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Eldon Johnson: One of Two Men to Make it Through SLC “A Chance to Dance” Auditions

Because only two men made it through the Salt Lake auditions, it wasn’t hard to notice them. Eldon Johnson was highlighted a few times throughout the show, so for that reason, he stood out to me quite a bit. As I’ve done some researching on some of the dancers that made it through from Salt Lake City, he is one of the only ones I can find information on. Since I think we’ll be seeing him a bit more of him in the near future, I thought he’d be a good one to highlight.

Typing in the name “Eldon Johnson” on YouTube brings up pages and pages of videos. He is a very talented man. Here are a few of the top videos that I saw as I was watching him perform:

So who is Eldon Johnson? Well, he started getting professional dance instruction from the time he was 16, and his passion and talent took of from there. His first training was at the Winner School in Salt Lake City, and after two years, was offered a job dancing with the Odyssey Dance Theatre. After accepting that position, he continued to stay with Odyssey, and just completed his 15th year. He is now an instructor at Odyssey Dance Theatre, and has quite the resume.

In 2010, he was named the Best Individual Dancer 2010 at the Utah Best of State Gala and has performed all over the world. Some of the stages he has danced on have been in China, France, Mexico and Switzerland. He was a dancer in the hit Disney Channel movie, High School Musical and High School Musical 3. Eldon has worked with many famous choreographers and companies over the years.

In an article written by the Salt Lake Tribune, Eldon was quoted as saying the following about the SLC auditions that were featured in the premiere of A Chance to Dance:

They’re not looking for soloists, but people who work well together in a group . . . [The auditions have been] one of my favorite experiences I’ve ever had as a dance, and I’ve been doing it for 15 years professionally.

Because of his experience in the dance world, I’m not surprised a bit that he made it through. I mean, he knows how to work individually and with a group, and has worked with famous choreographers around the world, not to mention his experience traveling the world. He really impressed me last week, and I’m excited to see how he fares on the show. I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Eldon Johnson.

August 21, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

SYTYCD Season 9: Top 14 Power Rankings

With two dancers eliminated, the below Power Rankings will just include the dance that have dancers that were not eliminated first (focusing more on the partner that was not eliminated) and any dances where both dancers were eliminated I would put in my thoughts after the Power Rankings. I have already posted my instant thoughts as well as polls for you guys to peruse.

At the end of post I will include the usual table ranking the individual dancers as well:
TOP TWO ROUTINES
1. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Contemporary
Between the two contemporary routines (oddly enough with both couples including a ballroom female partner), this I felt was the stronger of the two. I really loved the chemistry between these two despite Witney being so young and she has so much trust in Chehon when she falls onto his foot and during the lifts throughout this routine. There were moments that I felt there could have been better timing for emphasis but at the same time that is only by tenths or hundredths of a second. During the moment where there is total silence I felt that there could have been a better build up but that might be a little of the choreography and a little of the dancers. All in all this routine took my breath away regardless.

1. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Hip Hop
As I mentioned in my “Instant Thoughts” post prior, I believed that NappyTabs did a smart thing here in building a routine closer to Cyrus’ animator / robotics skill set and added Eliana into it for emphasis. Eliana was able to adapted well to this routine and Cyrus was able to grow and pick up the choreography for the most part. These two have something that most of the other couples have been sorely lacking that is connection and chemistry… even when they are struggling in a routine in any capacity they still manage to keep the fun and joy on their faces no matter what. Considering everything, I think this is a very good and well balanced pairing and I really hope that Cyrus starts picking up steam in the coming weeks because I don’t really know if anyone could match Eliana in performance value at this point in time.

MIDDLE THREE ROUTINES
3. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Contemporary
The lighting, the routine, the dancers… this really came together rather well and I was glad. Last week they weren’t as strong together in the hip hop routine, to the point that Cole outshone Lindsay. In this routine I still felt that Cole outshone Lindsay as well, however I was able to appreciate Lindsay’s style in other dance styles a lot more this time around because of her hair being in her way. How sad is that? In any case, Lindsay has a bit of maturity to do while Cole just needs to keep doing what he’s doing because quite honestly as long as he keeps this up he’ll be fine.

4. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence Jr – Hip Hop
To be honest, I didn’t want to love the routine, I really didn’t, but dammit it was fun and cute if not perfect or anywhere near it. Granted both George and Tiffany were forced out of their comfort zones with this dance number and they played their characters well. However there were a lot of moments where I felt that they disconnected in the steps and they just weren’t in sync… so they faltered a bit, but the characterization was still there for the most part.

5. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Jazz
Once again Amelia and Will (both contemporary dancers) pulled a dance style that isn’t a far stretch from their own (they previously pulled a Pop-Jazz and Contemporary) and once again they did well… Well duh. What makes this routine different from the previous two was that I simply didn’t remember the routine in the slightest. I had to think about it and rewatch it in order to gain a sense of what I was thinking, and quite honestly there is nothing to latch on to in my opinion. This was a quirky routine for two quirky characters but really… I don’t remember much… do you?

BOTTOM TWO ROUTINES
6. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – ChaCha
I’ll admit that this couple has been struggling a bit the past few weeks but considering the styles they have pulled in the past three weeks (Afro-Jazz, Lyrical Hip Hop, ChaCha) all of which are out of their individual styles (Belly Dancing and Contemporary) I have to say of all the couples I am most impressed by this pairings tenacity. I do have to agree with the judges their chemistry and connection was definitely lacking and they really need to work on their feet and technique but I hope that they clear things up soon because personally I want to see them continue on. This routine is suppose to be fun and flirty and I thought there were elements of fun and they pulled off the tricks rather seamlessly. Janelle I felt flirted a bit but she was more to the audience than to her partner which I kind of blame on her dance style. However, in my opinion, they did a far better job than the other ballroom related routine of the evening in my opinion, but they still have a lot of work ahead of them.

7. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Salsa
I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t even say that it wasn’t a “bad” routine because it was. Salsa is suppose to be fun and flirty with a simmer of a fire in there for good measure and it was just cool and slow and they weren’t connected, there were times when they weren’t in sync and there were a missed steps here and there by both parties involved, the tricks didn’t work either. Individually they are really strong dancers and with the previous two routines (Jazz and Contemporary) they did exceptionally well. However, that’s the catch: Matthew is a Contemporary dancer while Audrey is a Jazz dancer so it would make sense that they would excel in a Contemporary and Jazz routine. So when they are given a routine that is out of both of their comfort zones, struggling comes pre-installed, however to struggle to the extent that they did… I think the first two routines would give them the votes to move on, but honestly I know I am in the minority when I say that I am just not impressed by this couple at all.

ELIMINATED ROUTINES
Amber Jackson & Brandon Mitchell – Jazz
As I mentioned in my “Instant Thoughts” post, this is a pairing that should have been together from the start. I mean come on! Brandon brought out more of Amber’s personality than Nick did and they really connected together far better than they did with their previous partners. I was looking at my previous “Power Rankings” post where I included my thoughts of the new pairing:

A contemporary dancer and a stepper, this is going to be an interesting pairing. Brandon is a very strong personality who has been characterizing and emoting well in his routines thus far while Amber hasn’t nor has she been able to connect with her partner. Depending on the dance style they will have next week will help gauge how this couple will do.

Well they connected and they had chemistry and this was a jazz routine which meant this was something that Amber could really have sunk her teeth into and Brandon did an amazing job considering he is a stepper… he didn’t seem to struggle at all and he was right there for her in this routine. I would agree with the judges that if they hadn’t been placed in the Bottom Six, then they would have had the votes to continue through.

ELIMINATION THOUGHTS
Going back to my Power Rankings last week:

[…] I don’t think Amber is going to last much longer than a week, perhaps two. She didn’t really connect well with Nick and as thus the audience is left feeling cold and the chance of them picking up the phone for her is not very high… still.. we’ll see how it will work out come next week.

Now I know there were quite a few people that disagreed with my perceptions of Amber, but honestly looking at who landed in the Bottom Six dancers I really wasn’t surprised in the least. As for the week before, I placed Brandon in the bottom three back then… but that was more due to his initial partner as opposed to his new partner. In fact I was going back to my thoughts from the Meet the Top 20 episode and realized that I was raving about Brandon back then but didn’t say a word about Amber. So for Amber I can’t say that this was a surprise, but honestly I would loved to have seen Brandon continue on, but looking at the Bottom Three guys I think the judges didn’t really have much of a choice when you looked at the solos performed.

At the same time when the judges mentioned who they wanted to perform solos I instinctively figured that they were planning to keep Lindsay and George… and honestly I think that was rather unfair of the judges to do that where the audience could kind of figured out who would be saved right off the bat like that, but I digress.

