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For any young dancer performing in The Nutcracker, Marie (aka Clara, depending on the production) is a dream role. But Charlotte Nebres, who will be playing Marie in New York City Ballet's Nutcracker this year isn't just bringing her own dream to life—she's also making history.

Charlotte is the first black dancer to ever perform the role of Marie in NYCB's production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, which dates all the way back to 1954. Charlotte was, of course, hugely excited to perform the role of Marie, but, according to the New York Times, when her mother told her that she was the first black dancer cast in the role, she said "Wow. That seems a little late."

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Dance News
Awwww, we heart the Season 28 final four so much. (Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

It's beyond crazy that Season 28 of "Dancing With the Stars" is over. This has to have been one of the most dramatic seasons in the show's history, complete with major injuries, last-minute mother-daughter replacements, shocking eliminations, controversial contestants—the works. But it's also been one of our favorite seasons, because the dancing has been next-level amazing, week after week.

Last night's finale required every couple to perform twice: first, a dance they'd done before, and then, of course, their freestyle. And we are such suckers for a good freestyle, when the professionals and stars can bring their personalities to the ballroom, and you never know quite what to expect.

In case you missed it, here are all of last night's freestyle performances—plus the Season 28 champions!

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Dance Videos
Okay, we might have been crying a little watching James Van Der Beek's foxtrot (Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

If you haven't yet watched last night's episode of "Dancing with the Stars," we're going to kindly recommend that you grab the tissues before doing so. Because, OH. WOW. We were teary-eyed through the whole darn thing. And we weren't the only ones: The entire ballroom seemed to be on the verge of waterworks, from the stars to the pros to, yes, even the judges.

That's not a huge surprise, really. It was the semi-finals, so naturally tensions were running high. And we only have one more week left with all our incredible stars, which is cause enough for crying. But before we start tearing up again, let's get to some of the incredible dancing we saw last night—of which there was plenty!

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Your first semester as a college dance student can be hectic. But being busy is no reason to put your mental health on hold. In fact, the times when you feel totally overwhelmed by tasks and to-do lists are actually when your mental health is most important.

Luckily, most colleges have tons of on-campus resources for getting help with your mental wellness. Just as you would go to the PT if your ankle were suddenly bothering you, you should seek out counseling resources if you're feeling anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed. DS talked to two college educators about the best ways to use your college counseling resources—and why it's important to do so.

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We're all kinds of obsessed with James Van Der Beek's boy band-inspired look. (Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

Last night's episode of "Dancing with the Stars" saw our pros and stars performing to music by all of our fave boy bands and girl groups, including the Spice Girls, One Direction, and K-Pop sensation BTS. As a bonus, the judges were joined by "DWTS" alumni and boy band aficionado/veteran Joey Fatone.

As we get closer and closer to the finale (the semi-finals are next week, folks!), the dancing is only getting better. And last night also featured the elimination of one of the most controversial stars in "DWTS" history—talk about drama! In case you missed it, we rounded up the episode's danciest highlights.

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Dance Videos
Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten were on fire this week. (Kelsey McNeal, courtesy ABC)

Well, fellow "Dancing with the Stars" lovers, the Season 28 finale is officially in sight. With only two more weeks standing between us and the announcement of the Mirrorball Trophy winner, things are starting to get real. So, in a way it was unsurprising that last night's episode included some of the best dancing we've seen this season (or in "DWTS" history, for that matter). In case you missed it, we rounded up the highlights.

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Popular
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that the moment the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, the holiday season has begun. And for dancers, that means only one thing: It's officially full-on Nutcracker time.

Sure, we've been in rehearsals since September, but it's not until ~spooky~ season ends that we can really start getting in the Nutcracker mood. And as the holidays kick into high gear, things around the studio start getting a little crazy. Here are the nine moods every dancer experiences at least once during the annual Nutcracker rush.

