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my favorite season 8 dances

whew! what a finale! while we’re all still relishing last night’s amazingness, thought I’d take a minute and post my favorite dances from the season. this was a great chance to look back for me, and, for as much grief as we had with things that we felt were wrong with season 8, it still produced some pretty awesome numbers.

These aren’t in order of preference, just week they were done, mostly b/c I’m cheating and using Wikipedia ;)

Iveta’s intro (ballroom medley with Pasha)–while this wasn’t quite as steamy as last season’s intro of Cristina Santana w/ All-Stars Pasha and Anya, this was, by far, the best ballroom we had this season, mostly because it was Iveta in her style. Caitlynn and Pasha’s Argentine Tango that was replayed last night was soo beautiful and a fabulous showcase for her, but technically, this medley was just unbelievable.

Melanie and Marko’s “Turn to Stone”–on the night of the premiere, this was the only number that made me literally punch the air with excitement. I probably rewatched this number a dozen times over that week. For me, Melanie & Marko are the best pair the show has had since Katee & Joshua. They made each other better dancers, and emotionally they were just totally in sync. The slow cartwheel that Marko does over Melanie still gives me goosebumps.

Caitlynn & Mitchell’s “Turning Tables”–our first chance to see them as a couple and they did NOT disappoint. Stacey Tookey has a way of bringing emotions out of dancers that they may not have touched before. The chairs and lamps could have gotten in the way, but they really worked with them well, and the interplay between light and dark made the piece really interesting and powerful. For what Mitchell lacked in technical refinement, he made up for in pure emotion and drive, and I could tell he had a lot to prove after not being able to dance week 1. I loved this partnership.

Clarice & Jess’s “Fly Me to the Moon” foxtrot–as you all probably saw from my posts, I was NOT Jess’s biggest fan, I found in immature and annoying a lot. But NOT in this number, I loved this one. His broadway background lent itself really well to the jazzy bluesy feel of the song. Though there were quite a few points when they were in closed hold when the movements felt heavy, their musicality overshadowed that for me. It was THIS type of movement I was looking for in Ryan & Ricky’s broadway that they did a couple of weeks after this, when Jesse Tyler Ferguson said they were “hitting the ceiling” with their movements and not finishing them.

Tadd & Jordan’s “One Night Stand” hip hop–just so much fun. really great to see Tadd kind of in his element, and how NappyTabs were able to incorporate some of what Tadd does really well. I agree with the judges that it almost became too much about the story, but this was one that I just really enjoyed watching.

Caitlynn & Mitchell’s “To Love You More” contemporary–one of Mandy Moore’s best pieces this season (I’d put it just behind Neil & Melanie, but I’ll get to that later!) The trust they had in each other was innocent but so mature at the same time. They’re both so young, but they tapped into something really amazing.

Sasha & Alexander’s “That’s Life”–their best dance together, Alexander finally let it all go. He was so tight for so long, but in this one, he just felt free, and it lifted a weight from their partnership that had been there really since the beginning. This was also one of Tyce’s best pieces.

Sasha & Twitch’s “Misty Blue”–what can I say that hasn’t already been said?!

Neil & Melanie’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”–for me, Neil wins the award for most improved dancer since his season aired. He’s become a really fabulous technician as well as an even better partner. He breathes life into the moments between the movements in a way he didn’t used to when he was on the show. Melanie matched Neil step for step, and really shined in this piece. And the leap!! The trust she had in him was just amazing. This was a goose-bump inducing one for sure.

Caitlynn & Tadd’s “White Tie & Tails” foxtrot–was this the best technically? no. But there was such joy on both of their faces. Jonathan Roberts, a pro from DWTS, really does the classic ballroom dances incredibly well. He has a real sense of how to impart wisdom on the dancers in terms of how to embody the dance even if you don’t quite have everything technically sound. And stylistically, Caitlynn looked AMAZING, wow.

Kent & Sasha’s Wall contemporary–Kent is my runner-up in the “most improved since his season aired” award. The strength that he has gained, both physically and emotionally since last summer is absolutely astounding. He would NOT have been able to pull of that routine the way he did this season last summer. And his strength helped Sasha’s strength and vulnerability really emerge.

Tadd & Melanie’s “A Chorus Line/Black Swan”-esque broadway–though I really liked Chris & Ashley’s “Please Mr. Jailer,” THIS is the broadway I would have rather seen last night. I know why they didn’t repeat it, but this was the best broadway of the season, by far. Nothing felt out of place, from the music to the camera work to the lighting to the dancing. It was so sexy but so mean at the same time, I know that sounds weird. For me, this was Tadd’s best dance other than the vulture dance with Jordan.

Lauren & Marko’s contemporary from finale night–this was my favorite dance from the finale. It started with the music; the fact that the music didn’t have big sweeping crescendos allowed the dancing to be the most important thing on the stage. The dancers could just dance, the music wasn’t ruling the way they moved, THEY ruled the way they moved in their relationship on stage together. Loved it loved it loved it. Tessandra hit the ball out of the park with this one.

so there’s my list! what do you guys think? any that I missed?

August 13, 2011 I Written By

Top 20 (Part 2) Power Rankings

I feel relatively confident in 2 of the Bottom 3 couples, but I feel like whichever dancers I pick for that third slot, there’s going to be lots of dissent. Which, is a good thing. :) It means we’re passionate. So, bring it on! I’m dying to know which dancers y’all think will be in the Bottom 3.

Top Three Couples:

Caitlynn and Mitchell – I think they had the best routine of the night. This is the first time we get to see them dance together on stage and I was really please with their chemistry and their strengths as dancers. They were both in their style this week, so that certainly helped them a lot, but they could’ve both been hurt by Mitchell’s injury last well.

Sasha and Alexander – People were really affected by this piece and the timing couldn’t be more fortuitous, on the same night as the President’s announcement about the troop withdrawal. Plus, it was the second to last routine and Sasha seems to be a favorite.

Ashley and Chris – As the last routine, it’s one of the more memorable anyway. Plus, it was really upbeat and sexy. The song was great, their moves were great, as was their chemistry. Plus, they were safe last week when Jordan and Tadd probably had a better routine, so there seem to be some fans on their side.

Middle of the Pack:

Melanie and Marko – This is probably the favorite couple. It’s mine, for sure. They’ve consistently had about half the vote in our favorite dancer poll. But this routine didn’t live up to its promise. It had everything going for it – great dances, great choreographer, interesting song, funky moves. But it didn’t entirely come together. Still, I don’t think they’ll be in danger.

Ryan and Rickey – This is another opportunity of a not-quite-right routine danced by a favorite pair. I think they’ll be safe, but Ryan and Rickey’s Mandy Moore wasn’t all that it could’ve been and Ryan was smiling (sometimes weirdly) throughout the piece, playing to the audience. Plus, it was the first routine. But, I think they’ll be safe too because they’re such favorites.

Iveta and Nick – They came in #2 in our favorite dancer poll and they had a fun but not very memorable Bollywood routine. They have a good partnership, to be sure, but the routine was pretty early. Still, they’ll probably be safe.

Miranda and Robert – I know a lot of people, like our reader beth, disagreed with my comments about this routine and really loved it. Plus, Robert toned down the more annoying parts of his personality while still being playful. So, even though these two were in danger last week, they’ll probably be safe this week.

Bottom Three Couples:

Missy and Wadi – I hope they survive, but I think they’ll be here in the bottom. I really love Wadi and it hurt to see him so sad after the judges’ comments. It’s gonna be a tough week though and I think that as one of the two dances with obvious flaws, they’re in danger. However, many people may just vote for their favorites and I’m pretty sure lots of people love Wadi and like his partnership with Missy.

Clarice and Jess – They don’t have a great partnership and they were in the bottom last week. This week, their routine was the other obviously flawed one. They looked so awkward whenever their were paired. Clarice is not very big, but Jess sets up his lifts so obviously that he makes her seem like this huge weight. I think I’d like them better with different partners.

Jordan and Tadd – A lot of people liked this Viennese waltz, but I thought it was pretty boring. Plus, it’s not a style that people vote for unless it’s a phenomenal, stand-out routine. Their stint in the bottom 3 might hurt them again this week.

Personally, I’d lose all the girls to keep Wadi and Tadd. Regardless of who they keep, if this IS the Bottom 3, I hope they switch up the couples. Maybe Missy and Tadd or Jordan and Wadi.

What do y’all think?

Tomorrow’s episode is gonna be tough, man.

June 22, 2011 I Written By

Top 20 (Part 2) Performance Thoughts

So SYTYCD was pre-empted for 15 minutes due to President Obama’s speech. Good news that our troops are coming home.

Here I go with my thoughts, live and feel free to put yours in the comments. We love the discussion.

Spoiler space for my live thoughts…

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Week 2 Twitter Roundup

happy performance day! thought I’d take a look around Twitter and see what everyone’s saying on what promises to be a great performance show.

if you’re looking to follow any of the SYTYCD Season 8 dancers, just search “D8(their first name)” ie. D8Tadd or D8Ryan. it’s pretty simple!

Ryan Ramirez

Tadd Gadduang

Alexander Fost

Chris Koehl

Jess LeProtto

Marko Germar

Mitchell Kelly

Nick Young

Ricky Jaime

Robert Taylor, Jr.

Wadi Jones

Ashley Rich

Caitlynn Lawson

Clarice Ordaz

Iveta Lukosiute

Jordan Casanova

Melanie Moore

Missy Morelli

Sasha Mallory

these are the Twitters for the S8 contestants. Most of them today are just thanking people for their support. I’ll update this as the weeks go on and the All-Stars begin to get announced.

One other thing, according to S6 Jakob’s Twitter, his 21st birthday was 2 days ago! If you have a Twitter or a FB, go on over and wish him a happy belated birthday!!

have a great time watching the show tonight everyone!

I Written By

SYTYCD Week 1, Season 8 Interviews with Top 20

So You Think You Can Dance kicks off with week 1 of season 8. Check out our interviews with Top 20!

Couples:
Jordan and Tadd
Sasha and Alexander
Clarice and Jess
Ryan and Ricky
Caitlynn and Robert from Season 7 (Mitchell was injured)
Miranda and Robert
Wadi and Missy
Melanie and Marko
Ashely and Chris
Iveta and Nick

June 16, 2011 I Written By

www.youtube.com/danceon

Top 20: Power Rankings

Sorry for the delay but due to the bad storms that came through last night took out our internet connection and was still out this morning before I went to work.

The beginning of the show is always one of my favorite parts, every one of the contestants probably dreams of that moment. We also learn that Mitchell is injured and was advised not to dance. I do wish they explained his injury a little bit more, and he was visibly upset that he was unable to perform. With that said I’m only going to judge his partners performance. We also had our first guest judge, Megan Mullaly from Will and Grace. Personally I love her and I thought she did a great job.

Top 4 Couples

Melanie and Marco
Contemporary-Travis Wall
Love the simplicity and concept of this dance. It may not be my favorite of the night but magic did just happen. Both are equally great dancers and I look forward to seeing them grow together this season. Like Cat said beautiful pieces of art.

Missy and Wadi
Jazz-Sean Cheesman
I like it, the dark characters that Sean gave them was great. A great partnership and could be one to watch. I really don’t have much to say which is a good thing in my book.

Sasha and Alexander
Contemporary-Travis Wall
Travis is just amazing. This looks like it will be a great partnership. I’m glad Alexander has insurance…lol…he took a beating. I can understand the disconnect, but I think it was the character that took away from some of the emotion.

Clarice and Jess
Broadway-Tyce Diorio
What luck that they got Broadway. I agree with Nigel, Jess is a performer and any partner will have to step of their performance. With that said I loved the dance and I don’t see them going anywhere yet.

Middle 4 Couples

Miranda and Robert
Jive-Jason Gilkenson
Was that an Urkel impression? Reason number one you should wear dangle ear rings win you dance they fly off. I think Megan got their personalities right. Great job by the two of them, sure the technique might not have been perfect but for the first week and to keep the energy up the entire way through is impressive. I sense a woo off between Robert and Mary.

Iveta and Nick
Quickstep-Jason Gilkenson
Storm warning so no sound for half of it but it looks like Nick survived the ballroom boot camp. Judging from the judges reaction this quickstep was not the dance of death. Iveta is the pro here and Nick just proved a tap dancer can do other things.

Caitlynn and Mitchell/Robert
Jazz-Sonya
Okay lost power thanks to the storms but from what I saw I loved it. I wish Mitchell was able to dance I think he would have danced it as well as Caitlynn. Even though he is in danger I think she should be safe. Also it was good to see Robert dance again.

Ryan and Rickey
Lyrical Hip Hop-Chris Scott
I like these two together. Loved the dance and thought they both danced it well. Interesting the interpretations of the story of the dance, glad they let Ryan explain her interpretation.

