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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.

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.

The Academy: Day One

First off now I am starting to see why the two hour shows are beneficial. These one hour shows are jammed packed with a lot of information and it is hard to catch everything the first time I watch the episode. So recording them so I can pause to take notes and make sure I spell the contestants names correctly. Loved the opening with the All-Stars, Maddie, and some familiar music.

Nigel and the rest of the judges get to take a break and it is up to the All-Stars to form their team of five (at least 3 in their style and 2 wild cards) and eliminate the dancers round by round till they are left with the one dancer that they will be performing with for the remainder of the season.

Before the All-Stars pick their team each of the 100 dancers get to impress them with their solo. We only got to see a few of the solos and Tate had the All-Stars impressed. So did many of the others. Each of the 50 dancers were called to the stage and the All-Star who picked them were lit up. If there was more than one lit up then it was up to the dancer to decide what team that they would like to be on. Kind of a SYTYCD meets the Voice.

TEAMS
Kathryn: Tate, Brooklin, Brightyn, Quinn, and Avery
Robert: Sage, JT, Gavin, Enoch, and Joziah
Sasha: Diana, Jade, Ashley, Bostyn, and Jordan
Jonathan: Daniela, Pullany, Victoria, Rylee, and Camila
Paul: Ruby, Shelly, Lera, Sophia, and Lennox
Jenna: Jake, Lev, Joshua, Parker, and Dougie
Gaby: Emma, Jazzy, Ryan, Ava, and Lucas
Fik-Shun: Kida, Jaryan, JJ, Lior, and Alex
Joshua: Merrik, Romeo, Tre, Sheaden, and Kai
Comfort: Tahani, Aniyah, Fiona, Logan, and Pheonix

Fun Facts: Rylee is Lindsey Arnold’s little sister. Phoenix danced with Cyrus on last season’s finale and was a sort of the inspiration for the concept this season.

Sad to see the other 50 go but hopefully we will see them back or at least I hope they continue dancing.

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 Stars for The Next Generation

The Academy starts next week and the All Stars are introduced. Also, Maddie from Dance Moms is introduced as on of the judges. Each of the 100 dancers get a chance to audition for the All Stars. Each All Star has to pick five dancers to be on their team and mentor them throughout the week. Eventually, they have to narrow it down to one dancer that they will be dancing with during the entire competition. I’m sure the details will be a little clearer next week. Until then here are the All Stars for Season 13.

Joshua Allen: Winner of season 4. Happy to seem him back as an all-star. I’m sure many will ask why not Twitch and while I don’t know that answer but I think he will enjoy the time to spend with his family.

Comfort Fedoke: Another season 4 alum who I have enjoyed watching grow into an even better dancer.

Jonathan Platero: I’ll admit I had to look up to see what season he was on. He was on season 5 and was eliminated in the third week. Jonathan has choreographed for the show the last few seasons.

Kathryn McCormick: Season 6’s top finishing female dancer. Yes…she’s still my favorite.

Robert Roldan: Season 7, Robert is one of my favorite guys to compete on the show and I still get tears in my eyes whenever I watch “Medicine” the dance he did with Tucker in season 10.

Sasha Mallory: Season 8 runner-up. I want to say this is her first time being an all-star.

Fik-Shun Stegall: Season 10 co-champion with Amy. He has always been a fan favorite and I think he will work well with the younger dancers.

Jenna Johnson: Jenna was the Judge’s favorite of season 10. For whatever reason I couldn’t connect with her…until she dance with Mark. Now I love watching Jenna dance on DWTS as a troupe member.

Paul Karmiryan: While he placed 6th on season 10, he won the Armenian version of the show before competing in the States.

Gaby Diaz: The reigning champion on SYTYCD and the first tap dancer to win the show.

June 13, 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 8 to Top 4: Thoughts

It’s hard to believe that we are almost to the end of this season and I still not sure of who I think might win. I enjoyed the Addam’s Family theme of the opening number, just sort of wish Tyce used the music from the musical. Team Street won the night again with 52% of the vote. Travis and Twitch’s exits are just too much fun, though this week they asked social media for help and I was hoping they’d pick leap frog to leave the stage.

Virgil & Jasmine: Sean Cheesman (African Jazz)
“African Jazz Ant Man” really Nigel. Nigel is right I don’t think that Virgil has had a bad night on the show. What I like about Virgil is that he just an entertainer and had the ability to adapt to whatever the show has thrown at him. Love how he got excited about keeping the envelope that said he was safe.

Derek & Jamie: Tyce (Contemporary)
Just as Derek is having a break through, he is eliminated. Like the judges, I think he has great technique but seemed to have trouble with connecting to the emotion/story of the dances.

Hailee & FikShun: Luther Brown (Hip hop)
It was easy to figure out that I would like these two paired together. While I didn’t really care for the dance itself, I did enjoy watching them dance it. Hailee is in my personal top 4 so I hope she stays.

Megz & Paul: Jean Marc (Paso Doble)
I felt bad for Megz, she gave her all in this dance but still fell short of the technique that it takes to truly pull off this dance. However, I think if she had a little more time to practice it may have been a little better.

Neptune & Kayla: Ray Leeper
Neptune was the dark horse of the street side to me. I thought he has done well all season and I hoped he was the one that stayed.

Jim & Comfort: Pharside and Pheonix (Hip hop)
I actually think Jim wasn’t that bad but I can see what the judges were saying. He doesn’t seem quite comfortable with this style, so it’s not quite believable.

Gaby & Robert: Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore did it again…created another memorable routine. This was my favorite dance of the night.

Jaja & Ricky: Al Blackstone (Broadway)
Glad Ricky was given time off from Broadway to be an all star. Nigel was right, Jaja does look like Amy Adams. I love how she always has the character down and she had the skills too.

Bottom 4: Derek, Hailee, Neptune and Megz
Going home: Derek and Neptune

August 24, 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 14 to Top 10: Thoughts

After last weeks episode, it’s not really surprising the tonight’s show was a bit of a let down, with a few bright spots. First bombshell of the night is the fact that there is a double elimination. The second was the fact that Jim was injured, before Cat said he was cleared to dance in his duet, I honestly thought oh no I hope he didn’t pull an Alex. The music for the opening number took me back to my days in dance class. That song was a staple in dance class so thank you Brian Friedman for that trip down memory lane.

1) Jim & Yurelis: Sonya
Happy to have Sonya back. This was one of those dances where the concept was kind of lost on me but I was still fantastic to watch. So nice to see Yurelis using her contemporary dance skills. Agreed with the fact if you took a picture that you have a picture of a great pose.

2) Edson & Jaja: Misha Gabriel
I loved what Misha came up with and I agree with Paula that is was fun and funky. The only thing that I can think of that may have made it a little better is maybe it could have been a bit cleaner/sharper.

3) Virgil & Hailee: Tyce Diorio
These two knocked it out of the park again. Tyce managed to bring out more of a darkish from these two…even himself for that matter. This might be my favorite Tyce routine ever.

4) Alexia & Ariana: Tracy Phillips & Dominic Carbone
So this was a Jazzy Burlesque? I think that the choreographers maybe should have gone the fun flirty route and this might have been a little bit better. So thankful that Paula found a positive way to give these girls a critique.

5) Derek & Megz: Dave Scott
This was one of those dances that it was good but it wasn’t great. I guess I was thinking that they may have dressed Megz a little more feminine, she looked great regardless. I didn’t think that costume fit the dance, thought that the costume department should have went a little more fun and flirty…like a skirt.

6) Gaby & Neptune: Stacey Tookey
Seriously Stacey does it again. My other favorite of the night and the reason Neptune got the Twitter save.

7) Kate & JJ: Brian Friedman
This might have been better as a group routine, but I thought the girls did a great job. Nice to see Kate’s personality breakthrough tonight.

Bottom 6: Derek, Alexia, Kate, Yurelis, Ariana, and Neptune

The Twitter Save went to the two boys Derek and Neptune.

Next week the All Stars return!

August 10, 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.