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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:

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... =)

Still Dancing with Donny

So many times, after the season has ended, and we’re left weeping in front of the TV with nothing to watch, our favourite dancers hipped and hopped off into the sunset rarely to be heard of again. Unfortunately, the rest of the world has yet to realize the all encompassing power of dance, so many of these insanely talented dancers don’t get much press.

We’ve seen the trailers for the new Fame movie with Kherington; Travis and Dimitri are all over the place (namely as new choreographers on SYTYCD); Lacey and Chelsie wowed the world on Dancing with the Stars… But where did Sabra sashay off to? Where’s Ivan rolling these days. Heidi? Hok?

Well, darlings, slap on those Cha Cha pumps, shimmy into your tutu, and let’s have a look at where they are now, shall we?

Starting with one of my favourites, the incomparable Donyelle:


We first fell in love with Donny back in 2006 during Season 2 when she was paired with Benji. The two together were a force to be reckoned with – and who could forget their first bootylicious performance?

The two went on to thrill the judges and audience alike with some stellar performances that season. Donnyelle ultimately finished in fourth place, with Benji taking the cake (and eating it, too). Since the show, Donyelle has worked with Tyce Diorio on the stage production of Just Another Man, as well as Wayne Brady’s spectactlar Las Vegas show at the Venitian. She also works as a dance instructor in North Hollywood – sharing her passion and infectious love of dance with everyone who enters her studio.


Currently, you can catch Donyelle and her dance crew, Artistry in Motion, on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. From

“Artistry in Motion is a group of ladies on a dancing mission. They are trying to unite the hip-hop and contemporary styles of dancing and turn it into a genre they call “contemp-hop.” The girls hail from all different parts of North America and have combined their individual styles into something special — special enough to get gigs dancing with artists such as Missy Elliot, Black Eyed Peas, Wayne Brady, Lloyd, Ludacris and Gnarls Barkley.

“We wanted to make sure that we pay respect to where the term ‘crew’ originated,” they said, “which is the hip-hop dance community.” To do this, these experienced dancers will utilize their training in hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, ballet and modern styles.”

During the premiere episode, judge L’il Mama defined Artistry in Motion as “the tightest choreography on the show.” They were applauded by all three judges for being an inspiration to “real girls” everywhere and shattering the “dancer’s body stereotype.”

It’s great to see Donyelle doing so well. Be sure and check out America’s Best Dance crew on MTV, Sunday nights at 9 pm ET and vote for Artisty in Motion so we can continue to enjoy such amazing talent!

August 13, 2009 I Written By