You're Going to Want Every Single Outfit Ally Love Is Serving Up on Dance 100
You're Going to Want Every Single Outfit Ally Love Is Serving Up on Dance 100
Ally Love is a woman of many talents. Not only is she a beloved Peloton instructor and the brand's global lead of instructor strategic initiatives, but she is also the CEO and founder of Love Squad, a community that emboldens women to live healthier, fuller lives; in-arena host of the Brooklyn Nets; host and producer of the podcast Courtside Conversation; and host of the Netflix dance competition series Dance 100, the most recent addition to her ever-expanding resume. Love is what we call a multi-hyphenate with a capital M. But what's more, she also happens to be big on a style, a fact we love and that is showcased in spades on Dance 100, which is now streaming.
From a perfectly tailored lime-green minidress to metallic-blue LaQuan Smith pants, all the way down to her artfully crafted manicures, which change with every outfit, Love serves look after look on the competition series. It's a bold and carefully curated sartorial story that will have you longing for hot summer nights. But that's not the only reason we're tuning in. Dance 100 promises to be unlike anything you've seen before as eight choreographers go head-to-head in high-stakes dance battles for a $100,000 cash prize. Each episode, the choreographers are tasked with creating complex numbers featuring 100 of the world's most talented dancers. The kicker? The dancers will also decide the fate of the choreographers. For Love, who is a classically trained dancer herself, the appeal of the show lies in both its celebration of all dance genres and its ability to offer an often undervalued group of individuals a huge platform.
Ahead of the show's big premiere, we caught up with Love over Zoom to talk about Dance 100's thrilling format, the difference between fashion and style, and her brilliant motto.
Dance 100 is a new never-been-seen-before competition series on Netflix. Can you break it down for us?
First and foremost, I am thoroughly excited--not just because I'm the host of the show. As a former dancer, I know exactly what it means to finally get a platform for dancers who are often underpaid, undervalued, and not recognized. For example, Rihanna's [Super Bowl] dancers. [They're] amazing dancers, but you know not one of them by face besides the choreographers. I'm very excited for this platform to lend itself to all 108 dancers, plus myself, but more so for them to be recognized and have a voice. For these dancers to be able to weigh in--leveraging their expertise, leveraging the fact that this is their passion and that they are the best at what they do, leveraging that into feedback throughout the show--is quite phenomenal, and I don't think that happens often. Most times, we have celebrity judges who may have danced, but they are in the limelight, so it's like if the celebrities think you are good, therefore you are good. This show not only gives the power back to the folks, but it gives the power back to the people who are often unrecognized or even unrecognizable--e.g., Rihanna's dancers. So what makes it special is that for me.
What sets Dance 100 apart from other dance competition shows?
I think it's that. It's the fact that we don't have celebrity judges. There is a dance touchpoint all around. It's not like the host isn't a dancer. I'm a dancer. I've danced for years. Dancing saved my life. I've danced with Beyonce and Pitbull and Wyclef, and I do dance cardio for fun at Peloton. I was a Knicks City dancer, so I've done the NBA. I've done lines and complexions. I've done classically trained [dancing]. I have a bachelor of fine arts, a degree in performance from the Alvin Ailey School of dance at Fordham University. I've done all areas of dance, and then to take all of that information and now become the host...
You have choreographers from New York and London who dedicated their entire lives to not only being dancers but creating art, and then you have the other dancers who have dedicated their lives to being dancers. The fact that this has 360 touchpoints of dancers is pretty fresh and is something that hasn't necessarily been done before in this capacity. Also, $100,000 is a lot of money. Making $100,000 in the span of this show is a game changer for the choreographers. It's life changing for their family--it's life changing for their recognition. It's Netflix, baby, c'mon! And for the folks that don't win, the world gets to experience their art and them dancing at the same time.
What can audiences expect from this group of choreographers?
I think what the producers have done really well is to make sure that--whether it's the trained eye or the untrained eye--it's entertaining and enjoyable [and] that there's a diversification of dance so that much of dance is represented. ... In terms of the art itself, there are a lot of surprise elements. The thing is, I didn't get to see the show while I was creating it. It's like a Marvel movie when they invite actors to do their roles. They do them out of sequence, so no one can tell you about the movie. That's exactly what my role was. I am the voice of the show. I'm the host of the show, but I cannot tell you in what order things happen. But what I do know is there are a lot of unexpected elements within the performances in terms of a lot of things that are being used or not used, [from] the diversification of genres of dance to the way things happen when voting goes down.
What was it like for you to watch it for the first time all together?
I'm going to wait and watch it in real time with the rest of the world. So when I sit down with my friends and my husband and we watch the show, I, too, am going to be shocked. I know the things that are happening. I just don't know where or when they are going to be happening. So I just want to cherish that moment of this being my first experience, my first big-girl solo hosting job that I've been working my ass off to get.
Dance has played a big role in your early life, but is it something you still partake in regularly?
Simple answer: at the club, honey! Give me a wedding, give me a birthday party, give me a night out at the club--I am your number one party guest. I will come on time or maybe a little late. [I'm] not the first one there, but I will come early because I know what it's like to put on an event. You want people to show up, and I'll be the last to leave on the dance floor. I am your number one party guest. That ability to get lost and find freedom of movement without judgment is exactly what I do. In terms of formalizing it, I do take dance classes once in a while. A few teammates or best friends of mine, we will take dance classes, but we will be in the back. Back in the day, I was front and center with my sweatshirt half off the shoulder with a sports bra on and baggy pants hitting every movement. Now, I'm just casual and cute and let the young folks with the Megan Thee Stallion knees get on the floor.
