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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 GΓ©nΓ©reux and TrΓ© 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... =)

What is Tara-Jean up to?

What is Tara-Jean up to since her win?

CTV caught up with her to see….

The reality of being Canada’s Favourite Dancer still hasn’t sunk in for Tara-Jean Popowich. “It’s been amazing, everything’s been amazing, but it still totally catches me by surprise!” she laughs.

It might not have sunk in for Tara-Jean, but it certainly has for her hometown of Lethbridge, Alta. This week, in a special ceremony, Tara-Jean was given the key to her hometown, but not before Mayor Robert Tarleck waltzed with Tara-Jean around City Hall.

“He’s a really good partner. He was leading me really well,” Tara-Jean laughs.

“The weirdest part is seeing my face everywhere and my name,” she says, adding she’s seen her photograph on billboards and on the front lawns of schools. “Even on a McDonald’s sign,” she laughs.

“Lethbridge people are so excited for me!” she says. “After Halloween, I got a whole bunch of messages about kids dressing up as Tara-Jean for Halloween! They were wearing blonde wigs and were wearing hats with dance outfits. It’s so crazy!”

Family time: Perogies and cabbage rolls

After her exciting win at the end of October, Tara-Jean headed home to spend some time with her family. “It was pretty late when I got in, but all my family surprised me. We ended up staying up until 3 o’clock in the morning,” she says.

After what she calls “the best sleep I’ve had in the last four months,” Tara-Jean indulged in a feast of her favourite foods.

“We’re such a Ukrainian family and I really missed having perogies and cabbage rolls, so that was the first thing my mom cooked for me,” she says.

Busy, busy, busy

Tara-Jean hasn’t had too much time to relax since her win, but she’s not complaining. She gets her 2010 Mazda 3 Sport next week and this week, she walked the red carpet at Flare magazine’s 30th anniversary.

“I brought three different dresses, but until the very last minute, I hadn’t picked which one I wanted to wear,” she giggles.

Though she still hasn’t figured out exactly how she’s going to spend all of her $100,000 prize money, she is helping her mom pay off the rest of her mortgage and also helping her brother with his education. With the rest of the funds, she hopes to start her own dance company and produce her own show.

Motivational speeches

Tara-Jean believes in giving back to the community that supported her throughout her SYTYCDC journey, and has been visiting Lethbridge schools to chat with excited students.

“It was kind of overwhelming at first, because all the kids just run up to you and want to take pictures and get autographs, but it’s so amazing,” she says, reveling in the position of role model.

At many of the schools, there were boxes of woodchips that said ‘Knock on wood for Tara-Jean.’ “How cute is that?” Tara-Jean beams.

“‘If I achieved something, so can you,’ she tells the students. “‘I was exactly like you, I was an average student, I didn’t come from a lot of money, just a small-town girl from Lethbridge.’

“It’s really nice to see kids really have faith in themselves,” she adds. “I love that the message is out there that you can do whatever you want no matter where you’re from. It makes me so happy.

“I was sitting in those exact same desks and look where I’ve gone. It’s a lot of hard work, but they can do it.”


November 15, 2009 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

So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 2 Top 18

Hey! This is AJ here again. Tonight, I will be blogging about the Top 18 episode that just aired. Once again, the video playlist will be up as soon as possible in a separate post. Last week, we said goodbye to Taylor πŸ™ and Tatiana. Without further ado, I will share some of my opinions and hopefully you can leave yours below in the comments!


1 877 9 SPIN 0#s – Here are the So You Think You Can Dance Canada voting phone numbers once more. Results are on Wednesday, September 2nd at 7:30PM EST on CTV.

* Melanie M & Cody – Krump – 1 877 9 SPIN 01
* Tara-Jean & Everett – Salsa – 1 877 9 SPIN 02
* Kim & Emanuel – Theatre – 1 877 9 SPIN 03
* Amy & Vincent – Contemporary – 1 877 9 SPIN 04
* Jayme Rae & Daniel – Dancehall – 1 877 9 SPIN 05
* Corynne & Anthony – Paso Doble – 1 877 9 SPIN 06
* Jenna Lynn & Nicolas – Hip Hop – 1 877 9 SPIN 07
* Natalie & Danny – Jazz – 1 877 9 SPIN 08
* Melanie B & Austin – Smooth Waltz – 1 877 9 SPIN 09

