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Academy Week 3: Jazz & All-Star Duets

Tonight is the finale rounds of the Academy before the live shows begin. First up is Jazz with Sonya, and she always brings something challenging and unique to the table. You can see that all of the street dancers are struggling to pick up the choreography but Kevin seemed to get really frustrated with himself. Sonya gave him a bit of tough love, and said if you give up you might as well say goodbye to being on the show. Thankfully, in the end he pulled through and I thought did well. Lex also had a bit of close call because he wasn’t connecting as well as everyone thought. Team Robert suffered an injury while learning the jazz choreography. Taylor and Jennifer were dancing a little to close to each other, and when they did the roll on the floor Taylor hit Jennifer in the head with her foot. Medics were called in to look at the gash on Jennifer’s eyebrow, which didn’t look good. After she was bandaged up she joined her team back on stage and told Robert that she wouldn’t be able to continue with competition. The laceration on her eyebrow needed stitches and the medics said that injury could get worse if she did continue with the show. I think Jennifer made the right decision in the end and she’ll have a great story to tell about her scar.

Now each of the are down to their final two dancers and there is only one more round they have to get though before the all-stars pick who they want as their partner. Each all-star choreographed a routine to perform with each of their team members to see who they have the best connection with. After they dance with each team member, they meet back up with the remaining all-stars to get feed back. Gaby and Jenna teams stood out to me the most. Gaby choose to stick with a tap routine even though it only played to the strength of Evan. Thankfully Lex can tap and was able to keep up with Gaby. Jenna on the other had to create two different routines, ballroom for Kiki and one that would fit more to Kevin’s style. Kevin seemed to get the best reactions from the rest of the all-stars. Jenna has a tough decision to make…they all do.

My Top 10 Predictions.

Gaby: It’s a tough call but I think Lex will just barely edge out Evan.
Paul: Sydney, she seemed to have the better connection with Paul.
Allison: Logan…I happened to stumble across an article from Playbill (July 12, 2017) that Zachary has joined cast of Cats on Broadway, starting on July 17, why I’m thinking she chose Logan.
Cyrus: Kaylee…should be interesting
Jasmine: Robert Green
Marko: Koine…another close call
Comfort: Mark
FikShun: Dassy
Jenna: I honestly don’t know what she will do.
Robert: Taylor

July 31, 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.

Academy Episode 2: Contemporary, Ballroom, and Groups

Information overload in this weeks episode…it’s hard to keep track of names and who is on which all-stars team. Definitely seeing the difference between the one and two-hour episodes. Even watching the episode twice I wasn’t able to keep up with everything. So I figured I would just go with my thoughts about tonight’s contemporary, ballroom, group rounds.

Day two started off with a difficult contemporary combo from Travis Wall. I really enjoyed that Travis allowed the dancers to free style the start of the routine. Allowing them to interpret the music into their own form of movement. Also not pairing them up I think gave the dancers more of an opportunity to take Travis’s choreography and make it their own. Just like the hip hop round the contestants have an hour to learn the dance. However, each group will learn their fate right after they dance. Robert finally has someone on his team and he might have gotten a little dramatic to ensure that Taylor would be on his team. If you noticed that contestants that were chosen to be on a team in last weeks episode still had to participate in rest of the rounds, I’m assuming to let them keep proving themselves to the all-stars that chose them. By the end of the first round of day two 14 more dancers were cut.

Next up ballroom with Dmitry and Jenya. Happy we got to see the Cha Cha demonstrated so we know what the choreography is supposed to look like. Also by this point each all-star only has one more space left on their teams. The reactions of the all-stars were feature a little bit more this round and it’s nice to see them enjoying themselves before they have to make a hard decision. I noticed that they began to struggle deciding what they want to do, Paul changing his mind of what he was going to do to save Vacily was a great example of this. The teams are full at the end of this round.

Day two of the academy is over or so they think. Cat breaks the news that it is time for the group round, in which the dancers would work through the night to create a routine and perform it the next morning and one person would be cut from each team. Okay so group night was when I wish was a separate episode or a two-hour one. I missed the intensity of what this round usually is…granted I never really enjoyed the drama that the group round can bring but it did make the group routines a little more impressive. Overall, Paul’s team might have had the worst group dance of the night and they seemed to have the most drama. Jenna made an interesting move by saving Kevin from elimination, she obviously connected with him on some level not to be able to let him go. In making this save, Jenna had to cut two of her dancers from her team. After group rounds each all-star has 3 team member left.

Next week is the final episode of the Academy before the live show start and the all-stars still have to cut two more dancers from their team. First up in Jazz with Sonya, followed by the all-stars dancing with each of their final two dancers (well that’s what it looked like to me). Ending with the green mile in which we will find out our top 10 dancers. I have a few guesses of who might be in the top 10 so I’m curious to see if I have any correct.

July 24, 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.

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 Season 14

It was announced earlier today that SYTYCD will be returning this summer for it’s 14th season. After reading the announcement on their website, it looks like they are keeping so of the format from the Next Generation but we will see the older dancers (ages 18-30) again. Head over to http://www.fox.com/dance for all the info and how to audition.

Also, Paula Abdul will not be back as a judge due to the fact she will be on tour with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men this summer. Looking forward to seeing who will be on the Judging panel this season. Maybe the return of Mary Murphy? I’ll update once I know who the judges are and hopefully who the all-stars will be.

January 30, 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.