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All the Dance Highlights of the 2020 Grammy Awards

There were a lot of things to feel somber about in the lead-up to last night's Grammy Awards. The ceremony was clouded by the recent controversial suspension of Deborah Dugan, the Recording Academy's brand-new president and CEO. And the tragic death of basketball icon Kobe Bryant just hours before the telecast meant that celebs arriving for the red carpet were met outside the Staples Center by a crowd of mourning Lakers fans.

How did the Grammy performers respond to all that bleakness? With power, emotion, and—frequently—truly great dancing. Almost every performance last night included dance in some form.

Here are the dance highlights of the evening.


Lizzo Found Her Black Swans

The ever-fantastic Lizzo opened the show, and her medley included a tutu-clad corps of—as she put it in her Instagram casting call—"ballet dancers that look like me."

The Jonas Brothers Were Born to Hand Jive (Baby)

They performed their nostalgia-steeped single "What a Man Gotta Do" alongside a group of dancers whose choreo threw it all the way back to Grease.

Tyler, the Creator Burned the House Down

Dance wasn't the point of Tyler, the Creator's incendiary performance—which featured an army of head-banging, blond-wigged doppelgängers—but it was a highly effective tool.

Usher and FKA twigs Recognized Prince's Dance Legacy

Two of the best movers in the business (and formidable musician Sheila E.) paid tribute to one of its all-time great dancers. While we would've loved to hear twigs sing, too, her fluid pole routine was sublime.

Ariana Grande Threw an Inclusive, Dance-Filled Slumber Party

Grande's "7 Rings" riffs aurally on "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music; her performance last night riffed on it visually with the help of a crew of fabulously femme dancers, including Grande fave Darrion Gallegos.

The Nipsey Hussle Tribute Featured a Beautifully Choreographed Gospel Choir

Their simple but powerful dancing took the star-studded performance, which included appearances by Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, John Legend, Roddy Ricch, Kirk Franklin, and YG, to an even more emotional place.

Rosalía Brought Flamenco to the Grammys Stage

The breakout Spanish star and her huge crew of super-sharp dancers showed us the traditional form's connections to hip hop.

Lil Buck Jooked Alongside Alicia Keys

Halfway through Keys' "Underdog" duet with Brittany Howard, Lil Buck—always a welcome surprise—appeared for a typically fantastic dance break.

Misty Copeland Performed Choreography by Debbie Allen

We had to wait until the very end of the show for one of the most-hyped dance moments of the night: ballet legend Misty Copeland leading a group of beautiful young movers from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in a routine to "I Sing the Body Electric" from Fame, choreographed by original Fame cast member Allen. (It was a tribute to longtime Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich.)

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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