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The Grand Finale and Shocking Ending to A Chance to Dance

Well, the finale is finally here. That didn’t take long, did it? There’s been a few teasers that something “shocking” will happen, so I was excited/nervous to see what that was. I was thinking some of the dancers weren’t going to be able to dance in the gala (that would have been terrible). Luckily, that wasn’t it.

Overall, I thought the gala performance was beautiful. It was such an interesting combination of different dance styles, and all of the dancers really blended together well. Here is the full performance from tonight’s episode:

I was happy to see that Eldon was doing better from last week’s episode. His fate seemed up in the air, but he definitely did a great job.Here is one of his greatest moments:

And here is another one of my favorite clips from last night. This is David’s solo from the night, and I thought it was incredible.

Overall, this has been a great journey. Can you believe they put together this performance in just a month? I sure can’t. When I was in high school, I was in a show choir, and it took us a month to learn simple steps (then again…we definitely weren’t professional dancers — I’d never really danced until I was in it!) I felt so bad for Tanisha though, but she held it together so well. Not a lot of people would have been able to keep their emotions in, and pull it off some graciously.

I loved seeing everyone in the dressing room, the energy in there was so high. I’m sure they were all going on adrenaline. It was obvious that all of the dancers had grown close throughout this whole experience.

So the big shocker was revealed toward the end of the episode. Only eight of the twelve dancers would be in the opening act for the SYTYCD tour. I’m still trying to figure out why that is. You could see the hearts breaking of the dancers — both those that stayed and those that got let go. I think Laura’s was the saddest to watch. She looked so sad, and understandably so.

In the end, the ones that wouldn’t be going on the tour were Laura, Michelle, Jen, and Courtney.

This will be one of the last posts on a Chance to Dance I’ll be doing, and I have to say, I’m a little bit sad. I’ve grown attached to these dancers, and have looked forward to watching the show. I think this stroke of genius from Nigel Lythgoe has changed the lives for everyone that was on the show, whether or not they made it to the gala. Here are some final thoughts from the Ballet Boyz:

September 28, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

My Favorite Dancer on A Chance to Dance – Laura Gruener

Laura Gruener
In case some of you missed my tweet about Laura Gruener, I’m absolutely in love with her dancing and personality and can’t wait to see her dance in the finale of Chance to Dance tonight. If you’ve missed the previous episodes of Chance to Dance, you can still stream them on Facebook for really cheap. It’s well worth the investment and you can watch all the episodes commercial free.

I think you have to see the whole series to know why I just adore Laura. From what I can tell she’s a real sweetheart that’s incredibly sincere. I think the picture below does a great job capturing the special, natural happiness that she has:
Laura Gruener

I also did a little searching online to try and find out more about Laura before she was on Chance to Dance. I found a few pictures of her including one when she must have been 11 years old in some ballet company:

Even better is that I found a couple YouTube videos of Laura Gruener dancing at the PA School of Performing Arts. I think you’ll enjoy the videos of her dancing:

Now I’d really love to see her audition for So You Think You Can Dance. I’d love to see her do other genres. Either way, I look forward to seeing her dance tonight in the finale of A Chance to Dance.

I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?

A Chance to Dance Episode 6 Pictures


Some more great behind the scenes pictures from A Chance to Dance. Plus, I love the picture where the Ballet Boyz are doing the lifts. They still have it. Look how well they can balance in a lift. Amazing!

Eldon’s picture makes me sad to see him laying down injured like that. Must have been really hard for him. Enjoy the pictures!

September 27, 2012 I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?

A Chance to Dance Week 6 Videos: Learn to Dance and See What’s Coming Up Next

This week, Ovation TV posted some  fun dance how-to videos.

The Samblé

Cheat Gainer

Spinning Arch

So get together with some friends, and try out some these dances move! I think I’ll stick with just watching them, but it was kind of a neat feature.

And here’s another look into the this Friday’s episode. Looks like the competition is back on. I can’t wait for the season finale, I can tell it’s going to be good.

 

September 26, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

A Chance to Dance Behind the Scenes Pictures

For those of you who love dance, love Jacob’s Pillow or love Chance to Dance, you’re going to love these behind the scenes photos from Chance to Dance at Jacob’s Pillow. There are some really amazing images. I also always love to see a flavor for what’s happening behind the scenes on a TV show. These pictures provide a little peak into that.

Plus, I just implemented a new way to view galleries of pictures on the site. So, hopefully you enjoy browsing the pictures using that new feature as well.

Enjoy!

September 25, 2012 I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?

Duel for the Duet and A Devastating Injury – A Chance to Dance Week 6

It’s down to the final few days before the Gala, and the final 12 left Jacob’s Pillow for New York in episode six.

Even though the stress of even making the company is passed, the dancers face a new sort of competition this week: Who will perform the coveted duet.

Before I get into that, I have to say, I’m so glad David Dorfman is coming back. I truly think he adds so much…spirit to the company. He takes them out of their comfort zone and introduces them to new styles. Michelle (I believe) talked about how he was having them do things she never did before, but how she liked them. It causes them to grow. And I think that is so important as well.

It was interesting how David pointed out that he usually has months (years, even) to work with companies, which once again emphasized the unique premise of this show. If you think about it, it’s incredible. These dancers have been together for less than a month. Yes, they probably won’t have the most polished, perfect performance, but really

And on Patrick — yes, I was a little surprised that he made it to the final. However, I decided that I like him. He seems so genuine. Another thing I like about this show is that it gave some people an opportunity they may not have had otherwise. I mean, look at Shepherd. I doubt he would have ever done some of the things he did at Jacob’s Pillow elsewhere. And I feel like with some of the dancers who did make the final company, such as Patrick, this was something that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. This doesn’t have to do with tonight’s episode, but I loved it. Patrick cuts his long hair:

Okay, enough my random musings. On to the duets. I’m going to post each of them, in case you missed it, and throw in my commentary. Two of my favorite female dancers, Sarah and Joni, were up for the spot, so I was excited about that.

So first off, Sarah and Patrick. Obviously they are at a disadvantage because they haven’t had as much experience dancing together. And I think that does show in their tryout. And I feel bad for Sarah, because it is hard to all the sudden not have the partner that you’ve grown to be comfortable with. But I think that emphasizes what Billy and Michael have been saying all along — they wanted dancers that can adapt, and work well with others. And in the end, I think they did a good job. In all honesty, I think I enjoyed it more than the other, but maybe that’s because I felt bad for Sarah.

David and Joni were absolutely flawless. They mesh together extremely well, and it was beautiful to watch. I think that everyone watching was in awe as well.


And last, but not least, the most heart wrenching part of the whole show (at least, I think it was). To see Eldon hurt so badly, after he has worked so hard to get where he is….Wow. Just re-watching this clip makes me tear up. I hope there is a way he can be the performance, but mostly, I hope this doesn’t ruin his career.

So next week is the season finale. It should be a pretty good episode (but aren’t all of them?) I can’t wait to see what the “big shocker” is. It sounds like it is supposed to be disappointing for everyone…maybe the gala was cancelled? Who knows. Don’t forget to tune in!

September 22, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

Bonnie Story: Emmy Award Winner and Mother of a Chance to Dance’s Bayli Baker

One of the contestants on A Chance to Dance has some famous family members.

Some of you might remember Kelli Baker from Season Four of So You Think You Can Dance. If you keep up with Emmy winners, the name Bonnie Story might ring a bell.

Well, Bayli Baker is the sister of Kelli and daughter of Bonnie. This family obviously has a lot of talent. Both Kelli and Bayli were dancers in High School Musical. And Bonnie? Well, she won an Emmy for her choreography in High School Musical’s 1, 2, and 3.

Bonnie Story is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and five children. While she is best-known for the incredible dance scenes in the High School Musicals, she has a very impressive resume. In 2002, she was a co-choreographer for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City’s opening and closing ceremonies. I remember being absolutely mesmerized by those performances — my roommate from my freshman year of college was actually in them.

She started out as a dancer before taking on choreography — in fact, she started dancing when she was five years old! She often put together performances at her house and would invite everyone in the whole neighborhood. She definitely started out her career early on in life.

As I mentioned, her most well-known work was done with High School Musicals. Bonnie had worked with Kenny Ortega, the director, during the Olympics, and that’s where they first became acquainted. After that, he asked her to help with the choreography, and it took off from there.

In addition, Bonnie has also done choreography for a variety of television shows, movies, and commercials. She is the Associate Artistic Director of Odyssey Dance Theatre, which is also where Eldon Johnson is an instructor. 

In an interview, Bonnie relays how it felt to win an Emmy:

Receiving an Emmy nomination and then actually going home with one was very surreal. It was amazing! I feel honored to have received one. Every time I look at it, it reminds me of the commitment that was given from everyone. There is never a project where you do it on your own. The concepts, music, direction, art direction, the whole crew (I could go on and on) — without their contribution, the Emmy wouldn’t be there. I am grateful for being able to work on a project that made a huge impact on a lot of kids and adults.

I was excited to learn more about Bonnie, seeing as I was a huge fan of the High School Musical trilogy — in fact, I remember when there was a special on the Disney Channel where they taught how to dance to some of the songs. Even though I was in high school, I totally dance a long (though, I’m glad that it was never recorded).

I’m sure it was an added plus to be able to have both her daughters on set during High School Musical. That must have been a lot of fun, and I’m sure the girls were thrilled to be able to be in that project.

Bayli was unfortunately eliminated from A Chance to Dance. I found that to be a shame, because I really thought she was pretty talented. Even though she didn’t make it here, I won’t be surprised if she becomes a successful dancer. Who knows, maybe she will follow in the footsteps of her mother and become a choreographer. Either way, this family sure is full of talent — and there are three more children in it. I wonder if we’ll see them on any dance shows in the future?

