Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M

Congrats to the 2019 Chita Rivera Award Winners

Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.

The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, fabulous ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.

As usual, several of our faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list:


Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broa​dway Sh​ow: Ephraim Sykes, for originating the role of David Ruffin in "Ain't Too Proud"

He first captured our hearts with his moves in Newsies, and you may have since seen this King of New York dancing in Hamilton and NBC's Hairspray Live!.


Outstanding Off-Broadway Choreography: Rich and Jeff Kuperman, "Alice by Heart"

The Kuperman brothers have earned awards left and right for their absolutely brilliant choreography for Alice by Heart—and rightfully so! They created some of the show's most quirky and poignant moments.

Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show: Gabrielle Hamilton, "Oklahoma!," and Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, "The Cher Show"

Gabrielle Hamilton as the lead dancer (Paula Court, courtesy DKC/O&M)

It's a tie! Both dancers are giving fabulous performances night after night, but we especially love Hamilton's full-out attack, which carries the entire reimagined dream ballet sequence in the latest Broadway revival of Oklahoma!

Outstanding Theatrical Film Choreography: "Mary Poppins Returns," Rob Marshall and John DeLuca; co-choreographer Joey Pizzi

Walt Disney Studios

I would personally like to thank this team for bringing the Trip a Little Light Fantastic dance number into the world, as well as my YouTube queue.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. See the complete list of nominees and winners here!

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5 Ways to Boost Your Stamina for Better Endurance

Sometimes you're thrown a big opportunity mid-season—but aren't always given all the rehearsal you need to fully prep for it. At Houston Ballet, for instance, there are often 12 casts of Sugar Plum, according to ballet master Amy Fote. That means some dancers might only get one full run before performing the role.

But not all of the preparation happens in the studio. For aerobically demanding choreography, dancers need to put in their own overtime to build the necessary stamina. Red flags for Fote are when footwork loses its precision and line, and movement looks less efficient and more labored—these are not necessarily signs of technical deficiencies, but often point to the need to increase cardiovascular fitness. "You have to do your homework and cross-train," she says.

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