It's Time for a Good Old-Fashioned High School Dance Off
We're all in this together, amirite? (Photo by Fred Hayes/Disney Channel)
It's hard to believe it's been almost nine years (WUT) since Troy and Gabriella won our hearts in Disney Channel's High School Musical. #Throwback to the epic hallway flash mobs, the intense basketball choreo, the emotional romance...ahh, such memories. But these days, the hallways of East High are serving a slightly different purpose.
Here's the scoop: Dream team Scott Winn and Brenden Bytheway (aka Scott & Brendo, the guys who brought us the "Stormtrooper Twerk" and the "Harry Potter vs. Twilight Dance Battle") were searching for a place to shoot their latest project, "High School Dance Battle: Geeks vs. Cool Kids." HSM's old stomping grounds seemed a natural fit. But while this blast of nostalgia sure is lovely, it's not the main reason we're obsessed with this video. You guys, the dance is sooo good.
It should be no surprise: The man behind the moves is choreographer Jason Celaya, who collaborated with Scott & Brendo on "Stormtroopers" and "Harry Potter vs. Twilight." He's also responsible for "The World's Largest Treadmill Dance," so you know he does it big. To pump up the dance power even more, they've got Chachi Gonzales leading the cool kids and Jade Chynoweth repin' the geeks. So, yeah, you know you want to watch this.
(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 on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "