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Academy Episode One: Solos & Hip Hop

Tonight we were treated to a great opening number choreographed by Mandy Moore. I actually loved that they did this, it made the introduction to the Academy more exciting. Anyone else notice that part of the choreography was use in the initial audition rounds. Tonight’s episode was jammed packed full of information and I know I didn’t get all the names for the teams but I’ll hopefully fill them in next week.

Round One: The dancers must impress the panel of All Stars with their solo or duet(ballroom). If they get the majority of the vote, they will move on to the next round. I always enjoy watching the All Stars reaction to the all-stars. There were several that did impress and I wasn’t surprised either. Kristina and Vasily for me stood out. They danced so beautifully, but we didn’t see them much throughout the rest of the episode. However, I did spot them at the end of the episode when they were previewing the rest of the Academy. 71 dancers moved on the next round.

Round Two: Hip Hop with NappyTabs, who are everywhere these days. The contestants have an hour to learn the routine and then have to perform it for the All Stars. So it’s either sink or swim, and from what I saw there was everything from amazing to awful. I do wish the show will show the viewing audience what the dance actually looks like. After all the dancers have performed one of three outcomes will happen. 1) Picked to be on an All Stars’s team 2) Move on to the next round or 3) Sent home. If more than one All Star want them on their team the contestant gets to choose whose team he or she wants to be on.

Kevin Davis Jr: A Krumper that had five All Stars wanting him on his team. Allison, FikShun, Cyrus, Jasmine, and Comfort all explained why they wanted him on their team. In the end he wanted to choose the person who he would benefit the most from, so he picked Allison.

Dassy Lee: Not surprised she had both of the Hip Hop boys wanting her on their team. Dassy chose FikShun over Cyrus. I’m thinking FikShun has an edge over Cyrus since he has won the show and mentored last years winner.

Logan Hernandez: Robert, Allison, and Jenna were all wanting him. Jenna even made a bold statement of the night by saying he would be her partner on the show. She basically said he would be in the top 10 if he chose her. Logan chose Allison…chances are he might not have believed Jenna.

Robert seemed to have a tough time convincing someone to be on his team. After tonight’s episode he is the only All Star that doesn’t have anyone on his team yet.

At the end of tonight 13 of the 40 spots were filled, and next week the dancers face contemporary with Travis and ballroom with Dmitry. I am going to try to get a who is on each All Star’s team up.

 

July 17, 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.

New York Auditions: Part 2

I case you didn’t notice last weeks episode was a repeat, I’m guessing due to the fourth of July the network didn’t want to air a new episode. So tonight we get to see the rest of the auditions in New York, and it also concludes the initial auditions before the Academy. There was plenty of talent tonight from the amazing to the not so great (which always makes me wonder if they watch the show).

Magda & Kiki: They have an interesting dynamic but they a just dance partners, and Magda does all the talking. What I liked about their audition is that it wasn’t too over the top with the tricks, and I was a little surprised they didn’t do any lifts. It was just a straight forward cha-cha that got them their ticket to the Academy.

Claudia & George, Jaryd Farcon, and Allen Genkin…just a few more ballroom dancers to make it straight to the Academy

Zachary Downer: He auditioned for season 12 and made it to the green mile. Can’t say I rememberer him but it is very clear after watch him dance again why he made it as far as he did. Love the infusion of the african movement with the contemporary.

Ramita Ravi: I have to admit I was excited to watch her dance the moment she sat down to talk to Cat. I do enjoy watch the Bollywood style of dancing. I was somewhat surprised the judges didn’t send her to the academy right away. I think that they just wanted to see more of what she can do. Thankfully she made it through the choreography round.

Peter Mangione: I must have missed the part when he said he had only be dancing for six months, but when he mispronounced Ballet, I pretty much knew this would be a not so good audition.

Arielle Disciascio: I was on the fence about Arielle, yes she is a fantastic dancer with precision and control. However, I wanted to see her let go and really just dance from the heart. So like Nigel I wanted to see her do the choreography.

Some more familiar faces of past seasons are back to try again and the are all hip hop dancers. Chris Andrews, Chase “CTut” Lindsey (the finger tutting) and Jason Kidd. One last familiar face for tonight was Romainson Romain, provided the most moving audition of the night, the judges knew he had a lot weighing him down and I loved that they lifted him up. He also didn’t do too bad in the choreography round and he made it to the academy.

Marc “Full out” Royale: Um dancing professionally for two years…yeah I don’t think so but I see why he goes by full-out.

Claire Rathbun: I love how ballet dancers especially those that do pointe make it look so easy and effortless. I also love how she wants to prove that you can have a big personality and still do ballet. Based on her personality I wonder how well she will do in the hip hop genre.

