In the series premiere of “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,” judge Mandy Moore praised contestant Mackenzie Ziegler for tackling the foxtrot when she had no experience in ballroom dance. “You have trained in more jazz and contemporary,” Moore noted in her critique. So what dance style did Mackenzie get on Disney Night in week three of the competition? Contemporary. Was it fair for the show to give her a number in the exact style she’s trained in?
Mackenzie is a recording artist, but she and her big sister Maddie Ziegler have also trained as dancers and both appeared on the reality series “Dance Moms.” Nowadays Maddie is much better known for dance than Mackenzie, thanks in large part to Maddie’s appearances in music videos for Sia. But it was still an advantage for Mackenzie to get a contemporary dance this early in the competition.
Contemporary routines tend to score better than other dance styles no matter who’s performing them. That’s because it’s a more interpretive dance with fewer stringent choreographic rules than ballroom styles. So a contestant in touch with their emotions can take contemporary and run with it, especially for male stars strong enough to lift their partners and female stars light enough to be lifted. Add to that Mackenzie’s training, and it was no surprise that her performance to “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas” tied Miles Brown for the highest score of the night, receiving straight 9s from the judges for a total of 27 out of 30.
The performance gave Adam Rippon chills. Val Chmerkovskiy thought it was “breathtaking.” And Moore, who specializes in contemporary choreography, thought Mackenzie had just the right amount of lightness and grace needed for the dance. What did you think of the performance? Vote in our poll below to let us know if you thought it was the best of the night.
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