AGT Update: Diavolo Flips its way into the Final Five

Diavolo - America's Got Talent

This week Diavolo was in danger of going home on America’s Got Talent, but thanks to the Dunkin Save, they were able to slide on through to the Finals. Here’s the scoop…

At the beginning of the show Tyra Banks announced that Colin Cloud, Kechi, and Diavolo were fourth, fifth, and sixth place, so they would be at the mercy of the Dunkin Save. This meant that America needed to rush to their nearest device and vote once again for their favorite act. When the three groups were brought back on stage, Kechi took the 4th spot, which left the judges to choose between Diavolo and Colin Cloud for fifth. It was a seemingly easy decision for the judges...they unanimously chose Diavolo! Now the dance group is that much closer to winning the competition.  

The troupe’s last performance was out of this world (literally - it was space themed). So it will be interesting to see how they take it to the next level. New props, more danger… who knows? One thing is for sure, this group would be a perfect fit for the Vegas scene. Diavolo already has a Cirque de Soleil vibe, so transitioning to a Vegas show would be simple. But the truth is, dancers don’t want Diavolo to leave LA! Winning could bring some serious traction to the LA dance scene, but if they win and run off to Vegas, so does their influence.

Is Debbie Reynolds' Legacy Up for Sale?

Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio

An article released in the Los Angeles Times at the beginning of the week sent shockwaves through the Los Angeles dance community when it revealed that the estate of the late Debbie Reynolds (which includes her home and beloved Hollywood dance studio) is to be auctioned off next month to the highest bidder.

You know who else was surprised? The entire dance studio staff!!

It seems the studio faculty and management had no idea the auction was happening. To the staff's knowledge (some of whom have been working at the studio for many years), though a potential transfer of ownership was in the cards, efforts were being made to keep the studio running. Several projects were considered to help the business grow, including a museum full of Ms. Reynold's memorabilia and an online venture. Others were already underway: A new website was released just a couple of weeks ago, and their 17-18 scholarship program just started.

So imagine the shock when they woke up to find - from an article making its way around Facebook, no less - that the studio was going to be auctioned off!

Of course they were aware this was a transitional time - after all, Ms. Reynolds passed several months ago - but the idea of an auction was completely out of the blue. And now, they have questions. What's going to happen to the studio and its unique content and history? Is there a buying interested who may keep it intact? What will happen to their jobs? And really: WHY WEREN'T THEY TOLD ANYTHING AT ALL?

We can only assume that the decision comes from Reynolds' son Todd, the current owner of the estate; it's clear that Mr. Fisher and his team have demonstrated a complete lack of interest for the studios' wellbeing and respect for its staff, even before his mother's passing.  

Debbie Reynolds was an icon and treasured member of the dance world. It's a shame that her son is disregarding the community and studio she loved and worked so hard to build.

Pointe Shoes Take on a Bright New Look

Meeke Mutter

It’s no secret that ballet is a traditional form of dance. Not much changes, and those who try to innovate either sink or they swim. But in a world full of black leotards and muted pink tights, there is an artist in New York that is trying to introduce a bold new look.

Meeke Mutter, a visual artist and dancer from the Netherlands, has come up with a new design for pointe shoes called “Dance Calligraphy.” Her artwork depicts varying shapes of dancers on a brightly painted surface of a pointe shoe. And by bright, we mean BRIGHT. Hot pink, orange, blue, and red paint glimmer and gleam, as they contrast against the traditional pink satin. Each color and design is given a different name, such as elegance, blossom, and classy. Could you imagine walking into your local dance store and asking for the “blossom” in a 4X? However, as sweet as they sound, one can’t help but wonder about their practicality.

While the shoes may put a smile on your face, how does the paint hold up in class? Also, owning a piece of wearable art is wonderful, but you wouldn’t be able to wear these shoes for performances, so would it be worth it financially? Lastly, the design is unique, but not exactly subtle. But hey, you would definitely stand out in class! Whether that would be in a good way or a bad way is yet to be discovered...

National Arts in Education Week

Mark your calendars Pluggers, because National Arts in Education Week is happening from September 10th to September 16th! This will be a week to join together and share stories of the transformative power of arts in education.

Congress declared the second week in September as National Arts in Education Week back in 2010; this year the celebratory week is more important than ever. The new government administration is proposing drastic cuts to arts funding, and our voices need to be heard.

Americans for the Arts has created a customizable template you can use to tell your local newspaper about the impact arts education has had in your life. You can also sign a petition that will be sent to U.S Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos encouraging her to help save arts education programs. Lastly, you can participate in a visibility campaign by using the hashtags #becauseofartsed and #artsedweek. Post a picture to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter that embodies your experience in arts education.

Say it loud and say it proud dancers! Your voice and your story truly matters. Our political leaders need to hear the reasons why arts education is an irreplaceable fabric in our society. Follow the link below if you would like to sign the petition.