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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.

The Academy: Day Two

Day two of the Academy and it’s time to learn a tough Broadway routine from Tony Award winning choreographer Warren Carlyle. The dancer have 90 minutes to learn the routine before having to perform it for the All-Stars. While they are learning the choreography the All-Stars and Maddie are there to help them and give them advice.

They pair off the dancer in groups of two and perform. Then comes the hard part, having to eliminate on of dancers from each team. I can’t help but think that Nigel, Paula, and Jason are happy that they don’t have to do this part. There were a few standouts that I saw in the montage that we saw. Also, love how supportive the All-Stars are and cheering the dancers on. In end we had to say goodbye to, Enoch, Diana, Pullany, Lera, Parker, Ava, Kai, and Jaryan. Didn’t catch who was eliminated from Kathryn and Comfort’s team.

It was the end of the Episode that both broke my heart and warmed it at the same time. Jaryan was unfortunately cut from Fik-Shun’s team and he broke down in tears and proceeded to say he has been bullied. I have to say Fik-Shun handled that so well by tell Jaryan that “we don’t bully in dance”, the rest of the contestants surrounded him and proceeded to lift his spirits. If there is one thing I know bullying is not OK and the theatre and dance community is the most accepting groups of people out there.

Next week is hip hop with NappyTabs and contemporary with Travis Wall.

June 20, 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.

Top 20 Thoughts

The first live show of Season 12 was a nice introduction to the dancers and what they can do. This week only each team each team performed in their own style, which is always nice to see them in their comfort zone.

Last nights show kicked off with a great group number by Chris Scott and Jessica Kellar. It didn’t take me long to spot Asaf Goren, the replacement to the top 20 dancer that had to withdraw. Unfortunately, Alain “Hurrikane” injured his knee and due to the conditions it was a better idea to heal properly than to cause a reoccurring injury.

We also got a glimpse of what the live shows will be like this season. We will see duos, trios, and quartets of dancers. Starting next week stage and street will have to dance together and probably will expose some weaknesses. So for this episode I’m just going to give my thoughts on the dances and my best guess of who might be in the bottom three next week.

Team Stage
1) Stacey Tookey: Contemporary; Gaby, Derek, & Moises
Stacey once again creates a beautiful routine and the dancers knocked it out of the park. This was my favorite dance from the stage team. I think that all three dancers will be safe.

2) Brian Friedman: Jazz; Marissa, Hailee, & Alexia
So great to have Brian back on the show and he didn’t hold back with the choreography. The highlight was seeing him breakout his stilettos and show the girls if he can do it, so can they. Overall, I enjoyed this jazz number. I do have to agree with the judges when the dance and costumes are sexy, you don’t need to oversell the sexiness.

3) Swan: Ballet; Darion & Jim
From what I’ve seen online everyone loved the dance and the dancer but they did not love the costumes. I agree the costumes just did not work for me.

4) Travis Wall: Contemporary; Edson & Kate
Okay so don’t know what the judges had a problem with this dance and neither did Travis. I really hope these two stick around next week.

Team Street

1) Dave Scott: Megz, Neptune, & Jessica (JJ)
Seemed to have a mixed review from the judges but nothing really negative. There is a part of me that wants to say maybe nerves were a factor.

2) Chris Scott: Jaja, Lily, Burim & Asaf
This dance was a great example of why I love Chris. He likes to show off the dancers strengths. Also was one of the few times that I did not like the camera work because I could not see everything that was happening. I also hope the B-boys continue to work hard to pick up the choreography.

3) Pharside and Pheonix: Virgil, Ariana, & Yorellis
This was a fun routine with a clear theme and a well known song. Virgil will be an audience favorite. Yorellis will be one to watch since she does have training in some of the stage styles.

I honestly thought both teams had there winning moments and there okay moments. Who will be in the bottom is tough to say but based just on a gut feeling here’s who I think might be in trouble. Stage: Hailee, Alexia, and Darion. Street: Megz, Neptune, and Ariana.

Tune in next Monday night to find who stays and who goes.

July 14, 2015 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.

Vegas Week Part Two

Part two of the Vegas week call backs begins with the always interesting group round. Much to my surprise, there weren’t too many train wrecks. Perhaps the dancers are learning what to expect when they get to this round and have made the right decisions when working together. Only a few were cut after groups.

Choreography Round 3

Team Stage gets to learn a jazz routine from Sonya Tayeh. While Team Street get to work with NappyTabs. What I really loved was watch Tabitha showing the contestants what their choreography is supposed to look like. I’m not sure if they have done that in the past but it is nice to see what the choreography is supposed to look like.

Cat took notice that Travis was starting to get competitive, and he replied with how he lost the show the first time around. The same is true about Twitch. Both mentors were the runner-up on their season, so it’s safe to say that both would like a member from their team to win.

Now the moment we have been waiting for, the green mile and the reveal of the Top 20 dancers for Season 12. I correctly predicted 9 of the 20 dancers, it would have been 10 had Denys not dropped out. Still not sure why he really decided to drop out but at least he can still say he won the Canadian version of SYTYCD. Also, one of the top 20 has been injured and will no longer be able to compete but of course we won’t find out what happened till next week.

Here is your Top 20

Team Stage: Merissa Milele, Edson Juarez, Moises Parra, Kate Harpootlian, Hailee Payne, Jim Nowakowski, Alexia Meyer, Derek Piquette, Darion Flores, and Gaby Diaz

Team Street: Alain Hurrikane, Jessica Jrabone, Yorelis Apolinario, Lily Frias, Ariana Crowder, Virgil Godson, Eddie Eskridge, Megz Alfonso, Burim Jusufi, and Jaja Vankova

July 6, 2015 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.

Los Angeles Auditions

So tonight’s episode we are given a little more information for Vegas week. Team Stage will face choreography from Sonya, Josh Vergas, and Travis Wall. Team Street will face choreography from Dave Scott, Jamal Sims, and Nappy Tabs.

So Nigel stated last week that the LA auditions were some of the best auditions ever…well for this season at least. He wasn’t wrong the show started off strong but sort of lost steam for me. This episode was heavy on Team Street side of the auditions that we got to see. We did get to see some of team stage but most were lost in the montages. Seriously, wish the producers would show an equal amount from each team.

So I started to write down my standout but I decided I just wanted to enjoy the show. I love seeing SYTYCD Alumni at the auditions. Also love seeing familiar faces return for another chance, in particular, Jaja. If she isn’t in the top 20 this year, I may throw something at my tv. So moving on to Vegas were 29 Stage dancers and 24 Street dancers.

 

Team Stage: 84 Team Street: 84

June 15, 2015 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.

Top 4 Power Rankings

Last night was another great night of dancing by the Top 4 and the All Stars. I have to congratulate the Top 4 for surviving last nights show, they showed great stamina to dance five times in the span of two hours. Paula Abdul was a guest judge for a second time this season and honestly I want more of her on the show. Gabby Douglas also was a guest judge, I felt like she was there simply cause she is a fan of the show. The gold medal references got old fast. Anyways, by the end of the season sometimes it’s hard to know who will exactly be America’s favorite dancer.

Each dancer, danced a solo, danced with the other top 4, and the style of their with an all star. The best dances of the night for each finalist were the dance style of their choice. The top 4 have all been great this season and they all have impressed me over the season. So here is how I would rank the top 4 based on last night’s performances.

Girls

Amy: Amy had the better night of the two girls. Her ballroom dance was better than Jasmine’s. She really does remind me of Melanie Moore, in the fact that she is a little powerhouse and she has been an early favorite for the fans and the judges. Ranking her dances of the night contemporary with Robert gets the top spot. The two Jazz numbers were about even for me, but I’m really beginning to question what planet Mark is really from. I did enjoy the Tango/Paso fusion but I just felt like it would have been dance better if it were danced with an all star.

Jasmine: Anyone else surprised to learn that it was Cat Deely that fought hard to make sure that Jasmine was a part of the top 20. So a big thank you goes to Cat for fighting so hard and hopefully she will win the Emmy this time.  Back to Jasmine, I can’t say I was surprise that she chose hip-hop for her style of choice. She and Comfort hit a homerun with that dance. The only time she seemed to struggle last night was in the Samba. I know that her skirt not wanting to come off threw her and Aaron. Other than that I’m not sure why it just didn’t seem to work for them.

Guys

Aaron: Finally we get to see another tap dance. I really think Aaron and Melinda have very similar tap style, not to mention insane technique, which is why this pairing worked so well. I didn’t expect the song choice they chose for the dance. This was my absolute favorite of the night from the telling of the story to the crisp clear sounds of their taps. Paula was right in saying that Aaron is a very generous partner, is the sense he doesn’t try to out dance them. He too struggled with the Samba but in the long run I don’t think that will affect him.

FikShun: I’m sure he isn’t alone in thinking to dance with Twitch will make your life awesome. I loved these two together. They both have fun personalities that came to life in this hip-hop. The other thing that I like about FikShun is the fact that he has risen to every challenge that’s been given to him. Sure he may still need some refining but partnering skills are there, and he proved that last night. I was a bit nervous if he could partner Jasmine, but he seemed to do it with ease.

 

So who is your favorite Guy and Girl dancer? Truthfully I would be happy no matter which girl wins. As for the guys Aaron is my pick to win, what can I say I love tap dancers.

 

 

September 4, 2013 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.

Top 6 Now Top 4 Thoughts

Since there was no voting last night, I figured that I would save power rankings for next week and just do a thoughts post instead. I love having Jesse Tyler Ferguson as a guest judge, too cute watching him blush over admitting he has a crush on Aaron. Each of the dancers had three dances each; a solo, paired with an all star, and paired with each other.

Solos

Amy: She is just a little powerhouse and has been an early favorite from the beginning. Her solo was probably my favorite out of the girls.

Jasmine: Still love that song choice. I like the fact that yes, her legs are her best feature but I like that she doesn’t always remind us in her solos.

Hayley: I wanted a bit more from her solo.

FikShun: The fact that he was moving about as fast as the lyrics of that song was impressive.

Paul: Ballroom solos are always a bit hard to watch. I would have like to seen him do a more serious solo.

Aaron: I love tap solos cause it’s really the only time we get to see it during the show. I would think they could pull one of the other tappers that have been on the show to dance with him…it would be nice.

All Stars

Paul & Kathryn: the thing I like about Paul is that he tends to have chemistry with everyone who he is paired with on the show. There may have been a fight concept but for me they both seemed to be on an even level.

Hayley & Joshua: Who else thought of Katy Perry when they saw the stage set up? This was a major improvement from her last hip-hop. She really did seem like she was fighting to stay in the competition

Aaron & Melanie: I so wanted to know what they were yelling at each other during this piece, which made it entertaining to watch. Granted yes he sort of dropped her but thankfully it went with the theme of the dance. Also, Melanie being as good as she is caught herself.

FikShun & Witney: A ballroom dancer he is not but he sure did try. I agree with Mary that his close hold position was nice and probably with a little more time he could really do the fox trot justice.

Jasmine & Neil: I knew this was going to be good just from the rehearsal footage. Tyce created a beautiful number for these two. This was my favorite of the all-star pairings.

Amy & Alex: So happy Alex was able to do Bollywood and not hurt himself. Amy’s personality just suits Bollywood. It takes a lot of energy to tackle those dances.

Paired together

Hayley & Paul: I loved this version of the song and love watching these two dance together. Sad to see them both go but I had a feeling that they would be the ones that left.

Amy & FikShun: Happy that Dave Scott didn’t make this a cutesy hip-hop. They really do bring out the best in each other.

Jasmine & Aaron: This was my favorite out of the last three dances. I loved the concept of this dance and I did notice that Aaron took the judges note from earlier in the night and corrected it for this dance. Jasmine must be double jointed, how else would her legs be able to move like they do.

So our top 4 are Jasmine, Amy, Aaron, and FikShun. Who will you be pulling for next week? I’ll be pulling for Aaron mainly, as for the girl I’ll be happy with who ever wins out of the two of them.

August 28, 2013 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.

Top 10 Power Rankings

Bollywood is always a fun way to start off a show. Of course I noticed we were missing a guy, took me a minute to figure out that Tucker was missing. Cat revealed that due to an infection in his knee that he will not be performing his duet. Also, that he will be in the bottom two automatically. This week Alan, Tucker, Nico, Jenna, Malece, and Amy were in the bottom six. I didn’t think that they would have saved Jenna, but they must see something in her that I’m missing by not being at a live show. Anyways, I pretty much knew who they were going to save and who was going home. Malece and Alan were the unlucky two that were cut tonight, and I hope Nigel will make sure they will be on the tour. I will include their dance in my rankings.

Top 3: These three received standing ovations from the judges.

Makensie & Paul: Mandy created another memorable piece, just without the insane lift (ex. Melanie & Neil Total Eclipse of the Heart). However it wasn’t really needed. They have a great chemistry with each other and you can almost feel the emotion through the TV. Just an overall a beautiful dance to a Lady GaGa song (I like to think GaGa might have thrown a shoe up on the stage).

Jasmine & Aaron: This was a classic gritty NappyTabs hip hop. I really don’t know what else to say other that Jasmine did nail the routine and so did Aaron. Plus I’m just happy for the possibility of Aaron being able to do a tap number now that the all-stars are available.

Hayley & Nico: I have to agree this was one of the best Broadway numbers we have seen in a while. They both did what Sean wanted them too and threw themselves into the characters of the dance. This for me was the best both have done all season. That one lift with the leg was just wow.

Middle Two

Jenna & Alex/Tucker: I love Alex filling in for Tucker, didn’t realize he didn’t get to do ballroom his season. Loved the pirate theme, and Jenna in her element and truthfully I understood why they saved her last night.

Amy & FikShun: The beauty of this dance for me I just don’t notice if the technique is there and I really don’t care either. It seemed that the judges felt the same way. FikShun grew in this dance and I was so proud of him, he did a great job. Amy was great too.

Bottom Cut Dancers

Malece & Alan: I’m not sure if these two were old enough to truly get the vision that Mandy wanted. It’s a dance I would have loved to seen Aaron and Jasmine do.

Group dances: I love both the guys and girls. I think I like the guys hip hop a little  bit more.

Bottom 4: Tucker, FikShun, Jenna, and Amy going solely on how I ranked the dances but Tucker is the only one I know for sure. Now bring on the All Stars.

August 7, 2013 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.

Top 20 Power Rankings

I really want to start off by saying how amazing that opening routine was last night. I loved seeing the dancers, choreographers, and judges tell us a story through dance. Nappy Tabs quite possibly created one of my favorite dances of the season…well I’m sure one of many. 

Now on to the tough part, keep in mind this is subjective and just my thoughts on the night. I always find it hard to rank the not so good dances especially when I feel like there really weren’t any total train wrecks. So glad I don’t have the judges job this week cause I really have no idea who will be in trouble next week. 

Top 3 

Amy & Fik-Shun

This was the dance of the night. Sonya created another beautiful contemporary dance. I knew Amy wouldn’t have any trouble with this dance but I was worried about Fik-Shun. Needless to say I think he probably made us all think twice about him. I can’t wait to see what is in store for them next week. 

Jasmine H & Aaron

Another power couple according to the judges, and well I agree. Sonya can be hit or miss for me and truthfully I am on the fence about the dance itself but Jasmine and Aaron made the dance great for me. I don’t see them going anywhere soon. 

Brittany & BluPrint

This was another pleasant surprise for me tonight. Just judging from the rehearsal footage I was a bit worried that this could’ve been a train wreck. Thankfully it was not, I thought both of them pulled this off well and was the only dance to technically to make the Hot Tamale Train. BluPrint does pick up the choreography well but I still feel like he could still tap into the emotion side of the dances. Over all I’m looking forward to seeing these two grow. Total side note Cat and Wayne had me laughing and I was impressed to hear Wayne mention a Season one dancer. 

The Rest (I just couldn’t bring myself to make a bottom 2 or 3 list.) 

Malece & Jade

This was the first dance of the night that really made sit up and get excited about the show. To hear the judges say that the actual performance turned out much better that the dress run, really makes me want to see the dress run just to see the difference. I’m happy to see Jade prove himself as a partner and being there for Malece. He still needs some refining as Wayne mentioned but I don’t think he has to worry about going home first. 

Makensie & Paul

I love the Viennese waltz it’s always just mesmerizing to me. I was surprised to here that Paul is strictly a Latin ballroom dancer but he and Makensie pulled it off and made it look effortless.   

Jasmine M. & Alan

When Travis pulled out the blindfolds, I’ll admit I thought he was a little bit nuts with it being the first week of the partners. Of course he proved me wrong, and it seemed to strengthen them as partners. While the dance was absolutely beautiful it was lacking something for me and I’m not quite sure what was missing. I feel that Jasmine is the stronger of the two in this dance. 

Hayley & Curtis, Alexis & Nico

Both of these couples had a Chris Scott hip hop dance. I equally loved both of them but the judges seemed to like Hayley and Curtis a little bit better. The only thing that I can think of that Alexis and Nico could work on is the attitude of the dance. Overall I truly enjoyed both dances. 

Jenna & Tucker

Oh boy I do love these two paired together but the routine just didn’t work for me. I thought Tucker stood out more for me than Jenna. This is one of those times I really want to love the dance but I just can’t. 

Mariah & Carlos

This is when being the first ones to perform did not help them. While the both performed the Jive well…the just seem not quite up to what the dance required. I love these two and hated that it seemed they were given more than what they could handle. It was the technique that was lacking and honestly Wayne summed up what I thought about this Jive. 

Okay so what Girls and Guys might be in trouble next week…I really have no clue but here is what I’m thinking. I’m just going with my gut on this part.

Girls: Jenna, Mariah, and Alexis

Boys: Carlos, Alan, and Nico

So who do you think will be the first to leave the competition.

June 26, 2013 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.