Daily Dance: Spoof Of Fosse’s ‘Rich Man’s Frug’ In Quarantine Life

Give your brain a mid-day break and enjoy this spoof of Broadway genius Bob Fosse’s “Rich Man’s Frug” from Sweet Charity.

Taking iconic movements from the first section of the dance number – “The Aloof” –  old and new Fosse dancers offer their vision of daily life in quarantine.

Being a Fosse dancer and having tackled “Rich Man’s Frug,” I think this is pretty fun.

So you can see the dance references, here’s the BRILLIANT original choreography from the 1969 film version of the musical starring Shirley MacLaine.

News Round-Up: April 30, 2020

Los Angeles, CA, 1998

Some news items you might have missed:

International Day of Dance: I’m a day late but I have to pay tribute to the gift, the discipline, and the artistry afforded me by my many (many) years of dance training. It all was a gift. The pic above was taken as I warmed up for a performance of CHICAGO the Musical in Los Angeles at the Shubert Theatre in 1998.

Agence France-Presse: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said the World Health Organization encourages homosexuality and masturbation among young children, his latest clash with an organization whose advice on social distancing and other anti-coronavirus measures he has repeatedly questioned.

Washington Blade: Rufus Gifford has been named deputy campaign manager for Joseph Biden, the campaign confirmed Wednesday. The former U.S. ambassador to Denmark from 2013 to 2017, Gifford was one of seven openly gay ambassadors who served under the Obama administration. Oh, and he’s a dog man and pretty easy on the eyes, which never hurts 🙂

Former US Ambassador Rufus Giffords (via Instagram)

Media Matters: National Rifle Association board member Anthony Colandro called the novel coronavirus pandemic “bullshit” and encouraged his followers to join him at an anti-social distancing protest in New Jersey insisting the state police “can’t arrest all of us.”

Pink News: A scientist has explained why Mike Pence refused to wear a mask while visiting patients recovering from coronavirus: toxic masculinity. Peter Glick Ph.D., a social sciences professor, says Pence refusing to abide by the hospital’s guidelines comes down to “one critical reason, which is that appearing to play it safe contradicts a core principle of masculinity: show no weakness.” p.s. Pence wore a mask at a GM plant after the backlash.

Fox News: After over one million confirmed cases and over 62,000 deaths of COVID-19 in the U.S., plus 30 million Americans have lost their jobs, Donald Trump’s campaign is set to launch a seven-figure ad blitz on his “spectacular success.” Priorities USA has its own take on Trump’s efforts.

Daily Dance: Travis Wall To Host Virtual “Break The Floor: Live”

Choreographer Travis Wall has been removed from the current Break the Floor tour amid allegations of sexual misbehavior
Travis Wall (image via Instagram)

Award-winning dancer-choreographer Travis Wall will host Break the Floor: Live, a free virtual dance convention April 18–19.

Faculty members from JUMP, NUVO and 24 Seven will gather virtually for online classes, auditions, a group competition, and more.

The event will be streamed from Break the Floor’s new studio in Los Angeles beginning at 12PM ET April 18.

Wall first hit the national spotlight as a competitor on So You Think You Can Dance in Season 2 before going on to choreograph for the reality dance competition for 14 seasons, earning nine Emmy nominations. He currently serves as a resident choreographer for the reality competition and a guest judge.

He made his New York choreographic debut with MCC Theater’s The Wrong Man last fall.

Wall took to Instagram to share the news writing, “CALLING ALL DANCERS!!!! I’m hosting the FIRST LIVE DANCE CONVENTION APRIL 18th & 19th! Come take class with me and some of your favorite convention teachers! And it’s FREE! My soul needs this! I can not wait to dance with you next weekend! TAG SOMEONE who would love this!!!!”

You can also check out a short live performance by Wall and SYTYCD alum Ricky Ubeda below as well.

Daily Dance: 1984 Morning Show Workout

Tony Britts on BBC’s Breakfast show in 1984 (screen captures)

Oh, take me back to the 80s!

The BBC Archives shares this golden goodie (16 million views since Thursday) from an episode of the Breakfast show in 1984 in the UK.

“It’s day 4 of the BBC Archive quarantine fitness regime! Time to don some tight clothing that doesn’t quite fit and limber up with the one and only Tony Britts!”

Tony’s got a quick little routine consisting of “side to sides,” “ball changes,” and “hands and hips,” although when he puts it all together that “hands and hips” move gets some complicated rhythm going.

