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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.

STYTCD: Season 16 Judges Auditions Part 5

It was the final night of the Judges auditions and another night of great dancing. Plus, some inspirational stories and a preview of the Academy.

Andrew Avila & Melany Mercedes: I enjoyed seeing the street style of salsa and those tricks were fun to watch. I am however more drawn to her as a performer.

Michael Sales: At the age of 15 he was ranked as one of the top 100 b-boys. That first jump trick was impressive. It might just be me but I feel like we’ve seen more b-boys this season.

Mariah Russell: I agree with Lauriann’s comments, she had a slow build to get to the heart of her routine. Mariah is a great dancer, she just needs to use her story to give more power to her movement.

Phoebe Kochis: Her story just made me happy and I hope she has inspired others like herself, teaching them they can do anything. It was incredibly sweet that Nigel invited her as his guest to the academy. It will be a fantastic opportunity for Phoebe just to be able to experience and enjoy.

James Cody: He previously auditioned in Season 10, 11, & 12…I don’t remember him though. That being said I hope that he puts in the work and makes it through academy week.

Maia Bliudnika: I can see how he name is always mispronounced and the same can be said about many of the contestants. According to Mary she had a perfect audition. I not sure if I would agree on the perfect part but she was good.

Eddie Hoyt: He was a favorite of mine that didn’t quite make it and it seems like he was a favorite of Nigel’s as well. Eddie put his heart and soul into his audition and even had the judges tearing up. Then he blows everyone’s mind when he said he improved that!

Looking forward to what the Academy has in store for this season and hopefully give me more of an idea of who will eventually make the top 10 for Season 16.

July 9, 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: Judges Auditions Part 4

Well last night started off with Jalen Sands auditioning…not introduction, no comments from the judges, and a ticket to the Academy. I’m not complaining about it because Jalen was fun and funky but just felt like a weird way to start the show. Anyways, last nights episode was fun and even has some familiar faces.

Trent & Colton Edwards: Identical twins who have only be dancing for three years. I almost instantly recognized them…they appeared on AGT two years ago. I thought they were just okay then but they have improved so much since then. Regardless of what happens on this show these brothers have a career in some form of entertainment.

Bryan Volozanin “Clocks”: Honestly, sometimes I only half paying attention to some stories but when Bryan mentioned he was apart of the Jabbawockeez show in Vegas…I was like wait…what? It’s kind of nice to see one of them dancing with out the mask on. Bryan has made it to the green mile in the past and I think that should work to his advantage.

Hip hop had its hot streak of dancers getting a ticket to the Academy. Then it was the ballroom hopefuls turn and they brought past top 10 contestants to be their partner.

Sofia Ghavami brought Kiki from season 14

Vlad Kvartin brough Magda from season 15

Annie Lyn Sheketoff brought Ryan(her coach) from season 6

Sydney Burtis: Dance helped her rise above her autism and a tap star was born. I loved her and I love that they mic the taps for this show. Sydney has been fan of the show since she was young and even has D-Trix on her wall.

As I was preparing for the last two audition of the night, there was a storm moving my way. Which means it will affect my satellite signal…and it would be my luck that it did interrupt the show a little bit but thank goodness for the internet.

Jarrod Tyler Paulson: A jack of all trades who just happens to be a dancer. There was just something about his dance style that made want to see him work with Travis Wall. I really want to see more of him.

Madison Jordan: Jarrod’s girlfriend, who has a very different/unique style. I liked her just wish I was able to hear what the judges said about her.

I liked that they auditioned separately but I also liked that Nigel allowed them to dance together.

Looks like next week will be a repeat but hopefully the Academy episodes will begin the following week.

June 25, 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: Judges Auditions Part 3

Part three of the Judges auditions was just as impressive as the other two. I do wish they showed a little bit more of those contestants that were returning, like Jay Jackson but I’m sure we will see more of him during Academy week.

Bailey Munoz:”Bailrok” I’m always somewhat impressed by b-boys especially when they make their tricks look effortless. I like his energy and think we will see that continue into the next round. Partnering should be interesting since he is only 5 feet but they won’t pair him with someone around his same height.

Luke Romanzi: His audition had more of a modern dance type of feel to me, but I felt like it was missing something. After being cut from Juilliard and then appearing on TV, I need Luke to really show them what they missed out on.

Jordynn & Elan Lurie: I remember felling so bad for them last season when they were cut because a trick went a little wrong. They definitely deserve a do over.

Maria Babineau: I would have never guessed that she was that kind of dancer. Also, for being self-taught by watching YouTube videos…she’s not bad. That being said I don’t think she is ready for what the rest of the show is about.

Sophie Pittman: I think I liked her more than the judges did, but I do understand what they wanted from her emotionally. I like that they decided to give Sophie another chance and hopefully she will find away to dance form her heart.

Frank Crisp Jr: His personality and energy immediately made me like him. Might have jut been me but he seemed a little bit rusty but still impressed by him. I look forward to seeing “Ghost” more during Academy week.

Lauren Luteran: She is the definition of dancing like there is no tomorrow. Living with Cystic Fibrosis can’t be easy not to mention dancing. Lauren made it some how look effortless and I hope she inspires more with the same disease to loving their life to the fullest.

June 18, 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: Judges Auditions Part 2

While I don’t mind hour episodes of the Judges auditions, but there is just a lot of information to take in. However, it’s another episode of great dancing with dancers that have potential of making it further in the show. Still loving the addition of D-Trix and Laurieann to the panel.

