A Chance to Dance put out some really great YouTube videos of amazing dancers doing some great dance moves. Plus, they slow down the video and highlight the keys to doing the dance move the right way. You’re going to really enjoy these videos if you love dance. Plus, I love the first one because I adore Lauren Gottlieb.
Pivot En Dehor, by Lauren Gottlieb
The Cheat Gainer, by Mike Vargas
The Leap, by Lauren Valentine
Check out the full season of Chance to Dance streamed online in case you missed it.
This is a really interesting video which should spark an interesting discussion about the lack of male dancers out there. Plus, the stigma that’s associated with male dancers.
One of the most interesting things that Nigel said in the video was the reasoning for why he didn’t encourage his son to go into dance. Nigel is right about it on many levels. I’m glad that some of the misconception is changing, but it’s going to take a lot of time to change the stigmas. Shows like So You think You Can Dance and A Chance to Dance do a lot to help change people’s perspective on dance.
Check out the full season of Chance to Dance streamed online in case you missed it.
Over the next couple days I’m going to post some of the remaining videos that A Chance to Dance put out that we weren’t able to post in our coverage of it. Plus, these videos all have universal appeal to those interested in dance. So, this will be a good way to enjoy the SYTYCD off season.
In this video Nigel discusses the challenge of Hip Hop dancers in a company with Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt. Gives you an interesting view on how Nigel looks at Hip Hop on SYTYCD.
One thing I’ve found interesting about this subject is that they’re totally comfortable having a Hip Hop dancer with no training in contemporary get on stage and do something that’s so far above their head. Why not have a contemporary dancer get up and do popping and locking? I get why they don’t have them do b-boy work. That’s dangerous. However, I think they could do more dances that are a stretch for contemporary dancers as well. It would make the show more entertaining if they did.
Check out the full season of Chance to Dance streamed online in case you missed it.
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!
Another episode has come and gone, and the gala for the Dizzy Feet Foundation draws closer. In this episode, the reigns were handed over to David Dorfman, a famous dancer and choreographer, and Allison Holker, a mock/last chance performance was put on, and in the end, the final 12 dancers were selected for the company.
I think the visit from David was well-needed. I can only imagine the amount of stress these dancers must have been feeling at this point. In a moments time, any of them could be sent home, and their dream of joining this company would be over. He really helped loosen them up. Who wouldn’t be loosened up after doing a “silly pelvic walk,” and being accompanied by an accordion?!
Michael and Billy headed to New York City for the day and left the reigns to David and Allison — and with that, left them the ability to send home those felt were not up to par. The Ballet Boyz must really trust these two. I mean, what if they sent home a favorite of theirs?
The duets that David was in charge of were very fun to watch. I think it was nice for some of the dancers to be able to do a little more contemporary style. Shepherd seemed to take to this type of a dance a little better than in the past.
In the end, Allison sent home Kaitlin home, and David sent Chase. When I saw David’s bottom four, I had a feeling it was going to be chase. I’ve always liked him, but I felt like maybe he wasn’t right for the company. Kaitlin seemed pretty disappointed, which is understandable. I think it was hard for some of the girls to really stand out, just because there were so many girls! Here are their exit videos (they always make me sad! I could never be a judge.)
And, as usual, a portion of the show focused on Shepherd. Part of me thinks the show should have been called “Shepherd’s Chance to Dance.” In this next clip, it shows his “midnight practice.” To be honest, I think Shepherd has gone above and beyond. He has obviously had to work very hard to try and compare to the other dancers, because his style is so different from most of the others.
I loved watching the performance toward the end. It’s incredible — especially since the dancers haven’t been practicing together for years…or even months. I’m betting that Billy and Michael weren’t wanting to cut anyone at this point, especially because everyone seemed to work so well together.
In the end, we said good bye to Bayli, Kelly, Chelsea, Sydney, and . . . Shepherd. His time finally came to an end. I had a feeling it was going to, but it was sad to see him go.
Next week will be interesting, now that the stress of eliminations is over. However, with the gala only days away, the dancers are going to be feeling a new kind of stress.
We’ve got a bunch of A Chance to Dance pictures from Jacob’s Pillow. I love dance pictures, because the capture a specific moment that often is missed when just watching someone dance. I’m sure you’ll enjoy these A Chance to Dance pictures as well. Plus, Jacob’s Pillow is beautiful.
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!
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:
In case you ever miss an episode of A Chance to Dance, Ovation’s YouTube Page often puts up clips throughout the week that highlight the past episode, go behind the scenes, or of something just random and fun. These are always so fun to watch! Here are a few of the ones I found most interesting from the past week:
Ballerina Marine de Vachone dances her way through the day (at home, the bus, and work), and shows that it isn’t crazy, it’s dance! This short promo for the show has a catchy song that Marine dances to, and is really fun to watch! I’m not a dancer at all, but this made me kind of wish I was.
If you’ve been watching the show, you’ll know that two of the contestants are dating — Eldon and Chase. I didn’t realize that after they both auditioned in Salt Lake City, but it definitely has created an interesting dynamic on the show. You can definitely tell they care for each other a lot, and are enjoying being together almost 24/7. Hopefully they both make it to the final 12, or else that could be awkward. This video goes “behind the scenes” of their relationship.
This clip is from last weeks episode, and I must admit…it was painful to watch. It was pretty apparent who the weaker dancers are.
