The School of Madd Chadd

You guys, we are so, so close to winter break. (If you're already on break, we'll forgive you...but just this once.) The weeks leading up to Christmas and Hanukkah can be super stressful. With exams, holiday shopping and final Nutcracker performances to worry about, it's easy to lose sight of the truly important things—like preparing to wow your family with your sick new moves.

If grandpa out-danced you at Thanksgiving, now's your chance to make a comeback. But you can't expect to impress without the element of surprise. They'll assume you're going to perform your Nutcracker variation, or that tap number from your Rockette-inspired Christmas show. But this year, you'll be rockin' the robot—because Chadd Smith, aka Madd Chadd, aka the Dubstep Dad, aka "that awesome robot dancer from LXD and the Virgin America Safety Video," is finally letting us in on the tricks of his trade with his first-ever video tutorial.

All joking aside, Madd Chadd is the master of isolations, and watching him demonstrate the fundamentals of his art form is pretty inspiring. So whether or not your planning to #dancebattle it out this Christmas, we highly recommend pick up some new moves.

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 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.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!


Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?

Chrissy

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Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

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