Sumi Oshima: Much like last week, the show starts with a strong female hip hop dancer. Starting to see more advice from the Judges…I agree with Laurieann I hope she can take her energy and fight she has with hip hop and apply it to other styles.

Caroline De La Rocha: Love Mary’s advice about her dad and I hope he comes around. While she is a great dancer, she lacks a bit of control but maybe it was just a case of nerves. Caroline has a second chance to prove herself at the academy.

Samuel and Koa Sweetser: Up first in 2-year-old Koa and he is definitely following in he dad’s footsteps. I mean seriously how cute was Koa. Dad is up next and D-Trix is on board and so am I. Also,I like that he isn’t afraid to take on the other dance styles.

Gianna Newborg: It’s the 16th season of the show and Gianna found creative way to grab the judges attention with a creative audition. I actually enjoyed that she went with the story telling part of dance…it separates her from the rest of the contemporary dancers.

Nazz Sldryan and Stefen Yeritsyan: I would have never guessed that they have been dancing together for only two months…had the not told us. I am also not surprised the made it on the hot tamale train.

“Korra” Obidi Dean: She is a Nigerian princess…that just happens to be pregnant. While it’s obvious as to why she doesn’t make it through to the academy, it’s clear that the judges would like to see her come back. So would I and would love to see her work with Sean Cheesman.

Kaeli Ware and Brandon Talbott: A contemporary ballet duo that have been dancing together since they were young. I think I would have preferred to see them audition separately because then I wouldn’t have to split my attention between dancers. Thankfully they wowed the judges and we will see more of them.

What are your thoughts…any favorites?

June 10, 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: Season 16

Welcome back to a new season of So You Think You Can Dance, with two new judges joining Nigel and Mary. First is choreographer Laurieann Gibson, who has worked with Danity Kane, Lady Gaga, just to name a few. She has also choreographed for this show…”Battlefield” from season 5 is the first one that comes to mind. Also joining the judges is Season 3 contestant(one of my favorites) Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval. He previously was a judge on ABDC for two seasons and also was on of the choreographers for World of Dance season 2 winners the Lab. I think we are in for another great season of SYTYCD based on what I have seen on the inter-webs.

Nice opening giving us the run down on some of the changes for the audition round…plus a new stage that resembles the World of Dance round stage. The dancers are doing the traveling this time to audition and they have a live studio audience to cheer them on. 3 yeses will get them to the Academy.

Dezi Saenz: Hip hop: Well that’s how you start the show, love the she is representing women in hip hop. Made it through to the Academy and she got a little one on one time with Laurieann.

Stephanie and Ezra Sosa: Stephanie is returning from last season and bringing her little brother with her. Definitely a dynamic duo and I look forward to seeing what else these siblings can do…Stephanie almost made the top 10 last season. 

Matthew Deloch: Auditioned in season 14. Loving the cameras around the stage capturing some amazing shots. Beautiful dancer would never guess that he tore his meniscus had he not told us. He should go far.

Sarah McCreanor aka Smac a Jazz dancer from Australia: Not only is she a good dancer she is hilarious. Okay I really want her in the live shows but I guess I’ll settle for the Academy for now.

Amanda Butler a hip hop dancer, a mom of 3 girls, and a member of the Mom Crew. Nigel suggesting that D-Trix  join them…and bring on the laughter. However, she wasn’t quite strong enough to move forward but she at least got two yeses.

Gino Cosculluela: His siblings both dance professionally. Oh…he was on Dance Moms and Nigel of course brings his mom down to help judge. So good…amazing musicality and I agree with Nigel, Gino should be in the top 10.

Overall a great first episode and I am looking forward to the rest of the season. So far no complaints on the new judges.

June 3, 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: Season 15 Finale Winner Announced

I figures it’s time for the big finale and it storms and takes out the satellite signal. Thankfully, it was only out for about ten minutes and it was in the first hour of the show. So, I did miss some of the judge favorite dance picks. Anyways the opening number was fantastic and love watching the dancers dance for the joy of it and no pressure of the competition.

Many of my favorites were performed again last night and some even had some new surprises that I loved. Also a new dance created just for Evan to show off his tap dance skills. Evan and Lex were definitely a highlight for me last night…that tap was amazing. Two of Luther Brown’s group numbers had a few more dancers added to it. “Bump” Magda and Chelsea joined the top three girls in this fun number. However, it was “Juice” that added dancer that I didn’t quite expect. I should have seen Twitch coming…not a finale without getting him to dance. When Nigel joined in on the fun at the end it just made me smile.

Results and their favorite dance
4th: Slavik- He chose “Round & Round” hip hop with Genessy. I always liked that he tried his best with every style that was thrown at him.

3rd: Genessy- She chose he break out contemporary routine “Be Brave” with Lex. Genessy definitely proved to Nigel that she was worthy of a spot in the top 10 and in the top 3.

2nd: Jensen- I loved that she chose “Cookin” a hip hop as he favorite. I like that they added the fun little twist of pulling out Mandy’s Emmy at the end. I look forward to seeing watch the future holds for Jensen…perhaps we will see her on DWTS with her sister Lindsay.

WINNER- Hannahlei: I didn’t get to see her pick, but judging for the inter webs I figured it out. Hannahlei chose her duet with Marco that was choreographed by Robert.

My final thoughts.

Overall, I was happy with the outcome. Hannahlei and Jensen were my top 2. Cat did mention that it was the closet vote in the shows history. Which makes me wonder just how close it was. Love that the contestants are always happy for whoever wins. Look forward to see the tour in the fall.

September 11, 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: 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.