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Review: Fanaticly Website and App for SYTYCD

About a month and a half ago I was approached to review a website and corresponding app for iPhone. Interesting proposition to be sure, but something I don’t usually do… I can be harsh with my reviews, blunt and to the point. I have no qualms in exposing what I do not like about something, but at the same time I will acknowledge when something is done right.

This is no different, there are some aspects of either the website or the app that I dislike, but there are also some aspects of the website or app that I truly liked…

So beyond the break I will provide my impressions in regards to the app and the website. After my impressions there will be a quick line or two for the positives, negatives and the bottom line for both the app and the website. At the end of this post will be my final thoughts and what I would love to see down the road… preferably sooner than later.
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July 13, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) “I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour.” and… 2) “Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much.” So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point… =)

Disney’s the Newsies Musical – Bloggers’ Impressions

When the official cast list for Disney’s Newsies the Musical came out, those of us that were fans of the original 1992 movie scoured the cast list for familiar names… and were we pleasantly surprised to find that four of our favorite dancers from various seasons of SYTYCD were part of the cast! Huge favorites like Evan Kasprzak and Alex Wong, as well as those that left too soon like Thayne Jasperson and Jess LeProtto were all listed!

So naturally we here at Pure So You Think You Can Dance went into a group email firestorm and tried to see if we could have a group outing / get together and meet up at the Great White Way to watch the Newsies together… And if by some twist of faith talk to some of the dancers.

In the end only Margaret and myself (Marianya) were able to make the semi-impromptu trip and we have so much to tell you about this gem of a show.

CHOREOGRAPHY
Marianya: OMG The choreography was AMAZING! Not only that but it really seemed to have challenged the dancers to their fullest potentials. The SYTYCD alumni all have special moments throughout the show, be it as a dancer, actor, or singer. The choreography wasn’t just on the stage itself, but all over the staging, elevated… it was thorough and I couldn’t help but tap along with the music. I would go again just to see the dancing. For more of my thoughts of Disney’s the Newsies musical please head on over to my personal blog.

Margaret: The show was choreographed within an inch of its life, and that’s a good thing! A lot of the dancers have said in interviews that Newsies was the first movie they saw for their generation that had guys dancing and singing but still being “dudes”. A lot of them said it helped them see that it was okay to be a guy and like to dance. Everything about the show is full out (it is Disney, after all) and the choreography, with a mix of contemporary but also time period-centric moves, fits beautifully.

THE DANCERS
Anyone that appreciates strong dancing can tell you that one person that will catch your attention and was not a SYTYCD alumni was Ryan Steele who played Specs (he wore glasses). In fact his center was so incredibly precise that the only SYTYCD alumni that could possibly compare was Danny Tidwell of runner up of SYTYCD Season 3 (he is SYTYCD Season 2 runner up Travis Wall’s brother). In fact we went so far to as to say that Ryan Steele would be a combination of Danny Tidwell and SYTYCD Season 7 hopeful Anthony Burrell. In a crazy serendipitous coincidence of SYTYCD connections, Ryan is close friends with Jakob Karr from Season 6! But you’re here for the dancers that were part of the So You Think You Can Dance family:

Alex Wong: Of course, anyone that has been keeping up with So You Think You Can Dance would know and love Alex Wong, and how he sustained an injury to his Achilles tendon that forced him out of the competition. After approximately a year of recuperation he was asked to come back as an All Star for SYTYCD Season 8 only for him to turn it down due to an injury to his other Achilles tendon. Well he has come back from both injuries to dance as if he was never injured to begin with (and mind you these were potential career ending injuries). He was as strong as ever and he looked like he was enjoying himself. His ballet training was evident but so was some of the growth from the time he was on the show. This is his Broadway debut & with such strong dancers throughout the ensemble (many with regional & Broadway credits) he could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle. However, he gets some nice shining moments & his talents are put to good use.

Evan Kasprzak: Dancing a style that he was known for during his season on SYTYCD, it’s amazing to think this is his Broadway debut as well. He is one of the holdovers from the production at Papermill Playhouse this past fall. To say that he has stretched as a performer is an understatement. He has a small bit part in the show and he has a couple of solos in the ensemble numbers. Plus he looks stronger than ever. He shines as a tapper during the rousing “Kings of New York” and gets a fun mini-duet with fellow alum Jess as well.

