News

The MTV Video Music Awards Will Never Be the Same Thanks to J. Lo's Insane Performance

Last night Jennifer Lopez "danced the night away" at the MTV Video Music Awards, and though no words can truly do justice to her jaw-dropping performance, we have to try. The dance legend began her 10-minute mash-up of best hits descending from the heavens, like the dance goddess she is—and somehow things only got better from there. The 49-year-old pulled out some of the fiercest moves we've ever seen, proving why she's such an icon in the industry.

After the performance, Lopez graciously accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, becoming the first Latina artist to receive the title. "Music, acting, performing—this career has always been an obsession for me... I kind of had to forge my own path and rules," Lopez said. And then she paid the ultimate compliment to her mother Guadalupe Rodríguez, calling her "the original dancing queen. Anybody who knows Lupe knows that's where I get my skills from," she told the crowd.

The only way MTV will ever be able to outdo this performance is if they get J. Lo and her mom up on that stage next year for a duet. Till then, we'll just be over here replaying this epic routine.

Teachers Trending
Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo courtesy Dance With Me

Listening to Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy riff together makes it crystal-clear why each has mastered the art of partnering in the ballroom—they've long been doing this dance in real life as brothers and business partners.

Along with their "Dancing with the Stars" pedigree (and a combined three mirror-ball trophies between them), Maks and Val (and their father, Sasha) also run Dance With Me, a dance company hosting six ProAm Dancesport competitions annually and running 14 brick-and-mortar studio locations across the U.S.

Last year, the pair launched an online component, Dance & Co. The online video platform offers beginner through advanced instruction in not only ballroom but an array of other styles, as well as dance fitness classes from HIIT to yoga to strength training. "DWTS" fans will recognize such familiar faces as Peta Murgatroyd, Jenna Johnson, Sharna Burgess and Emma Slater, along with Maks and Val themselves.

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Teaching Tips
@jayplayimagery, courtesy Kerollis

In the spring of 2012, Barry Kerollis was abruptly forced into treating his career as a small business. Having just moved cross-country to join BalletX, he got injured and was soon let go.

"I'd only ever danced with big companies before," the now-freelance dance-teacher-choreographer-podcaster recalls. "That desperation factor drove me to approach freelancing with a business model and a business plan."

As Kerollis acknowledges, getting the business of you off the ground ("you" as a freelance dance educator, that is) can be filled with unexpected challenges—even for the most seasoned of gigging dancers. But becoming your own CEO can make your work–life balance more sustainable, help you make more money, keep you organized, and get potential employers to offer you more respect and improved working conditions. Here's how to get smart now about branding, finances and other crucial ways to tell the dance world that you mean business.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Oleson

American dance educator Shannon Oleson was teaching recreational ballet and street-dance classes in London when the pandemic hit. As she watched many of her fellow U.S. friends pack up and return home from their international adventures, she made the difficult choice to stick with her students (as well as her own training—she was midway through her MFA at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance).

Despite shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders, she was able to maintain a teaching schedule that kept her working with her dancers through Zoom, as well as lead some private, in-home acro classes following government guidelines. But keeping rec students interested in the face of pandemic fatigue hasn't been easy.

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