Below, just like the previous weeks is my ranking of the dancers, in no real particular order:

TOP TWO GIRLS
Witney Carson
Eliana Girard
TOP TWO GUYS
Cole Horibe
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
MIDDLE TWO GIRLS
Amelia Lowe
Tiffany Maher
MIDDLE TWO GUYS
Will Thomas
George Lawrence II
BOTTOM THREE GIRLS
Lindsay Arnold
Janelle Issis
Audrey Case
BOTTOM THREE GUYS
Matthew Kazmierczak
Dareian Kujawa
Cyrus Spencer
July 25, 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... =)

Flashback: SYTYCD Canada (and U.S.) Season 2 – Tara-Jean & Everett

Typically, I don’t have time to watch So You Think You Can Dance Canada where the primary judges were: Jean-Marc Généreux and Tré Armstrong. So once in a while a friend of mine would send me a video of another routine from another part of the world that would pique my interest some and then that was all.

So when a friend (and fellow PureSYTYCD blogger) of mine posted a video on my Facebook Timeline I wasn’t entirely too anxious to want to go and see it right away, instead I waited til I had a little bit of time before I decided to look at it.

She sent the video with the following comment:

It’s been so long since we had a really good memorable Broadway number (maybe neil & kent baseball from season 7 or robert & kathryn west side story, but I don’t have any memorable ones from last year!), I’d love to see more numbers with this kind of energy!!

Another friend commented:

I miss the old stage. And as long as Tyce is not directing, I tend to like the broadway, but not love.

So, upon reading the comments I decided to watch the video, and boy… my friend was right… it has been a long time since I have seen a Broadway routine with this much energy.

The theatre routine in question was choreographed by Sean Cheesman who just in the first two weeks of competition for SYTYCD Season 9 choreographed two routines that for some reasons the audience may not have connected well to from the get go. Now that’s interesting… Anyway when I say a “long time” I definitely mean a long time… like Season 2’s Benji Schwimmer and Donyelle Jones:

Ironically both were the second seasons of their respective series and both involve “power couples”. So that got me thinking, I already created a Dance Style Breakdown for SYTYCD U.S. edition, so how did the dancers breakdown of dance style fare in Canada? So I decided to take a look… Below is a quick dance style breakdown over the course of the four seasons that the show was on the air:

DANCE STYLE MALE FEMALE
Contemporary 20 24
Hip Hop 9 5
Ballroom / Latin / Salsa 8 8
Ballet 2 2
Tap 1 0
Jazz 1 2
Break Dancing 1 0
Krump 0 1

Granted, this is still a bit lopsided with Contemporary dancers building the bulk of the group… however, when looking at the individual seasons, two of them (Season 2 and 4) were rather decently balanced. While the other two seasons had an insane number of Contemporary dancers in comparison to everyone else.

The two dancers from SYTYCD Canada Season 2 were tap and contemporary and they did a rather good job of it. At the same time I found it kind of odd that Sean Cheesman would create such a technically challenging and high octane theatre / broadway routine. Yes, for SYTYCD U.S. Sean has only created Jazz related routines… what gives? Sure, Tyce is a decent choreographer and Spencer Liff just got an Emmy nomination for his Broadway routines… but if the above routine is any indication I would love to see him try his hand on Broadway as well. If only because it forces the high octane / technically challenging routines to also depends on characterizations for the dancers.

What do you think?

July 21, 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... =)

SYTYCD Season 9: Top 16 Power Rankings

We have already lost four dancers at the end of today’s episode… knowing that, what I am going to do is this… I will still rank the routines if they are missing one of the dance partners but focusing more on the partner that is still in the competition. Any routines where both dancers are eliminated I will also mention at the end of the rankings. I have already posted various polls on the dancers that remain as well as posted the music with my instant thoughts.

At the end I will do what I did last week and rank the individual dancers as well…

TOP THREE ROUTINES
1. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Bollywood
Very rarely has a Bollywood routine disappointed me, and this did not break the trend. Granted I was watching Chehon much more than Witney, but that could be because a lot of the poses that he held were just something to see and a testament to his ballet background. But one thing that Chehon did this time around that he did not do last week was enjoying the dance. He not only enjoyed the dance, he showed that he enjoyed the dance and that makes all the difference in the world. Witney has been a fireball of energy since the beginning, however for me it is getting to the point that it is overwhelming. This is still a very good partnership, and I hope they continue to balance one another out.

2. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence Jr – Foxtrot
As I said before, this was a very fun, smooth routine, this is a very strong couple and they seem to mesh well together. Considering one is a Jazz dancer and the other a Contemporary dancers they did remarkable well in a genre that neither is related to… Then again that could also be because the choreographer manage to work the routine around the skill sets of whom they have. These two also had strong chemistry together which the audience can sense and will react well to. If they keep this up with two strong routines under their belt then I don’t see them falling to the bottom three anytime soon.

3. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Contemporary
What is there to say? I really liked their routine last week and I still like them this week. They were blessed with two strong routines that seem to cater to their strengths. Then again they did a Jazz and a Contemporary routine which aren’t far stretches from their genres (both are contemporary), so naturally they are going to be strong in these routines. The real test will begin the moment they get a chance to work on something outside of their styles. With similar personalities they mesh well and seemed to be rather in sync with one another in this routine staying in time, which is considered difficult since Will is a considerably larger person over Amelia… but you would never really have guessed.

MIDDLE THREE ROUTINES
4. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Jazz
They were lucky to have another strong routine this week and with a Sonya Jazz piece that seems to be stretching beyond her “norm” that we have seen over the seasons. They danced this routine really well, but that is to be expected considering that Audrey is a Jazz dancer while Matthew is Contemporary so they didn’t really moved all that far from their genre in the past two weeks. Knowing that, I am seriously hoping that their next routine would be different from either genres so we could really see what they can do. At the moment they are a strong pairing and seem to connect with one another rather well.

5. Janaya French & Brandon Mitchell – Broadway
It is too bad that Janaya is gone because I felt that she really did redeem herself considerably in this routine. There was chemistry between her and her partner, she emoted and characterized well, you can tell that they were both having fun with the routine. Brandon (being a stepper) reminds me a little of Twitch and Joshua from Season 4, his movements closer to that of Joshua for some reason… especially when he is rising up from his toes at a point. I loved Brandon in last week’s routine and I still like him in this week’s routine. It will be interesting to see how he fares with Amber Jackson as his partner.

6. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Hip Hop
Being the first routine of the night they are at an instant disadvantage of being forgotten as the episode goes on, and quite honestly to me Lindsay was forgettable in this routine while Cole knocked it right out of the ballpark. He was quirky and funny in this routine and he really characterized the geek really really well, whileas with Lindsay I didn’t quite believe her in this number, it was definitely too cute to be a seductress and the connection – though there at times – didn’t wow. After riding a high from last week, I would consider this to be a small baby step backwards. I don’t think Cole would be in danger, but Lindsay is another story entirely. However, they work well together so who knows?

BOTTOM THREE ROUTINES
7. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – Lyrical Hip Hop
To be honest, I really enjoyed this routine despite it being “cute” and the connection between Janelle and Dareian wasn’t there for a fair chunk of it until the very end when Janelle sees the ring and the kiss. OMG the kiss… if she had connected with Dareian with as much intensity as that kiss then I think this routine would have been a lot better and would have shined a lot brighter. I would agree to an extent that neither dancer was shown to the best of their ability, but with a character driven routine how could you expect it? Then again the closest comparison would the contemporary routine of Kent and Lauren’s prom night… Janelle definitely seemed to be enjoying herself while dancing, but due to her belly dancing background I could see how she would have a tendency to look out to the audience more than her partner, but that is something that she needs to work on if she wants to have a chance in continuing in this competition. Dareian was just dreamy despite moments where I cringed at his feet, he did emote more but it seemed to have stalled since Janelle wasn’t connecting with him. This is two weeks of good routines but not strong… here’s hoping that next week brings something new to the table.

8. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Jive
I love this pairing, I truly do… so it kills me to have to put them at the bottom of the barrel like this, but what choice do I have? What carried them in this routine was not just Eliana’s technical prowess but also their combined personality and charisma. That is what makes America love them, their personalities just shine no matter what they do and they just seem to be having the time of their lives in their routines. They get along well, which is also a plus, so that chemistry can be felt from the audience perspective as well. In some ways Cyrus reminds me of Cedric Gardner from Season 3 who was amazing in what he did but faltered a lot when it came to adapting to other choreographers’ routines. Here is hoping that in the coming weeks Cyrus shows improvement because I really love him as a person and dancer and Eliana needs to be shown off as much as possible as opposed to over compensating for Cyrus.

9. Amber Jackson & Nick Bloxsom-Carter – Argentine Tango
Argentine Tangos… as I have said in a previous post… I would consider to be either a hit or a miss. You either got all hot and bothered or cold and this felt cold to me. It was danced well, don’t get me wrong… but as has been the case for most of the night, the chemistry in this piece simply was not there. Then again, I don’t believe that Amber and Nick really had strong chemistry to begin with. I feel bad for Nick because that is two weeks in a row that he is drawn dance styles that are closely connected to his genre but what can you do? With Nick gone it will be interesting to see how Amber and Brandon are going to fare together since Nick isn’t really a strong personality while Brandon is.

ELIMINATED COUPLE
Alexa Anderson & Daniel Baker – Contemporary
ARGH! I would consider this routine one of my favorites of the night despite Alexa not being able to emote nearly as much as Daniel did (or I felt he did). This was not only a well danced routine but an incredibly technically challenging routine. It is such a shame that Daniel was also eliminated because I felt that he did far better in the characterization department both last week and this week over Alexa. I agree with Alexa being eliminated because the emotional / mental growth that she appeared to have shown during Vegas Callbacks all disappeared when the lights are on and she’s in the spotlight. If Daniel was paired with a more charismatic person I wonder how that would have worked for him? But then I guess we’ll never know.

NEW PAIRING: Amber Jackson & Brandon Mitchell
A contemporary dancer and a stepper, this is going to be an interesting pairing. Brandon is a very strong personality who has been characterizing and emoting well in his routines thus far while Amber hasn’t nor has she been able to connect with her partner. Depending on the dance style they will have next week will help gauge how this couple will do, but I don’t think Amber is going to last much longer than a week, perhaps two. She didn’t really connect well with Nick and as thus the audience is left feeling cold and the chance of them picking up the phone for her is not very high… still… we’ll see how it will work out come next week.

ELIMINATION THOUGHTS
Alexa Anderson: this is one elimination I totally agreed with, she just wasn’t growing in the way that everyone is hoping that she would

Janaya French: we can see that she is a gifted dancer, and I believed redeemed herself this week with the Broadway routine with Brandon, but due to her lack of chemistry last week… her personality just comes across as flat.

Nick Bloxsom-Carter: he was someone that I really liked on the show, he reminded me a little bit of Benji Schwimmer from Season 2, except a bit more mellow. His lack of a connection and chemistry with his original partner may have done him in but dammit I wished we didn’t lose a ballroom boy this early

Daniel Baker: I was very disappointed with this elimination, though in comparison to the boy left standing I wasn’t terribly surprised. Much like with Nick, I believe in Daniel’s case his lack of a connection with Alexa may have left the audience cold and unwilling to pick up the phone for him, which is disappointing because I have seen him in videos posted by his friend Alex Wong from Season 7 and it was just so much fun to watch him dance in other styles. This is a loss in my opinion but what other option was there?

TOP TWO GIRLS
Amelia Lowe
Eliana Girard
TOP TWO GUYS
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Cole Horibe
MIDDLE THREE GIRLS
Audrey Case
Witney Carson
Janelle Issis
MIDDLE THREE GUYS
Will Thomas
Brandon Mitchell
Dareian Kujawa
BOTTOM THREE GIRLS
Lindsay Arnold
Amber Jackson
Tiffany Maher
BOTTOM THREE GUYS
George Lawrence II
Cyrus Spencer
Matthew Kazmierczak
July 18, 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... =)

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.
Read more..

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... =)

SPOILER!!!: Possible Choreographers in Tonight’s Episode

Found this on twitter:

Always good catchin back up @ choreos. Missed u guys @ @ @ & Sean Cheeseman http://t.co/S7vLhPW7

@NAPPYTABS

Napoleon and Tabitha

So it would appear that the following choreographers are going to be on hand today:
– Jason Gilkison
– NappyTabs
– Travis Wall
– Sonya Tayeh
– Sean Cheesman
– Tyce Diorio
Of course we know about Louis van Amstel

I’m kind of curious to see how many of these spoilers are actually true.

July 11, 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... =)

SYTYCD Season 9 Las Vegas Callbacks Thoughts

Now that the Vegas Callbacks have aired it was difficult to know for sure who made it to the end and who is left for the final cut that would air next week. The spoilers show only up to 30 dancers made it to the end of callbacks but according to the show 35 actually made it to the end of the Vegas Callbacks. Although the majority (if not all) of the spoilers seem to be correct it would still be difficult to see who actually made it. Nigel keeps insisting that we have some really strong hip hop and ballroom dancers this year and yet the only ones that we know of in the Ballroom genre are Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold… while the ones in the hip hop genre is Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer… Interesting. Anyway let’s move on with the program.

Las Vegas Callbacks started out with 181 dancers who were invited back. As John mentioned earlier: What we see on television isn’t exactly what happens, sure everyone starts with a solo but in between sessions the dancers actually get a chance to learn more about what to expect in the dance industry. How to survive… this is truly an educational experience for anyone lucky enough to get a chance to be invited to be a part of the Vegas Callbacks experience.

DAY ONE VEGAS CALLBACKS: OPENING SOLOS
Sometimes the first solo is an advancement of what they showed in the city auditions, or it is a chance for the dancers to show more than what they displayed in the city auditions. Take Janelle Issis the belly dancer for example…
Read more..

June 21, 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... =)

8 rounds of Vegas Call-Backs

It’s been a while since I posted, I used to cover the SYTYCD Canada show, until it was sadly cancelled.

I have been watching the SYTYCD USA auditions, but I have to say, Vegas week is my most favourite and it inspired me to write a little something about the eight rounds we watched tonight.

8 rounds:
Solos
Hip hop
Broadway
Jazz
Groups
Ballroom
Contemporary
Final solos

I appreciated seeing the various choreographers testing the dancers in a variety of genres, much like the live shows will go. I wanted to talk about each round a bit.

1. Solos
This is usually boring for me because it is mostly a refresher of what each dancer can do and a catch-up for judges who perhaps didn’t see them dance in their hometown auditions. There were a few stand outs and a few cuts, but as a viewer this part doesn’t interest me too much. Sometimes there is a new dancer who wasn’t highlighted at a previous audition, so it’s nice to get to know more about the contestents style.

2. Hip Hop
I love Twitch and Comfort, who choreographed this round. I hope we get to see more past contestents as choreographers this season. The routine was funky and as Comfort said, very “ATL” It had that Atlanta, southern swag and was fun to watch.

3. Broadway
Tyce DiOrio is intense. This routine had a great story. I loved the idea of the drink of “water” making everyone go a bit crazy. It was fun, but youc ould see who took on the character and who was just dancing the moves. Broadway certainly needs more character and the dancers who got that component were far more enjoyable to watch.

4. Jazz
Sonya Teyeh choreographed. She is so awesome! One of my favourites, I love her strangeness. What I adore about her choreography is the way it lets the unique, quirky stylistic dancers shine.

5. Groups
This is by far my most favourite part of Vegas. I really hope one day to go to the taping of this part of the show. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see a lot of the overnight drama and practicing and brainstorming and idea sharing. It is entertaining to see all the drama that kicks in with lack of sleep and bubbling personalities. I am really upset we didn’t get to see more drama from the night, but I was impressed with the routines that aired.

They formed their own groups of 5-6 people then picked a piece of music at random and had all night to practice and perform in the morning.

6. Ballroom
Jason Gilkison takes the remaning dancers through choreography for the Cha Cha. It is challenging but the dancers do pretty well. I love seeing non-ballroom dancers take on this challenge. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be.

7. Contemporary
Travis Wall leads the rest of the dancers through a beautiful routine. I love Travis and this was stunning. Some dancers couldn’t handle it, but what I like about this round is that dancers who are so exhausted really push to make it through this final round… or they do not. It seems to show the most passionate dancers. Nigel announced that judges would not share who was going through and who was not until they had seen all dancers. It was intense.

8. Final Solos
Unlike the opening solos which I don’t care much for most of the time, these final solos are awesome to watch. You see some true superstars and of course they highlight the best of the best on air. There are, however, still some cuts to be made and it is sad to see some favourites head home… some of them, again.

Which round is your favourite to watch? Any stand out dancers? Favourite Choreographers?

What do you like best about Vegas week?

June 20, 2012 I Written By

I am a blogger and reality tv lover. I blog here for SYTYCD but mostly the Canada version, since I live in Vancouver BC. I also blog about other reality tv shows on my own blog www.mandysmind.com

SYTYCD Season 9: Los Angeles Auditions Thoughts

This is the ninth year that So You Think You Can Dance has visited LA on the audition tour, and you’d think after eight seasons they would have seen just about everything… truth is, not really. The talent pool is still really deep and here are my thoughts on those that were featured and heading to Vegas.

