SYTYCD Turns 15!

Fox has renewed So You Think You Can Dance for yet another season, making the award-winning show fifteen this year! So what’s changing, what’s staying the same, and who will be America’s favorite dancer?

Well to be honest, it doesn’t look like anything is changing. Judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Vanessa Hudgens will be returning for season 15. The trio will take to the panel once again to give their input and advice, and of course the host will remain Cat Deeley (who seems to have made a deal with the devil to never age a single day…not fair!). However, maybe there should be some adjustments to the judging line up…

A question we need to ask ourselves, “is it time to throw some new judges into the mix?” As sweet and talented as she is, I’m not completely convinced that ‘High School Musical’ gives Vanessa the qualifications necessary to critique some of the strongest dancers in the nation. And though she used to give some good advice, Mary has been overly enthusiastic to most of the contestants - it seems that everyone is welcome to climb aboard the Hot Tamale Train nowadays! In fact, all three of the “judges” didn’t really judge anything last season. There was a lot of high praise, and the occasional “keep on working on that technique” comment, but there really wasn’t real criticism. Perhaps it’s time to revamp the panel? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.  

Alvin Ailey Wage$ War

Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre - photo: Andrew Eccles

Alvin Ailey’s annual gala at the Kennedy Center in D.C recently passed; however, several company members chose to boycott the reception. The culprit? Money.

Ailey is the fourth largest dance company in the United States, and yet their paychecks don’t reflect that statistic. Now, the dancers are asking management for new negotiations when it comes to pay. Director Robert Battle told the Washington Post, "We will get through it, because there's a reason that the Alvin Ailey dance company has withstood the test of time. We're a big family, and sometimes we just need to talk, you know what I'm saying?” 

Hopefully the “talk” happens soon, because the Ailey dancers have already started to take matters into their own hands. They have started an Instagram page called Artists Of Ailey, and while the page seems fairly neutral right now, you can spot signs of frustration. Hashtags such as #UnionStrong #ReachingForTheStandard #AGMA and #AGMADancers have been used throughout the posts. You can tell that these dancers are ready to fight for what they believe in… but we hope this will end in peace and not war!

photo credit: Andrew Eccles

Valentine's Day For the Dance Lover

So you’ve got yourself a boo thang, and you're crazy about them, but you can’t deny your one true love… dance. So how do you make both of your loves happy on the same day? Why not bring the two together? 

This Valentine's day, make it a three’s company kind of night and introduce your loved one to the other commitment in your life. For example, if you’re in NYC, you can take your bae to the soiree at the Ailey Studios. Neville Dance Theatre is hosting a champagne party this year where you can grab a drink, watch some dance, and feel the love in the air. Plus, the event is black tie, so you know your boo is going to look good! It’s truly a win-win situation.  

If you’re single… go take a dance class. What better way to treat yo self on V-day then to treat yourself to a great class. Move it out, shake it out, and let it go. Single = no problem when you have dance by your side. 

But wait, we’re just talking! Not ready to take your date to dinner and a show? Take them dancing instead. There’s no better way to test the waters then to see if they can stand the heat of the dance floor. Dance is truly the answer to all of your Valentine’s scenarios. So happy lovers day pluggers! Love yourself, love others, and love dance. 

A Guide To Ice Dancing

Happy Monday, Pluggers! The Olympics are well underway, and chances are most of you have been watching at least parts of the games (or at least have had it on in the background while you're cooking dinner). Personally, I love watching ice skating - probably because it's the most similar to dancing (it was originally created to translate the characteristics of ballroom dancing onto the ice).

There are a lot of different categories for skating in the Olympics . Ice dancing places a lot of importance on storytelling, and skaters are not permitted to be physically separate for more than five seconds at a time. They're also never allowed to be more than two arms' lengths away at any point during their performance; moreover, the lifts, throws and jumps are what differentiate its from pairs figure skating. The performers can use any type of music, as long as there is a clear beat.

Want to see more of this sport? You're in luck - you can catch ice dancing on NBC's coverage of the Olympics on the 18th and 19th at 8pm EST. If you're curious,  click here for more details on ice dancing rules and regulations.