And my final video for tonight, “The Dance Journey.” If you haven’t watched the show so far, this gives a brief synopsis of the show and what has happened so far. It’s short, sweet, and to the point.
Okay, I lied. THIS is my last video. Just a teaser of Friday night’s episode. Poor Shephered…things don’t seem to be going too well for him!
From Salt Lake, there were 13 dancers. Five from Washington D.C., and six from Austin, Texas.
Obviously, us viewers knew that the company was only going to have 12 dancers, but I wasn’t sure if the 24 dancers that were flown to New York knew that. But at least they all were given a fair shot at making that top 12.
To me, this has been the best episode so far. I’m not a huge fan of the audition stage of any show. I like when it starts getting to the nitty gritty, and we can get to know the people.
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know a ton about dancing, but it was obviously a big deal when they arrived at Jacob’s Pillow. Even if someone didn’t make it to the final company, it seems like this opportunity would have made it worth the trip out to New York.
It made me laugh when one of the girls on the bus said they were hoping this whole experience would be “drama free.” Yeah right. Especially with the number of girls that are present — drama is inevietable. I have been surprised by the lack so far, but I’m guessing as it gets down to crunch time right before the gala, the fangs will come out. We can always hope their won’t be drama, but I’m seriously doubting it. The editing of a show tends to bring drama in anyways — isn’t that why a lot of people watch shows like this?
Anyways, I think my favorite part of this episode was the word exercise. I feel like it really gave all of the dancers an opportunity to put their best foot forward and show off their individual strengths as they created a dance that expressed a word they felt described them best. I absolutely LOVED Laura’s, and Shepherd’s was pretty cool as well. I was disappointed in Chase O’s though — he obviously has a lot of talent, but I felt like he fell short in this exercise.
They sure did focus on Shepherd a lot, didn’t they? He’s the dancer that has been most recognizable thus far. Are they focusing on him because he’s probably the least trained — classically, at least? Or because it’s obvious he is working hard? I’m going to be surprised if he ends up being cut in the end, because of all the air time he’s been given. Even though he’s probably not the most polished dancer, he’s actually probably one of my favorites. Because I do think he is very grateful for the opportunity to be there, and is willing to go outside his comfort zone to get there. This is one of my favorite clips that focused on him in the show:
It was a nice touch to include the BBQ that was put on by Billy and Michael. If anything, it showed some more insight into the dancers, and even Billy’s and Michael’s, personalities. I enjoyed watching it — a bit of comedic relief.
So obviously, at the end, the dancers got the news that six of them were going to be sent him the next day. Laura acted as if this was shocking news, but I kind of wonder why. I mean, they knew by this point that only 12 would make to the final performance, right? And seeing as there was only about 17 days left, cuts were bound to be made relatively quickly. It will definitely be interesting to see who goes through. I’m not sure how they are going to go about it — only select the most polished, precise dancers, or perhaps bring through some of the ones with less experience, such as Shepherd. This next video makes me wonder even more about him — sounds like he is on the brink of elimination.
We shall see. This show is starting to get really good, I can hardly wait to see next week’s episode, especially after watching the preview:
One of the talent finders for “A Chance to Dance.”
Co-member of the Ballet Boyz.
So what’s the story behind Billy?
Well, he was born in 1969 in Cambridge, England. And as one might guess, his full name is William. He started dancing when he was six, and from the age 11 until he was 16, Billy attended the Royal Ballet School, which really helped to create his future in dancing. And at the young age of 18, he joined the Royal Ballet.
After becoming the principal of the Royal Ballet back in 1994, he decided to take another route. That was with Michael Nunn, and their dance troupe, Ballet Boyz, was created. However, over the years, Billy has been involved in numerous performances, beyond his with with the Ballet Boyz. His resume is extremely impressive, both with dance and choreography.
Some of his most memorable performances include in a Royal Ballet production at the Royal Opera House in Covent Graden on November 1, 1989 in “Rubies,” “Other Dances,” “Piano,” and “Requiem.” With the Royal Ballet, he also was in other performances such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Push Comes to Shove, Romeo and Juliet, and Mr. Worldly Wise. As most everyone who is reading this knows, he has also been on So You Think You Can Dance alongside fellow Ballet Boy, Michael Nunn.
I found an awesome interview with Billy that was done by The Independent in February of 2011 that contained some interesting little tidbits about him. While you can read the whole interview at the link above, here are some of my favorite things I learned:
If I could change one thing about myself . . . I might be a little more blunt. I have a tendency to try and fix problems rather than having a more direct approach.
I drive . . . a Kawasaki motorbike
My greatest regret . . . I wish that when I was younger, I’d gone and danced in other countries rather than spending so long in the UK. With dancing, you don’t need to be able to speak another language.
The last time I cried . . . Reading a children’s book about a boy and an elephant. It’s a Michael Morpurgo book. The boy’s dad is killed in Afghanistan and his mum is killed in the tsunami, and the elephant saves him.
My life in six words . . . Jam-packed, crazy, varied, challenging, rewarding.
Another thing I found interesting was, when asked what he felt like he was really good at, he said he doesn’t feel like he is really good at anything. For someone that has such an accomplished career, that’s a pretty bold statement to make. Obviously, he is good at a lot of things, but it sounds like he is a humble man.