This week Christi and Kelly's unfounded disregard for Abby Lee Miller's choreography rose to another level. When Paige curiously wasn't given any rehearsal time for her solo (the TV producers had nothing to do with this, I'm sure), Kelly jumped at the opportunity to test her own dance-making chops and tweak Abby's choreography. The result? Fifteen seconds of pure laughter as we watch the untrained and most likely tipsy mother attempt to demonstrate a body roll and add in a fan-kick. (The longterm result? Little Paige learns it's OK to disrespect teachers.)
But the highlight of the episode was Abby's group routine. The choreography was stunning—it even brought the tough-as-nails Christi to tears! The dance, "Land Unforgiven," was clear, simple and showed a fresh and mature side of the 9 to 11-year-olds. I was surprised Abby's team didn't place higher; though we didn't get to see the real competition.
Abby's "Land Unforgiven" had all the right ingredients for winning choreography. Want the recipe? Read "Bringing Home the Trophy," in which Kelley Burke, owner of the winning studio Westchester Dance Academy, Mandy Moore, Joey Dowling and other top choreographers offer their special elements for creating flavorful and unique competition dances.
Maddie shows the perfect reaction to Kelly's brilliant choreography.
Photo courtesy of Lifetime TV.
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This Sunday, master ballet teacher Finis Jhung turns 80. After a career as a soloist for both San Francisco Ballet and the Joffrey and a principal for Harkness Ballet, Jhung carved out a unique place for himself as a ballet teacher in New York City. He's coached the boys of Billy Elliot: The Musical, developed a popular video and DVD how-to series and STILL teaches seven classes a week at the Ailey Extension. He's graced the pages of this magazine to offer his time-honored wisdom again and again, and he's currently working on a memoir. (We can't wait to read it.) Happy birthday, Finis!
Since 1989, tap dancers have been celebrating National Tap Dance Day (NTDD) on and around May 25, the birthday of tap dance legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. This year, prime events are happening in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago.
When you think of a major basketball team's dancers or cheerleaders, you probably picture the Laker Girls—scantily clad, with shiny curls cascading down their backs. You definitely don't picture a group of 15 40-years-old-and-up "seniors," mean-mugging and ripping off breakaway pants. But the New York Liberty's Timeless Torches do exactly that, and they routinely bring down the house during halftime at the WNBA games where they perform.
The exhibit Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955–1972 is filled with exhibits, performances and conferences honoring the three postmodern dance living legends.