Let's talk about your wardrobe on Dance 100 because you have so many great looks. Can you walk us through the process of selecting your outfits?
I think anyone can do fashion, but I think very few people can do style. ... If you take some of the best designers and you take their designs and put them on a mannequin, they look amazing. And if you take it off that mannequin and put it on most people in the world, they will look amazing. They will feel amazing. That's fashion. Fashion in itself is created by the designer and the team, and it's no shade to them, but that's already completed. Style is as an individual--when you can let your personality shine, when things come together that are a reflection of your personality and that are iconic. Iconic means ... you walk down the streets of New York City, and someone is looking at you, and they are having an internal dialogue and an external dialogue. And they can either love it or hate it. It doesn't matter. We are not here to please the public. But style is when you can put these pieces together, and they represent your personality, and people are like, "I'm curious" or "I have a thought." It's thought-provoking.
That's what I really pride myself on, especially in the show, is highlighting my love for style in itself. You'll see an evolution with my looks. From the very first show where I want to show that I'm young and fresh, I showed off a little stomach in the first [look] to show that honey is still a dancer. She's still got it. And then I go back and forth between short minidresses where there is a little peekaboo to long pants and sheer tops. My hair goes from being an afro to a curly ponytail to a big pouf ponytail to braids to a slicked-back long ponytail, giving you Madonna. I like to reflect my personality in each way that I look. The point of it is how it all comes together for me. And the color palette. When you lay out each of the looks together, you're like, "Wow, this is an array. It's giving me spring, summer, fall, and winter in one show."
I love that you are very involved and thinking about it as a whole story.
I knew that a lot of what I'd be doing is holding the mic and interviewing, and any time they cut the camera, I'll be out of frame, and it's just my hand like this. So I made sure that, because I love nail art, every episode has a brand-new set of nail art that goes with the outfit--so from the hair to the makeup to the shoes to the look itself and the nails. The shape of the nails changes from almond to a very long square, giving you Kylie Jenner. Long stiletto nails, short, I give you all the moments, and the colors tie into the wardrobe itself.
You are on camera all the time. Are there certain colors or silhouettes you tend to gravitate toward? And on the flip side, what do you avoid?
In terms of colors, I love the color orange. A tangerine orange, to me, she is a mix between yellow sunshine and a powerful red, so she's giving you energy, but don't mess with her. She is my color. I am very New York, so I can give you an all-black moment too. I stayed away from it in this show because that's what I'm giving if you see me out in SoHo having dinner.
In terms of silhouettes I stay away from, I don't love an A-line short dress. It doesn't look good on me because I'm tall. And you would think, "Oh, Ally, that should look good on you," but usually, where they hit my legs it's not as flattering for me. Give me a princess Cinderella dress, A-line in at the waist and out--absolutely. That was my reception wedding dress. But in terms of things that I love, I love things that are high waisted. I am a very athletic build, so [I like] things that cut me up. A crop top all day. Let me show my midriff. Just give me a free tummy. #freemytummy. What else? I love to wear things that leave you guessing.
You spend a lot of time in workout clothes for your job, but what about off duty? What are some of the items on heavy rotation in your wardrobe right now?
You know what I'm obsessed with right now is Agolde denim. I'm not normally into denim as hard-core, but denim on denim on denim on denim is great for me. And what I mean by that is denim pants with a denim button shirt that is halfway buttoned that opens all the way up and then a denim cropped top with a denim jacket and then a Brandon Blackwood denim bag, and I have Jimmy Choo denim heels. And then you put your little diamonds on and your colorful necklaces. I'm here for it.
My working look is a tight pencil skirt that is calf length, like very tight--those glutes I work on on Peloton, they are popping--and sincerely a crop top with a blazer. It's what I wear to keynotes or if I have an important meeting.
You are the host of Dance 100, a Peloton instructor, CEO of Love Squad, the in-arena host of the Brooklyn Nets, and the host and producer of the podcast Courtside Conversation. The hustle is real! How do you prioritize self-care in between all of these jobs? And what does that look like for you?
This is my motto. I keep the easy easy and the hard hard. I have a morning routine where I ask myself this question: Either what or how do I want to feel today? I answer that every morning so I am not reactive to the world. I think most of us get up, and we just respond to whatever is thrown at us. We are very passive. You get on Instagram. You are literally passive. Whatever shows up, you are consuming. So for me, what I try to do is anchor myself in answering that question. In that way, I'm being proactive. So if what I encounter or engage with is somebody who comes into work acting up, then I've already established what my baseline is for that day, and that's how I lean in. And then I scope out days and make some days easy and some days hard.
Mondays are usually the easy days. I'm not doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Tuesday, she is hard. Every Tuesday is my hardest workout. It's the hardest workout I teach. I answer emails. I have the hard conversations--if I have to send that one email, she's going out on a Tuesday. Wednesdays are easy, Thursdays are hard, [and] Fridays are easy. And then the weekend, it depends on how many cocktails we have. So in the week, I have two or two and half days where it is hard work. That's how I manage myself, and then I give myself a lot of recovery time. I don't expect to go hard all the time. Even though people say I do a lot, my career intersects at three Cs: camera, conversation, community.
That's what I love to do with my life. I love to be on camera. Information and access to information are expensive. This is free. Conversation, catalyst for change. Community, I love being around people and the energy exchange--being able to affect people positively.
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