Happy Thanksgiving, dance friends! Since today is a day for reflection and gratitude (and eating...so much eating), I asked my fellow Dance Spirit editors to tell me the dance-world things they're most grateful for. Here's what they had to say:
Guess who's back? Back again? The Academy's back! Tell a friend.
After one day at The Academy, the All Stars have successfully taken the Top 100 down to 62. But their work is just getting started: Now they need to keep narrowing the field to a Top 10, ultimately deciding who each will partner with during the live shows.
YEP, you read that right—Wade Robson is BACK! It's been faaaaar too long since we've witnessed his choreographic genius, but it's fine because his latest video in collaboration with CLI Studios, "Flight," is everything we could've hoped for and then some.
Dancers in "Flight" don't hold back. (Screenshot via Vimeo)
I mean, Allison Holker + William Wingfield + Teddy Forance + Robson's directorial eye? There's literally no way you could go wrong with that equation. Naturally, the result is a stunning series of powerhouse performances. The choreo (to which all the dancers contributed) is raw, passionate and edgy, addressing some pretty heavy subject matter in a beautifully moving way.
Whip that hair. (Screenshot via Vimeo)
Robson's directorial vision is crystal-clear, with everything from the costumes, to the casting, to the chilling lighting adding to the video's power. I don't want to give too much away, because "Flight" is well worth a watch (or two, or three). Check it out below—but keep in mind that some of the content may be a bit dark.
Let's not pretend like we were watching last night's results show for any reason other than to see Allison Holker and Maddie Ziegler perform "Chandelier." (Spoiler: It was amazing.) But since a little delayed gratification never hurt anybody, can we focus for one second on Julianne Hough's scandalous costume and super-sexy dance with the male pros?
I always like it when judges get up and dance (remember that time on "SYTYCD" when Nigel got up onstage and tapped with the kids from Debbie Allen Dance Academy?). It reminds us why they're sitting behind the table in the first place.
Then, we got a very dramatic trio to a very charming song: Nico and Vinz performed "Am I Wrong" while three of the pros danced. Now that "DWTS" is experimenting with contemporary dance, I wonder if we'll see the same growth in the pros as we do with contemporary dancers on "SYTYCD" who are asked to perform ballroom routines.
Okay, so about Maddie and Allison...
AMAZING! Their energy was totally explosive, and Maddie looked more polished and mature than I've ever seen her (maybe being around Allison will do that to you). Congrats, ladies, on an excellent performance.
Sadly, we said goodbye to Tavis Smiley and Sharna Burgess. But you guys, next week is movie themed! I can only hope that we'll see a lot of John Travolta references.
Planning on spending the holiday weekend catching up with your DVR? Make sure you don’t miss Tuesday’s episode of “Dancing With the Stars.” In addition to sending two couples home (no spoilers here!), there’s an awesome number by hip-hop superstar Parris Goebel, a creative performance by Paula Abdul and, my personal favorite, a beyond stunning contemporary piece choreographed by some DS favorites, Derek Hough and Allison Holker. Some highlights:
Choreographers Allison and Derek set the mood.
Oh hey, Kathryn McCormick, looking gorgeous as always.
I see you, Melanie Moore.
Is that a slow motion jump? Mind blown.
Love the use of water. This gives “dancing in the rain” a whole new meaning.
Best. Closing pose. Ever
Forget to record the episode? Never fear, abc.com is here. Click here to watch.
We called it (well, almost)! One of the fabulous Final Five is going to be cha cha-ing her way around the "Dancing with the Stars" ballroom in two weeks. And while Simone Biles might have to wait until next season to don her dancing shoes, the gymnast gracing the floor this go-around is an even more natural fit for "DWTS": Laurie Hernandez, whose deliciously dance-y Olympic floor routine earned her a forever home in our hearts.
We'd like to request that all her "DWTS" routines begin with this exact wink, please and thank you. (via Giphy)
The full Season 23 "DWTS" cast list was revealed this morning on "Good Morning America," and while some of the other celeb choices left us scratching our heads (Ryan Lochte? Jeah no), there's lots of happy news on the pro front. For starters, the lovely Allison Holker is returning to show off her incredible post-baby body (dancing with, fittingly, Babyface). But also: Maks is back! Derek is back! CHERYL IS BACK, YOU GUYS!
Get your spray tan on and pull out your favorite bedazzled mini (as if you aren't already wearing it): Season 23 premieres Monday, September 12 on ABC. Here's the full cast list:
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Amber Rose
Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Laurie Hernandez
Artem Chigvintsev and Maureen McCormick
Sasha Farber and Terra Jole
Derek Hough and Marilu Henner
Witney Carson and Vanilla Ice
Lindsay Arnold and Calvin Johnson
Jenna Johnson and Jake T. Austin
Allison Holker and Babyface
Sharna Burgess and James Hinchcliffe
Emma Slater and Rick Perry
Cheryl Burke and Ryan Lochte
Gleb Savchenko and Jana Kramer
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Last month, on the finale of "tWitch and Allison's Kids Dance Challenge" (Ellen DeGeneres' new dance series, for those who haven't been following along), the competition came down to two finalists: DS co-cover stars Gabe De Guzman and Kaycee Rice. Not exactly shocking, thanks to their super-fierce moves—but we were incredibly torn. How in the world were tWitch and Allison going to choose between the members of our favorite hip-hop duo???
Turns out, they didn't have to: Ellen named both Gabe and Kaycee winners, giving both the chance to perform on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Cue a major sigh of relief, because there's just something magical about these two dancing together.
On Friday, the pair finally got their chance to shine on "Ellen," dancing alongside series judges tWitch and Allison. The double duet was great on so many levels. And new mama Allison proved she's still got it—the performance marked her first foray back into dancing since giving birth to little #BabyBoss.
Check it out:
When news first dropped about 'tWitch & Allison's Dance Challenge,' it was a big deal—a dance show featuring some of our all-time favorite minis and mentors, competing for a chance to perform on "The Ellen Show"? Yeah, safe to say we were obsessed from day one. And although each episode is as amazing and packed with talent as the last, it was especially exciting to see our January 2016 cover stars Kaycee Rice and Gabe de Guzman take the floor. The two wunderkinds told viewers how despite living three hours apart, they always managed to find a way to dance together because they bring out the best in each other's dancing <3 (#ICan't). It goes without saying that tWitch and Allison were blown away. But what was the final decision? Check out the video below to find out:
It has been quite the year for dance littles. First, "So You Think You Can Dance" announced its new format, which will feature competitors between the ages of 8 and 13 (we crashed the NYC auditions and the talent was insane!), and now Ellen DeGeneres’ newly released "tWitch and Allison's Kids Dance Challenge" allows kids ages 10–14 to compete for a performance slot on "The Ellen Show."
The 8-episode online series features our fave husband-and-wife-duo tWitch and Allison as judges, mentors and, unsurprisingly, really great hosts. They'll choose 6 young dancers out of submissions from all over the world, then split them into two teams: Team tWitch and Team Allison. The two teams will be given various choreography challenges and one star dancer from each team will be picked to compete against each other in a final dance battle. The last dancer standing gets to perform live on Ellen's show!
Episode 1 dropped today over on Ellentube and we're already in love with 11-year-old hip-hopper Romeo Blanco who joined #TeamtWitch. And tWitch already dished up some fab mentor wisdom about perseverance. We also saw tons of familiar faces in the preview footage (Oh hey, former cover stars Kaycee Rice and Gabe De Guzman, and comp queen McKenzie Morales!). So, long story short, we're officially hooked.
See for yourself:
That's right: The Easter bunny brought #Twitchison a baby. Just further proof that this all-star family's life happens in some kind of amazing, unicorn-and-rainbow-bedecked dreamworld.
We don't have any pictures of the new arrival yet, but we do have a name: Maddox Laurel Boss. We also know that adorable big sister Weslie is already an expert diaper-changer and that Holker, naturally, was the world's most beautiful pregnant lady.
While everyone waits to hear more from the proud parents, may we direct you to the video below, which documents the flash mob Holker arranged to reveal the baby's gender to Boss? Because you have to see this cuteness to believe it. #BossFamily forever.
Congratulations, Allison and tWitch!
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Pretty much the entire universe can agree that Mondays are #theworst. But Mondays starting September 14th? Nope, Mondays are gonna be the best. Why? Season 21 (!!!) of Dancing with the Stars! And to get you even more pumped than you already are, the list of returning "DWTS" pros was just announced—it's as good as it gets, people.
Derek's baaaaack (screenshot via EllenTV)
First of all, we've got Derek Hough, Karina Smirnoff, Witney Carson and Mark Ballas, all of whom have previously won the coveted Mirror Ball. Already, the stakes are HIGH. Throw defending champ Val Chmerkovskiy into the mix and things get even more interesting. To round out the insanely talented field, we've got Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd and Artem Chigvinstsev. Omg.
Dancing with the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff, with her Season 17 partner, Corbin Bleu, shows us how it's done (Photo ABC/Adam Taylor)
We'll anxiously be awaiting the announcement of the celebrity cast on September 2nd, but in the meantime, relive some of the more jaw-dropping moments of last season here.
If you had to name just one dancer as your absolute favorite, could you do it? We love to ask this question when we interview dancers for our "You Should Know" or "The Dirt" columns. More often than not, we either get a long list of names or total silence. With so many fabulous and unique dancers out there, it's a seriously tough question!
