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Lythgoe at home in L.A. Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

Nigel Lythgoe makes it clear that he is not a dance teacher. The one time he was invited as a student to teach little kids, he scared the hell out of them. He was impersonating a jack-in-the-box, and when the kids approached, he jumped up and shrieked. "Three of the little girls ran off," says Lythgoe. "Two of them peed themselves, and I was never allowed to go near little kids or teach them again. That was my one experience as a dance teacher. And now they're giving me an award!"

But Lythgoe has done as much as anyone to draw America's consciousness to the art of dance. And that is, in a very pervasive, influential way, teaching.

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Elliott Hanna stars as Billy Elliot in Billy Elliot the Musical Live.

A boy from a mining town in northern England trades in his boxing gloves for ballet shoes. With the help of his brassy teacher, he discovers his passion for dance and, despite all odds, makes his dreams come true.

Billy Elliot the Musical Live is airing tonight on PBS as part of THIRTEEN’s "Great Performances" and the PBS Arts Fall Festival. Based on the 2000 feature film Billy Elliot, starring Jamie Bell, the musical premiered in London in 2005 and ran on Broadway from 2008 to 2012, earning 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Choreography. For this special performance, 25 current and former Billy Elliots will come together onstage for a spectacular finale.

Billy Elliot the Musical Live screens tonight at 9 pm on PBS. Check your local listings.

Ruthie Henshall, Elliott Hanna and fellow cast members in Billy Elliot the Musical Live at the Victoria Palace Theatre

Photos by Adam Sorenson, courtesy of THIRTEEN

Don’t miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

In case you missed "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" from Brooklyn with Misty Copeland, we've got you covered:

1. Jimmy Kimmel and Guillermo in a leotard, tutu and tights. Need I say more? The hilarious pair made their way to the ABT studios for Ballet 101 with Copeland. Some pliés, pointe work and a few sautés emboîtés later and Copeland declared, “Ballet was born in Italy more than 600 years ago, and today it died.”

2. Jimmy Kimmel and Guillermo dancing with ABT. OK, I knew ahead of time that we’d get to see the amazing ABT dancers perform choreography by Ethan Stiefel. I did not know that Kimmel and Guillermo would be dancing, as well. Their pas de trois with Copeland had the entire audience in stitches.

3. Bill Murray channeling his inner black swan. Comedic legend Bill Murray joined Kimmel onstage decked out in a Renaissance tunic, tights, hat and very black swan-esque stage makeup. He and Kimmel discussed sports, family and Murray's new movie Rock the Kasbah.

4. Ryan Adams’ new take on Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” Adams’ latest musical endeavor is a track-by-track cover of Taylor Swift’s hit album 1989. His Monday night performance of Swift’s dance-inspired “Shake It Off” provided a more angsty and soulful version of the song, which to my surprise, I liked even better than the original.

5. A hilarious kids edition of L.A. vs. NY. Kids really do say that darnedest things, and in Kimmel’s latest “L.A. v. NY” they pulled no punches. From jabs about Donald Trump to L.A.’s obsession with gluten, it just goes to show that the L.A./NY rivalry is far from over.

Don't miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

Laura Michelle Kelly, Matthew Morrison and cast members of Finding Neverland

Tune in tonight to watch behind-the-scenes footage of Broadway’s most magical musical, Finding Neverland. Channel THIRTEEN’s arts program "NYC-ARTS" will provide viewers with a close-up look at the musical, featuring rehearsal footage, clips from the show and interviews with director Diane Paulus and leading cast members Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly.

Finding Neverland is based on the 2004 Academy Award–winning film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. It tells the true story of author J.M. Barrie as he finds the inspiration to write his masterpiece, Peter Pan, through the help of a widow and her four sons. The musical features the choreographic talents of Emmy Award–winner Mia Michaels and is currently running on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater.

NYC-ARTS: Finding Neverland screens tonight at 8 pm on THIRTEEN. Not in the tri-state area? The show will be streaming on nyc-arts.org.

Matthew Morrison, who plays J.M. Barrie, shakes hands with Kelsey Grammer as Captain James Hook.

Ballroom fans, get ready to rumba! Filmed at the Ohio Star Ball last November, PBS’ three-part “American Ballroom Challenge” series premieres this Friday, April 24. And it’s already gotten a stamp of tentative approval from notoriously tough dance critic Alastair Macaulay, who says while most TV ballroom performances cause him to react with horror, these couples get it right, particularly those who make it to the final rounds.

Hosted by Mary Murphy and Tony Meredith, the first episode features the American Smooth and American Rhythm divisions, where couples compete in the waltz, tango, cha-cha and mambo. In episode two, viewers will see International Standard and International Latin, followed by a best-in-show finale competition across all styles. We’ll also see some teacher/student pro/am pairs and of course behind-the-scenes peaks at the intriguing and—to many classical dancers—mysterious world of competitive ballroom dancing.

If you missed Dancing at Jacob’s Pillow: Never Stand Still in theaters in May 2012, now is your chance to catch it on the small screen. The award-winning documentary will air on PBS this Friday, July 26, at 9:00pm (check local listings) as part of Thirteen/WNET New York’s Great Performances.

Bill T. Jones’ deep voice narrates 74 minutes of Pillow tribute. Suzanne Farrell, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, Judith Jamison, Mark Morris and other dance world heavy-hitters discuss the Pillow's role in the study, creation, and celebration of dance. These conversations are set against the backdrop of the tranquil festival grounds, interspersed with other stunning visuals: priceless black-and-white historical footage and vibrant clips of recent live Pillow performances.

Experiencing Jacob’s Pillow's idyllic scenery and dance diversity firsthand is, of course, a dream come true, but Never Stand Still comes pretty close! Plus, the film chronicles decades of the festival’s history, so you can catch up big-time on recent highlights. So get cozy at home this Friday night in front of your TV—and don’t forget your Pillow!

Photo by Christopher Duggan

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