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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.

Top 4: Performance Finale Thoughts and Power Rankings

What a great performance finale filled so many dances, it was hard to keep track of them all. Honestly I don’t know how the Top 4 are able to get though that night without showing any exhaustion. The alway fabulous Jesse Tyler Ferguson is finally back at the judges table. His “hey Ricky” chant was hysterical, not to mention all the judges goofing off behind Cat was entertaining as well. Also, three of my favorite all-stars were apart of tonight’s busy show. Like I thought Aaron was the one that got to dance twice.

With a total of fifteen dances, it would take me all night to attempt to rank them all. So I’m going to pick out a few of my favorites and give my thoughts about them. Then I’ll do my final ranking of the dances and who I think might win.

Zack and Valerie: This was a great piece of choreography from Tyce. It was the acting that was the challenge in this dance. They both sold the story, Valerie almost had me believing she was blind.

Valerie and Jessica: I thought this style suited them both very well. They both looked like they were having fun. Just something about Bollywood that I just enjoy.

Zack and Ricky: I love Pharside and Pheonix. The theme was very familiar though…anyone else reminded of the two princes from season 3. These boys knocked it out of the park. My second favorite dance of the night. I think that the winner will come down to the two of them.

Ricky and Kathryn: I’m not surprised that this dance was beautiful. Everything came together and Ricky is just a beautiful dancer.

Jessica and Robert: This had to be her best performance of the night. I think contemporary his her strong point and was nice to see her finally get back to the girl we saw in the very first live show.

Zack and Aaron: A tap to “Piano Man”, I would have never thought of that but Anthony is a tap genius. Yes it was my favorite dance of the night. I love how their taps went with the music, just so smooth and entertaining.

I honestly think that winner will either be Ricky or Zack. I can’t make up my mind. Ricky has been consistently fantastic and there is no reason he shouldn’t win. Zack is kind of the dark horse for me, he has been able to do anything that has been given to him. It will be interesting to see how the votes will turn out. Valerie will probably place 3rd with Jessica in 4th.

So what were you favorite dances of the night and who do you think/want to win.

August 27, 2014 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.

Chicago and Los Angeles Auditions: Thoughts

Great night of auditions. I’ll add my thoughts tomorrow but the impromptu duet that Fikshun had with Marie Poppins was my absolute favorite moment of the night. So what did you think.

The show picks back up in Chicago for day 2 of the auditions, but first we get to see those that participated in the polar plunge. Mary Murphy was up for that challenge and so was Jimmy Fallon. Fabrice Calmes of the Joffrey Ballet, joins Mary and Nigel for day 2.

Paul “The Puppet”: I liked this guy a very unique new style. It was like a very fluid version of popping and animation. Nigel was out voted about going the choreography round, so Paul was sent to the next round.

Emily James: I really hope that the  third time is the charm for her. How cute were her cousins and the youngest didn’t want a ticket.

Is it me or am I seeing more of the male dancers in the montages.

Franchesce: This girl has unique written all over her. She uses the fact that she has alopecia to her advantage. I agree with the judges that Sonya and Mia would love her.

Jenna: Her excitement over meeting Fabrice was just too cute and I now I think he will take more notice of her after that audition. I would love to see her on pointe too.

James: The bone breaking stuff is just so hard too watch.

Day 1 LA with Christina Applegate and plenty of Alumni in the audience. So many great dancers on day one I can’t wait for day two.

Jessica: One of my favorites of the night. I love that the judges don’t even talk and just hand her a ticket. I think there is a really good chance we will see her in the top 20. Loved her long hair too…little jealous.

Valerie: I love that tap seems to be becoming more popular on the show. She did have to go through choreography round and she made it to the next round.

JaJa: We have Philip Chbeeb  to thank for this girl. I remember her from ABDC and she was only 15 when I am me competed. Love seeing strong female dancers in the hip hop genre.

Kyle: He impressed me with his dancing, for only dancing in his living room and not in front of an audience. Plus he was able to hold his own in the battle with Fikshun, Cyrus, and Legacy.

Justine, Hailee: both great dancers and would love to see more of them

Maurcio and Daisy: great Pas de Duex

Sebastian: Hope he makes it to the green mile this time and maybe even to top 20.

Dani: Granted not the first time we heard a story like hers but I still love how dance that can help them overcome their problems. I was a little confused that they made her do the choreography round.

Marie Poppins: Love the stage name and her. I think she had the best moment of the night. She dances from the heart and got not only the judges attention but Fikshun’s as well. I don’t know what made him get up and dance with her but I’m glad he did. I really hope she can do the other styles cause I would love to she her in the top 20.

The girls are strong this Season.

June 4, 2014 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.

*Spoiler Alert* Season 10 Finale

SPOILER ALERT! DON’T READ IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SHOW!

It has been another great season and it’s always sad to see it go. Before I get to the run down of the show and of course the winners, I am happy to announce that Fox and Nigel announced that there will be a SEASON 11! Now on with the show that had a 17 min intermission (Presidential speech), well for the east coast. We had Judges favorites, top 4 favorites, and some surprises.

The Top 20 are back, even Jade even thought he can dance cause his knee isn’t fully healed yet. A fun routine choreographed by Ivan from season 2 (who has choreographed for Justin Timberlake).

Paula Abdul Favorite: Edge of Glory, Paul and Makensie

Jasmine H. Favorite: Blurred Lines she danced with Marko. She surprised me with this pick.

Adam Shankman: he picked the FikShun and Twitch hip-hop to Hello Good Morning.

The Top 4 got to see a special screening of Battle of the Year, that features Dominic from season 3. Also Legacy from season 6 is also in the movie (look it up on IMBD if you don’t believe me).

Nigel’s Pick: This really was a no brainer, I knew he would pick a tap number, I just didn’t know which one. It’s fitting that he chose the one with all of the tappers from this season.

Twitch’s Favorite: His choice surprised me as well, mainly just the fact that it was a Broadway number. Kiss of the Spiderwoman- Nico and Hayley.

Aaron’s Favorite: Kissing You with all-star Kathryn

They replayed the sand number with the Top 10 guys, which is actually one on my absolute favorites of the season.

Cat’s Favorite: Run the World, Jasmine and Comfort hip-hop

Mary’s Favorite: Medicine, Tucker and Robert

Puttin’ on the Ritz: Top 20. Really loved this innovative number that NappyTabs created.

Then another favorite of mine Mark and Jenna.

FikShun and Amy both picked the same dance as their favorite. After Party, the bell hop hip-hop.

So we are treated to the “partnership” of Nigel and Mary. Though the video montage, I’m sure I wasn’t the only that was wondering where they were going with this…a dance with Nigel and Mary. This did make my night, especially Adam not wanting to be left out of the fun.

The Top 5 moments from the Auditions with the number one spot going to Movement Box.

Twitter’s Travis Wall routine Favorite: Seriously no surprise that it is Wicked Game that he danced with Amy.

The Top 10 and All-Stars perform and fun surfs up number by Nappy Tabs.

Now time for the Winner’s, Cat announced that a girl got the top number of votes. With that said she began with the guys and then the girls.

The Season 10 Winners ARE….FICKSHUN and AMY!!! Congrats to them both and Aaron and Jasmine. What a great season can’t wait till next year.

 

 

September 10, 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 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 8 Power Rankings

Great night of dancing last night but with the All Stars joining the Top 10, I can’t say I’m surprised. Twitch, Marko, Brandon, Jakob, Robert, Neil, Kathryn, Melanie, Comfort, and Witney were the All Stars for this episode.

The bottom four was Jenna, Makensie, Nico, and Tucker (who was only there by default). There were no solos last night and looking back on it not sure if that was the right thing to do, but in the end Nico and Makensie were the two to say goodbye.

Since the partners were split up I figured I would rank the girls and guys separately.

Girls

Jasmine: Marko joined here for this fun dance to one of the songs of the summer. Jasmine gets the top spot cause she seemed to outshine her all-star partner; it was hard to take your eyes off her. To answer Nigel’s question, he was looking at two all-stars last night.

Jenna: I still have no clue as to why I just can’t connect with Jenna but she is a great dancer. I loved Mandy’s choreography and with Neil as a partner I say this helped Jenna.

Amy: I had to watch this twice cause the first time the song threw me off. Brandon to me is the perfect disco partner with all those crazy lift and that death drop at the end that was so close to the ground. Amy rocked this number keeping the energy up threw the entire dance.

Hayley: This is a perfect example of why sometimes dancing with an all-star isn’t such a good thing. Hayley and Twitch did have the chemistry and dance well with each other. However, even though Hayley did a great job, I think may people were watching Twitch.

Makensie: Paired with Jakob, they definitely have the best feet. This actually was my favorite dance out of all the girls so needless to say I’m sad she was voted off.

Guys

Tucker: What can I say; everything about this piece was just absolutely amazing. Travis provided us with a story that both Tucker and Robert could relate to. They have both survived life threatening accidents, I would imagine it was easy for them to tap into the emotion of the dance. I haven’t really cried while watching a dance on this show but this one came close.

Aaron: It’s crazy to think that he wasn’t part of the original top 10 guys; he has proven he deserved a spot on the show. Love watching him and Kathryn dance together.

Paul: Must have be the luck of the draw that he and Witney were paired together for this cha cha. Thankfully they did not disappoint, which I figured since this is Paul’s style.

FikShun: He is by far the most improved dancer on the show. He kept up with Melanie in this sassy jazz number. I’m excited to see what he has next.

Nico: Loved this reptilian hip-hop. I thought Nico and Comfort were selling not only the character of the dance but the choreography as well. Hated to see him leave but after Tucker’s performance I figured it might happen.

So Hayley, Amy, Paul, and Fikshun make up my bottom four but will the fans agree.

Next week should be interesting since the all-stars are choreographing and dancing with the top 8. Maybe we will get to see Travis dance on the stage again, or maybe even Dmitry.

August 14, 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.