The dancers-slay-choreo-while-onlookers-cheer class video is pretty popular these days. And if you've watched a viral class video within the past 24 hours, there's a good chance it was filmed by Tim Milgram. With 3.1 million subscribers and counting on his YouTube channel, TMilly TV, it's obvious that online audiences love his video style, with its dramatic lighting and choreographed camera work.
But while many in the dance community appreciate class videos as a way to show their work and expand their online following, others have spoken out against the practice, questioning how it negatively affects dancers' training and priorities. Acknowledging those complaints, Milgram recently decided to open his own studio, TMilly TV, in North Hollywood, CA. It aims to create a better balance between time spent learning and time spent filming. Already, the studio has attracted some big-name faculty, from Dominique Kelley to Jake Kodish.
We caught up with Milgram to get the scoop on his new studio, and how he hopes to improve the dance community's perception of the class video.
There's nothing dynamic duo Kaycee Rice and Sean Lew can't do. From dominating in class vids to qualifying on "World of Dance," this pair has taken the industry by storm. And their latest video, directed by the talented Tim Milgram and choreographed by the Emmy Award-winning Tessandra Chavez? We can't stop watching it.
Pretty much every class at L.A.'s Millennium Dance Complex features a combo set to a serious banger of a song. But not every class brings in the ACTUAL POP STAR BEHIND THE SONG to watch dancers take on that combo.
A few days ago, Demi Lovato dropped by Jojo Gomez's class at Millennium to see what Gomez had made of her hit "Sorry Not Sorry." Gomez's 🔥 choreo—and the incredible performances by some of Hollywood's best dancers/most devoted Lovatics, including Kaycee Rice—didn't disappoint.
Remember when getting a selfie/making a dance video in the Rain Room was the coolest of cool-kid things to do? Now there's a fabulous new place to create Instagram magic: The Attention Room, an immersive exhibit in L.A. promoting Charlie Puth's newest single, "Attention." It's basically a big black box filled with crazy LED projections that make you look like you're suspended in a disco queen's re-imagining of deep space.
Naturally, genius filmmaker/ultimate cool kid Tim Milgram just made a dance video there. And he casually brought Jade Chynoweth, Sean Lew, Jake Kodish and Jason Glover (to name just a few) along for the ride.
Even if you've never been to L.A., you probably have a solid idea of what class at Millennium Dance Complex in North Hollywood is like. You can picture the vibrant red walls; you can feel the waves of dancers feeding off one another's explosive energy. Why? Because you—and millions of other dance fans—have watched countless class videos filmed at the center.
Class videos are a VIP pass, taking dancers and non-dancers alike inside the commercial world's hottest studios. And people are watching them obsessively, sharing them on platforms across the web, helping them rack up tens of millions of views. We turned to some of the industry's key players to find out more about what makes the class video format uniquely appealing.
How crazy has the rise of the class video been? Within the past year or so, we've basically come to expect that L.A.'s top commercial choreographers will put out a new internet-breaking vid every week. Here are five of our all-time favorites. (And be sure to read a whole lot more about the class video trend in the May/June issue of Dance Spirit.)
Oh, you knew it was coming.
As soon as Beyoncé dropped the internet-breaking "Formation" video—complete with epic choreo by Dana Foglia, JaQuel Knight and Chris Grant—you could practically hear choreographers around the world dropping everything to work on "Formation" routines of their own.
But you probably weren't expecting those routines to be QUITE as good as WilldaBeast's "Formation" creation.
Then again, do we expect anything less than perfection from WilldaBeast these days? Because that's exactly what his spin on the instant Bey classic delivers: take-no-prisoners, make-no-excuses perfection.
The video (filmed by Tim Milgram, naturally) even features one of Beyoncé's own Super Bowl ladies, the fabulous China Taylor. (Her lip-syncing skills actually give me chills.) And as always, we get to see the stylings of a whole crowd of WilldaBeast devotees, including Jade Chynoweth, Sean Lew, Will Simmons and (does she sleep??) Kaycee Rice.
Watch them slay. (They slay.) All day. (ALL DAY.)
Winter's in full swing, which means Sundays are now reserved for watching your favorite dance videos on repeat. We've done the hard work for you and rounded up the best of the best. From full-length ballets to competition drama, there's something for everyone. Check it out and happy #LazySunday!
For the Bunheads:
Need an extra shot of Christmas spirit? Cozy up with a mug of hot chocolate and watch New York City Ballet's entire 1993 production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker.
For the Commercial Queens and Kings:
It's no secret that anything Tim Milgram touches turns to gold, and this collab with Lindsay Nelko, Jade Chenowyth, Anthony Westlake and Noah Tratree is no exception (not to mention, one of our all-time favorites).
For the Competition and Convention Lovers:
Comp kids, your dedication is unrivaled. After spending weekends hopping from state to state and ballroom to ballroom, you deserve to unwind. And our original series, "The Road to Nationals," is the perfect way to do that. Check it out here.
