YouTube is dangerous. We all know this. One minute, you’re searching for “best beginner hip-hop moves,” and the next thing you know, you’re watching a cat rave commercial for Meow Mix. But there’s no need for embarrassment or shame, my dancer friends. In fact, spiraling down a YouTube dance black hole can be, depending on your outlook that day, inspirational, entertaining, therapeutic or laudably procrastinatory. (Procrastinative?) What’s the key to a truly great YouTube spiral, you ask? Three elements: high skill level; variety; and the element of surprise.
So come with me down this rabbit hole of eclectic, fantastic YouTube dance vids that I’ve already assembled for you! Because, Wednesday.
First up, we have an oldie but a goodie. Ever heard of the Nicholas Brothers? These guys were an insane tap duo with the slickest style. You MUST watch until the end—pretty sure these guys defined the word “showstopper.”
If you need a good laugh, please enjoy Stephen Colbert (pre-“Late Show”) frolicking around an apparently empty kindergarten classroom (what?) and showing off his liturgical dance skills.
For something completely different, how about a really short clip of voguing goddess Leiomy Maldonado? Her hair flips (kind of her signature move, The Lolly) are incredible—as are most of her moves.
Here’s an excerpt from a longer piece by a choreographer whose work I’ve never seen live—but I’ve watched this clip an embarrassing number of times and still feel moved every time. The choreographer is Iván Pérez, and this piece, Flesh, was created on the dancers of Nederlands Dans Theater II. He created it as an homage to his parents and their beautiful, long marriage. (Important spoiler: Both man and woman in the main duet are topless, so maybe don’t watch this one with your students.)
And finally, the video that actually started this particular dance black hole for me: Angel Corella in an unexpectedly charming performance of Stanton Welch’s solo “We Got It Good.” Something about the jazzy piano score, Corella’s casually untied bowtie and the quirky choreography really got me.