Podcast: SYTYCD Season 9 – Auditions: Atlanta

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Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction
2:51 – Dragonhouse Crew: Boris Penton, Andre Rucker, and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
9:02 – Other Hip-hop/Street Dancers: Tim Conkel, Jackson Alvarez, Asher Walker, and Damon & Deon
16:28 – Bellydancing: Janelle Issis
17:53 – Contemporary Guys: Joshua Alexander and George Lawrence II
21:31 – Contemporary/Jazz Girls: Audrey Case, Danielle Dominguez, Courtney Kirby, and Brittney Ortner
29:46 – Wrap-up

Episode Length: 32:18

After an exciting set of auditions in Los Angeles, we found ourselves disappointed with the turnout in Atlanta this year. That’s not to say there weren’t some standouts, and those standouts were pretty amazing. We were treated to some absolutely amazing hip hop from the members of the Dragonhouse Crew, with Boris Penton, Andre Rucker and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer each offering us unique and draw-dropping takes on their “robotic” style of dance. It’s breathtaking what is possible with this style, whether it’s a fresh take on a character-based performance or melding two unrelated elements together, such as Boris’ movement atop a beautiful piano piece. Beyond the Dragonhouse Crew, Asher Walker surprised us with his self-taught brand of hip-hop dancing. While his dance vocabulary is limited, he overcame this with a great personality and sense of musicality, gliding to and fro across the stage without effort. George Lawrence II put forth a strong contemporary performance, putting every inch of his body into his extensions and balancing this with a tasteful routine full of contrasts in speed and quality of movement. Rounding out the dancers that impressed us was Danielle Dominguez, who’s Sonya-inspired style stood out and displayed a sense of power while maintaining a quirky character.

We wish we could say that we liked everyone from Atlanta, but many of the other contestants left us with mixed feelings. We felt lukewarm towards Tim Conkel, Jackson Alvarez, and Joshua Alexander, and we didn’t know what to make of Courtney Kirby. In addition, during her segment we wondered if having family members sit up at the panel is actually a good idea or if it carries a risk of biasing the judging panel. We discuss these things and more in the Atlanta audition episode of our podcast!

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