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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.
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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... =)

Season 9 Premiere of So You Think You Can Dance

Here we are! The Season 9 Premiere of So You Think You Can Dance. After a few seasons of the evolution of the show:
– Season 5: moving the So You Think You Can Dance stage to the Kodak Theatre
– Season 6: first (and only) Fall season of So You Think You Can Dance at the Kodak Theatre
– Season 7: reduction of the Top 20 to an Top 11 and introduction of the All-Stars
– Season 8: bringing back of the Top 20 and bringing in the All-Stars for the Top 10
As for Season 9 there is the elimination of the “Results Show” and the re-arranging of the “Performance Show” to include an elimination.

What is also “new” this season is the inclusion that as opposed to having just one winner of the season, there will be two winners: one male dancer and one female dancer. The reason I say “new” in quotes is simply because the producers of So You Think You Can Dance have given a cash award to not only the top male dancer in a season, but also to the top female dancer back in Season 4 where Joshua Allen won the season, but Katee Shean was the top female dancer and was given a cash award as well.

But enough of that… tonight (Thursday) brings us to the first auditions from Dallas and New York for a two-hour event. Then starting next week, the show will move to the regular spot of Wednesday nights with auditions continuing in Los Angeles (Wednesday, May 30), Atlanta (Wednesday, June 6) and Salt Lake City (Wednesday, June 13) all two-hour episodes.

The dancers that caught the judges’ interest during the individual city auditions will be brought back for the Las Vegas callback which would air on Wednesday, June 20. For the celebration of the 200th episode of So You Think You Can Dance, Season 9 will introduce the Top 20 finalists who will perform in their own specialties so that America can get to know more about them and their individual talents.

After a one-week break (due to the July 4th holiday) America would get a chance to watch the Top 20 finalists for the first time as they are paired up to perform together. After America votes in their choices for their favorite dances and the most at-risk couples will be asked to perform solo routines the following week. If a couple is split apart, the individual dancers will form a new couple.

Then taking on the changes from Season 7 and 8, once the Top 20 has been wittled down to a Top 10, the finalists will be paired up with a So You Think You Can Dance All-Star dancer from a variety of styles: ballroom, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, jazz.

For those of you that got lost in all the writing above… here is a quick breakdown of what is going to happen in the summer:
– Thursday, May 24 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): Dallas and New York Auditions
– Wednesday, May 30 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): Los Angeles Auditions
– Wednesday, June 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): Atlanta Auditions
– Wednesday, June 13 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): Salt Lake City Auditions
– Wednesday, June 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): Las Vegas Callbacks
– Wednesday, June 27 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): Top 20 Revealed/Meet the Top 20 Performances (200th Episode)
– Wednesday, July 4: Preemption
– Wednesday, July 11 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): First Performance Show
– Wednesday, July 18 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): Performance and First Results Show

May 24, 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... =)

SYTYCDancers Kherington Payne and Jordan Casanova in Cabaret

As I was trolling through my RSS feed, it was recently announced via Playbill that two So You Think You Can Dance alumni will be featured in Napa Valley Broadway Playhouse‘s production of Cabaret.

The production is scheduled to open on June 22nd through July 1st

Since her time on SYTYCD: Kherington Payne was seen in the reinvention of the movie Fame, released in 2009 as Alice Ellerton. She is no stranger to the musical theatre stage, for she played Potiphar’s wife in Napa Valley Broadway Playhouse’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Jordan Casanova, who was just on the show last season was more recently seen as one of the dancers on NBC’s the Voice during Tony Lucca’s interpretation of Hit Me Baby One More Time.

May 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... =)

Disney’s the Newsies Musical – Bloggers’ Impressions

When the official cast list for Disney’s Newsies the Musical came out, those of us that were fans of the original 1992 movie scoured the cast list for familiar names… and were we pleasantly surprised to find that four of our favorite dancers from various seasons of SYTYCD were part of the cast! Huge favorites like Evan Kasprzak and Alex Wong, as well as those that left too soon like Thayne Jasperson and Jess LeProtto were all listed!

So naturally we here at Pure So You Think You Can Dance went into a group email firestorm and tried to see if we could have a group outing / get together and meet up at the Great White Way to watch the Newsies together… And if by some twist of faith talk to some of the dancers.

In the end only Margaret and myself (Marianya) were able to make the semi-impromptu trip and we have so much to tell you about this gem of a show.

CHOREOGRAPHY
Marianya: OMG The choreography was AMAZING! Not only that but it really seemed to have challenged the dancers to their fullest potentials. The SYTYCD alumni all have special moments throughout the show, be it as a dancer, actor, or singer. The choreography wasn’t just on the stage itself, but all over the staging, elevated… it was thorough and I couldn’t help but tap along with the music. I would go again just to see the dancing. For more of my thoughts of Disney’s the Newsies musical please head on over to my personal blog.

Margaret: The show was choreographed within an inch of its life, and that’s a good thing! A lot of the dancers have said in interviews that Newsies was the first movie they saw for their generation that had guys dancing and singing but still being “dudes”. A lot of them said it helped them see that it was okay to be a guy and like to dance. Everything about the show is full out (it is Disney, after all) and the choreography, with a mix of contemporary but also time period-centric moves, fits beautifully.

