Free SYTYCD Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on So You Think You Can Dance sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other SYTYCD fans who subscribe to Pure SYTYCD for FREE!

SYTYCD: Top 10 Perform

It was the first live show of the season and I thought surely we would get a two-hour show, but I was wrong. The opening dance was a fun way to introduce the dancers and probably time-saving as well. Essential each of the dancers had three chances to prove themselves: the opening dance, the dance with their partner, and the group dances. As always these are just my opinions on the dances please feel free to tell me you favorite dance of the night.

Bailey & Mariah: Jazz, Mandy Moore

It might have been somewhat of an obvious pairing due to Bailey’s height but it was a great one. I love the song choice (which I have danced to in the past). I loved the beach theme…though I might have put Mariah in red. Overall it was a fun and sassy to watch. I have a feeling these two will go far.

Gino & Stephanie: Hip hop, Luther Brown

Honestly I had to watch this one twice because I missed what the concept was about. It fell a bit flat for me, it was danced well but I felt like something was missing. Even the Judges had mixed reactions.

Anna & Benjamin: Cha Cha, Emma Slater & Sasha Farber

Let me say I loved the fact the first thing they did was come up with a team name. Second, Emma and Sasha prove again that they are amazing teachers. I love the dance and they seemed to be having fun themselves. Agree that Anna needs to point her feet.

Madison & Ezra: Contemporary, Talia Favia

Talia created a beautiful piece that Madison was able to connect to and we got to see her softer side. I was Dominic’s favorite dance of the night. Ezra, was great too and prove that he is not only a good partner but also quick thinking. He was able to take a little mistake and make it seem like it was part of the dance.

Eddie & Sophie: Jazz, Brian Friedman 

Brian style tends to require the dancers to have to infuse a personality to match the choreography of the dance. Again it was danced well but felt bad for Eddie, Sophie out shined him in the dance.

Travis Wall and Luther Brown gave us great group dances and all the dancer seemed to dance well. There wasn’t anytime for Judges comments but I do feel like some of the dancers might have redeemed themselves in this round. However, will the home viewers take that in to the consideration when they voted. I hope so…I not looking forward to losing people next week.

August 14, 2019 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD: Academy Week Top 20 Reveal

Monday night’s episode began with the continuation of the contemporary round, where a few more tough cuts were made. Including Jarrod Tyler Paulson but of course he is still supporting the girlfriend. 43 dancers survived the cuts to move on to the group round with Mandy Moore. Mandy came up with something different for this round. She took the choreography they had already learn and mixed it up and put it to a new song. The dancers also were split up into smaller groups for certain parts and could definitely see the stress of the competition starting to get to them.

After the group round came the final solo round…the last chance for the dancers to prove they should be in the top 20 and move on to the final cut. Gino, Sumi, Bailey, and Eddie had the featured solos for this episode. Eddie’s choice of footwear must have thrown him off his game since the strap came undone at the beginning of the dance. The top 10 girls and guys were finally revealed and consisted of 7 ballroom, 6 contemporary, 5 hip hop, and 2 tap dancers.

Top 10 Girls                                                           Top 10 Guys

Ashley Sanchez (Ballroom)                                  Bailey Munoz (B-Boy)

Anna Linstruth (Hip hop)                                      Brandon Talbot (Contemporary Ballet)

Sofia Ghavami (Ballroom)                                     Benjamin Castro (Contemporary)

Nazz Slydryan (Ballroom)                                     Ezra Sosa (Ballroom)

Madison Jordan (Contemporary)                        Vlad Kvartin (Ballroom)

Stephanie Sosa (Ballroom)                                  Nathan Cherry (Hip hop)

Sumi Oshima (Hip hop)                                        Aleksander Ostanin (Tap)

Mariah Russell (Contemporary)                          Gino Cosculluela (Contemporary)

Melany Mercedes (Salsa)                                    Bryan “Clocks” Volozanin (Hip hop)

Sophie Pittman (Contemporary)                         Eddie Hoyt (Tap)

Looking forward to seeing the contestants paired with an All Star next week and to see who will make the final cut to be in the Top 10 and move on to the live shows. I have a few guesses and curious to see if I am right.

July 24, 2019 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD: Academy Week, Part One

Well that first Academy episode went by a little to fast and I had to re watch just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Now this is a personal opinion, I feel like the network has done this show a disservice shortening the length of the show by limiting the number of episode. It really doesn’t allow the viewers to connect with the dancers, unless they were featured in the first round of auditions. That being said, the first episode of the Academy didn’t disappoint with very challenging rounds for the dancers to take on. Nigel was probably the toughest judge that we saw during the show. The first three rounds were featured in this episode: Hip hop with Luther Brown, Ballroom with Emma Slater and Sasha Farber, and Contemporary with Talia Favia. 

Round One: Hip Hop (79 Dancers)

Luther gave us a hard-hitting routine that allows the dancers to inject their own personalities into the performance. I also agree with him when it comes to talking while he is trying to teach. The dancers have 90 minutes to learn these routines…I would be paying attention as closely as I could to each choreographer.

The only hip hop girls to make the academy were up first and one of them seemed to get a little bit flustered but they were given a second chance. The second chance was much better.

It’s really hard to see those struggle with picking up the choreo and that includes dancers from all styles. However it is also great to see the dancers succeed as well, like Jay Jackson being part of the best group. Sophie Pittman seemed to be worried while learning but shined when it came time to perform.

Laurieann’s reaction to Nigel being a bit harsh was amusing “You made it, run for your lives before he changes his mind…” By the end of day one a total of 10 dancers were cut.

Round Two: Ballroom

I love that Emma and Sasha are back and that they want to show the dancers what they created first. Wow…what a cha-cha. I was really cute to even see the ballroom dancers react to that last trick. Which was probably an optional thing due to the potential injuries if the trick went wrong.

The was a lot of debate after the first group to which D-Trix commented that when they did that his season, that it scared him. The entire group made it through but I understood their critiques.

The ballroom round turned out to be the end of the road for many dancers including  a few of my favorites (like Smac) from the first auditions.

Round Three: Contemporary

I feel like Talia created a piece that sums up this week of auditions. The dancers are at “war” fighting and crawling your way to the top 10. With not much time left in the episode we only saw a few clips of this round.

Unfortunately Jay Jackson, even though he had improved since last year, it wasn’t quite good enough. It had to sting a bit when Nigel said we will see you again. He quickly said that they wouldn’t because he is 30 and that is the cut off age for this show. 

The best group of the night was Bailey and John John, a b-boy and a hip hop dancer. They put their whole heart into that performance and show more emotion than some of the contemporary dancers.

Next episode will feature the group round with Mandy Moore and the Top 20 that will make it to the final cut to create the top 10 for the live shows.

July 17, 2019 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD: Finale Performance Thoughts

Monday night’s performance finale might have been one of the best I’ve seen in a while. I say that because I feel like everyone had a great night, the top 4 were prepared to do what it takes to win. Only problem with everyone having a great night is trying to figure out who will be the last dancer standing. As usual it is a busy night for the top 4, dancing with each other, an all-star, and their solo. Melanie, Jonathan, FikShun, and Robert were the all-stars that danced last night. The judges seemed to be playing it nice, but Twitch provided me with my favorite judges moments of the season. Due to wedding festivities that happened over the weekend, Twitch was loosing his voice. After Hannahlei & Genessy’s performance, he felt like he couldn’t true express how he felt about that number…so he asked Mary to do it for him and she did.

Out of all the dances…my top 3 of the night were:

Jensen & Robert: Contemporary (Mandy Moore)
This was absolutely beautiful, and I love the partnership between Robert and Jensen. I look forward to seeing tis number on the tour.
Hannahlei & Slavik: Afro Jazz (Sean Cheesman)
Happy that we had another amazing African Jazz this season. The tricks were amazing and glad they took out that on lift where Hannahlei fell in rehearsal.
Genessy & Hannahlei: Contemporary (Talia Favia)
The synchronicity of this routine is what made it so good. I also love the strength of these two ladies throughout the dance.

Final thoughts on the top 4

Hannahlie: What I like about Hannahlei is that she is a little power house. I love that she is able to become a different person the moment she steps on that stage to perform. I truly think she will be in the top 2. She hasn’t had any miss steps in the competition and has been consistently good.

Jensen: I love Jensen’s personality and she does reminds me of her sister. Even though she does reminds Lindsay, I feel like Jensen has made a name for herself. Honestly, I just love watching her dance. I wouldn’t mind seeing all of the Arnold sisters dance together. Jensen had been my favorite this season and I would love to see her win.

Genessy: Genessy may have started off as the dark horse this season, but she has really turned out to be a contender. I feel like I under estimated her at the beginning of the live show. Also, I think that we are just scratching the surface of how great of a dancer Genessy really is.

Slavik: The wildcard…I call him that because I think he might have a bigger fan base that votes. What I have loved have loved about Slavik is that he has absolutely put the effort to do the best he can. I really hope we will see him back next season as an all-star.

Looking forward to seeing who will win next week.

September 5, 2018 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD: Top 4 Thoughts

After a busy two days, I was finally able to get caught up with this weeks episode. I enjoyed Mia’s opening number but not my favorite of hers…I think my arms were tired from just watching them spin the fabric around their hands. The all-stars also return this week with a bit of requirement(well not really). All the participated in Monday’s episode, finished in the top 4 in their respective seasons. I was excited to see JaJa back, because if my memory is right, she is the only female hip hop dancer to make it to the top 4.