September 20, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

A Chance to Dance Week Four Videos

A Chance to Dance’s YouTube page is full of all sorts of great videos this week! I loved the two web exclusive clips that were put up this week.

This first one features Sydney and Shepherd, who both were eliminated last week. They talk about having no regrets from the experience, and plans for the future. I love their upbeat attitudes, because I’m sure they were disappointed not to make it to the final 12.

Everyone has rituals, right? The next video has one of the girls teaching the group a ritual that she used to do with her dance troupe back home.

And finally, a recap of last weeks episode, in case you missed it (or just want to relive it).

September 19, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

So You Think You Can Dance – The Off-Season

Now that Season 9′s So You Think You Can Dance has ended what else is there to talk about? Forget talk about… what else is there to watch… dance-wise?

It would appear that this is the season of the dance reality shows as two past contestants (and SYTYCD mainstays) from Season 2 have branched out to their own shows (A Chance to Dance and All the Right Moves) and new possibilities have popped up for fans of So You Think You Can Dance could sink their teeth into:

First the obvious… the So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour

So You Think You Can Dance’s ninth-season Top 10 finalists will be hitting the road this fall making their way across North America as part of the 2012 live tour, sponsored by Just Dance 4

[...]

The 30-city tour will kick-off October 23 in San Diego and will conclude on December 5th in Hollywood, FL with tickets for all shows going on sale Friday, August 24 beginning at 10AM.

Fall’s hottest ticket will feature this season’s most popular routines as well as original pieces created specifically for the nationwide tour.

[...]

Also for dancers and fans from all walks of life: So You Think You Can Dance Experience (aka SYTYCDX) – the official dance convention

[...] The SYTYCD® Experience is a 2-3 day workshop filled with classes, seminars, mock audition opportunity, and performances! Our weekend will be the most exciting and educational dance event you have ever experienced! This event is for dancers, educators, and enthusiasts 18 & older!

The Experience Includes:
- Classes throughout the weekend
- Seminar Breakouts
- Performances from your favorite SYTYCD Alumni Dancers and other Special Guests
- Solo Showcase Opportunity
- Q and A
- Meet and Greet
- Amazing Scholarship Opportunities
- Optional Mock Audition for the opportunity to perform in the Saturday’s Opening or Closing Number of the Showcase

Also… as featured on So You Think You Can Dance: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers
Featuring the dance talents of:
Christopher “Lil’ C” Toler as Z
Christopher Scott as Copeland
William Wingfield as Katana
Stephen “Twitch” Boss as Dr.E

According to the New York Times

“They lie amongst us, preparing for battle, waiting to rise and change things for good. Some are gifted in ability, others are trained to master it and some, some have it bestowed upon them at birth, but they all must choose.” [...] The lines come from the first episode of “The LXD” or “The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers,” a new dance-inspired Web series created by Jon M. Chu, the 30-year-old director of the hit 2008 movie “Step Up 2: The Streets” and the soon to be released “Step Up 3D.”

The series, [...] is produced by Mr. Chu and Hieu Ho with Agility Studios and distributed by Paramount Digital Entertainment and is a leap in Web-based original programming for both the companies and Mr. Chu. (An exclusive clip from the first episode of “The LXD” is available at nytimes.com/dance.)

Read more..

I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

A Little Bit About Jacob’s Pillow

A majority of the time, A Chance to Dance has taken place at a place called Jacob’s Pillow. For anyone involved or interested in dance, this may be a familiar place. However, for some viewers of the show (myself included), have probably not heard of it before. So I thought it would be fun to learn a little bit more about the place where the magic is happening on A Chance to Dance.

Jacob’s Pillow is located in Becket, Massachusetts. It is a dance school and performance center. As we’ve heard on A Chance to Dance, to be able to dance at Jacob’s Pillow is something many dancers aspire to do. It has a deep history, starting back in 1790 when the Carter family settled there. Behind their farmhouse was a boulder that was shaped liked a pillow. There was a road that was at the bottom of a hill near the farm that looked like a ladder, so it was called Jacob’s ladder. The farm was eventually called “Jacob’s Pillow” “as a combination of the story of Jacob from the Book of Genesis, which tells of Jacob laying his head upon a rock and dreaming of a ladder to heaven and the farm’s proximity to the ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ road,” according to Wikipedia (read more about the history of the farm at that link)

Over the years, many monumental “dance moments” occurred at Jacob’s Pillow, and in 2003 was a declared a national historical landmark by the federal government.

Jacob’s Pillow hosts many events throughout the year, including over 200 free events and over 80,000 visitors are cited as visiting each year. There are three main stages where performances take place.

There is also a dance school at Jacob’s Pillow, and include the following programs in the curriculum: Ballet, Cultural Traditions, Contemporary Traditions, Jazz and Musical Theater, and Choreographers’ Lab. The faculty members are also very well known.

It is a place with rich history and a bright future. As I read more about it, I can now see why the dancers were so excited to perform here. As Mikhail Baryshnikov, a Russian American dancer and actor, said, “There is no place quite like Jacob’s Pillow.”

September 15, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.