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Los Angeles Auditions Part 2

The Los Angeles auditions come to a close in tonight’s episode, and we learn that Mandy Moore is the new creative producer for SYTYCD. Tonight’s auditions begin with a familiar face, Lindsey Arnold’s sister Jensen.

Jensen Arnold and Tristan Sosa: Tristan is a great dancer and partner but I honestly could not take my eyes of Jensen. I agree with Vanessa said that Jensen is a star and she does remind me of Lindsey. So I wasn’t surprised to see them go straight through to the academy.

Cody Ostrenga: We get a back story and a cheesy western intro for Cody, who turns out is a belly dancer. Belly dancing/hip hop fusion was not something I was expecting. Agree with the judges that he isn’t ready for the show. Cody mentioned that dance was a hidden passion, so I hope now that he has done this that he will take some other dance classes.

Sade Keinu Austin: She comes from a dancing family, her father has choreographed for Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey. I enjoyed watching her dance and I’m curious to see what else she can do.

Matthew Deloch: I loved that Grandma put him in dance and didn’t let him quit no matter how much he cried. Thankfully he grew to love dance, and had grown into a good dancer. I feel like he is still a little rough around the edges, and agree that he needs to work on showing more emotion when he dances.

Peyton Albrecht, Taylor Sieve, and Chelsea Hough: All contemporary dancers that went straight through to the next round.

Inyoung “Dassy” Lee: Moved to America from South Korea because of the show. Dassy was inspired by Dominic and Sabra to come and be on the show. Her audition started a little slow and then as Mary said BAM she hits us with her talent.

Blessin Giralodo: A step dancer who is very passionate about what she does, and she did impress the judges. She was sent to the choreography round where she was eventually cut, but Nigel did offer for her step group to appear on the show.

Eric “Frenchie” Bossett and Felix “Bad Bones” Gomez: Both are triple jointed dancers. These auditions are always hard to watch, since their bodies do things that they shouldn’t. Both were cut in the choreography round.

Dustin Payne: I agreed with the judges on this one, entertaining with smooth transitions. I want to see what else he can do. I think I’ve seen one too many hip hop auditions cause they are all good in there on way but I find hard to judge them sometimes.

23 other dancers made it through to the academy after an hour of learning Mandy Moore choreography.

Next week starts the New York auditions and from what I saw from the preview we will see even more talented dancers.

 

 

June 19, 2017 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.

Season 14: Los Angeles, Part One

Season 14 kicks off with auditions in Los Angeles, California. As much as I enjoyed watching the younger dancers last season, I am happy to see the adult dancers back. I didn’t even realized that I missed the opening credits and song till it played. Also, happy to see Mary back and that nothing has changed with the banter between her and Nigel. Vanessa seemed to fit right in and was genuinely excited to be there.

We only had one hour of auditions to watch tonight instead of two. It’s easier to stay interested in the show when there is only a few auditions to watch.

Mark Villaver: He has a great energy and perfect way to start the show. Mark referred to the style he was performing as thera…which basically translated to being your true self. I enjoyed his audition and his seamless fusion of break dancing and contemporary.

Kristina and Vasily: Married ballroom couple. Interesting to see the man blindfolded. I thought they dance beautifully and I felt like they successfully created a routine that showed of their various styles of ballroom they have studied.

Robert Green: A violinist turned dancer with an investing outfit to wear to an audition. Robert was my favorite of the night, so entertaining. I can already see the All Stars loving him and possibly fighting to have him on their team.

Alexis Gilbert: She is a beautiful dancer that you can take your eyes off of while she performs. However, for me the song choice and the style of dance didn’t quite work for me. The only reason I can think of is that I just saw the pro female dancers from DWTS do a number to this exact song and it a more serious tone compared to how Alexis performed it.

Luke Dryjski: This is what I like to call the featured bad dancer audition. Luke’s style of dancing reminds me of how some dancers dance when they are just goofing around and not taking themselves too seriously. Loved that Vanessa thought he was cute and decided to get up there and dance with him.

Darius Hickman: Very rare to see Nigel mention a dancer’s story before the dancer does. Darius has had a tough life and dance became his outlet on how he dealt with his life. He was the other standout of the night for me and I see a few of the All Stars wanting to work with him.

There was a montage of dancers from around the world and the night ended with twins from Russia who came over to the states just for the competition.
Ananstasiia and Viktoriia: It was such an interesting piece and I felt like I wasn’t watching an audition but an actual performance. Looking forward to seeing what else these two can do.

Next Monday auditions continue in Los Angeles.

June 12, 2017 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.

All Aboard the Hot Tamale Train…

Season 14 begins next week! Monday, June 12 at 8/7 central. You might have guessed from the title that Mary Murphy is back as a judge. Joining Nigel and Mary at the judges table is Vanessa Hudgens. Vanessa is an actress/singer probably best known for her role as Gabriella in the “High School Musical” series and more recently she played Rizzo in Grease Live. I didn’t find much about her that talked about any dance experience that she has but judging from the list of musical theatre she has been involved in, it’s safe to say she has some experience. I see her judging the contestants based more on their performances.

The All- Stars are back this season and they are taking on the same role as they did last season. Ten all-stars will choose their contestant they will dance along side for the season from those who make it to the Academy. So this means we will only have a Top 10 for Season 14.

All- Stars for Season 14

Allison Holker: Season 2

Comfort Fedoke: Season 4

Robert Roldan: Season 7

Marco Germar: Season 8

Cyrus Spencer: Season 9

FikShun: Season 10

Jasmine Harper: Season 10

Jenna Johnson: Season 10

Paul Karmiryan: Season 10

Gaby Diaz: Season 12

Looking forward to the new season and seeing all the talented dancers.

June 5, 2017 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 Next Generation: The Winner Is…

Another season of SYTYCD has come to an end and another great opening number. I like that this one was had the audience involved. Also, because DWTS premiered tonight, Jenna was not able to participate in the finale because she is a pro this season. I’m going to try to make this short and give some highlights of some of the new dances and of course reveal the winner. I’ll post a full season review later this week.

Hip Hop: I love seeing these kids and all stars do what they do best. I think Marko is being re-branded as a hip hop specialist when contemporary was his specialty during season 8.

Love Mandy Moore’s piece with the top 10 and Maddie. Fantastic costumes and great dancing. I’m actually surprised it took all season for this to happen.

Ballroom: I feel like the ballroom kids really didn’t get to shine this season, so it is great to see them do their thing. So happy they pre taped so Jenna could be a part of the finale.

Results: in fourth place is Emma. Such an amazing little tap dancer. I was always impressed watching her and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.

More Results: In third place is Tate. I really thought she would be in the top 2 but she has a bright future as a dancer.

So that means it’s down to JT and Kida. I had a feeling that JT would squeak into the top 2 just thought he may have taken Kida’s place over Tate.

And the winner is ….KIDA! FiKShun is a proud All Star. I have to find FikShun winning moment and compare it to Kida’s. I truly think Kida drew viewer’s in from the very beginning and he improved week after week. I think Mom was in shock and I think his dad would be proud.

Also congrats to JT as well. He and Robert had the audience in the palm of their hands week after week. I thinking Broadway is in his future.

September 12, 2016 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 Next Generations: Performance Finale Thoughts

My normal Monday night plans hit a snag last night and left me questioning the Fox network’s thought process. I live on the east coast so normally watch the show at 8 and then have my post up before the end of the night. However, last night Fox decided to change-up the schedule. So instead of SYTYCD there was a benefit concert/fundraiser for the most Louisiana floods, which pushed SYTYCD back to 11pm. I had a little taste of what the west coast deals with when social media is live tweeting…it’s annoying. I would have streamed it online but it wasn’t available in my area. I could rant more but I’ll focus on the final four dancers and how I think the will place in the competition.

I like they decided to switch up the all-stars and maybe they should have done that sooner. All of the dancers did well but there were two that edged out the others. I felt Tate and JT had the best new dances of the night. That salsa was fast and difficult and required a lot of trust on those lifts. I am probably not the only one who held the breath when Jonathan removed his hands during one of those lifts. JT and Marko took on a Bollywood routine and I loved it. I also felt like if Marko had been an original all-star, I think he and JT would have been a great pair.

Now the real question who will win? My thought is that it will come down between Kida and Tate…they have been the most consistent throughout the season. JT and Emma are my wild cards and either of them could find their way in the top 2. JT is the cute lovable kid that you just want to root for and plus having Robert as an all-star I think gives him and edge. Emma on the other hand is just really good in her own style and she deserves some type of award in my opinion. All there is left to do is wait a week to find out who wins.

September 6, 2016 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.

Next Generation Top 6: Thoughts

So now that the Olympics are over we can get back to the competition. I honestly think that the remaining dancers are all fantastic and it’s really hard to pick just one that will win. This week we got to see them dance with their all-stars and paired with each other.

Each of the next generation dancers shine when they are dancing with their all-stars. I feel like three of them stood out the most. Ruby, JT, and Emma.

Ruby: She has probably the most infectious personality and the Jive was the perfect way to show it off. Love seeing Mark Ballas choreographing for SYTYCD again and loved that Ruby teased him about  his man bun. Only critique I have is that maybe Paul could have channeled Mark just a little bit more.

JT: This routine choreographed by Al Blackstone might have been my favorite so far that JT and Robert have done together. I can’t help but to smile watching these two together. I do think that JT is slowly turning into Roberts mini me…saw that in his solo. Maddie said it the best, that this dance also  explains what this show has been about.

Emma: I’m consistently blown away by her tap skills. It was so great to see Nick Young from season 8 choreographing for the show. SpecTAPular! Thanks Paula for that new word to add to my vocabulary.

Now on to the Next Generation pairings and I think I’ll rank these.

  1. Tate and Kida: Mark again delivers another great routine. I think he turned Kida and Tate into ballroom dancers, they both did a great job. I will probably watch this Paso again and again.
  2. Tahani and Ruby: While this broadway routine was a little bit lack luster for Nigel, I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the routine and thought that Ruby and Tahani performed it well.
  3. JT and Emma: I really like what Travis brought out in these two. They seemed to have a more maturity to their dancing. However, I think that there is still few things that they still needs to work on.

Unfortunately someone had to leave and Ruby was the one that had the least amount of votes. Sad to see her go but I think she will have a great dance future.

Next week will be the shows 250th show and the Next Generation is taking over the choreographing jobs. I’m not sure about this idea but if they all-stars are allowed to help then it may work. Plus a special performance from Travis Wall and Maddie.

 

August 22, 2016 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.

Next Generation: Top 8 thoughts.

Tonight the top 8 become the top 6…that means there is a dreaded double elimination (the bottom two will go home). To add to this bit of information Cat also said that the show will be taking a two-week break. If I had to guess they are taking the break so that won’t have to compete with the Summer Olympics.

Each contestant had two dances tonight, one with their all-star and one where they were paired off with each other. I’ll be the first to admit that it is kind of hard to critique the dancers when they are dancing with their all-star and in their comfort zone. Each of the top 8 shined in their own style tonight. Emma really stands out when it comes to tap…she is a pro and makes something that is incredibly hard to learn look easy.
When they paired off with each other to take on a dance outside of their specialty, I feel like we saw a few weaknesses start to show. So here’s how I would rank them.

  1. Emma and Tate: Broadway It was a cute routine despite the fact they were supposed to be trouble makers. I feel like these two were the best of the night in technique and performance.
  2. Kida and Ruby: Contemporary I already knew Ruby would be fine taking on contemporary, but I was looking forward to seeing Kida dance. I’m really enjoying watching Kida grow throughout the competition. All he needs is just a little fine tuning (so to speak) and he could make it into the top 3 or 4.
  3. Tahani and JT: Cha-Cha- They both were outside of their style but I thought they managed to pull it off. I didn’t feel like it was uncomfortable to watch like Nigel stated. I give Emma and Sasha major credit for teaching these two.
  4. Jordan and Jake: Hip hop- I thought that these two gave it their all but something just fell flat for me…just couldn’t get into it. They did have that one trick that stood out.

I’ve never really like double eliminations but some how I dislike them even more now when it involves these kids. Unfortunately Jordan and Jake landed in the bottom two and were eliminated from the competition. I’m really going to miss Jake, I thought he would have at least made it to the top 6. So with that I hope the dancers are able to get a little bit of rest in the next two weeks and come back stronger.

August 1, 2016 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.

Next Generation: Top 9 Thoughts

So this week the dancers are back dancing with their all-stars in their own styles. I think I’m starting see the pattern of how the show will go from week to week. Great opening number choreographed by Brian Friedman to Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too”. On a side note did not know that Jason Derulo wrote that song.

Jake and Jenna: (Samba) Always good to see Dmitry back on the show. I think he found the way to work around the height difference. I also liked seeing Jenna helping Jake with the steps he didn’t know yet. Overall it was a fantastic performance.

Tate and Kathryn: (Contemporary) I’m really loving Brian Friedman’s choreography tonight. This piece was stunning and so are the dancers. My only complaint was maybe they went a little overboard with the smoke machine. I agree with the judges Tate is the best technical dancer on the show.

Kida and FikShun: (Hip hop) Dave Scott hit the jack pot with these two. Loved the concept of this dance. The make up department out did themselves, Kida really did look like a puppet.

Jordan and Sasha: (Jazz) This was definitely a fun piece and boy was it jam-packed with a lot of fast moves. They did fall out of sync a few times but no other real issue.

Sheaden and Marko: (Hip hop) I think Sheaden proved why he was picked to be on the show. I also think this truly allowed him to show off his personality.

Ruby and Paul: (Argentine Tango) Pretty sure that Paul had bruises all over his legs. Loved that the piece had a lighter feel compared to the usually darker feel I’m used to seeing. After watching the performance I would have never had guessed that Ruby has never really done the Argentine Tango.

Tahani and Comfort: (Dance Hall) It’s always good to see new style on SYTYTCD. Just hard to judge…I thought it looked good.

JT and Robert: (Contemporary) Seriously, Travis Wall will have another Emmy nomination next year. My favorite of the night. It is so nice to see JT slowly breaking out of the “cute kid” role.

Emma and Gaby: (Tap) Like Nigel, I really enjoy being about to see tap on the show every week. There is no denying the fact that Emma is a fantastic tap dancer.

The bottom two tonight were Sheaden and Ruby. This is just going to get harder every week to watch these kids get eliminated. I did agree with the judges that Sheaden would be in 9th place. I have a feeling we might see Ruby in the bottom next week.

July 25, 2016 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.

Next Generation Live Show 2: Thoughts

Before I could watch tonight’s show, I to catch up on last weeks episode that I missed while I was out-of-town. I have to say I’m impressed not only by the talent but also the work ethic of these kids. Twitch stepped in as a judge since Jason out-of-town. After that fabulous opening number, we learn that each of the dancers were paired up and would perform two dances together, not to mention a small duet with their all-star.

I loved the small duets with the all-stars. I do think Jake and Jenna had the best and quite possibly the cutest one. Kida and Fikshun were a close second. Something I noticed in the last episode and tonight’s that the all-stars (with the exception of the ballroom) seem to pick their mini me’s.

Jordan & Ruby: Afro Jazz and Contemporary
I thought both dances were great. Their contemporary was my favorite of the two dances. I did enjoy Jordan’s reaction when the judges mentioned that the afro jazz was a difficult routine.

JT & Emma: Hip Hop and Broadway
These two made a cute pairing. It was fun to see them working with NappyTabs and I like the candy theme. I think JT just needs a little bit of tweaking when it comes to hip hop.

Tahani & Jake: Contemporary and Jive
I’m glad that they were able to capture the emotion of the choreography they were given. They both seemed genuinely moved by it. Then there was that Jive, that was high energy and so much fun. It allowed them to show off their personalities. Fingers crossed will see more choreography from Emma and Sasha.

Tate & Kida: Hip Hop and Jazz
There isn’t much to say about these two other than they are my top two of the night. Also, Nappy Tabs may have created my new favorite routine of theirs with great props.

Sheaden & Daniela: Cha-Cha and Broadway
I thought they had a good night and that we got to see Daniela shine a little bit more this week than last week. I enjoyed their broadway routine and Fosse is a hard style to learn. Unfortunately, they were also the bottom two dancers.
The judges decided that they would keep Sheaden. It’s a tough decision to make but I will say this about the judges, I think they handle the critiques and letting these kids down easily very well.

July 18, 2016 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.

The Academy: Day 3 and 4

It’s the final rounds of the Academy and by the end of the episode the top 10 will be revealed. I’ve said it before but I am so glad I don’t have to make the decision that the All-Stars do.

A NappyTabs hip hop was up next and they had an hour to learn this very fun choreography. Not sure why hip hop got an hour and the other style got an hour and a half rehearsal time. Tabitha and Napoleon were impressed by the talent of the next generation. Most of the kids were impressive, I thought. Comfort was having a difficult time with this round of cuts, so she has Phoenix and Logan dance for their lives.

Contemporary with Travis Wall was next and an hour and a half to learn it. Travis didn’t hold back and the kids went for it. I thought that the All-Stars got their chance to show why they were chosen to mentor these kids. I thought they all gave great advice, especially Joshua in telling his team to use their hip hop experience in the contemporary round. I thought all of the contestants were impressive and the All-Stars were moved, Jenna seemed the most emotional. This was the round the struggle of making the decision was really starting to show on the All-Stars faces.

Before the All-Stars made their final decision on who would be joining them in the top 10, they had a one on one talk with each of their final two contestants. This is when I decided to play the guessing game of who I thought they’d pick. 5 out of 10 I guess correctly. So here is your top 10.

Kathryn and Tate
Sasha and Jordan
Fik-Shun and Kida
Jenna and Jake
Joshua and Sheaden
Robert and JT
Paul and Ruby
Gaby and Emma
Jonathan and Daniela
Comfort and Tahani

Since it will be two weeks till the live shows, I post my thoughts on the top 10 next week. Also a post with the National Dance Day routine.

June 27, 2016 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.