WilldaBeast's Michael Jackson Tribute
Who inspires you to dance? It's a tough question—because there are so many possible answers. Here at DS, Misty Copeland encourages us to be ourselves, and to never let the phrase "I can't" pop into our heads. Ricky Ubeda makes us want to stretch for days in hopes of coming close to his gorgeous extension. Kyle Hanagami inspires us to be courageous and honest as artists. Justin Peck motivates us to exercise our creative brains on a daily basis. Chloé Arnold inspires us to harness our #girlpower. Seriously, we could go on for ever...
For many dancers, it's their teachers who inspire them the most. This is definitely the case for the students of Will "WilldaBeast" Adams. (And unless you've been under a rock for the past year or so, you know WilldaBeast is on our inspiration board, too.) Just a quick scan through his Twitter feed will give you a sense of just how many hip-hoppers look up to him, from his crew of LilBeasts to his fellow pros.
WilldaBeast's LilBeasts (photo by Helton "Brazil" Siqueira)
So who inspires the great inspirer (please pretend that's a word)? This week, WilldaBeast released a video answering that question. It opens with the quote:
"Michael Jackson inspired me to inspire others. This project is made out of the respect and love for him and Janet. Show love not hate. Enjoy." —WilldaBeast Adams
The video is a remake of Michael and Janet's 1995 music video "Scream." Janelle Ginestra plays the Janet to WilldaBeast's Michael, and the two pay homage to the original choreography for much of the video. The bottom left corner of the frame plays the original music video, so you can see how the remake matches up. But we couldn't resist the opportunity to have a little fun with Photoshop.
We've got WilldaBeast and Michael...
Notice how that last picture of WilldaBeast and Ginestra is in color? That's because about a minute through the video, they break away from the original choreo to really make it their own. And, tbh, that's my favorite part. Enjoy!
Last May, we told you about a special exhibition of the Mark Ryden artwork that sparked Alexei Ratmansky's sweet-treat of a ballet, Whipped Cream. Well, hold on to your tiaras, bunheads, because there's a brand-new exhibit featuring actual costumes from this megahit production. The Nutcracker's Land of Sweets has some serious competition!
Kyle Van Newkirk is a tap dancer you probably remember from the premiere season of NBC's World of Dance. In case you missed it, he is also one of Showstopper's incredible convention teachers. What makes Kyle stand apart from some of today's other incredible tappers? He isn't afraid to change what tap means to his audience and even himself. This modern view of tap dancing is important because it shows us that tap dancers are just as versatile and dynamic as dancers of any other genre. We sat down with Kyle to get his advice on bringing tap dancing into the 21st century.
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
Turnout—a combination of rotational flexibility and the strength to properly hold that rotation—is the foundation of ballet. But it's also a source of frustration for many dancers. After all, not everyone (actually, hardly anyone) is born with 180-degree rotation. “When I first started dancing, my hip flexors were strong, but I was forcing my turnout without using the right muscles," remembers Amanda Cobb, a former dancer with The Washington Ballet.
The good news is that it's possible to both improve your turnout and to dance beautifully with less-than-perfect rotation. But there's a lot of misinformation out there about how turnout works and why it's important. To help separate fact from fiction, DS asked the experts to disprove six turnout myths.
Picture this: You've scored tickets to Ellen DeGeneres' hit show, "Ellen." The day has come, the show is as hysterical as ever, Ellen is debating the biggest hot-button issue since the blue/black or white/gold dress, "Laurel vs. Yanny" (side note: it's LAUREL, people), and tWitch is killing it over at the DJ booth, as always. Ellen decides it's the perfect time to single out an audience member and, lo and behold, that person is "SYTYCD" champ ( and December 2017 cover star!) Lex Ishimoto.
The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center is the 54,000 square foot home of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, one of the largest facilities dedicated to dance on a private university campus. Designed for their innovative new curriculum, that supports a range of dance styles, the school's staff designated Harlequin to provide wall-to-wall flooring for the large 3,500 square foot Performance Studio as well as five dance studios in their new state-of-the-art building.
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's safe to say that faux-diamond earrings are a dancer's best friend. A fixture onstage at just about every competition weekend, these blinged-out baubles are also the surest sign that recital season is upon us again. And what better way to get into the sparkly spirit than by drooling over these 5 diamonds in the rough? (Sorry not sorry!)
DancerPalooza, America's Largest Dance Festival, is moving to sunny SAN DIEGO, California from July 24-29, 2018.
Check out all of the NEW Intensives DancerPalooza has to offer this year!
You could say that a perk of dancing with Los Angeles Ballet is its proximity to Hollywood. It's no wonder, then, that when actor and comedian Kevin Hart was looking for someone to teach ballet lessons for his new "What the Fit" YouTube show, he reached out to the nearby company. The series follows Hart and his celebrity friends as they try different forms of exercise (such as sumo wrestling and goat yoga), with hilarious results. For his ballet episode, Hart brings along Hangover star Ken Jeong—and the dancers do their best to keep these madcap comedians under control.