It's no secret that Tim Milgram and viral dance videos go hand-in-hand. The videographer/director/producer extraordinaire has a collection of stunning projects, all of which are completely unique yet equally incredible (and FYI: Milgram spills his secrets to making a viral vid in our May/June 2016 issue). His latest creation features choreography and dancing by Renee Kester (who absolutely blew us away in this earlier vid with "SYTYCD" alum Phillip Chbeeb) to a beautifully melancholy James Bay background track. Kester's seen weaving her way through thousands of books in an empty bookstore and her flawless technique, tight control and crisp movements bring the whole performance to the next level. It's sure to become another Milgram classic—check it out below.
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The latest project to stoke our WilldaNestra obsession? A New York Fashion Week video the duo choreographed for Vogue. It's an awesomely fun backstage dance party featuring Korean pop star CL, celebrating the close of NYFW.
The vid's a whirlwind mash-up of amazing dancers (including former PULSE Elite Protégé Elyssa Cueto, vogueing icon Javier Ninja, and our April 2015 Cover Model Search Editors' Choice winner Kerrynton Jones) and strutting models—all sporting the trendiest of outfits, naturally. It's the stuff that dance/fashion dreams are made of. Plus, videographer/director Tim Milgram was involved, so it's no wonder the finished product is pure #perfection.
I can't get enough of Janelle Ginestra's high-octane, take-no-prisoners choreo.
So a new video in which Ginestra's young'uns channel the Monster High ghouls and whip through her choreography all over "Boo York"? Guess what: I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT.
Oh-so-cutely titled "City Ghouls," the video is set to "Fright Lights, Big City" from the new Monster High movie musical, Boo York, Boo York. Ginestra teamed up with L.A.'s busiest dance film director, Tim Milgram (no way that dude sleeps), to create a frightfully delightful romp through the streets—and, occasionally, fire escapes—of New Boo York.
GET IT Taylor. (screenshot via YouTube)
The best part? The all-star cast includes Taylor, Larsen, Kyndall Harris, Tori Caro, Kerrynton Jones, Trinity Inay, Lexee Smith and Reese Hatala. (That's right: We get both Taylor and her baby sister Reese. They'd be adorable if they weren't so busy being fierce.)
Watch the full video below—and Monster High fans, check out the complete Boo York, Boo York soundtrack here.
Are you currently crying into your last poolside soda? Taking wistful selfies of your rapidly fading tan? Feeling generally blue because summer is—*sob*—coming to a close?
Let the Suga N Spice crew make it all better.
This Fourth of July, 10 members of the too-cute-for-words group—Amanda Kinert, Sarah Kinert, Trinity Inay, Amy Magsam, Taylor Knight, Leah Roga, Taylor Hatala, Larsen Thompson, Soraia Esteves and Kerrynton Jones—hung out together in Las Vegas. Naturally, Brian Friedman and Tim Milgram were there to choreograph and film (respectively) the fun. Naturally, the soundtrack was Fifth Harmony's "Me & My Girls." (Fifth Harmony tracks seem to bring out the best in the Suga N Spice ladies.) Naturally, the girls' candy-and-orange-soda-fueled party took over the whole Vegas strip.
Haaaay Larsen's legs. (screenshot from "Me & My Girls")
The resulting video, which dropped yesterday, will take you right back to the glory days of summer—just in time to combat back-to-school depression. (And you'd better believe it'll give you a whole new set of back-to-studio dance #goals, too.)
Does your soul need feeding today? Let Lindsay Nelko take care of that for you.
The crazy gifted choreographer—who tied for third place at the Capezio A.C.E. Awards in 2013 and presented a beautiful full-length show, Awakening, in NYC last summer—just released your new favorite video. Set to Ellie Goulding's haunting cover of Active Child's "Hanging On," it stars the remarkable Jade Chynoweth, Noah Tratree and Anthony Westlake, and features direction by Tim Milgram (whom you know as the man behind pretty much every one of your favorite dance vids these days).
Nelko has the uncanny ability to channel big, universal feelings—rejection, love, fear, uncertainty—while still telling an intensely personal story. In "Hanging On," that story is dark, rough-edged and gritty. Chynoweth's performance as the tortured protagonist is totally transfixing—she's such a mature presence that you forget she's just 16. And while in the past Nelko's partnering work has seemed a little meh, here it pulses with vitality.
*shivers* (screenshot via YouTube)
Basically, the whole thing is designed to give you chills upon chills upon chills. (Which, given that it's a bajillion degrees out, is exactly what we all need right now.)
Need a kick-start to your week? "Run the World," the newest concept video from choreographer Janelle Ginestra, videographer/director Tim Milgram and self-titled "Fraternal Twins" Taylor Hatala and Larsen Thompson, will certainly do the trick. OK, so they're not actually fraternal twins (as you know). But 14-year-old Larsen and 11-year-old Taylor are seriously the best lady-dance partners the world could ask for. And add in the right concept and styling, and the two really do look a lot like sisters...
But I digress.
In Ginestra's world (and Beyoncé's, for that matter) the twins are at the top—this time as global CEOs, running the world like the true bosses they are. For the most part, it's just Taylor and Larsen, though Kyle Hanagami has quite possibly the cutest cameo in the history of concept videos. What starts off as Window's Surface commercial–esque turns into the most kick-butt call for more women leaders.
World domination on fleek (Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala in "Run the World")
I'd watch this video before starting any summer school work you might be putting off. #Girlpower #Inspiration #YoumightevenrunforStudentcouncilpresidentthisyear.