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Just for Fun
The ladies of Team Treat (Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

Halloween night on "Dancing with the Stars" is always next-level, with its bedazzled yet still somehow terrifying costumes, oodles and oodles of fog machine effects, and wicked choreo to every spooky tune imaginable. And last night's episode somehow took next level to the next level. Pennywise the clown costumes! An opening routine set to a Billie Eilish song! YET ANOTHER shocking elimination! Spooooooky...

But before we get to the tricks, let's focus on the treats—AKA all of the amazing dancing we got to see last night.

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Dance News
Kel Mitchell's face is us every week when we get to watch a new episode of "Dancing with the Stars." (Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

It finally feels like Season 28 of "Dancing with the Stars" is hitting its stride. All of the celebs seem to be getting more comfortable with dancing—meaning we're starting to see some more difficult dance styles and some more impressive choreo. In other words: We're ready to start placing bets as to who's going to take home the Mirrorball Trophy!

In case you missed last night's episode—which was chock-full of some of the best dancing we've seen yet this season—we rounded up the highlights.

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Dance Videos
Photo by Jayme Thornton

It's National Bullying Prevention Month—and Houston Ballet breakout star Harper Watters is exactly the advocate young dancers facing bullying need. Watters is no novice when it comes to slaying on social media, but his Bullying Prevention Month collaboration with Teen Vogue and Instagram is him at his most raw, speaking about his own experiences with bullies, and how his love of dance helped him to overcome adversity. Watters even penned an incredible op-ed for Teen Vogue's website, where he talks candidly about growing up queer. Catch his amazing anti-bullying video here—and, as Watters says, "Stay fabulous, stay flawless, stay flexible, but most importantly, stay fearless."

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Dancer to Dancer
We'd be willing to wear a Donald Duck costume if it meant we could join the "DWTS" cast for a Disneyland performance. (Photo by Kelsey McNeal, courtesy ABC)

DISNEY! NIGHT! Disney Night on "Dancing with the Stars"! Sorry, but we're still not over the bedazzled amazing-ness that was last night's episode. If last week's lack of glitz and glamour left us feeling a bit underwhelmed, Disney Night made up for it doubly—starting with one of the best opening numbers we've seen in a minute (filmed on-site at Disneyland, nbd).

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Dance Videos

Regardless of any drama surrounding Ellen DeGeneres which may or may not have occurred last week, we're still major fans of the majorly adorable Ellen-tWitch friendship. tWitch is a regular DJ and dance-master on Ellen's show, and we love to watch the duo do their thing. And this past Friday, Ellen gave her bestie a shot at the big job: hosting.

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Dance News
There's something so magical about getting to see Dawson dancing a quickstep. (Photo by Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

Was it just us, or was this week's "Dancing with the Stars" the quick-and-dirty edition? There was no theme, and no opening number. It felt like we were just barreling on towards the second elimination of the season. (Maybe it was a palate cleanser before next week's Disney Night to look forward to, which is bound to be chock full of the glitz and glamour we love so much?)

Luckily, the episode wasn't lacking on the dance front. In case you missed it, we rounded up the highlights.

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Dance Videos
We're (im)patiently waiting for a "Bunheads"-inspired musical. (Via Freeform)

Though Broadway has a rich history of turning classic movies into musicals, it's much less common to see a hit TV show adapted for the stage. But when you do, it can be true musical theater magic, like Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical or The Addams Family. So, here's the tea from Dance Spirit: the seven TV shows that need to be turned into Broadway musicals, like, ASAP.

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Musical Theater
From now on, we're not dancing unless a giant pair of Elton John-style sunglasses is involved. (Via ABC)

Last night was Movie Night on "Dancing with the Stars," which marks the first themed night of the season! And boy, was it ever themed—but, of course, we totally loved it. The show began with a dazzling opening number from Kathryn Burns (of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" fame), and from there, the dancing couples went on to re-create a whole bunch of iconic movies, from Titanic to Saturday Night Fever.

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Dance Videos

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