Lex Ishimoto: He took a big risk by doing an improve for his audition, but man did it pay off. It was the best audition of the night. Plus at the time of his audition he was performing with Travis Wall’s (and Nick, Teddy, & Kyle) company Shaping Sound. I can’t wait to see what All Star get him on their team. It’s a bold prediction from me but Lex will be in the top 10.

So 100 dancers total for the LA and New York Auditions made to the academy. They will be tested by Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Dmitry Chaplin, and NappyTabs. Looking forward to next week.

July 10, 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.

New York Auditions: Part One

The New York auditions did not disappoint…just as last weeks preview stated. I know I’ve stated this already but I am really liking Vanessa as a judge. I think she was the breath of fresh air that the panel needed.

Kaylee “Impavido” Mills: Probably one of the most unique contemporary auditions that I have seen in a while. You can tell that she has studied many styles of dance just watching her audition. Can’t wait to see her in the choreographing rounds.

Ana Sanchez: Great things come in small packages. So many great tricks and lifts…to bad her partner is a little to old(31) to compete. Columbian salsa is a faster version of salsa…and if you seen World of Dance it is unreal how fast they can move their feet.

Koine Iwasaki: I agreed with everything that the judges said about her. I loved her range of emotions, that help her convey the story of the dance.

Joseph “Klassic” Carrella and Huwer “Havoc” Marche Jr.: I really like this duo and the style flexing. I really seems like more of a lyrical form of hip hop. I think Havoc stood out a little more to me.
Chaz Wolcott: He has an impressive resume, touring with Cats and Newsies. I liked his style of tap, when most tap is heavy footed and down into the ground…Chaz is lighter on his feet.

Ryan Bailey: Safe to say he left the judges speechless and a bit confused. He has a unique way of moving and has created his own company and I think his style of dance might look better on a group of dancers.

Other dancer’s that made it through: Kyle Bennet Jr, Shaquile Worsley, Alex Diaz, Logan Hernandez, Abby Griffin, and Cristina Moya-Palacios.

June 26, 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.

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 5 Thoughts

Tonight’s episode marked the 250th episode of SYTYCD. I can’t help but wonder how many dances there has been in the 250 episodes. We even got a special performance from Travis Wall and Maddie Ziegler, which was Emmy worthy. So tonight each of the remaining five performed with their all-star twice and they even got to choreograph their own dance. I’ll admit I was slightly worried when they announced this last week but I have to say all the kids did a great job.

Tate and Kathryn: First up a routine choreographed by Stacey Tookey. These two just simply dance beautiful together, just like the do every week.
Tate’s Choreo: I really loved the concept that she came up with the masks and breaking away from there insecurities. It is something that I can see a contemporary company performing. I agree with the judges that Tate will become a fantastic choreographer one day.

Kida and Fikshun: Pharside and Phoenix didn’t hold back with this Krump routine and as Lil C would say the performance was Buc. Kida did seem a bit out of sync and I think that Nigel was right in the fact that he just needed to make his movements bigger to compensate for a tight-fitting jacket.
Kida’s Choreo: I seriously loved this dance. It fun, funky and animated. Simply it is just what they do best.

Emma and Gaby: When Cat said that Savion Glover was choreographing for the show, to say I was excited is an understatement. I love that Savion slowed them down a bit tonight and it had an old school type of feel. I have to agree with Nigel if you get a chance look up some of these other famous tap dancers.
Emma’s Choreo: I would have never had guessed that an eleven year old choreographed this tap routine. I can’t get over how good of a tap dancer she is.

JT and Robert: Stacey Tookey gave us another beautiful dance. I didn’t quite connect with the story behind it but I did think it was danced well. JT has improved with the help of Robert.
JT’s Choreo: I feel like this was a big challenge for someone his age and I thought he did ok. I love that Nigel admits that he has fallen under the JT’s cuteness spell.
Tahani and Comfort: Dave Scott went for a hip hop with hints of it’s African roots. I feel like that the costumes and make up made this dance even better. It was a high energy fast paced dance that I enjoyed. Tahani might only have a few things to work on but over all it was a good performance.
Tahani’s Choreo: Again another fun concept, it’s great seeing the contestants really going all out for their choreography. I personally loved that she turned Comfort into a nerd. Unfortunately, tonight was the end of the road for Tahani.

So we are down to the final four and we are two weeks away from announcing a winner. Tonight’s votes will be combined with next week performance finale votes. I honestly don’t have a clue who will win but I have noticed that out of the remaining all-stars there are two winners and two that placed third. I’m curious on how the all-stars have affected the voting.

August 29, 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.