Also, it a few all-stars first time to choreograph for a live show, Jenna, Robert, and Comfort. I have to say enjoyed all of their dances and I hope we get to see them choreograph again for the show. If had to pick a favorite of the three, Robert’s piece that Marko and Hannahlie performed was my favorite.

Other Favorites

Jay Jay & Lauren: Mandy delivered a great jazz number, that was entertaining to watch. It reminded of the type of jazz dance that I am used to seeing.

Hannahlie & Darius: These two definitely were able to find a connection with each other quickly after losing their partner last week. It’s a good thing the did, because I don’t think that the Argentine Tango would have worked as well as it did.

Both group dances were good this week but the girls may have edged out to the guys for me but not by much.

The fan vote surprised this week in the top 4 reveal…in the sense that it wasn’t the top 2 guy and top 2 girls. Jensen, Hannahlie, Genessey, and Slavik are this seasons top 4. Sad to see Jay Jay and Darius go…I did’t not see that coming. I thought Jay Jay would have been in the top 4.

Next week will be the performance part of the finale and vote from this week and next week will determine the winner of this season.

August 29, 2018 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD: Top 6 Thoughts

Monday’s episode was jammed packed for the dancers, each of them dancing four times. Twice with their partners, a solo, and a group routine. It was an entertaining night with only a few routines that just were not my cup of tea. Also, I am still loving Twitch as a judge, even when he is giving criticism. He makes a point in trying to be kind about it but he has to give because of what stage of the competition is at…not to mention reminding views to vote.

My Favorites of the Night

Jensen & Jay Jay: Hip-Hop
It was such a fun routine and brought each of their personalities. Hef and Randi, made a great debut on the show. I loved the work with the props and I personally loved that they burned the meal at the end.

Hannahlie & Cole: Broadway
So…Travis Wall needs to do more Broadway routines for the show. It was a nice change of pace compared to what we are used to. This was their best routine on the show. Cole for some reason was reminding me of Harry Connick Jr.

Guys Hip Hop:
Luther Brown created another fun routine with some great grooves. I also like that he found a way to spotlight each guy individually. The really wasn’t one standout for me but I will say it is really fun to watch Jay Jay and Darius do hip hop.

Bottom four: Cole, Darius, Genessy, and Magda
It just keeps getting harder to pick who stay and who goes and no matter what a good dancer is leaving the show. The judges decided to stick with what the voters opinion. Magda and Cole pulled the lowest amount of votes and I think the judges might be right that these two were just unable to connect well with the at home audience.

Next week the all stars will be joining in the fun and Mia Michael’s will be back.

August 21, 2018 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD: Top 8 Thoughts

Monday night the top ten have two more dances to impress the judges, cause a the end of the episode two dancers left the competition. So it seems like the judges will have a say for now, but I imagine that it will only last to the top six or at the latest the top four. When the bottom four was revealed, I can’t say I was surprised by the judges choice. Evan and Chelsea’s journey came to an end. I felt like they did do better this week compared to last week, but I was their lack of connection with and apparently the audience that landed them in the bottom.

TOP 8

Best dance of the night was Jensen and Jay Jay’s Afro Jazz. I agree with Nigel, I’m not sure what goes through Sean Cheesman’s head but I like it.

Jensen & Jay Jay: These two are my favorite couple, not only they great chemistry but they also have the technique to back it up. Their contemporary was also very beautiful.

Genessy & Slavik: The other couple on the show who’s chemistry is amazing. They still are the dark horses of the competition and audiences like rooting for the underdog. I enjoyed both of their dances but the jive may have edged out the broadway…only because of how much I like Sharna (I hope to she more of her).

As for the other two couples they had good night despite that two of them ended up in the bottom. Hannahlie was the standout and I don’t think that we will see her in the bottom next week. As for who will end up in the bottom four next week, I’m not really sure but I look forward to more fabulous dancing.

August 15, 2018 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD: Top 10 Thoughts

Finally caught up on the first live episode of season 15, after being out of town for a few days. Overall, I enjoyed the show and didn’t think there was one bad dance. I like that they paired the dancers with each other rather than with an all-star. It really goes back to the roots of SYTYCD and creating partnerships you want to root for.

Twitch, also returned as a judge for the live shows. He is such a breath of fresh air, especially since he has been in their shoes. I enjoyed his positivity and willing to uplift a dancer if they did’t do so well. Judging from comments on social media it seems like many fans were upset over how Chelsea was treated by 3 of the judge when it came to the tap routine with Evan. More on that in later…but first my thoughts on the pairings and my favorite routines of the night.

I think that the dancers were paired up well together and as far as chemistry is concerned I think that Jay Jay & Jensen as well as Slavik & Genessy have it. Though I believe Cole & Hannalie might be the best as far as technique is concerned.