Thayne Jasperson: He also has a bit part in the second act of the show and he has improved leaps and bounds since his time on SYTYCD. You can tell that his dancing has strengthened quite a bit and his lines are smoother. According to his bio he was on the first national tour of West Side Story in the intervening time. Thayne wasn’t known as a “Broadway” dancer during season 4, but the performance where the judges said he really came alive was a Broadway number, dancing to “Cool” from West Side Story with Comfort. His time to shine is in the 2nd Act and he has some lines as well. He was always remembered as a very graceful dancer, which probably put him at a disadvantage during his season with big personalities like Twitch, Joshua & Mark. But he fits right in on the stage and his dancing has an “umph” and strength to it that wasn’t necessarily apparent when he was on the show.

Jess LeProtto: He’s been on Broadway a few times prior to his time on SYTYCD, and considering that he was just on the show last season there isn’t much to say except how we get a chance to see him in his element now and see his growth since his time on SYTYCD. And did he grow, Jess took a lot of flack during the season for being too much of a ham, and he seems to have reined that in. He and Evan are both “vertically challenged” but they dance as big as their smiles without trying to outdance some of the taller dancers.

After the show, we stood at the stage door in the hopes of getting to meet some of the guys. To our surprise, every one of the cast members came out and signed autographs. They were grateful, courteous to everyone and a pleasure to talk to. Marianya was able to talk to Alex for a bit about hopefully setting up an interview with some of the guys, and Margaret was able to talk to Thayne. They were both so happy to hear that SYTYCD fans were at the show and were definitely interested in sitting down with us, either over the phone or on Skype (gotta love modern technology!) We’ll see what we can set up as we head towards the beginning of season 9!

April 26, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) “I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour.” and… 2) “Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much.” So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point… =)

“Burn the Floor” heats up Chicago during the SNOWPOCALYPSE

As they say in the performing arts world: “The Show Must Go On” The Show Must Go On - Queen: Greatest Hits I & II

There were predictions hitting towards two feet of snow in parts of Chicagoland but a call to Broadway in Chicago confirmed what most businesses, stores and restaurants would not do in downtown Chicago… the show was open and was going to go on as scheduled. Granted, considering how quickly the temperature rose during the first number of the show “Ballroom Beat” (YouTube clip) this came as little surprise to those in attendance. When the first beats of the African rhythm filled the auditorium, you knew it was going to be hot. Dancers appeared throughout the auditorium, in the balcony, in the aisles… dancing and shaking to the rhythms before jumping onto the stage for an amazing opening number.

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February 2, 2011 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) “I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour.” and… 2) “Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much.” So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point… =)

Jeanine Mason In “Understudy” Film

SYTYCDism posted the news that Jeanine Mason will be working on a film the next couple weeks called, “Understudy.” Here’s a short description and picture from the Understudy website:

UNDERSTUDY is a University of Southern California graduate thesis film about an understudy dancer fighting to be number one in a hit Los Angeles dance show.

Jeanine also offered this really fun tweet:
“I’m very excited to be acting anddd dancing in the film. Back in heels and trying to keep up w the insane ballroom & salsa dancers!!”

Jeanine’s tweets are just like she was in person. Totally real. We’ll be looking forward to the video when it comes out Jeanine. Enjoy your summer vacation!

June 8, 2010 I Written By

Just call me Charlie…but where are my angels?

SYTYCD Dance Comparison

Now that we know all the All-Stars that are going to participate in Season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance, I thought it was be fun to look at some dances that – interestingly enough – used the same music in various seasons of the show. Though all dancers are going to be alumni, not all are to be a part of the All-Star pool. However, it’s always fun to reminisce.

Below are two videos that uses the song Right Here Waiting Richard Marx - Richard Marx: Greatest Hits - Right Here Waiting performed by Richard Marx.

The first is from Season 1 Week 4, a lyrical routine performed by Ashlé Dawson and Blake McGrath. Choreography by Tovaris Wilson.

The second video is from Season 5 Week 1, a contemporary routine performed by Melissa Sandvig and Ade Obayomi. Choreography by Mandy Moore.

So who do you think danced it better? Which choreography do you prefer more?

April 23, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) “I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour.” and… 2) “Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much.” So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point… =)

SYTYCD Twitter Roundup

Some interesting things were posted on Twitter today, so I thought I’d round up a few of the tidbits for you. Here we go.

