You know you've made it when you get THE call. No, not the call from the "So You Think You Can Dance" producers offering you a spot as a guest judge, or when Oxygen gives the green light on a reality show about your life. And it's not even the call from the President of the United States asking you to serve on his Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. The "you've made it in life" call I'm talking about, ladies and gents, is from the Street—"Sesame Street."
You guessed it: American Ballet Theatre soloist (and all around goddess) Misty Copeland got that call. And did she ever answer it.
I Will (Eat) What I Want (original photo courtesy of Under Armour; Photoshopping by yours truly)
As you're undoubtedly aware, Copeland isn't the first dancer to work with muppets from the PBS mainstay. Ballet legend Suzanne Farrell appeared a few times on "Sesame Street" in the early years, as did tap icons Gregory Hines and Savion Glover—who became a "Street" regular. In more recent years, Paula Abdul, dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and ballet sisters Lorna and Lorena Feijóo have performed on the show, and in one "People in Your Neighborhood" segment, muppets Murray Monster and Ovejita visited New York City Ballet.
But Copeland's performance with Cookie Monster that debuted earlier this week—a promotion for Cookie's forthcoming special, "The Cookie Thief"—is a little different. She doesn't strap on pointe shoes, step into a tutu or demonstrate what ballet looks like. Instead, Copeland showcases her signature warmth and sparkle from the waist-up, following Cookie's choreographic lead like a true celeb. Check it out!
One of the many, many reasons I love me some "Sesame Street" is that the show is so dance-friendly. One week, they're telling us that New York City Ballet dancers are people in our neighborhood; the next, Melissa McCarthy is having a dance party with Elmo.
Yesterday, none other than Usher stopped by the Street to do a little segment in which each letter of the alphabet got a dance move. Naturally, Grover, Murray Monster, Elmo and Abby Cadabby were around to help out. It's totally charming—and also seriously catchy. (And yes, "U" is for Usher.) Take a look!
"Sesame Street" is on a roll these days!
Just a couple of weeks ago, they had Melissa McCarthy doing the "flap-a-waddle-boom-boom" dance in honor of a very special word of the day, "choreographer." And in today's episode, things got even dancier.
Muppets Murray Monster and Ovejita took a trip to Lincoln Center to visit some of the "people in their neighborhood": ballet dancers. They talked to New York City Ballet corps members Kristen Segin, Alina Dronova, Callie Bachman and Sara Adams about the five ballet positions and how pointe shoes work, and then watched them perform the "Little Swans" quartet from Swan Lake. Predictably, it's adorable. Take a look!
[Side note: Remember when the "people in your neighborhood" theme song wasn't a rap ("Who are the peeps that you meet when you're walkin' down the street?") but instead a boppy little easy-listening tune? Man, I feel old. I guess I'll just listen to the original while doing my needlework or the Sunday crossword...because those are not just old-people stereotypes but also things I actually do. Ohhh dear.]
I've always had a soft spot for "Sesame Street," especially since the show has always had a soft spot for dance. (Remember Suzanne Farrell taking "small steps" and "big steps"? And Jacques d'Amboise's "peanut ballet"? And Angel Corella dancing with the alphabet? And Lourdes Lopez and Jock Soto demonstrating "up" and "down"? Ah, memories.)
But I have to admit I didn't expect comedienne extraordinaire Melissa McCarthy's guest spot on the show this week to involve dance.
Silly me. Since McCarthy's word of the day is "choreographer" (pretty advanced, right?), she and Elmo collaborate with a choreographer penguin, who teaches them the "flap-a-waddle-boom-boom" dance. Predictably, it's awesome. Take a look: