It is perhaps the understatement of the century to say that Misty Copeland—American Ballet Theatre principal, trailblazing role model, and straight-up ballet icon—knows how to work a pair of pointe shoes. But a new campaign for Stuart Weitzman, in which Copeland trades her ballet "boots" for some boots of the more traditional kind, proves (yet again) that she's a dance goddess in any kind of footwear.
We have a Thanksgiving tradition here at Dance Spirit: Every November, I ask my fellow editors to send me a list of the dance performances/artists/trends/miscellany from the past year that made them grateful to be part of this wild, wonderful little world. Because we're always looking for excuses to celebrate all things dance—and what better excuse than #GratitudeSeason?
Congratulations to the 39 talented dancers just named 2020 YoungArts award winners! This year's group of awardees includes several familiar faces from the competition scene.
There are few things we love more than big movie and TV dance scenes. Are they, generally speaking, accurate and flattering depictions of the IRL dance world? Well...no. But each one is an opportunity to bring a more mainstream audience inside this wonderful, HIGHLY specific universe we inhabit. And who better to break down some of the most iconic dance scenes of the past three-odd decades than American Ballet Theatre principal/Instagram celebrity/all-around delight Isabella Boylston?
Get excited, Jellicle fans: It's almost time meow!
We're about a month out from the release of the new movie version of Cats. To mark the occasion, the film's team has dropped another dance-filled trailer. The vid offers further peeks at Andy Blankenbuehler's choreography—and at the "digital fur technology"-enhanced versions of the celebrities (dance-world and, uh, world-world) involved, from Taylor Swift to Francesca Hayward.
We're always here for a good dance-tech collab. If it involves genius choreographer Kyle Hanagami? Even better. How about Kyle Hanagami and a crew of A-list dancers? Yes please. What about Kyle Hanagami, A-list dancers, and a device that might actually be useful to dancers and choreographers? That's a YAAAAAAAS.
The new Google Nest Hub Max has a nifty feature: You can use hand signals to start and stop music on the device, without actually touching it. The smart folks at Google recognized that that's the kind of thing choreographers could use all the time. (How convenient not to have to walk back and forth across the studio repeatedly while you're working out a phrase?) So they got Hanagami to make a video illustrating exactly how handy the Nest is.
Savion Glover is one of the biggest names in the dance world, and perhaps the biggest in the tap world. The trailblazing hoofer's hard-hitting, rhythmically intricate style has fundamentally altered the tap landscape.
Glover is also a master teacher. But during his many years on the scene, he's never appeared regularly at a major dance convention. That is, until this season: Glover is now teaching at JUMP Dance Convention, scheduled to appear at approximately 15 more cities on its 2019–2020 tour.
We talked with JUMP director Mike Minery, himself a gifted hoofer, about working with a living legend—and how Glover is already changing the convention class game.
Have you heard the story about the dancer who needed a double hip replacement…at age 16?
It's not an urban legend—just ask iconic choreographer Mia Michaels. In a video series about dance injuries, produced by Apolla Performance Footwear, Michaels tells the tale of a teenage comp kid who pushed so hard she ended up in surgery.
That dancer's harrowing story was one of the inspirations for the Bridge Dance Project. The new initiative—brainchild of Jan Dunn, co-director of Denver Dance Medicine Associates, and Kaycee Cope Jones, COO of Apolla—aims to connect members of the competition and commercial dance communities with dance science experts. While many academic and professional concert dancers have benefited from recent advances in dance medicine, that information hasn't made its way to most of the young students in convention ballrooms. And as the technical demands on those students increase, so does the number of injuries.
We talked to Dunn and Jones about how the Bridge Dance Project was born, the initiative's long-term goals, and why young competition and commercial dancers should make injury prevention a priority.
When Chance the Rapper took to the "Saturday Night Live" stage over the weekend to perform "Zanies and Fools," were you obsessed with his backup dancers? Specifically, did you lose it for the three talented kids who appeared right as Chance referenced Destiny's Child, like mini versions of Kelly, Michelle, and Beyoncé?
Turns out, those young dancers—Jade Nicole Collins, Allie Francois, and Emma Lesly Francis—are Chloe and Maud Foundation students, mentored by iconic dance sister duo Chloe and Maud Arnold. (The Chloe and Maud Foundation is a nonprofit that provides scholarships, master classes, and other support for dance students in need.)
Well, it's official: Selena is BACK.
One day after dropping the breakup ballad of the year, "Lose You to Love Me," Selena Gomez has gifted us with its dancefloor-ready counterpart, "Look At Her Now." And when we say "dancefloor-ready," we're not speaking hypothetically. In the song's music video, Gomez and an all-girl crew of backup dancers nail intricate choreography in a room ablaze with neon lights. Because the best way to get over heartbreak is to dance right through it.
Get Dance Spirit in your inbox
If you've even glanced at your feeds recently, odds are good you've noticed a video of a fabulous kid dominating some choreo alongside her equally fabulous teacher. It's the kind of clip that gets everyone and their mom (no, really—my mom is OBSESSED) cheering. Celebs ranging from Kate Couric to American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside have shared it. So, what's the story behind the video?
If, like us, you're obsessed with every move choreographer Phil Wright makes, then you know all about "The Parent Jam," Wright's workshop series that gets the whole family into dance class. Videos of the masterclasses, in which Wright teaches simple choreography to both parents and kids, have gone crazy-viral on YouTube. And it's not hard to see why—they're infectiously fun.
Now, Wright's inspired idea is about to reach an even bigger audience: Disney Channel just ordered "Disney Fam Jam," a family dance competition series based on "The Parent Jam."
Have you missed having the delightful Jenna Dewan in your living room on a regular basis since her departure from "World of Dance"? Well, happy news: Dewan is about to step up (NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT SORRY) to another dance TV show hosting gig. And the premise of this new series is…really something.
How, you ask? Why, with a frightfully delightful Lizzo-meets-Elphaba dance mashup for the ages, of course. (A special thank-you, Mark, for introducing us to the #broomtwerk.)
Israel Adesanya is a gifted Nigerian-New Zealander mixed martial artist who, on Saturday night, became the Ultimate Fighting Championship's middleweight champion.
But why are we, over here at Dance Spirit, obsessed with Adesanya? Because he's also a really, really great dancer. And on Saturday—after a long battle with UFC officials outside the ring—he was finally allowed to show off his dance skills during a fight entrance.