Original photos: Getty Images

We've been dying to hear more about "On Pointe," a docuseries following students at the School of American Ballet, since we first got wind of the project this spring. Now—finally!—we know where this can't-miss show is going to live: It was just announced that Disney+, the new streaming service set to launch November 12, has ordered the series.

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Dagmar Sternad is a professor of biology, physics, and electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University. She's also a bit of a dance obsessive. And her innovative work with ballet dancers could have far-ranging implications for the worlds of both medicine and robotics.

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Universal Pictures

Suffering from Cats-scratch fever after watching that tantalizing trailer all weekend? Eager to know more about the feline-filled film?

The new Cats movie famously features artists new to musical theater, from Royal Ballet principal Francesca Hayward to commercial dance sensations Les Twins to, you know, Taylor Swift.

But the casting team didn't ignore the show's stage roots. In addition to bringing on choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, the man behind the latest Broadway revival's moves, it also hired several extremely accomplished dancers who are veterans of the Broadway, West End and/or touring productions of CATS. Here are a few of our favorites.

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NBCUniversal

Jellicle obsessives, rejoice: There's a new video out that offers a (surprisingly substantive) look at the dancing that went down on the set of the new CATS movie.

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Including this extraordinary Travis Wall number for "So You Think You Can Dance" (Adam Rose/FOX)

The Primetime Emmy Award nominations are out! Congrats to the seven choreographers who earned nods for their exceptional TV work this year. Notably, that work was made for just two shows, "So You Think You Can Dance" and "World of Dance."

And there was a particularly remarkable snub: While the dance-filled hit "Fosse/Verdon" earned 17 nominations across many of the major categories, Andy Blankenbuehler's fabulous Fosse remixes weren't recognized in the Outstanding Choreography field.

Here are all the dance routines up for Emmys:

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The dancers doing double duty include Ben Cook, who'll play Riff on Broadway and a Jets member in the film. (Photo by Erin Baiano)

Could it be? Yes it could. Something's coming, something good…

Well, two somethings, to be precise. Next February, a West Side Story revival, directed by Ivo van Hove and choreographed by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, is coming to Broadway. And next December, a new West Side Story film, directed by Steven Spielberg and choreographed by Justin Peck, is coming to movie theaters.

The two productions promise radically different takes on the iconic musical, originally directed and choreographed (for both stage and film) by Jerome Robbins. But—as we discovered yesterday, when casting for the Broadway revival was announced—six remarkable dancers will be part of both projects.

Meet, or re-meet, the West Side Story multitaskers: Yesenia Ayala, Ben Cook, Kevin Csolak, Carlos E. Gonzalez, Jacob Guzman, and Ricky Ubeda..

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Unsplash

Is dance a sport? Should it be in the Olympics? They're complicated questions that tend to spark heated debate. But many dance fans will be excited to hear that breaking (please don't call it breakdancing) has been provisionally added to the program for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

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James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)

Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.

Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.

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Amblin Entertainment

Steven Spielberg's much-anticipated remake of West Side Storychoreographed by Justin Peck, and starring a bevy of very good dancers—is in production. And that means it's finally time for us to get a look at the film's cast members in character. Let's break down the first photo from the project.

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Dancers celebrating National Dance Day (via Instagram)

Back in 2010, "So You Think You Can Dance" producer Nigel Lythgoe established National Dance Day, an annual celebration of all things dance and a fundraiser for the dance education nonprofit then known as the Dizzy Feet Foundation. Since then, NDD has become a phenomenon. Each year, dancers and dance fans have learned an official NDD routine, showed up in droves for high-profile NDD events at the Kennedy Center and Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and hosted countless NDD parties of their own—always on the last Saturday in July.

But there are big changes afoot (see what we did there?) this year. The 2019 celebration will jump forward a few months on the calendar, to Saturday, September 21st. And Dizzy Feet has undergone an evolution of its own, with a new focus on the health benefits of dance, a new collaboration with the American Heart Association, and a new name: American Dance Movement.

We caught up with Lythgoe to talk about the reasons for all the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

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Including co-host Lady Gaga (via Instagram)

Last night's Met Gala featured, as always, oodles of celebs in deliciously over-the-top ensembles. And since editorial fashion always looks better in motion, Vogue (which hosts the bash) brought in Sherrie Silver to choreograph videos starring some of the gala's biggest names.

Silver—the mastermind behind Childish Gambino's "This Is America" video—kept the movement simple but 1000 percent in line with the gala's "camp" theme. The resulting videos are delightfully weird. Bette Midler does the swim to a Cher soundtrack! Lady Gaga swoons in a sculpture gallery! Jared Leto tenderly fondles a model of his own head!