Bottom 2 Couples

Jordan and Tadd
Afro Jazz-Sean Cheesman
The first dance out of the gate and it didn’t really disappoint. I agree with the judges Tadd did and great job for being out of his element. I love Jordan but there were times it looked like she was thinking too much.

Ashley and Chris
Hip Hop-Chris Scott
That was a fun dance with a great concept and a great song. I agree with Nigel will be interesting if the viewers will go with fun or technique. Since it’s the first week I’m going to go with fun, but that just my opinion. These two have room to grow if we let them.

The first week is always the hardest to judge for me at least. I want to give the dancers a fair shot in the beginning. Mitchell we know is automatically in the bottom so I really hope he brings it if he is cleared to dance. The only other guy that I think might be in the bottom is Chris. As for the girls I have no clue glad the judges will be making the call on who goes home.

Hope everyone enjoyed the show and share your thoughts on who should stay and who should go.

I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD Top 20 Performance Show Thoughts!!

Hi All!! First, apologies for how late this is getting posted. I just graduated from college this past week so I’ve had no time to catch up on all things SYTYCD. I’ve just gotten home for a little 6 week vacation before I start my new job so my sleeping schedule is all out of whack. Anyway, I’ve just finished watching the Top 20 performance episode and all I can say is WOW! There were highs and lows, so let’s get to it!

LOVING the new stage! Eons better than the past 2 seasons, and the background looks a bit like the old stage! Progress!

Jordan and Tadd: Anyone who has read my comments since I started blogging on here knows how much I LOVE Sean Cheesman and his afro jazz. This one, however, I didn’t love so much. All the steps were there, but there was a groundedness in their feet that I just didn’t feel. If you want to see what I mean, check out this video from SYTYCD Canada season 1.

It features a hip hop dancer (Miles) and a ballerina (Allie) who actually both ended up in the top 4. They’re sitting in the movements, whereas I felt like Jordan and Tadd were very high on their feet, a little too light. They both kept up with the steps really well and seemed to enjoy themselves, but I felt like something was missing.

Sasha and Alexander: I kind of disagreed with the judges on this one, I enjoyed it. It wasn’t my favorite (I’ll get to that later) but I thought they were both very strong and dynamic dancers. For me, Sasha outdanced Alexander, but it kind of worked for me because she was supposed to be his conscience coming back to haunt him so I liked that image. I agreed with the judges that I wasn’t feeling the connection as much, but I have high hopes for them.

Clarice and Jess: Ugh, I WANTED to like this, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. I’m kind of our resident broadway geek, but this one just wasn’t my favorite. I thought Jess killed it, but his skill really made Clarice look overmatched. It reminded me somewhat of Benji and Donyelle’s 2nd broadway number from their season, “Le Jazz Hot” where all the steps were there, but something just felt really fake. I didn’t buy their chemistry, and I really wanted to because they are both so talented.

Ryan and Ricky: gosh they danced so beautifully together! technically, it was my favorite of the first hour, but the storyline had me a bit confused. Why was Ryan so smiley?! Anyway, I think they’re both going to go a long way, but I don’t want them to lose the story, it’s such a crucial part of connecting with the audience, both in the studio and at home.

Caitlynn and Mitchell (and Robert): I so wanted to see Caitlynn and Mitchell dance this together, because it seemed like they were getting on really well. I wasn’t as taken with her as the judges were, but I thought she and Robert danced really really well together. He helped steady her nerves, I think.

Miranda and Robert: I almost didn’t recognize Miranda without her curls!! To be thrown a ballroom piece week 1 when neither of the partners has a ballroom background is pretty rare, but with so many contemporary girls (and no pure hip hop girls) this season somebody had to draw the short straw. I’m not a technical expert in ballroom, so I’ll just say it was fun to watch. They kept up the energy and the jive bounce really well, though I hope Robert loses the Steve Urkel glasses soon, his schtick is gonna get old.

Missy and Wadi: From this point, for the most part, the performances were pretty spectacular. This piece was definitely interesting and very powerful and very different from anything Sean’s done in jazz on the show. Their connection was great and the use of the stage, though at some times it all felt a little disjointed. Nigel said this was his favorite piece Sean’s done on the show, I’d have to say mine was Russell and Noelle’s frog dance from Season 6, nobody’s quite matched that one yet.

