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.