My favourite dance of the night was the ever so memorable Contemporary piece performed by Amy & Vincent. Having worked with Blake McGrath before, I feel that the two dancers executed the dance to perfection. It had the star quality and technique all lined up for us to see. What is most important is not only getting the moves right or hitting them hard enough, but it is the emotion. The emotion that these two conveyed during the piece was absolutely breathtaking. I was literally on the edge of my seat trying to hold my excitement because I knew that this piece was going to be amazing. When it was over, I just wanted more. Amy was so in touch with her character that you just get mesmerized while watching her dance. She seems to be the best female contemporary dancer in the Top 20 for me this year. Vincent – a pure surprise. Listen – last week I underestimated him and I really thought he deserved to go home. He proved me wrong this week. I believe his charisma and good-boy charm worked well for tonight. It created much contrast especially with the character he was given. Kudos to him for portraying his character well and taking on such a huge role. As a hip-hop dancer, I know how difficult it is to switch from one genre of dance to another. With Blake, it’s another level. Vincent is one to watch out for!

Melanie M & Cody have excelled once more, this time beyond my expectations. This is why they are now officially my favourite couple. They seem to be getting the most praise and they do seem to be quite popular amongst the viewers who watch the show from YouTube or Myspace and even some of my friends on Facebook (although that might be because I keep telling people to vote for them! :P) In my honest opinion, I thought Melanie out danced Cody in this number. Despite being a hip hop dancer, he did not krump as aggressively as I would have liked him to. They are still so adorable! I cannot believe Taylor was eliminated last week! I really do not like the new Melanie B & Austin pairing. It doesn’t seem like something exciting or unique. To me, I just see two Italians forced to dance with each other. πŸ™ Sorry, that’s just me!

Time to talk a bit more of my favourite dancers who are Melanie M, Jenna Lynn, Jayme Rae and Natalie. As you may or may not have noticed, I have replaced Daniel with Jayme Rae. To me, she keeps the couple out of danger and is the Red Bull of the two. I thought Jenna Lynn did great tonight. The judges said that Nicolas was better than her but I actually had to disagree. Jenna Lynn was superb, especially for coming from a contemporary/jazz background. She’s hilarious and cute too! Jayme Rae just stole the show for doing the dutty wine head spin and the creeping and just getting down and dirrrty! And can I just say that I’m glad to be Canadian?! WE’VE GOT DANCEHALL ON OUR SHOW! Hell yeah! And now back to Jayme Rae. Usually the girls don’t stand out as much as the guys but this season has definitely brought out the best girls from the country. I love when timid or technically strong dancers have to hit it hard and just get that raw street flavour coming through their dancing. It truly shows how much a dancer can learn and grow. Jayme Rae gets better each time I see her. Natalie Lyons – what can I say? Jazz for a hip hop dancer is quite a big leap. She gets extra points for getting into character and having such an intriguing chemistry with Danny. It is intriguing, wouldn’t you agree?

Last week, I was extremely surprised that none of my bottom 3 couple predictions came true. However, the ones that were in the bottom were definitely my next 3 and I was on the fence with some of my predictions. This week I foresee these 3 couples in the danger zone: Kim & Emanuel, Corynne & Anthony, and Melanie B & Austin. Unfortunately, Corynne & Anthony are just plain boring to me. I don’t see why both of them made it into the Top 20, quite frankly. Corynne is not the best contemporary dancer and I can see that she is trying but the competition is getting tough, and I just don’t see either of them winning. Emanuel, despite his popularity, does not seem to be as likable as the other contestants. I know I said this last week and he was safe, but I think this week will be it. If he is not in the bottom 3 guys, I don’t know who else deserves to be there! Kim is lovely but I don’t see her winning or getting very far either. She is far from seeming like a hip hop dancer, which makes her special, but I can’t seem to remember what it is about her dancing that sets her apart from the other girls or what is so good about her dancing. Melanie B, criticized by the judges quite harshly. I did not feel that she gave it her all. She lets her partners down, in my opinion. I think that’s the reason why she deserves to be in the bottom 3. I think Canada is smart enough to agree too. I also believe she should have been eliminated last week instead of Tatiana. Austin seems too much of a solo star for me. I don’t think he needs a partner. I’m not sure how far he will go .. but the girls sure do love him! So who knows?

Personally, I voted for Melanie Mah & Cody more times than any other couple tonight. Their line seemed to be especially busy. I believe we will not be seeing them in the bottom 3 couples tomorrow! πŸ™‚ Cya then!

September 1, 2009 I Written By