Emma Portner (Jayme Thornton)

#VideoBreak: Emma Portner's Latest Video Is Everything

Here at Dance Spirit, we're constantly in awe of Emma Portner. The powerhouse choreographer, dancer, and November 2016 cover star is never not busy, constantly diving into new projects, while posting a stream of choreo videos that are breathtaking, innovative, and genre bending. (Is it just us, or does everyone else get lost in her Instagram feed for hours on end? 🙋🏻 )


But her latest video, "You Don't Live Here Anymore," just might be our favorite yet. She dances an intense duet with her partner, actress Ellen Page, and it's filled with the raw, captivating emotional presence Portner has become known for. Do yourself a favor and watch it this very second:

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Photo by Brooke Fera

Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer


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