Alison Feller is a frequent contributor to Dance Spirit.
Guess who's back? Back again? The Academy's back! Tell a friend.
After one day at The Academy, the All Stars have successfully taken the Top 100 down to 62. But their work is just getting started: Now they need to keep narrowing the field to a Top 10, ultimately deciding who each will partner with during the live shows.
They've impressed the judges, now it's time for the Top 100 dancers to enroll at The Academy—and to impress the All-Stars. Welcome to So You Think You Can Dance Academy!
The 100 dancers who made it through auditions in NYC or L.A. are now at The Academy, which is basically a beautiful building with floor-to-ceiling windows. The show opens with that Mandy Moore-choreographed Academy routine which, even after watching it 12 times and trying to learn all the choreography at home, is still delightful.
Is it just us or does it feel like the audition rounds have been going on for a really long time this season? (They haven't. In fact, this season only visited two cities—L.A. and NYC—and now we're already headed to The Academy. But for some reason, it's felt long.) This week, we wrapped things up in NYC and met—and re-met—a few stellar dancers along the way. Here are the names you'll need to know this season.
This week, we're in the Big Apple: home of Broadway, New York City Ballet, and Dance Spirit HQ! They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. So who made it to The Academy this week? Pretty much everyone—with lots of amazing Vanessa Hudgens one-liners along the way. (We love you, Vanessa!)
It's the second episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 14, and tbh, so far we're yawning more than we're yay-ing. We want to see more performances and hear less talking—and we're dying for more Cat Deeley.
During Los Angeles Auditions Part II, there were some highs (ballroom babe Jensen's outfit), some lows (uh, triple-jointing), and plenty of shrieks and screams from one Mary Murphy. (Noticeably absent, however, were Hot Tamale Train tickets, of which Mary distributed zero throughout the hour-long episode.)
Let us get you caught up on the names you need to know...
In the earliest seasons of Lifetime's "Dance Moms," Nia Sioux Frazier was the underdog. She was constantly overlooked by a certain shall-not-be-named teacher, and had a seemingly permanent spot on the bottom of the show's infamous pyramid.
It wasn't until Nia and her mom Holly decided to pursue other creative outlets—singing! music videos! live performances!—that the 15-year-old dancer (she turns 16 next week) got the spotlight she wanted. Today, Nia's a fan favorite far beyond "Dance Moms": Last year, she made her off-Broadway debut in Trip of Love, and next month she'll take her famous death drop on the road with WilldaBeast and Janelle Ginestra as part of the team's #FOLLOWME tour. Catch Nia & co. when the tour kicks off July 28 in L.A.—and get more from her right here, right now. #slay
Nothing says summer like the familiar opening beats of the "So You Think You Can Dance" theme song.
The show enters its 14th season by returning to the 18+ age group, and by bringing back fan favorite Mary Murphy. Mary joins Nigel Lythgoe (who comes equipped with slightly off-color dad jokes, as usual) and High School Musical star, actress, and dancer Vanessa Hudgens (who comes equipped with an impossibly sleek ponytail and lots of giggles). And while it may seem like Mary was gone for-practically-ever, her banter with Nigel picks up right where it left off.
When Robert Roldan burst onto the "So You Think You Can Dance" scene during Season 7, the world fell in love. (That "Fix You" duet with Allison Holker still gives us chills.) And we fell in love all over again when he appeared as an All-Star last season alongside mini-me JT Church. Now, 26-year-old Roldan is gracing the "SYT" stage yet again as an All-Star on Season 14, premiering Monday, June 12. "I'm so excited to be back this year, and to have another season to explore and find new memories, lessons, and emotions through dance," Roldan told DS. "And I'm excited to have another person to work with who will get to share these memories, lessons, and emotions." Here's what Roldan had to say about his go-to foods, his favorite choreographer, and his career highlights.