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Popular
GET IT, Janelle. (Getty Images)

Yes, yes, it's a music awards show, but for us, it's *always* all about the dancing. And last night, the Grammy performers—especially the ladies—gave us everything our little dancer hearts desired. Happy early Valentine's Day to us! 😍

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News
It includes this familiar face! (Erin Baiano)

Something's coming, I don't know when
But it's soon...maybe tonight?

Those iconic lyrics have basically been our #mood ever since we first heard a remake of the West Side Story film, directed by Steven Spielberg and choreographed by Justin Peck, was in the works. THE CASTING. THE CASTING WAS COMING.

Well, last night—after an extensive search process that focused on finding the best actors within the Puerto Rican/Latinx community—the WSS team finally revealed who'll be playing Maria, Anita, Bernardo, and Chino (joining Ansel Elgort, who was cast as Tony last fall). And you guys: It is a truly epic group.

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Mary Grace McNally's "Not for Picking" (Rachel Papo for Dance Teacher)

What's better than a competition that gives promising choreographers a whole bunch of funding? How about a competition that also puts on a must-see show as part of the process? That's the genius model of the Capezio A.C.E. Awards. Every year since 2009, the contest has brought upwards of a dozen finalists, selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants, to present their choreography in a fabulous showcase at the Dance Teacher Summit. On Saturday night, we got to see the work of no fewer than 21(!) talented finalists in this year's performance.

The judging panel—whose task we did not envy—featured boldface names Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Tessandra Chavez, and Dance Magazine Editor in Chief Jennifer Stahl. Who'd they select for the top prizes? The winners are...

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World, if you haven't already, meet Jay Ledford.

She's an incredibly gifted 18-year-old student at the Kirov Academy of Ballet with lines for dayyyyys. She's also transgender. And describing her as inspiring is a bit of an understatement.

Jay began transitioning relatively recently, and has been documenting her journey on Instagram. She's an active advocate for transgender youth, the kind of role model that so many young people—inside and outside of the dance world—need right now.

Read the full story on dancespirit.com.

It's already on its way to legendary status. (screenshot via YouTube)

Let's start with the obvious: Over the weekend, Beyoncé and Jay-Z released a joint album, Everything Is Love. Bey and Jay also dropped a video for the album's lead track, which they filmed inside the actual Louvre museum in Paris (as one does, when one is a member of the Carter family). And the vid features not only thought-provoking commentary on the Western art tradition, but also some really incredible dancing.

So, who choreographed this epic? And who are the dancers bringing it to life in those already-iconic bodystockings?

Read the full story at dancespirit.com.

Because who doesn't want their feet to look as gorgeous as Sara's? (Photo by Christopher Lane)

Ah, the quest for the perfect, foot-flattering, technique-enhancing pointe shoe: It can feel like a never-ending saga. Still on the hunt for that ideal pair? Then you won't want to miss The School at Steps' annual Pointe Shoe Workshop and Fair, happening this Sunday, April 22nd, at 6:30 pm in NYC.

As always, the event—which is sponsored by our friends at Pointe—will feature an impressive panel of experts. This year's lineup includes orthopedist Dr. Andrew Price, professional fitter Mary Carpenter, master teacher Linda Gelinas, Pointe style editor Marissa DeSantis, and New York City Ballet star Sara Mearns (eee!).

Read the full story at dancespirit.com.

A still from "Welcome Home" (via Apple)

We're no strangers to Spike Jonze's delightfully dancy ads. But the brilliant director's newest video, a promotion for Apple's HomePod, could be his best yet—in no small part because it features the impressive dance skills of the equally brilliant FKA twigs.

(Fun fact: twigs was a backup dancer for the likes of Kylie Minogue and Jessie J before she became a musical sensation in her own right. She is LEGIT.)

Read the full story at dancespirit.com.

Rant & Rave
Ashley Wallen's choreography brought The Greatest Showman to life. (Photo by Niko Tavernise, courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

The 2018 Oscar noms are here. Which is fun and all; we'll never not get excited about a night of glitz and glamor and, when we're lucky, pretty great dancing. But we'd be a heck of a lot more excited if the Academy Awards included a Best Choreography category. And really—why don't they?

Last year, La La Land's Oscars domination (FOURTEEN nominations) made the fact that Mandy Moore couldn't be recognized for her fantastic choreo—a huge, indisputable part of the film's success—seem especially cruel. This year, it feels weird not to recognize the dance contributions of Ashley Wallen (The Greatest Showman), Anthony Van Laast (Beauty and the Beast), and Aurélie Dupont (Leap!), to name just a few.

Read the full story at dancespirit.com.

A still from "Rue Montorgueil"

We may not all speak the same language, but we can all "speak" dance—an idea that's celebrated in a totally joyful new short film, "Rue Montorgueil." Featuring Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater members grooving alongside people of all different backgrounds and nationalities in one of Paris' most famous streets, the video is a beautiful illustration of dance's universal appeal.

Read more at dancespirit.com!

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