Billy_Bell
I might have got my first rejection from an auditon today… yay! haha about 2 hours ago

adammshankman
PS: the dancers fr oscars were picked today. A lot of familiar sytycders will b there, and unbelievable new talent. Going to be SICK. about 2 hours ago

[Here’s a piece from SYTYCDism that says more about which dancers. Travis, Kayla, Kathryn and Russell!]

LaurenGottlieb
I need your help. Im looking for new music to choreograph to! Let me know if you got something you think is my style 🙂 http://is.gd/7zXTf about 6 hours ago

itsjeaninemason
True love!! @alohakupono and I! http://twitpic.com/112v3f about 7 hours ago

Here’s Kupono’s response, from later in the day:

alohakupono
Awwwwwwww, I MiSs my DUMPLiNG @itsjeaninemason and I LoooooooVE that I’m playing w/your hair in the PHOtO… CLASSiC US ; ) about 6 hours ago

And here’s the picture she Tweeted:

February 2, 2010 I Written By

The Dizzy Feet Gala

I just wish I could find more details other that the ones we already know. The gala is scheduled for Sunday, November 29, 2009 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. We heard from the Judges tonight who will be performing at this event. The season 5 dance are scheduled to perform, along with dancers from Dancing with the Stars, and America’s Best Dance Crew. Plus a first seeing all the leads from each Step Up movie dancing together. So we will see Channing Tatum and his wife and co-star Jenna Dewan, Briana Evigan and Robert Hoffman from Step Up 2, and of course Twitch and other past favorites from SYTYCD that are scheduled to appear in the thrid installment. Also performances by the first recipients of Dizzy Feet scholarships from Juilliard, Alvin Ailey and American Ballet Theatre. Plus a performance from Mary Murphy and Dmitry.

Unfortunaly this event will not be televised, which I personally don’t like and I’m jealous of those who are going. So if you live in the Los Angeles area and would like to attend this sure to be amazing show, you can buy your tickets on Ticketmaster.

So for those of us that can’t attend the Gala and still would like to support the foundation go to the Dizzy Feet website. They also have a Dizzy Feet store now also so check it out. If you can donate please do every little bit counts and it for a great cause.

November 10, 2009 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 5 top 10 on Ellen!

I was perusing the wide world of YouTube and came across this awesome video! It’s in 2 parts. Basically, Ellen had the top 10 from season 5 on her show recently and they performed the “Calle Ocho” group number, the catch was that Ellen did it with them! It’s great fun to see them all back together again, it feels like we just left season 5!

one quick bonus video, the top 12 performing a clip of the “Brand New Day” group number outside in LA to pump everyone up for the tour! There are a few versions of this, including a video that John posted earlier that has interviews with some of the cast, and it also better highlights Phillip doing his thing.

September 12, 2009 I Written By

Send Me Your SYTYCD Season 6 Spoilers!

Hi, everyone! I’m Margaret, the new spoiler and behind-the-scenes extraordinaire here at PureSYTYCD. Throughout the weeks I’ll be scouring the internet for spoilers and tips on anything and everything season 6. That being said, I’ll need your help! If you all happen to come across any info, leave it as a comment on one of my posts! I check those too and I’ll be sure to give you credit for your detective work! Season 6 is just around the corner so start the spoilers coming!
Additionally, I’ll be posting behind-the-scenes videos from Fox.com and YouTube all about the choreography, costumes, etc as well as the elimination interviews. I’d love to hear your comments about those as well!

With my little introduction out of the way, here is my list of my 5 hopes for Season 6 (in no particular order):
5. a return to the awesome hip-hop of seasons past. waiting from the top 20 show (Jeanine and Phillip) to the top 8 show (Kayla and Jason) between awesome hip-hop routines is too long!
4. please don’t bring Toni Basil back as a guest judge. usually the guest judges bring fun and a great personality to the table, but with Toni I feel like all the personality gets sucked out of the room.
3. I know it’s all about getting the angles of the dancers, but the camera jumping gives me a headache!
2. I would LOVE to see more collaborations between the choreographers from different genres (the Calle Ocho piece from top 16 week was one of the highlights of the season for me)
1. no more Russian folk dance!

Thoughts?! Any more you would add to the list? And who’s excited for season 6?!

August 26, 2009 I Written By