But, alas, it's the question FOX's Teen Choice is asking the Twitterverse. The 2015 awards—which will air on Sunday, August 16, at 8/7c—has a brand-new category: Choice Dancer. And they're currently accepting nominations via Twitter. Here's how to submit your nom:
Simply insert the twitter handle of your favorite dancer in the draft below—be sure to include #TeenChoice and #ChoiceDancer—and tweet away! And if you really can't make up your mind, there's nothing that says you can't nominate more than one dancer...
"So You Think You Can Dance"/"Dancing with the Stars" babe Allison Holker is making a serious bid for the top.
Step Up star Alyson Stoner is winning support through her humble spirit.
Former "Dance Moms" fave Chloe Lukasiak doesn't need to campaign—her fans are going above and beyond.
And repin' the dudes, "DWTS" pro Mark Ballas has perhaps the most adorable fan support. (Everybody now: D'awwwww)
tWitch's face in this pic is everything. (Photo by Joe Toreno for Dance Spirit)
Exhibit B: Remember their beyond gorgeous, "So You Think You Can Dance"-filled wedding at Nigel Lythgoe's vineyard?
#truelove (courtesy Allison Holker and tWitch Boss)
And Exhibit C: Have you seen tWitch's Twitter feed lately? He wins the "Most Supportive Husband" award as the biggest fan of #TeamRallison (Allison and her "Dancing with the Stars" partner, Riker Lynch).
OK, I think I've sufficiently proven my point. But these "SYTYCD" sweethearts just keep out-cute-ing themselves. On Wednesday, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" released a video of the two dancing in Gold Toe Socks to "Boogie Shoes" as promo for Ellen's #DanceYourSocksOff contest. Warning: What you're about to see will make you feel ALL OF THE FEELS.
Inspired to #DanceYourSocksOff, too? Film a video of yourself dancing to "Boogie Shoes" in Gold Toe Socks (or socks of an unrecognizable brand) and upload it to EllenTube, and you could win up to $10,000. Happy boogie-ing!
Just to be clear, the giant sparkly "10" is for "perfect 10," not Season 10. There have been TWICE that many seasons. Which is both awesome and insane.
Whoa whoa whoa: It's SEASON 20 of "Dancing with the Stars"? Can we talk about this? I was finally wrapping my head around the fact that "So You Think You Can Dance" is gearing up for its 12th (!) season—and then, BOOM, the press release for the Season 20 "DWTS" cast landed in my inbox. Time flies when you're having dance-y fun, apparently!
Anyway, yes: Everyone's favorite ballroom extravaganza is gearing up for another bedazzled run, and we now know (almost) all of the celebs and dancers who'll be competing. Highlights of the celebrity lineup include Olympian Nastia Liukin (whom I've always wanted to slap pointe shoes on—doesn't she look like she'd make a beautiful ballerina?), TV star Suzanne Somers, music legend Patti LaBelle, The Hunger Games' Willow Shields and actress Rumer Willis.
For us nerds, though, the pros are the true celebrities. So the happiest news of all is that many of our favorite superdancers will also be taking the floor this season—among them Derek Hough, Allison Holker, Mark Ballas and Sharna Burgess. Last season's champ, the fantabulous Witney Carson, will be returning, too, though her partner is TBD.
Here's the complete list. Tune into ABC on Monday, March 16 at 8 pm EST for the "DWTS" premiere!
Noah Galloway with Sharna Burgess
Robert Herjavec with Kym Johnson
Patti LaBelle with Artem Chigvintsev
Nastia Liukin with Derek Hough
Riker Lynch with Allison Holker
Charlotte McKinney with Keo Motsepe
RedFoo with Emma Slater
Michael Sam with Peta Murgatroyd
Willow Shields with Mark Ballas
Suzanne Somers with Tony Dovolani
Rumer Willis with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Witney Carson with TBD
Good news for those of us who can't get enough of Maddie Ziegler (so, pretty much all of us): The "Dance Moms" mini-celeb will be making an appearance on "Dancing with the Stars" tonight!
Maddie will reportedly be performing with the splendiferous Sia. And we're guessing that means a reprise of Sia's kind of incredible "Chandelier" video, which Maddie brought to magical life a few months ago (and then proceeded to "teach" to Jimmy Kimmel). It gets better, too: Judging by Maddie's Instagram feed, it looks like Allison Holker is also going to be involved in this amazingness.
"DWTS" airs tonight at 8 pm EST on ABC. "Dance Moms" fans can also catch Maddie and the whole Abby Lee crew an hour later on Lifetime. While you're waiting for all that to get started, please do yourself a big ol' favor and watch the "Chandelier" video again: