Melody and Nick Lazzarini on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 1.
Melody Lacayanga is tiny and powerful, and she’s taking the commercial dance world by storm. The feisty, California-born dancer grew up dancing with Chris Jacobsen’s Dance Company of San Francisco (with this month’s cover girl, Chantel Aguirre!), but it was her successful turn on “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 1 that made Melody famous.
During the show’s first season, ballet-trained Melody dominated each style that was thrown her way, from the jive to the paso doble. She snagged the runner-up title, coming in second to Nick Lazzarini. Since “SYTYCD,” Melody has continued dancing professionally, performing with Sonya Tayeh Dance Company and Mark Meismer’s Evolution. She has danced on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Idol Gives Back” and “Glee,” and has performed at the MTV European Music Awards. Most recently, Melody was a dancer on Miley Cyrus’ Gypsy Heart world tour and was an All-Star on “SYTYCD” Season 8. Read on for The Dirt!
What did you want to be when you were a teen?
A sports medicine doctor or a psychologist. Dance was never in my plan as an “ideal career.”
Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Robin Thicke or The Script
If you could work with any performer, past or present, who would it be?
Otis Redding. I love him!
Most-played song on your iPod:
“No One Gonna Love You,” by Jennifer Hudson. It’s soooo good—I wanna cry right now as I hear it in my head!
Must-see TV show:
“Top Chef.” I am obsessed!
Who would play you in a movie?
Hmm…Brenda Song? Haha. Or Vanessa Hudgens.
Who is your dance crush?
I don’t have dance crushes, I have chef crushes!
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people put their luggage in the overhead bins incorrectly.
Biggest guilty pleasure:
Shoes. I love all types, from sneakers to heels, flats to boots, TOMS, everything. I’m also a sucker for red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.
One thing most people don’t know about you:
I used to sing when I was younger. I sang more than I danced, but one day I just stopped singing. I wish I hadn’t…
If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be?
Probably a chef. I’m actually considering going to culinary school in the future, when I’m ready to hang up my booty shorts.
Favorite city in the world:
Rio de Janeiro
Favorite dancer of all time:
I have such a long list! Sylvie Guillem , Peter Chu and Lindsay Blaufarb are way up there.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
We also want you to
get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.