Melanie and Marko: Wow. No words. So exquisite and simple and pure. I could feel the emotion emanating from every pour of their bodies. Their chemistry was off the charts and their technique was incredible. I would almost put this one in “If It Kills Me” territory of amazingness. My favorite of Travis’s is still “Fix You” from last season, but gosh this was so good. I had been waiting for one that would make me rewind it and punch the air as I watched, and this one was it. Marko’s legs as he did that slow cartwheel, holy cow! It’s a dance like this that makes me so happy they’ve gone back to the Top 20 format, we get to watch this partnership grow and develop over the next 5 weeks, and this is one I’m really really excited about.

Ashley and Chris: This is one where I think the music and the choreography got in each other’s way. Dual cheaters (or the subject of cheating in general) could be really entertaining or really serious (a la Ashleigh and Jakob from S6). With this one, it just kind of felt like they were getting fake mad at each other. I wanted more.

Iveta and Nick: I LOVE these two! They both have personality and are oozing with talent. To watch Nick pull of so effortlessly what has been named the dance of death on SYTYCD was such a joy. He went fullout into the piece, which is where so much of the trouble has happened in the past, dancers not going full out in the ballroom pieces. He got super lucky with a partner like Iveta, he was able to follow her lead but still had the confidence to be the leading man on the dance floor. Was his technique always there? I can’t say. But they got the pimp spot in the order and definitely were memorable.

The performances definitely got better in the 2nd half of the show, but overall it was a pretty great night! So now I hand it over to you! Thoughts? Predictions for the first two who will be leaving us?

I Written By

Predicted Season 8 Top 20 Couples

After taking a look at Amanda’s Meet the Top 20 posts and the contestant photos on Fox’s official site, and after watching the Meet the Top 20 episode last week, of course, I thought I’d try my hand at predicting the Top 20 couples.

I based my predictions on several factors. I tried to switch up dance styles as much as possible, played the “personality” game a bit and tried to guestimate heights and body types as much as possible. Let’s see how many I get right when Wednesday comes around.

1. Melanie (contemporary) and Tadd (“urban”)

2. Ryan (contemporary) and Alexander (ballet)

3. Caitlyn ( jazz) and Marko (hip hop)

4. Sasha (contemporary) and Nick (tap)

5. Jordan (jazz) and Wadi (b boy)

6. Ashley (contemporary) and Jess (Broadway)

7. Missy (jazz) and Rickey (contemporary)

8. Miranda (contemporary) and Mitchell (contemporary)

9. Clarice (jazz) and Chris (hip hop)

10. Iveta (ballroom) and Robert (hip hop)

What do you think? Do you think I got it right or horribly wrong? Who do you think should dance together? What kind of pairings would you like to see?

June 13, 2011 I Written By

Meet The Top 20: Part Two

Again thanks to Dance Plug’s YouTube Channel for these videos.

Jordan Casanova

Jordan was a stand out from the beginning for me and she does remind me of LoFro.

Christopher Koehl

I’m not sure why but Chris reminds me of Legacy a little.

Iveta Lukosiute

Glad a ballroom dancer made it through and I like the fact we got to see her dance with Pasha already.

Alexander Fost

I like what he says about technique and I agree the cleaner the better.

Caitlyn Lawson

Looking forward to seeing her dance and what she brings to the table.

Jess LeProtto

Not surprised at all that Evan and Tyce would be his choices to work with. Nigel says he comes across as arrogant which I think it’s more of how his character comes across when he dances. Love that he can tap and his style is slightly different than Nick’s.

Marco Germar

His mom is a ballroom instructor, interesting.

Miranda Maleski

I’m thinking she might be the dark horse this season.

Melanie Moore

She was the first one everyone saw and I think she will do well. I would like to see her paired with Billy Bell only because he has said many good things about her.

Mitchell Kelly

Not to sure what to think about him but we’ll see what he brings to the table.

June 11, 2011 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD Season 8 – Top 20 Reveal – Music

Interesting difference for the Top 20 Reveal. Live performances! I’m actually kind of liking this.

Music for the Reveal the Top 20:

Dancers into the Holding Area:

[Marianya started the post, above and now I'm taking over. This post will contain spoilers, so here's a spoiler break...]

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June 9, 2011 I Written By