I’ve got to say, back in the day – and I was there – being ‘fit’ for most folks meant being lean and toned.

While today’s InstaHunks might have more size than the venerable Mr. Britts, he’s looking pretty jacked for the early 80s.

Over on YouTube, my favorite comment about the clip reads, “He’s so cute, and what a body! How could he get that ripped just by moving sideways?!” #srsly

Fitness InstaHunk Nathan McCallum is feeling the energetic 80s – check out his latest post.

And remember, as Mr. Britts says, “Work hard, play hard, rest hard ok. Lots of fun. Have a good week ahead.”

Daily Dance: Daughters & Dads


It was Daddy/Daughter Day at Echappe Dance Arts in Philadelphia last week.

This class – called Daddy and Me BOGA [B(allet) + (Y)oga] – is described as a fun-filled 2-hour event filled with yoga, ballet & hip hop for Fathers (Father figures) seeking to bond with their little ones by stepping out of their comfort zone!

I don’t really have to say anything here, do I?

#awesome

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Features Same-Sex Partners To Stunning Effect

Johannes Radebe & Graziano di Prima (right couple - image via Instagram/BBC)
Johannes Radebe & Graziano di Prima (right couple – image via Instagram/BBC)

This past weekend the UK TV show Strictly Come Dancing put the spotlight on two male dancers partnering together in a routine.

The reality competition series, a precursor to ABC’s Dancing with the Stars in the U.S., gave professional dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima a solo spot during a production number showcasing Emeli Sande singing “Shine.”

Radebe, who was eliminated last week with his celebrity partner Catherine Tyldesley, grew up in South Africa and is openly gay. In an interview with Hello! Magazine, he said, “I’ve never felt so liberated.”

“For the first time, I feel accepted for who I am,” Radebe told the publication. “That says so much about the people of this country.”

“To be able to dance with a friend I respect and adore is joyous,” he continued. “There’s bromance galore between us, but there were no male and female roles, just free movement. It was beautiful, classy and elegant.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Love knows no boundaries. 👬🌈@grazianodiprima ❤️

A post shared by Johannes Radebe (@johannesradebe) on

In advance of the performance, the 32-year-old dancer shared with The Sun that a same-sex dance would have never happened when he was dancing on the South African edition of Strictly.

Growing up near Johannesburg, Radebe said he was bullied from an early age and was called names like “sissy boy” frequently. At the age of 17, he was attacked with a baseball bat by a boy at school who called him “f*gg*t.”

That journey to now made Sunday’s performance that much more meaningful for him.

“When I got to the UK it was beautiful – for the first time I felt liberated,” he explained. “It’s just people accepting you for who you are no matter what you do. So now I feel more confident and comfortable because of my surroundings.”

Radebe posted photos of himself and di Prima with the caption, “Love knows no boundaries” with rainbow and heart emojis and tagged di Prima.

Di Prima, who is heterosexual (he proposed to his girlfriend live on stage earlier this year), also celebrated the moment taking to Twitter writing, “REPRESENTATION always matters! Unforgettable moment, dancing with you @johannesradebe @bbcstrictly”

The response on social media to the same-sex pair was mixed ranging from euphoria (including praise from former champ Joe McFadden) to some naysayers:

Former Strictly professional dancer Robin Windsor scolded the negative comments asking people to “just enjoy the artistry.”

Watch the full performance below. Radebe and di Prima enter around the 1:00 mark.

Top 10 Songs Played At 2019 Same-Sex Weddings

The folks at Eventopedia, an online events platform that helps events professionals connect with venues, crunched the numbers and have come up with the Top 10 Songs played at same-sex weddings.

The intrepid researchers searched playlists on Spotify that included terms like ‘LGBT wedding’ and ‘gay wedding 2019’ in order to discover the most popular songs being played at LGBT nuptials.

It may not surprise you that Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” topped the list. The song, originally released in 1987, has been streamed more than 371 million times on Spotify and showed up on more LGBTQ wedding playlists than any other song.

And Miss Whitney isn’t the only diva being played at same-sex weddings.

Lady Gaga (“Born This Way”), Diana Ross (“I’m Coming Out”) and Shania Twain (“Man! I Feel Like A Woman!”) also made the gay celebration list.

Of course, there are those evergreen songs you just can’t imagine not being included at a wedding like ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” the Weather Girls “It’s Raining Men,” and the Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson collaboration, “Uptown Funk.”

“Weddings are often the most significant event of people’s lives,” Toby Heelis, founder of Eventopedia, told The Gay U.K. “And having the right music to accompany it is just as important.”

