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"tWitch" Boss and Allison Holker Have a True Hollywood Love Story

To celebrate Valentine's Day in the most dance-centric way possible, we sat down with five powerhouse dance-teaching couples to talk about their love stories. What do they admire about each other? What are their couple goals and their teaching philosophies, and how do they make their relationships work, especially when they work together? Get ready to swoon!

It's almost too perfect to believe that two of the most popular contestants ever to grace the "So You Think You Can Dance" stage have ended up as a happy couple (married at Nigel Lythgoe's winery, no less). Yet, somehow tWitch Boss and Allison Holker have lived out every dancer's fairy tale. They continue to perform professionally in various capacities, travel with 24 Seven Dance Convention on the weekends, teach for CLI Studios (a company they co-founded with Teddy Forance, Caitlin Kinney and Jon Arpino) and are raising two darling kids along the way.

Allison: We didn't meet until we were All-Stars on Season 7 of "So You Think You Can Dance." I had a crush on him from our first rehearsal together, but I didn't know how to talk to him. I would get so awkward. I would try to flirt with him and send him signals that I was interested, but he was completely oblivious to all of them. We were both so focused on doing a good job as All-Stars on the show that we ended up keeping our attention on that and nothing happened between us. Finally, at the wrap party Stephen came up to me, reached out and took my hand. He walked me upstairs, and we shared a few dances together. We've been dating ever since.

tWitch: Allison and I booked a commercial together that was choreographed and directed by friends of ours. They were so awesome and helped me turn the job into a marriage proposal. We were filming the whole day, and then when we were nearing the end, they asked Allison to leave the room to fill out some paperwork. Meanwhile, we brought her family and friends into the room and filled the entire crew in on what was going to happen. Then she came back in, and we started filming a portion of the commercial where I would freestyle on the table and then bring Allison up to join me. Once she got up there, our song, "I Won't Give Up," came on and we began slow-dancing. Then I turned her around to see that her family had flown in for the proposal as well. Then I got down on one knee and gave her a speech and asked her to marry me. It was really perfect. We got the whole thing on film, and you can see it online. 👇

Allison: Since the first time I ever saw tWitch perform, I have been drawn to this commanding presence about him that is so unique from other performers. He is such a beast onstage, but then has this endearing quality about him that simultaneously exudes love from every part of his body. It's enchanting.

tWitch: Allison is able to make a real connection with her students. Whether it's minis, juniors, teens or seniors, she finds a way to relate to whatever room she walks into. Then, on top of that, she makes the dancers' jaws drop to the floor as soon as she starts performing. When you combine her ability to connect as a teacher, and the fact that she can prove herself as a dancer, it makes her a class knockout. If she doesn't grab your attention one way, she will get you in another.

Allison: My teaching philosophy is that freedom and performance are just as important as technical proficiency. I want my students to learn that they are free to use their uniqueness in their movement, and to love it. I do this by being vulnerable in front of them myself. I don't mind making mistakes or being wild. I am who I am, and I let them see it. I give them the energy I expect from them, and let them know that there is no judgment in my classroom.

tWitch: As a hip-hop teacher, it's really important to me that I incorporate the culture and energy of hip hop into the class. I want them to see that hip hop isn't just a class you take, but a lifestyle you live. If I can teach kids this, then class becomes about the vibe, and having a good time with our friends. I want them to leave knowing how to move with a room, and recognize their individual role in keeping the energy up for everyone else.

Meet the four other couples including Kirven and Antonio Bouthit-Boyd, Simon Ball and Frances Perez-Ball, Randi Kemper and Hefa Tuita and Allison DeBona and Rex Tilton.

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Photos by Amy Kelkenberg

Whether a dancer has too much or too little, turnout can be one of the most frustrating aspects of technique. Students often feel they must achieve 180-degree rotation to become successful in the field. In reality, the average person only has 45 degrees of external rotation in each leg, meaning their first position should be no greater than 90 degrees.

Because range of motion in the hip is ultimately determined by the joint's structure, it is impossible for dancers to increase their structural turnout. Often, though, students do not use what they have to the greatest potential. By maximizing their mobility they will find greater ease within movement, improve lines and, most important, prevent injuries caused by forcing the joints.

Deborah Vogel, co-founder of the Center for Dance Medicine in New York City, says the best way to unlock external rotation is to balance out muscle strength and flexibility. “Dancers are working the turnout all the time. They're always engaged and focused so much on using it. The minute they learn how to release those muscles they bring everything into balance," she says. “That middle is where dancers last the longest."

Here, Vogel suggests exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles that activate turnout:

Sitting Stretch: For Stretching Turnout Muscles at the Back of the Pelvis

Sit on the edge of a chair with knees at a 90-degree angle and feet flat on the floor. Cross the right ankle onto the left knee. Lace your hands together and nestle them under the right knee, lightly pressing energy into your hands and toward the floor (though the knee should not actually move). Sit up straight—some may already feel tension here.

With a flat back, bring the belly button toward your legs. Continue gently pressing the right knee into your clasped hands.

Experiment with turning the upper body toward the knee or the foot to stretch different muscles.

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Have you ever attended an audition and wished that you knew what the director was looking for? We've rounded up some of our favorite quotes from our Director's Notes column over the past few years to give you a deeper glimpse into the minds of 10 artistic directors.

Ashley Wheater, Joffrey Ballet

"I want to develop and nurture artists," says Wheater, seeking "people who are not afraid to be expressive, and understand all the layers that go into making a work above and beyond the steps."

Ingrid Lorentzen, Norwegian National Ballet

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Dancers have a language all their own. From French technical terms to scatting out choreography dynamics, it's a wonder any nondancers understand a word we say! Perhaps some of the most confusing dancer terms are the various foods we use to describe our feet. To help dance outsiders out, DT broke down the foods that are commonplace in dancer lingo. Share them with your loved ones, so they can better understand the weird and wonderful breed of dancer that you are.

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Injuries can be devastating to a dance career, but you can reduce their occurrence or avoid them—if you know what to look for. To learn why certain injuries happen and what can be done to prevent them, we consulted a group of experts: Jacqui Greene Hass, director of Pilates and Dance Medicine at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Therapy Services; Marijeanne Liederbach, director of research and education at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries; Jennifer Deckert, assistant professor at University of Wyoming (holds an MFA in ballet pedagogy and has presented at the International Association for Medicine and Science); and Michael Kelly Bruce, associate professor at The Ohio State University (certified in Pilates and specializes in conditioning).

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We all know and love Mia Michaels. She's a fearless choreographer and teacher, who's inspired a generation of dancers with her unique style, grace and brilliance. What's not to love? And now we can't help but gush over a personal confession she recently shared on Instagram.

Bottom line: No matter your age, size or shape, don't wait to love your body or yourself.

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I recently started back in modern dance after a long hiatus—I stopped dancing at age 11 and went back two years ago at age 24. I've found that when I'm on the floor, I can't open to a very wide second. Also, if I'm sitting in butterfly on the floor with my feet together, my knees are some distance from the ground. What can I do to loosen my hips?

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When your students are onstage, every dance step matters, of course. But so does every non-dance step. The simple act of being onstage—whether standing still, walking to a position or running from one place to another—requires a constant presence. And as Kitty Carter, of Kitty Carter's Dance Factory in Dallas, Texas, points out, "walking and running are actually part of the dance. They act as transitions from step to step." So teaching your students to understand the importance of active stillness and pedestrian choreography is essential, and it will help them see the "big picture" of a performance. But it's not easy.

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