Like many dance traditions, it started at the Paris Opéra. (Edgar Degas' "The Dance Class")

The dance world is brimming with superstitions. One of the most common is never to say "good luck" before a show, since everyone knows uttering the phrase is, in fact, very bad luck. Actors say "break a leg" instead. But since that phrase isn't exactly dance-friendly, you and your dance friends probably tell each other "merde" before taking the stage.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "merde" is a French exclamation that loosely translates to, er, "poop." So how did dancers end up saying "merde" to each other instead of "good luck"?

To learn more, we spoke to Raymond Lukens, associate emeritus of the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, and Kelli Rhodes-Stevens, professor of dance at Oklahoma City University. Read on—and the next time you exchange "merdes" with your castmates before a show, you'll know why.

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Dancer to Dancer
Dancer Tony Bellissimo on the field at Super Bowl LII (via Instagram)

The Super Bowl is America's most-watched television event. Last year, when the incomparable Justin Timberlake took center field for the halftime show, more than 106 million viewers were watching his every move—and that's not even a record!

What's it like to perform for such an incredibly huge audience? Dancer Tony Bellissimo has plenty of experience with high-pressure dance gigs, having worked with artists including Rihanna, Britney Spears, John Legend, and Chris Brown. But stepping out alongside Timberlake during last year's halftime show was a next-level experience. We talked to Bellissimo about how he scored such a coveted job—and how he handled the pressure.

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Dancer to Dancer
Mikaela Kelly (left) and Jordan Pelliteri (right) (photos by Kenneth Edwards and Ed Flores, courtesy Kelly and Pelliteri)

Two young American dancers, Mikaela Kelly and Jordan Pelliteri (a former DS Cover Model Search finalist!), recently landed their dream jobs with the prestigious second company NDT 2, of Nederlands Dans Theater. So they packed up and headed abroad, ditching NYC subway trains for bicycles in The Hague, Netherlands.

Dancing abroad becomes about so much more than just working (although these girls work 13-hour days most of the time). It's also about traveling, being homesick, dealing with unexpected cultural differences, and potential language barriers. So, what's it really like to dance in Europe? We caught up with the pair to find out.

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Dancer to Dancer
They're blazing new trails in the dance world—and beyond it. (courtesy Keone and Mari Madrid)

Trailblazer (noun): a pioneer in any field of endeavor.

It seems like choreographic duo Keone and Mari Madrid are always exploring uncharted territory. The husband-and-wife team have a well-earned reputation as dance pioneers, starting a decade ago (long before dance videos were a thing) with their mind-bending YouTube clips, and now with their impressive multidisciplinary work. Having an open mind about where their interests might lead has allowed them to seize opportunities within the dance world—and beyond it. "We stay curious and try not to be fearful," Keone says. "We take the risk and see what happens."

We caught up with the creative couple to talk about their latest projects: a unique dance e-book, Ruth, and an innovative full-length show, Beyond Babel.

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Dancer to Dancer
Natalie Romero (far right) onstage with Jennifer Lopez in All I Have (via Instagram)

Las Vegas has been home to some of the most fabulous shows of all time—including, these days, the dance-filled Jennifer Lopez showcase All I Have. What's it like to perform on The Strip with a world-class artist? We asked J.Lo dancer Natalie Romero for the inside scoop.

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Dancer to Dancer

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