Inside "SYTYCD" Season 9 Auditions
For the past two days, DS managing editor Rachel Zar and I have been behind the scenes at the NYC auditions for Season 9 of "So You Think You Can Dance." If you thought the competition was tough last year, you'll be floored by the talent of the upcoming season. From contemporary to ballroom to hip hop—these dancers can do it all.
But being well-rounded doesn't mean a ticket to Vegas—especially with the judges (Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Tyce Diorio) cracking down on mediocre performances. Here's Rachel's quick recap of the judges' feedback to contestants:
1. Be a sponge. When the judges give you feedback, soak it all up, work on those things throughout the year and audition next season.
2. Use your face! If you don't connect with the judges, you're not going straight to Vegas.
3. If you're young and don't have a lot of emotional baggage, take an acting class so you can learn to convey emotion onstage.
4. A series of steps, poses and tricks is not dancing.
5. After you've auditioned, don't ask for one more chance to prove yourself. The audition is your chance—use it to show off every style that you have under your belt.
6. Don't audition with another dancer unless you've actually prepared something together. Just dancing side by side and competing for the judges' attention will only confuse them and get you sent home.
Now that you've taken those lessons to heart, take a behind-the-scenes look at the NYC auditions:
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night: