Jamie Smed via Wikimedia Commons

If the World Cup Champions Were Dancers, Here's What Style They'd Do

Congratulations to the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team for their epic World Cup dominance! Now that the tournament is over and we're basking in all the patriotic feminist glory, we decided to do the only thing that made sense to us as soccer-obsessed dancers: Decide what kind of dancers the USWNT players would be if they made sudden and drastic career changes.

We've been watching their technique closely for weeks now, and have come up with what we're pretty sure is a definitive and highly accurate list:


Megan Rapinoe: Contemporary Ballet 

You're probably familiar with star forward Megan Rapinoe's port de bras. But have you seen her attitude derrière?! We're honestly envious. Pinoe clearly has the technique for ballet, but with her penchant for pink hair and outspokenness (which we love!), we think a contemporary troupe would be the best fit.

Tobin Heath: Postmodern Dance

Fast footwork and crisp, clean lines come naturally to Tobin Heath. The forward can arguably control the ball better than any player on the field. What better style to show off her abilities than the postmodern work of choreographers like Merce Cunningham or Pam Tanowitz? We think she'd fit right in.

Alyssa Naeher: European Contemporary Dance

If you saw keeper Alyssa Naeher's heroic penalty kick save during the semifinal game against England, you know she isn't afraid to dive headfirst onto the ground. She'd be just the kind of dancer who would thrive in the contemporary dance scene in Europe, where techniques like Flying Low demand lots of floorwork.

Samantha Mewis, Rose Lavelle and Emily Sonnett: Broadway 

Okay, so they could use a litttttle more rehearsal. But midfielders Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle and defender Emily Sonnett clearly have the work ethic and passion for a career on the Great White Way. (Just maybe not the rhythm?)

Alex Morgan: Hip Hop 

Some criticized her tea-sipping celebration, but that was really nothing compared to Alex Morgan's post-championship celebration dance. As the team's star center forward and someone who is willing to twerk on video, she clearly has no fear; something that comes in handy when you're working in the fast-paced commercial dance scene.

Kelley O'Hara: STREB

Kelly O'Hara is a daredevil defender, as proven by the near concussion-inducing collision she suffered during the final game yesterday. She also has one of the most terrifyingly forceful kicks on the team, and can jump ridiculously high. She'd need a dance company that can challenge her extreme physicality, like STREB and its superhuman feats.

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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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