LOS ANGELES AUDITIONS
Alexa Anderson:
Twitter
Facebook Page
She seemed to have a lot more control in her movements, but it seemed rather slow at times. The skirt was a bit of a distraction for me but it was a rather beautiful piece. A friend of mine said: “I’m calling it, she’s going to win this season” guess we’re going to have to wait and see. She’s already been through the Green Mile, so I’m expecting her to make it at least that far again.

Eliana Girard:
I really like her pointe work, but her center I’m not entirely impressed with during her audition. She has fantastic lines that really go on forever but her performance/emotion was really good, but I think that comes from some of her professional background. How far she’ll go? I’m hoping for at least the Green Mile, she seems to have enough flexibility in her background to be able to do more on the show.

Sam Lenarz:
There is a very ethereal quality to her movement that I rather like, but it seemed too much like a moving picture, something you can see but not necessarily feel or become passionate about. I could understand if she didn’t want to pour out her emotion because it would be too dark and gloomy considering her background, but there are ways to turn that into more passionate energy… and that I would love to see her do. I didn’t agree with her having to go through the choreography round as opposed to going straight to Vegas, but in the end she’s in Vegas.

Megan Branch:
This is a very interesting routine, I like it enough, she has good technique and power of movement. But it doesn’t necessarily appeal to me nearly as much as others have. This is another that I didn’t agree with going straight through to Vegas. Or rather… if Sam had to go through choreography then to me Megan wasn’t much better, but ah well.

Cole Horibe:
– Staff Member of 24-VII Danceforce
Twitter
Martial Arts dancing… I LOVE HIM. End of story. Such power, focus, and he has found a way to tie dance into martial arts and vice-versa. He creates stories as opposed to just dancing. I really can’t wait to see how he would fare during the Vegas Callbacks

Stephen Jacobson:
Cincinnati Ballet Profile
His first audition was funny, but really? REALLY? He needs to stick with what he does well. Hell his last minute 2nd audition was so much better than his 1st audition that he semi-choreographed. Oye. And really the moment he started dancing ballet there was no question he was going straight through to Vegas. My favorite part of his audition? When he went up to get his ticket to Vegas, Nigel made as if to kick him in the ass. 🙂

Jasmine Mason:
Twitter
– Works at Dance Precisions
I am not really a big fan of jazz dancing in general, but for some reason I liked Jasmine… there is a maturity to her dancing despite her youth.

Marshea Kidd:
– Works at Dance Precisions
After hearing his story all episode I am glad that he was able to come back and dance as he did. There is a fluidity and lightness to his movement that I really loved to see. Considering that the LA Auditions actually happened in early-March and Vegas Callbacks happened in early-April, I am kind of curious to see what happened in Vegas Callbacks for Marshea.

June 1, 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... =)

SYTYCD Season 9: New York and Dallas Auditions Thoughts

Unfortunately Fox.com doesn’t allow me to watch the episodes of So You Think You Can Dance via their website until nearly a week later. So I had to find other avenues to view the videos… so watch this space as I add on over they days of my thoughts on the dancers that have made it through to Vegas (as far as I know).

NEW YORK AUDITIONS
Amelia Lowe
Twitter
– Faculty of The Dance Academy of North Jersey
For some reason, see her run on stage and her name the whole package just seems to make sense to me. That whole silent film era, she embodies that in her personality and in her dancing. Her technique does need to be stronger in my opinion, but everything else… it just draws you in to an extent. There is a theatrical quality to her movement that isn’t easily taught.

Leo Reyes
Twitter
YouTube Channel
Hip-hop/contemporary mix, Leo has a good story coming into the show and effortlessly melds the two styles together.

Shafeek Westbrook
Facebook
One thing about breakdancing is that after a while you see the same things over and over again. Once in a while the power moves/tricks would push the envelope, but how to do take things to a whole new level? What drew me into Shafeek is that the usual power tricks he modifies them and smooths out the shapes, some in slow motion. More of an artist in this way… he could be someome with a good chance to go far in Vegas.

Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Facebook
A very strong ballet dancer, with strong lines and technique. He reminds me of Season 3’s Danny Tidwell except he emotes very well. Tyce is right, that level of technique deserves a chance to push themselves to the next level in Vegas.

DALLAS AUDITIONS
Read more..

May 25, 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... =)