SYTYCD 7: Dancer Analysis – Lauren Froderman

So this is the second of four posts that puts down my thoughts of the last four dancers in the competition. As always there is a poll at the end of the post of all the dances that the contestant has danced in… so feel free to choose your favorite.

The previous posts to this series include the All-Stars and Kent Boyd

So without further ado, let’s look at the last female standing in this competition: Lauren Froderman

Las Vegas Callbacks
We got a chance to see a couple of her solos during the audition process. If there is something I noticed about her dancing is that she dances to the stage audience all the time. So as a soloist she’s rather strong, but it worries me a bit when it comes to working with a partner how would she connect?

Granted the little bit of the choreography rounds that we saw of her, she connected decently with her partner (Adrian Lee) in the Broadway round… so I guess we’ll see.

Meet the Top 11:
– Wade Robson’s Jazz
Being the only blonde in the competition, it wasn’t all the difficult to pick her out in this opening number. To me she tended to showboat a bit more than necessarily, but that’s her style I believe when I recall her solos.

– Travis Wall Jazz
In this number she not only held her own with the All-Stars, I think of all the contestants she is the only female to blend in the closest with the All-Stars. She already seems to know how to play to the audience, and she seems to connect all right with the other dancers. Her talent’s undeniable.

Week 1: Top 11 Performances:
– Pop Jazz w/ Ade choreographed by Mandy Moore
This piece proved my fear to be correct, that Lauren plays to the audience so much that she doesn’t really connect with her partner. As thus she seemed to be a bit of a barbie doll dancing around with Ade, which is sad because Ade is a wonderful partner. It’s clear to me that Lauren needs to work on connecting with her partner

Week 2: Top 10 Performances:
– Lyrical HipHop w/ Dominic choreographed by Tessandra Chavez
Now in this piece, she has connected with Dominic better than the previous week, still it hasn’t shined much for me. Though she kept up in the hiphop, it was lyrical hiphop which to me seems like they are catering to her dance style more than challenging her, which to me wouldn’t help.

Week 3: Top 9 Performances:
– Broadway w/ Neil choreographed by Joey Dowling
This dance brought Lauren to my attention, I wanted connection and chemistry with her partner, she not only brought it she even had a bit of a story going on by “letting the audience in on the joke”. Granted her costume almost falling apart onstage helped her tremendously.

Week 4: Top 8 Performances:
– ChaCha w/ Pasha choreographed by Jean Marc Genereux
Lauren brought her fun personality to the dance floor when working with Pasha. She did her ChaCha hip action rather well in this piece and is gaining momentum in connecting with her partner…

– Contemporary w/ Kent choreographed by Travis Wall
Now when I said she needed to learn to connect with her partner I didn’t think it would be with Kent! Wowser! The chemistry between these two was off the charts. If anything this became the “breakout” performance for me when it comes to Lauren.

All in all this week was a very good week for Lauren. I don’t think she’s nearly as high as Kent in regards to popularity and whatnot, but she definitely is going to be safe as long as she does really well in her routines.

Week 5: Top 7 Performances:
– Tahitian w/ Mark choreographed by Tiana Liufau
Now this was a fun piece, bringing in something new and fun and exciting. Mark brought out that fun bit in Lauren that I had hoped to have seen in the Week One piece. Her hips were really good too… she could go into bellydancing and probably pick that up well if she wanted to.

– Jazz w/ Billy choreographed by Mandy Moore
Looks like fun is the word of the week for Lauren, for this was another fun piece with Billy. There isn’t much to add on to.

Lauren’s talent as a dancer is undeniable. She picks up choreography really well. All she really needed to work on was personality, characterizations and chemistry, which she has been working on and it showed from Week Four onward…

Week 6: Top 6 Performances (Round One):
– HipHop w/ Twitch choreographed by NappyTabs
Riding Twitch into the sunset, earlier I said that the Lyrical HipHop didn’t really sell me on Lauren being able to do hiphop, well this piece did. She was hitting it hard and keeping up with Twitch, she did really well.

– Samba w/ Robert choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin
Ok so what is it with all these fun routines for Lauren? Are they catering to her youthful personality? I’m not complaining, it’s helping her in the grand scheme of things, but seriously. In any case, her Samba was very good and she was enjoying herself which was good to see.

This week was definitely an improvement from the previous week, with two challenging routines that stretched and molded her, Lauren needed them if she was to prove that she’s learning and growing in the competition. Let us hope that she continues with this upward trend, else she runs the risk of peaking too early like Kent.

Week 7: Top 6 Performances (Round Two):
– Broadway w/ Allison choreographed by Tyce Diorio
YES! It’s ABOUT TIME that there is a female/female dance number, and with Allison nevertheless. At this point I agree with Adam that she could pretty much be an All-Star in genres similar to her contemporary style… but she still needs to stretch in areas and grow.

– Foxtrot w/ Adechike choreographed by Jean-Marc Généreux & France Mousseau
Despite nailing the ChaCha and Samba routines, even though she got the personality and character of the Foxtrot routine, it simply didn’t work for me. Ballroom dances are very technical and there were some areas that she was a little weak and not quite as polished as I would have liked, but considering that this is her first attempt on Ballroom dances… well I’m not too surprised, but I did expect more.

How to Grow
Lauren has grown quite a bit when it came to connection, chemistry and personality. Now rather than giving her pieces or characters that tap into either her youthful energy or her sexuality… I want to see her try something more subtle.

Ballroom does that well… the Foxtrot (and Quickstep) usually requires the most character/personality, so I would love to see her in something that requires more structure like the Paso Doble or the Waltz/Viennese Waltz. The Argentine Tango would force her to be sexual without being overly so (if that makes sense) so that would also be another dance I’d like to see her in.

In Conclusion
Lauren runs the risk of having peaked too early and as thus growing stale before the finals. As long as she is challenged and rises to the challenges she should be ok… but considering that she hasn’t really been stretched too much from her default personality I’m hoping that the final two weeks (because let’s face it, as the last girl in the competition they aren’t going to let her go before the finals unless she royally crashes and burns) would do just that for her. It’s already clear that she’s a remarkable dancers, and when the next crew of All-Stars are picked that she’d most likely be asked, I want to make sure that she has been stretched emotionally as well as physically in order to be ready for that next level.