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And the "Dance Spirit" Award for Best Movie Choreography of 2019 Goes To...

Nope, there's still no Oscar for Best Choreography. So Dance Magazine's sister publication created the Dance Spirit award for Best Movie Choreography of 2019. Though we're big fans of all seven of the nominated choreographers, and think each one deserves to be acknowledged for their contributions to some of our favorite films this year, based on your votes, the winner is...


Sapakie, in a black zip-front shirt and high bun, smiles to the camera with her hands on her hips

Courtesy Johanna Sapakie

...Johanna Sapakie for Hustlers! Sapakie, a pole choreographer with extensive training in other dance forms, is the genius behind Jennifer Lopez's showstopping routines in the film (not to mention J.Lo's pole work at the Super Bowl halftime show). We can't wait to see what's next for this talented artist.

Watch Sapakie's acceptance speech below!

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Jason Samuels Smith, photographed by Jayme Thornton

Moving Forward by Looking Back: A Week at the L.A. Tap Festival Online

I turned to tap at the outset of the European lockdown as a meaningful escape from the anxiety of the pandemic. As a dance historian specialized in dance film, I've seen my fair share of tap on screen, but my own training remains elementary. While sheltering in place, my old hardwood floors beckoned. I wanted to dig deeper in order to better understand tap's origins and how the art form has evolved today. Not so easy to accomplish in France, especially from home.

Enter the L.A. Tap Fest's first online edition.

Alongside 100 other viewers peering out from our respective Zoom windows, I watch a performer tap out rhythms on a board in their living room. Advanced audio settings allow us to hear their feet. In the chat box, valuable resources are being shared and it's common to see questions like, "Can you post the link to that vaudeville book you mentioned?" Greetings and words of gratitude are also exchanged as participants trickle in and out from various times zones across the US and around the world.

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