Eventopedia noted that the average release date of the Top 10 was 1988, and the average song length is four minutes and six seconds.

Here’s the list of the Top 10 Songs played at same-sex weddings in 2019:

  1. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
  2. Dancing Queen – ABBA
  3. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
  4. Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson
  5. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
  6. September – Earth, Wind & Fire
  7. Best Of My Love – The Emotions
  8. Born This Way – Lady Gaga
  9. I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross
  10. Man! I Feel Like A Woman! – Shania Twain

Listen to the full playlist on Spotify here.

(source: Eventopedia)

Lara Spencer Apologizes For Mocking Boys Taking Dance Class

Good Morning America host Lara Spencer apologized for her faux pas when she laughed on air at the idea of Prince George’s curriculum including ballet classes, which he reportedly enjoys.

I posted some of the dance world’s response the homophobic giggle Spencer shared when she reported that news.

On GMA this week, she offered a humble, sincere apology for “screwing up.”

She also welcomed three major forces from the dance world to talk about the impact of laughing, mocking and shaming boys who dance: 2-time Emmy Award winner Travis Wall, ballet star and soon-to-appear in the film adaptation of CATS, Robbie Fairchild, and Joffrey Ballet’s Fabrice Calmels.

When she first issued a mea culpa via Instagram, being married to a publicist the text seemed a bit “the network said I have to do this.” But watching her in this GMA segment, I take her at her word that she realizes her mistake.

As a guy who has danced for 40 years, and thankfully enjoyed a career of incredible opportunity thanks to dance, I accept her apology and appreciate that it comes across as authentic and sincere.

Lara Spencer Schooled On Social Media For Laughing At Boys Taking Ballet

Good Morning America co-host Lara Spencer stepped in it this week when reporting on Prince George as part of her Pop News segment.

Talking about the young royal’s new school curriculum, she paused when she mentioned that he would be taking “ballet,” and then began to laugh at the idea that boys would study dance.

As the studio audience continued laughing, Spencer added, “I’ve got news for you Prince William, we’ll see how long that lasts.”

Folks in the dance world, male and female, clapped back at Spencer laughing at the idea of boys/men dancing.

Social media was soon flooded with comments from dance luminaries tagging Spencer to make sure she would see them.

In case people think the following reactions might be overly-sensitive, I’d point out that if Spencer had mentioned a UK princess taking ballet, there would have been NO laughs, right?

Broadway and television dance star Debbie Allen, who has championed the arts for young people for decades, spoke directly to the issue saying, “Lara Spencer – I am sure you did not expect your remarks to set off the firestorm that it has – but it did.”

She added, “Poking fun at the dance world, and ballet and young boys – this just isn’t cool.”

Emmy Award-winning choreographer and So You Think You Can Dance alum Travis Wall posted a video as well saying, “Dear @lara.spencer of GOOD MORNING AMERICA. I have a message for you. Wake up. It’s 2019,” he wrote. “Get with the program. Please share and repost this so a boy who needs to see this feels supported if he dances or wants to!”

Michael Dameski, from NBC’s World of Dance competition, posted this off-the-hook video clip tagging Spencer with the comment, “Still laughing?”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1hH6kmgnP3/

Dancing with the Stars alum Derek Hough chimed in saying he was surprised and disappointed by the comments and laughs, adding it reminded him of how he was laughed at as a young male dancer.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1hEfo6gJGr/

Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Pretty Woman, Legally Blond) added his thoughts advising Spencer to “think before you speak.”

And as my friend Jerome Vivona, A-list Broadway dancer and currently running American Theater Dance Workshop pointed out, dance training develops, “Strength, grace, power, empathy, collaboratio, and balance.”

Spencer eventually apologized for her “insensitive comments” midday Friday on Instagram.

“My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday,” she wrote. “From ballet to anything one wants to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain-and love every minute of it.”

I’ll add my own thoughts here as someone who enjoyed a long career in dance and theater thanks to my beginning dance classes at 14-years-old.

Echoing what many have said above about the athleticism, strength, and sense of collaboration that dancers develop, I also champion the fact that dance helps men and women to understand the value of discipline which helps people as they pursue other careers outside of the dance world.

Finally, I credit dance with keeping me in touch with my own body as I grow older. The photo below was taken when I turned 50 a few years ago when I appeared in Chicago the Musical at the Hollywood Bowl.

While I’m no InstaHunk, trust and believe I would not be in this shape if I hadn’t danced all these years.