of ballet training helped her become an Olympic athlete.

I don't know about you, but I'll be looking out for Reid this winter, even though my only knowledge of skeleton comes from Wikipedia and the 1993 film Cool Runnings, which is actually about bobsledding, not skeleton. Apparently, I've got some research to do before February 7th.

Also, if you haven't seen Cool Runnings, you totally should. This clips says it all.

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
Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)

It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)

All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.

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Dance on TV
Photo by Erin Baiano

When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.

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