My Favorites of the Night

Slavik & Genessy: Luther Brown, Hip Hop
These two are definitely the dark horses/underdogs this season, and the both gave it their all in both routines. The hip hop thought was my favorite, I loved watching Slavik perform and his chemistry with Genessy it part of the reason this dance was great. I really hope these two stick around next week.

Cole & Hannalie: Tyce Diorio, Contemporary
It was a beautiful dance…and if they can connect with each other more they will go far in this competition. Though I do wish the judges would at least mention that Cole has obviously trained in other the styles other than ballroom

Back to the Tap dance. It is the first time in probably the show’s history that they have asked someone with only a little bit of tap experience(compared to Evan) to learn a hard tap routine. I thought Chelsea did a respectable job and loved that Twitch was the only one that recognized that and said something about it. Nigel seem to take the same road as Twitch until he said he can’t wait to see even dance with Gaby. I felt that was unnecessary to say and it was disrespect to Chelsea.

As I said, I enjoyed the episode and I’m not really sure who will be in danger of going home next week but I am looking forward to next weeks live show.

August 8, 2018 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD: Top 5 Girls Revealed

Last night was all about the ladies and their last chance to prove that they have what it takes to be in the top 5 girls. Each contestant was paired with an all-star and had to learn a routine (not how long they had to learn it). All-Stars included FikShun, Paul, Brandon, Robert, Jonathan, and last season’s winner Lex.

Here are my thoughts on the top 5 girls and their performances last night.

Hannalie Cabanilla: Salsa with Jonathan
The lifts were amazing and I have to agree with Nigel, that she had to be fearless when it came to doing those lifts with someone she had just met. I also liked that the salsa brought out a bit more of his personality.

Jensen Arnold: Jazz with Brandon
I got to agree with the judges that she had the not only the best performance of the night but also the most confident. I like that Jensen was able to set aside the Miss Apple Pie(Nigel’s words) and allow the more sassy side to shine. If anything like her sister Lindsey, she’ll be a contender.

Magda Fialek: Contemporary with Robert
Probably the most beautiful routine of the night, and the most emotional considering both Mary and Vanessa were tearing up. I got to give Robert some recognition for balancing and rotating on one leg with Magda wrapped around him. Looking forward to seeing Magda dance more.

Genessy Castillo: Hip Hop with FikShun
I think it was this performance that put he in the top 5, she danced like her life depended upon it. I really enjoyed this performance, especially the part with the hair. Also, I felt like she vibe with FikShun.

Chelsea Hough: Salsa with Jonathan
The judges were pleased and Mary complimented her technique. I could definitely see the improvement Chelsea made compared to the earlier ballroom round.

We had to say goodbye to Emily, Brianna, Sydney, Stephanie, and Dayna. Of these five I was a bit shocked that the Judges didn’t choose Emily to move on to the top 5 girls. Next week it is the guys turn to impress the judges.

July 24, 2018 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD: Academy Week Part Two

In this episode, the contestants faced three more rounds of the competition, Contemporary, a group production number, and another solo round. In the end the top 20 was revealed but with a twist, that I know I did see coming.

Contemporary: Travis Wall
I really like Travis’s approach to his round of the competition. He gave the dance the outline of the choreography and the shapes he wanted them to make. Basically he allowed the dancers to interpret his choreo in their own way. Also, giving out advice to the those that are out of their element…to find away to standout.
Cole Mills: This ballroom dancer continued to standout for the rest of the episode.
Tessa Dalke: Faltered again…not really sure why. I think it is possible that the judges call her their favorite at the beginning of Academy, may have jinxed her for the rest of the competition.
Travis said it the best pressure can crack people, and this round we saw another 8 dancers cut.

Group Production Round: Mandy Moore
This is something new for this season and I have to say I really liked this idea. It worked so much better than what group round use to be. The dancers learned the group section first before splitting into smaller groups in their own genre. Each group learned choreo from Mandy and create an 8 count of choreo as a group. I think the dance looked great but for 6 dancers it was the end of the round.

Solos part two: For the most part most of the solos seemed to be good minus one that just fell flat.

Top 10 Guys: Jay Jay, Cole, Justin, Slavik, Peyton, Dustin, Evan, Kyle, Darius, and Allen.

Top 10 Girls: Genenssy, Magda, Jensen, Stephanie, Dayna, Sydney, Brianna, Chelsea, Emily, and Hannahlei.

Now here’s the twist only TEN are moving on to the live shows. Next week each dancer will be paired with an all-star to learn a routine that is outside of the strongest genre to perform for the judges. So who will make it to the ten…I have a few guess but looking forward to the next round and hopefully we will get to see most of the dances.

July 17, 2018 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.