SYTYCD Season 9 Salt Lake City Auditions Thoughts

Witney Carson
She has this sweet little girl quality to her, and when she dances it’s like she transforms into a grown woman. We haven’t seen all that many ballroom dancers thus far in the city auditions so it was a breath of fresh air to finally see that the dancers haven’t entirely disappeared.

Deanna “Dee” Tomasetta
Apprentice of Motiv8
– Student of Elite Academy of Dance
She made it to the end of Vegas Callbacks in Season 8 before being cut just prior to the Top 20 that was on the show.

Gene Lonardo
Glad it isn’t just me that felt that this guy just screams “Sonya Tayeh” all over him. He does have very strong technique and he comes across to me as more of an artist than dancer. Much like Ryan Kasprzak was a season or two ago… someone that dances you can toss them choreography and they will work with it, but an artist embodies dance in such a way that they use it to create a story, a painting, etc. This is Gene, however odd his intent was.

Lindsay Arnold
There was nothing that really drew me to her, not like with Witney and I shouldn’t be comparing dancers. Lindsay is a pretty face and has good talent, but for some reason I can’t see myself wanting to see more of her. Perhaps in another year or two, sure… but not at the moment.

Mariah Spears
This is probably one of the major surprises of the season, a sweet little girl from the mean streets of Arizona… dancing KRUMP! The only other dancer that was notated as Krumper was Russell Ferguson of Season 6 and he couldn’t have been more different from Mariah. She danced Krump and did it really really well. I was very happy to see her get through the choreography round because I really would love to see how she fares in Vegas

Dareian Kujawa
For the longest time I didn’t think that a really good dancer could exist that would have bad feet. I mean I’ve come across mediocre dancers and choreographers that have lousy feet, but that’s probably why they aren’t in major dance companies and are just barely making ends meet. So it’s not a good thing to have come across a dancer that is incredible, great lines, passionate, etc but then you look at their feet and it’s just “ugh”. I really like Dareian, he’s really good, but dammit he needs to figure out a way to clean up his feet otherwise they are going to prevent him from reaching his full potential. Finishing off the feet helps to clean up the lines and the overall image of the dancer as they dance.

Amber Williams & Chase Thomas
Both of these dancers went straight to the Vegas Callbacks in Season 8 and were sent straight to Vegas Callbacks once again for Season 9. If you have forgotten, Amber was a rather quirky personality and dancer that wore all green that was at the San Francisco auditions. Chase Thomas was at the Salt Lake City auditions wearing almost nothing with the back story of his girlfriend cheating on him and eventually married an art history major. Both were phenomenal dancers and no doubt are even stronger this go around.

Adrian Lee
YouTube Channel
YES! He’s BACK! Well kind of, I’m not fond of his routine, but I do love his technique. I remember him from Season 7 when he was in Vegas Callbacks and he was paired with Lauren Froderman for the Broadway number and I remembered just how much fun it was to watch. If you have forgotten, the Broadway number had several measures that gave the couples a chance to show what they can do on their own before heading into the choreographed section… Adrian and Lauren totally shined. I really hope he makes it past Vegas and onto the show this go around.

Rachel Applehan
– Part of Damsels Dance Company in Denver
Jazz/Burlesque… I wanted to see more dance in it, and what little there was I was ok with. It is possible to have a lot more dance into the audition and still have it be sexy/sassy and burlesque-related. Not seeing the choreography as the judges had I am going to have to trust their comments and believe that she was really good in some spots and sloppy in others.