The Dance Power Couples of 2020
Given the endless hours dancers spend together in classes, rehearsals, and performances, it makes sense that onstage chemistry frequently leads to romance IRL. Sometimes the resulting relationships go beyond stage magic. Serious dance power couples not only perform together, but also collaborate on choreographic projects, embark on joint national tours, and even partner up for mainstream media gigs.
Here are seven fabulous dance couples we’ll be ‘shipping into the years ahead.
Aran Bell and Catherine Hurlin performing Jessica Lang’s Let Me Sing Forevermore (Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Aran Bell and Catherine Hurlin
and Catherine Hurlin—aka “Caran”—have quickly become one of ballet’s best duos. Though they first met as kids during a Youth America Grand Prix competition back in 2008, it wasn’t until they both ended up at American Ballet Theatre nearly a decade later that they really connected. “Working on Let Me Sing Forevermore for the Erik Bruhn Competition last March was actually when we first started dating,” says Hurlin, referring to the jazzy piece Jessica Lang made on the two of them. In addition to touring with the company and performing with Celebrity Cruises, the pair are also cast alongside each other in La Bayadère during ABT’s spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. (Bell is slated to dance Solor, with Hurlin as Gamzatti.) “We’re comfortable communicating to each other about each piece we do, so partnering together is so easy,” Bell says. “We’re spoiled.”
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Sep 3, 2019 at 5:02pm PDT
Lauren Froderman and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
Talk about “So You Think You Can Dance” royalty: Contemporary queen Lauren Froderman won the seventh season of “So You Think You Can Dance,” fierce animator Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer earned the runner-up spot in Season 9, and both appeared in subsequent seasons as All-Stars. While they’ve separately made the transition into film and commercials, dance still takes the number-one spot—and allows them to work together. The couple spent the end of 2019 traveling the U.S. as part of the So You Think You Can Dance Live! tour.
Myles Erlick and Briar Nolet
The longtime couple boast impressive resumés individually, with Myles Erlick set to appear as a Jet in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of West Side Story and Briar Nolet having competed in Season 3 of Jennifer Lopez’s TV series “World of Dance” last spring. Together, Erlick and Nolet work on the TV series “The Next Step,” in addition to collaborating on the occasional viral video (check out their duet to Walk Off the Earth’s cover of Julia Michaels’ “Issues”). And they started 2020 off with their own master-class tour in Australia, solidifying them as a couple to watch this year.
“We were lucky to pretty much grow up on set together, but right from the start we have always been focused on the work,” the couple said in an email. “We get the job done and treat each other like professionals. The bonus comes after we wrap, when we can explore new places on our days off, or just chill and unwind together.”
Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson
The “Dancing with the Stars” pros may be each other’s competition during the televised series, but off camera, Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson are #couplegoals. (To be fair, you can occasionally catch them dancing together on TV, too!) After announcing their engagement in the summer of 2018, the ballroom duo hit the road for the Dancing with the Stars: Live! tour later that winter, sharing the stage in over 60 cities—and planning a wedding at the same time. The couple married on April 13, 2019, and jumped right into another season of “DWTS” later that fall and the live tour in 2020.
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May 22, 2017 at 8:21pm PDT
Gonzalo Garcia and Ezra Hurwitz
When New York City Ballet principal Gonzalo Garcia and film director/choreographer (and former Miami City Ballet dancer) Ezra Hurwitz work together, the results are always pure gold. Take, for example, their work in an iPhone 11 Pro Max promo last fall, directed by Hurwitz and starring Garcia (alongside a bevy of other ballet standouts). The spot presented the daily lives of dancers in a more modern way—bringing ballet to a larger audience in the process. Or watch the holiday 2019 campaign Hurwitz directed for Tiffany & Co. and Elle Décor, titled “Ballet Flat,” which features Garcia and several other NYCB members dancing and being their charming selves in a glamorous stylized apartment.
“Even when Gonzalo is not in front of the camera lens, he is almost always behind it—assisting my production team with everything from painting sets to organizing catering,” Hurwitz says. “And Ezra is the first to tell me to stretch my knee or pointe my foot more in my next performance!” Garcia adds. “It’s great to be able to understand and support one another in our individual creative pursuits, and even more fun when we’re able to collaborate on a project together.”
Stephen “tWitch” Boss and Allison Holker
For the past decade, Stephen “tWitch” Boss and Allison Holker have been dominating the dance world—and this past year might’ve been their most noteworthy yet. The “SYTYCD” alums perform together, teach at conventions, and even helped co-found CLI Studios. Their popularity has carried over into the mainstream world: Boss is a DJ and regular guest host on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and the couple co-host television specials like “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings Holiday Magic.” When they’re not working, they’re raising three children together. Holker gave birth to their youngest daughter in November, and even at 9 months pregnant, she was still dancing alongside Boss on “Ellen” and for their combined Instagram following of over 3 million.
Courtesy Kirsten Russell and Nick Young
Kirsten Russell and Nick Young
It was admiration for each other’s work that first brought contemporary choreographer Kirsten Russell and tapper Nick Young together. Before they started dating, the two collaborated artistically, with Russell presenting work as part of a show that Young’s company, Rhythmatic, produced. “I’ve always respected Kirsten’s musicality, and to work with someone who is much more knowledgeable about applying that musicality to the movement in their entire body, rather than just the rhythms you can create through sound, really helped open my mind to musical possibilities,” Young says. The two hope to plan another show together in the near future. But in the meantime, they’ve got plenty of dance projects to keep them busy. “We’ve been traveling to studios together, and we’re doing a few collaborative pieces this year that we’re really excited about,” Russell says.