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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.

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.

Shocking Eliminations on A Chance to Dance

In this episode, the inevietable cuts started. It was an instant theme from the very beginning of the episode. Eldon was worried about his boyfriend, Chase. The girls discussed how it didn’t really seem fair to send people home yet (well…what do you expect when there’s only 30 days?). Oh the drama.

Michael and Billy decided to take a step back and instead of choreograph, just observe. Allison stepped in to help the dancers, which gave the boys a chance to take a closer look at the 24 dancers still here. I thought this was smart, because you can’t really concentrate as well on the small things that make a big difference, when you are trying to teach a group of people.

The partner exercise was very showing. Obviously, the dancers who make it to the final 12 have to be able to work with others well. It was painful to watch tonight, at times. Well, to watch Shepherd. He’s been one of my very favorites from the beginning, but I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe he isn’t quite cut out for this type of company. Others shined though, especially Eldon and Sarah. If they both make it, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were contenders for the duet portion of the performance.

Here is a clip about Shepherd during the duet exercise. As I mentioned, he had a hard time. But he really does try hard, you can see it in how he acts. I think he is one of the most genuine people on the show, and that’s why it was so hard for me to watch him do poorly.

I really enjoyed the “last chance performance.” It was very solid, and I think that a lot of the dancers really shined in it.

The later half of the show dealt with the eliminations. In my mind, I had a few people I thought would be go home, and a few that would definitely stay. It was interesting to me how Billy and Michael brought them in individually to talk with them. For some, they cut straight to the point and either sent them home or kept them. But for others, I think they weren’t entirely sure when the dancer walked in what their fate would be . I must admit though, it was a bit shocking to me that Sarah almost went home. She really isn’t my favorite dancer, but I feel like she does a good job. Joni is probably my favorite, and we found out, she is also the favorite of Billy and Michael. I’m glad she is succeeding so much.

It was a bit of a shock to see Shepherd stay. I’m not sure exactly what Michael and Billy are thinking, but they must see something in him that would be valuable to the company. When he came out with the news, I wonder how everyone felt. I mean, there were probably some dancers that were more talented, technically, than he was, that got sent home. We will see what happens next time though.

In the end, these were the five that got sent home:
Chase Wise: Obviously, this was a heartbreaking decision for him, for more reason that one. He loves to dance, but he also would be going home, without his partner, Eldon

Cooper Neely: He was starting to get on my nerves,

Marissa Wong: I thought it was kind of sad that her elimination was super short, and wasn’t even included in the main portion of the show — it was in between a couple of commercials!

Savannah Mitchell

Jessica Edmunds

Sadly, Savannah and Jessica never really stood out to me, so I have a hard time commenting about them leaving. Hopefully they will find success in the future.

It was definitely a bittersweet episode, for the viewers, and obviously for the dancers. I think it was particularly hard for Eldon and Chase, since they now are going to be seperated. Here is a little clip that was from the end of the show where Eldon talks about Chase leaving:


And as always, here is the promo for next week:


Don’t forget to tune in every Friday this month for more excitement.

And I’m wondering how everyone feels about Shepherd…feel free to post your thoughts as a comment, or cast a vote in this poll:

September 7, 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.

Flashback: SYTYCD Canada (and U.S.) Season 2 – Tara-Jean & Everett

Typically, I don’t have time to watch So You Think You Can Dance Canada where the primary judges were: Jean-Marc Généreux and Tré Armstrong. So once in a while a friend of mine would send me a video of another routine from another part of the world that would pique my interest some and then that was all.

So when a friend (and fellow PureSYTYCD blogger) of mine posted a video on my Facebook Timeline I wasn’t entirely too anxious to want to go and see it right away, instead I waited til I had a little bit of time before I decided to look at it.

She sent the video with the following comment:

It’s been so long since we had a really good memorable Broadway number (maybe neil & kent baseball from season 7 or robert & kathryn west side story, but I don’t have any memorable ones from last year!), I’d love to see more numbers with this kind of energy!!

Another friend commented:

I miss the old stage. And as long as Tyce is not directing, I tend to like the broadway, but not love.

So, upon reading the comments I decided to watch the video, and boy… my friend was right… it has been a long time since I have seen a Broadway routine with this much energy.

The theatre routine in question was choreographed by Sean Cheesman who just in the first two weeks of competition for SYTYCD Season 9 choreographed two routines that for some reasons the audience may not have connected well to from the get go. Now that’s interesting… Anyway when I say a “long time” I definitely mean a long time… like Season 2′s Benji Schwimmer and Donyelle Jones:

Ironically both were the second seasons of their respective series and both involve “power couples”. So that got me thinking, I already created a Dance Style Breakdown for SYTYCD U.S. edition, so how did the dancers breakdown of dance style fare in Canada? So I decided to take a look… Below is a quick dance style breakdown over the course of the four seasons that the show was on the air:

DANCE STYLE MALE FEMALE
Contemporary 20 24
Hip Hop 9 5
Ballroom / Latin / Salsa 8 8
Ballet 2 2
Tap 1 0
Jazz 1 2
Break Dancing 1 0
Krump 0 1

Granted, this is still a bit lopsided with Contemporary dancers building the bulk of the group… however, when looking at the individual seasons, two of them (Season 2 and 4) were rather decently balanced. While the other two seasons had an insane number of Contemporary dancers in comparison to everyone else.

The two dancers from SYTYCD Canada Season 2 were tap and contemporary and they did a rather good job of it. At the same time I found it kind of odd that Sean Cheesman would create such a technically challenging and high octane theatre / broadway routine. Yes, for SYTYCD U.S. Sean has only created Jazz related routines… what gives? Sure, Tyce is a decent choreographer and Spencer Liff just got an Emmy nomination for his Broadway routines… but if the above routine is any indication I would love to see him try his hand on Broadway as well. If only because it forces the high octane / technically challenging routines to also depends on characterizations for the dancers.

What do you think?

July 21, 2012 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... =)

Shaping Sound Live Performance 5/8/12 – Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, Kyle Robison

Travis Wall, Teddy Forance & Nick Lazzarini present the hottest new contemporary dance company in the country, Shaping Sound — soon to be featured on the Oxygen network in their own show “All The Right Moves,” which documents the creation of this amazing assembled group of dance visionaries, and stars Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson.

Shaping Sound Presents Come Together
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at 8:00pm
Saban Theatre – 8440 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
To Purchase Tickets – http://www.flavorus.com/cometogether

Video Below :)

May 3, 2012 I Written By

www.youtube.com/danceon

SYTYCD Veterans in Newsies the Musical on Broadway

Newsies the Musical is heading to Broadway, and veterans from the FOX competition series SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (SYTYCD) are taking over! Watch Thayne Jasperson, Evan Kasprzak and Jess LeProtto talk about their road to Broadway in Newsies (Alex Wong is also in the show), which opens on March 15, 2012 for a limited run. Video Below :)

February 23, 2012 I Written By

www.youtube.com/danceon

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 Auditions

So You Think You Can Dance is searching for dancers to compete on Season 9! SYTYCD S3 contestant Lauren Gottlieb tells you about her auditions experience, and where you can audition. Also, SYTYCD choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo share their exciting news with Lauren! Video Below :)

January 5, 2012 I Written By

www.youtube.com/danceon

Lauren Gottlieb & Todrick Hall’s Hilarious Dancing with the Stars Week 5 Review

Lauren Gottlieb (So You Think You Can Dance Season 3, Top 6) and Todrick Hall (American Idol, Broadway’s Memphis) recap week 5 of Dancing with the Stars Season 13. Find out how the couples did when taking on 80′s night! All new episode of FYI every Tuesday — Video below :)

October 19, 2011 I Written By

www.youtube.com/danceon

SYTYCD Tour Exclusive – Caitlynn, Ricky, Clarice, Jess, Marko, Melanie

Just Dance catches the So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) Tour on the road and interviews Jess, Ricky, Caitlynn and Clarice! Find out about Marko’s injury, and watch exclusive footage of the opening number and Melanie & Marko’s spicy dance from the show on the road. Video Below :)

October 8, 2011 I Written By

www.youtube.com/danceon