THE DANCERS
Anyone that appreciates strong dancing can tell you that one person that will catch your attention and was not a SYTYCD alumni was Ryan Steele who played Specs (he wore glasses). In fact his center was so incredibly precise that the only SYTYCD alumni that could possibly compare was Danny Tidwell of runner up of SYTYCD Season 3 (he is SYTYCD Season 2 runner up Travis Wall’s brother). In fact we went so far to as to say that Ryan Steele would be a combination of Danny Tidwell and SYTYCD Season 7 hopeful Anthony Burrell. In a crazy serendipitous coincidence of SYTYCD connections, Ryan is close friends with Jakob Karr from Season 6! But you’re here for the dancers that were part of the So You Think You Can Dance family:

Alex Wong: Of course, anyone that has been keeping up with So You Think You Can Dance would know and love Alex Wong, and how he sustained an injury to his Achilles tendon that forced him out of the competition. After approximately a year of recuperation he was asked to come back as an All Star for SYTYCD Season 8 only for him to turn it down due to an injury to his other Achilles tendon. Well he has come back from both injuries to dance as if he was never injured to begin with (and mind you these were potential career ending injuries). He was as strong as ever and he looked like he was enjoying himself. His ballet training was evident but so was some of the growth from the time he was on the show. This is his Broadway debut & with such strong dancers throughout the ensemble (many with regional & Broadway credits) he could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle. However, he gets some nice shining moments & his talents are put to good use.

Evan Kasprzak: Dancing a style that he was known for during his season on SYTYCD, it’s amazing to think this is his Broadway debut as well. He is one of the holdovers from the production at Papermill Playhouse this past fall. To say that he has stretched as a performer is an understatement. He has a small bit part in the show and he has a couple of solos in the ensemble numbers. Plus he looks stronger than ever. He shines as a tapper during the rousing “Kings of New York” and gets a fun mini-duet with fellow alum Jess as well.

Thayne Jasperson: He also has a bit part in the second act of the show and he has improved leaps and bounds since his time on SYTYCD. You can tell that his dancing has strengthened quite a bit and his lines are smoother. According to his bio he was on the first national tour of West Side Story in the intervening time. Thayne wasn’t known as a “Broadway” dancer during season 4, but the performance where the judges said he really came alive was a Broadway number, dancing to “Cool” from West Side Story with Comfort. His time to shine is in the 2nd Act and he has some lines as well. He was always remembered as a very graceful dancer, which probably put him at a disadvantage during his season with big personalities like Twitch, Joshua & Mark. But he fits right in on the stage and his dancing has an “umph” and strength to it that wasn’t necessarily apparent when he was on the show.

Jess LeProtto: He’s been on Broadway a few times prior to his time on SYTYCD, and considering that he was just on the show last season there isn’t much to say except how we get a chance to see him in his element now and see his growth since his time on SYTYCD. And did he grow, Jess took a lot of flack during the season for being too much of a ham, and he seems to have reined that in. He and Evan are both “vertically challenged” but they dance as big as their smiles without trying to outdance some of the taller dancers.

After the show, we stood at the stage door in the hopes of getting to meet some of the guys. To our surprise, every one of the cast members came out and signed autographs. They were grateful, courteous to everyone and a pleasure to talk to. Marianya was able to talk to Alex for a bit about hopefully setting up an interview with some of the guys, and Margaret was able to talk to Thayne. They were both so happy to hear that SYTYCD fans were at the show and were definitely interested in sitting down with us, either over the phone or on Skype (gotta love modern technology!) We’ll see what we can set up as we head towards the beginning of season 9!

April 26, 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... =)

Introducing Your Season 8 All-Stars

Tonight’s Top 10 episode is going to rock, not least of which because it’s the first time we’ll see the Top 10 dance with the All-Stars.

First, we have Melody Lacayanga, the Season 1 runner-up. I chose her disco with SYTYCD Canada judge/choreographer Blake McGrath because I don’t normally go for disco and this Doriana Sanchez disco was fun. I didn’t watch Season 1, but looking back over the season, it seems like Melody’s partners tended to get eliminated a lot. I hope this doesn’t happen to her Season 8 partners!

Allison Holker from Season 2 was an All-Star last season and had some phenomenal routines. I’m going to resist my urge to find videos from last season and instead give you something from her original season. Here is her Alex da Silva Argentine tango with her original partner Ivan Koumaev.

Pasha Kovalev was also an All-Star from last season and I am NOT going to show you the phenomenal tango he did with winner Lauren Froderman. No, I am NOT. I’m going to stick with first seasons and show you him “out of his element,” dancing Mandy Moore jazz with Sara von Gillem.

Yet another All-Star from last season, Twitch Boss was originally the runner-up from Season 4. Chelsie Hightower, who was also from Season 4, was scooped up by DWTS along with Lacey Schwimmer, danced this fun Nappytabs hip hop with Twitch during their season.

Comfort Fedoke, also from Season 4 and also an All-Star last season, also danced with Twitch. Instead of showing you that video, I’m going to show you dancing with Mark Kanemura, Chelsie’s partner for most of the season, in another awesome Nappytabs hip hop.

