"World of Dance" Recap: The Qualifiers Week 2

Junior hip hop group The Lab. (Mitchell Varble, NBCUniversal)

Last night's episode of "World of Dance" proved they weren't lying when they said they had gathered some of the best dancers in the world. You guys, the talent popping up on this show is 🔥🔥🔥. And lots of these contestants also happen to be some of our very favorite dancers (see last week's swoon-worthy performances by Keone and Mari Madrid and Les Twins).

So, while we were super excited to see Fik-Shun grace the screen last night, we weren't surprised at all. The "So You Think You Can Dance" winner and two-time(!) Dance Spirit cover star knocked it out of the park, just as we expected him to, with a very emotional hip-hop piece to "Unsteady." It was full of the insane musicality he's become known for and the judges raved about it, giving him a standing ovation and tearing up as he spoke about what the dance meant to him personally. It's a must-watch:

Another emotional highlight came with comp-star Nick Daniels' contemporary routine who dedicated his dance to his late father. The solo was full of some serious tricks and flips, but Daniels executed them flawlessly and his fluid movement and solid technique secured his place in the next round.

And last, but certainly not least, was Junior hip hop crew The Lab, who SLAYED with their super synchronized piece to Puff Daddy's "Bad Boys for Life." The energy was insane and every single dancer gave their all, complete with some serious face. It's no secret that we love us some hip hop mini's and this group showed why. Oh, and fun fact, The Lab has won every single competition they've competed in over the last year. We're thinking they just might give the other competitors a run for their money...

Dance News
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

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Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)

If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.

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