The Top 10 in Travis Wall's opening number (Adam Rose/FOX)

Last night marked—finally!—the first live show of Season 15. We made it! And so did the Top 10. Now, it's up to the viewers (that's you!) to determine which contestants end up in the Top 4 and, eventually, which one will snag the sweet prizes up for grabs: $1 million, the cover of Dance Spirit (that's us!), and a role in FOX's live production of RENT, which will air January 27. Also awesome: tWitch is officially on the judging panel for the long haul, alongside Nigel, Mary, and Vanessa. Dreams do come true!

So how'd the two-hour event play out? Each contestant couple performed twice: once in the girl's style and once in the guy's. Here's what went down.

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Dance News
On the set of "Let It Go" (courtesy Talia Favia)

Odds are good you've seen a T. Milly—aka Tim Milgram—production: He's filmed class routines for the likes of Tricia Miranda and Brian Friedman, and his concept videos for the Fraternal Twins and 8 Flavahz crew have garnered millions of views. You've also probably encountered talented choreographer Talia Favia, a Capezio A.C.E. Award winner whose lush creations are highly camera-friendly.So what does it take to capture the essence of a dance on film? And what makes choreography pop on screen? Dance Spirit got the scoop from Milgram and Favia, who discussed “Let It Go," the popular video they collaborated on last year.

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How To

Hello all you lovely, creative people! Are you possibly the world's next choreographic genius? Do you want $15,000 to produce your very own show? Of course you are—we've seen how much talent y'all have!—and of course you do. Which makes us especially happy to announce that the 2016 Capezio A.C.E. Awards competition is now accepting submissions.

Here's last year's winner, Kirsten Russell, receiving her prize. YOU WANT TO BE THIS HAPPY! (photo by Joe Toreno)

A little background: Each year, the A.C.E. (Award for Choreographic Excellence) Awards invites 15 gifted dancemakers to present their best work at the Dance Teacher Summit. Three winners from that group, chosen by reps from Capezio and Dance Teacher magazine, receive funds to produce a full-length show, with $15,000 being the top prize. And in case you're wondering just how legit the A.C.E. Awards are, please note that past winners include Travis Wall, Peter Chu, Al Blackstone, Melinda Sullivan and Talia Favia. BOOM.

Anyway, entering the contest is easy: Just upload your best choreography video to dancemedia.com anytime between now and May 2. 15 semifinalists will get to present their choreo at the NYC Dance Teacher Summit, which will be held July 29–31; winners will be announced there. Questions? You can find all the rules and regulations (plus more delicious details about the prizes) here.

Get uploading, everybody. And if you need a little inspiration, take a look at last year's winning entry, Kirsten Russell's brilliant "Islands":

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Dance News

Chaz Buzan in Talia Favia's The Difference Between Action and Words (photo by Kyle Froman)

It felt pretty glamorous to be a DS editor this weekend. We all dressed to the nines for the 2014 Capezio A.C.E. (Award for Choreographic Excellence) Awards—one of the highlights of the Dance Teacher Summit, an impressive annual extravaganza presented by our friends over at Dance Teacher magazine. Fellow editor Nicole and I were both first-timers at the event, and we didn't know quite what to expect. Man, were we in for a treat.

The show featured the works of 19 budding choreographers, all finalists vying for this year's big prizes. The winner receives a $15,000 production budget for their very own, evening-length show in NYC, produced by Break the Floor, while first and second runners-up win $5,000 and $3,000 production budgets, respectively. So naturally, all of the choreographers brought their A-games.

Honestly, we haven't been able to stop talking about it since. Nicole and I sat down this morning to debrief.

Maggie: So let's talk Saturday night. How would you characterize the overall vibe of the evening?

Nicole: Super high energy. It was so cool to walk into a ballroom full of dance lovers and professionals, all on the edge of their seats waiting for the show to begin.

Maggie: I completely agree. It was awesome to see that high energy carry into the choreography—especially in the musical theater pieces. Derek Mitchell's We Both Reached for the Gun and Caleb Teicher's A Little Moonlight didn't skip a beat. So much fun.

Nicole: The contemporary pieces were also really strong. I especially enjoyed the complex partnering in Jessie Hartley Riley's No Need to Fear. Our 2014 CMS finalist Alyssa Allen ROCKED that piece.

Maggie: And what about Jake Tribus and fellow CMS finalist Sarah Pippin in Kristen Russell's The Cave? Talk about a feel-good piece. I loved the sweeping movement across the stage—it felt like they were frolicking in a field.

Nicole: Totally. But let's talk about the big winners of the night. Second runner-up Emma Portner's Let Go, Or Be Dragged—I really appreciated the way she incorporated elements of street dance in a contemporary piece. Plus, the super-solid ladies partnering was quite impressive.

Portner entered the competition with another piece: Come Back, Let Me Under!

Maggie: I agree. I thought her movement quality was especially unique. I applaud her dancers for pulling off such complex, idiosyncratic movement with complete precision.

Nicole: First runner-up Cherrise Wakeham's She was completely different but equally impressive. It was romantic and gentle and lovely.

Maggie: And those skirts. Where can I get one? But the big winner of the night was Talia Favia. Her piece, The Difference Between Action and Words, was extremely powerful. The dancers used tape to convey the feeling of being silenced or controlled.

Nicole: The dancers just went for it. It was probably the most technically demanding choreography of the evening. Shout out to January 2012 cover guy Chaz Buzan, who was a real standout in the piece.

Favia entered the competition with another excerpt: The Difference Between Sinking and Drowning.

Maggie: Chills. Saturday night also featured excerpts from last year's runners-up: Lindsay Nelko, Jacob Jonas and Andre Kasten. We really saw how much development can happen in a year!

Nicole: Such a cool part of the evening. I'm really looking forward to seeing more of them during this week's Capezio A.C.E. Awards Winners Festival!

 

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