Brandon Bryant was the runner-up of Season 5. I so want to show you his Wade Robson jazz with Janette, but Margaret showed that video in her All-Star post (same reason I didn’t show Pasha & Sara’s West Coast Swing). So instead, I’ll show you their Dave Scott hip hop, where they were both “out of their comfort zones.”

As an All-Star last season, Kathryn McCormick danced so much with Robert that I could just give you one video for both of them. However, let me show you Kathryn in her Season 6 glory (she came in 3rd), especially since her season didn’t get their own tour. So here she is, with runner-up Jakob Carr in a contemporary routine choreographed by Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden.

Season 7’s Robert Roldan (3rd in his season) has already danced once in Season 8, with Caitlynn Lawson, so he was already an All-Star as far as I was concerned. Because the All-Stars started at Top 20 last season, most of his dances are with Kathryn or another All-Star. I wanted to show you his Dee Caspary contemporary with winner Lauren Froderman, but it wouldn’t embed. Instead, I’ll show you their Dmitri Chaplin (Season 2 and DWTS) samba because it’s fun and they were both out of their element.

Chelsie’s only going to be an All-Star for tonight’s episode and it sounds like they may switch up the All-Stars from week to week. It’ll be interesting to see who else they bring on board and all of the great routines that result. Also, I haven’t ever seen it confirmed, but Allison and Twitch may be dating and it’ll be interesting to see them together as All-Stars again. Also, I’m dying to see our Georgia peaches, Kathryn and Season 8’s Melanie Moore dance together. You know what else I’d love to see? I’d love to see a current contestant dancing with an All-Star and choreographed by another SYTYCD alumni. That would be awesome. 🙂

Are they any Season 8 contestant/All-Star pairings you’re dying to see?

July 20, 2011 I Written By

Drop Dead Diva Features SYTYCD Dancers/Choreographer

Our reader Dennis wrote us about this clip from Drop Dead Diva that features quite a bit of Tyce Diorio dancing, as well as Katee Shean (S4) and Kayla Radomski (S5), though not enough of the latter to suit John. 🙂

Thanks, Dennis and everybody enjoy!

August 15, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD S7 – Which *new* partnership surprised you the most?

What did you think of the dances? Which pairing were you pleasantly surprised about?

Since there were a few repeat partnerships… this is just all the *new* ones. Now as much as I was surprised that there was some man on man action this week, I wasn’t terribly surprised that it would work well… SYTYCD has a long history of strong male/male dances.

So when it came to pass that there was going to a man on man dance last night, naturally I had very high expectations for this dance…. but that’s just me. 😀

Season 2 – Tranji (Benji & Travis) – Hip Hop choreo by Shane Sparks
Song: Da Muzicianz & Mr Collipark – Gyrate Gyrate

Season 3 – Neil & Danny – Contemporary choreo by Mia Michaels
Song: The Presets – Are You the One? Are

Season 4 – Twitch & Joshua – Trepak choreo by Youri Nelzine
Song: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker – Trepak The

July 1, 2010 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... =)

More Info on AJ McLean’s ‘Teenage Wildlife’ Music Video

Some people would’ve noticed a couple of months ago that I posted a video of Backstreet Boy AJ McLean’s Teenage Wildlife Music video which was Written & Directed by Wade & Amanda Robson & also choreogarphed by Wade Robson.

Some people were saying that Travis Wall was in the video and I can clarify to you that yes he was featured in the video also as well as Season 7 All-Star Stephen ‘Twitch’ Boss.

I managed to get the Japanese import of AJ’s album ‘All I Have’ over the weekend which came with the bonus DVD and saw the BTS video of the shoot. I tried to convert this yesterday but my laptop wont allow me to convert it because it’s stuck on R1 where the Japenese DVD is actually in Region 2 if anybody can help me find a free non-trial converting program feel free to comment.

If you haven’t seen the video here it is (I apologise that I mentioned before that Twitch was in it because I didn’t see him until I watched the video again over the weekend):

June 21, 2010 I Written By

Drop Dead Diva Dances!

Judge Paula Abdul on Drop Dead Diva. That woman has legs! Check out SYTYCD’s Mollee Gray and Will Wingfield, too. And…Margaret Cho? I guess this would make more sense if I watched the show. Anybody catch any other familiar faces?

June 7, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Cross Country Dance Comparison

Many thanks to Margaret for this tidbit, I figured that I would bring it out for you guys to see…

The first song in this post is Don’t Touch Me Busta Rhymes - Don't Touch Me (Throw Da Water on 'Em) - Single - Don't Touch Me (Throw Da Water On 'Em) by Busta Rhymes danced as hip-hop.

From SYTYCD US Season 4 Week 3: Kherington Payne and Stephen “Twitch” Boss. Choreography by Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo (aka NappyTabs).

From SYTYCD Canada Season 1 Week 4: Nico Archambault and Arassay Reyes choreographed by Luther Brown

So who do you think danced it better? The Canadians or the Americans? 😀

Better yet, how about this dance comparison:

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April 24, 2010 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... =)