"So You Think You Can Dance" Season 11 Recap: Chicago & L.A. Auditions
The "SYTYCD" auditions continued, this time in Chicago and Los Angeles. After last week, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. It seems like Nigel and Co. are always adding new shenanigans. I was surprised—and pleased—to find that they continued showing one solid audition after another. Bullying bad dancers and spending a ton of time on back-stories seems to be a thing of the past.
Here are my Top 5 moments from Wednesday night:
I'll admit that I was skeptical when we first met Paul "The Puppet." But when that guy started to move...wow! I've really never seen anything like his unique, liquid style. In fact, it sounds like no one has! It's brand new. He's pushing animation in a new direction and I'm excited to see more of him.
Hey, we know that girl! She was one of our Cover Model Search finalists back in 2010. Three words that the then-17-year-old used to describe her dancing? "Graceful, heartfelt and dynamic." I'm not saying she hasn't grown as an artist but those words couldn't be more true, even now.
How adorable was Jenna, the Joffrey Ballet trainee? She went completely fan-girl over meeting guest judge Fabrice Calmels, and made no effort to hide her excitement. I can't say that I blame her. Fabrice's embarrassment at not knowing her from the Joffrey school was equally charming. After all that build up, it was a relief to know that her dancing would carry her through to the next round.
Jessica and her trilby hat:
Wow. Just, wow. This girl had one of the best auditions I think I've ever seen on the show. Maybe even one of the best performances. Her technique was flawless, she's gorgeous and she was smoldering with personality. I might go so far as to place a bet on her...
I was really impressed with Kyle and I'm sad that he couldn't hang in the choreography round. I hope that he'll find somewhere to train in Wichita, so he can come back stronger next year! That said, his battle with Cyrus, Fik-Shun and Legacy was AMAZING. Not only did the four of them represent four really distinct styles, but the judges were right, he fit right in with those guys. Watch it below.
I just have to call out two more dancers: Here's to amazing women in hip hop! Jaja from the Czech Republic and Marie "Poppins" from France both killed it last night, and I'm so excited that they both moved on to the next round. Like Marie said, "No tricks, just feel it!" #Girlpower.
Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.
The 2018 Oscar noms are here. Which is fun and all; we'll never not get excited about a night of glitz and glamor and, when we're lucky, pretty great dancing. But we'd be a heck of a lot more excited if the Academy Awards included a Best Choreography category. And really—why don't they?
The dancers who take our breath away are the risk-takers, the ones who appear completely fearless onstage. "When you see somebody trying to travel more, go farther, push the limits of their physical abilities, that's always going to be inspiring," says Ballet BC dancer Alexis Fletcher.
But dance training can feel like it's in conflict with that idea. We spend thousands of hours in the studio trying to do steps perfectly, and that pursuit of perfection can make us anxious about taking risks. What if we fail? What if we fall?
Luckily, fearlessness is a mental skill that you can work on, just as you work on your technique. Here's how you can learn to push yourself past your limits.
Maud Arnold is one of the busiest tap dancers on the planet. As a member of the Syncopated Ladies, Maud—along with her big sis and fellow tapper Chloé Arnold—is on constantly the road for performances, workshops, and master classes. For the average person, that kind of schedule could lead to a serious derailment of healthy habits. But Maud's far from average. Here's how the fit, fierce, flawless tap star stays stage-ready—no matter what time zone she finds herself in.
If you're in need of a piece that's both trendy and sophisticated, look no further than this Só Dança crop top. Featuring elegant long sleeves, a high neckline, and a delicate lace trim, it's both classic and contemporary—perfect for everything from that big audition to a long night in the studio. Enter below for your chance to win it!
Auditioning for summer intensives in person may be the ideal—but for Anna McDowell, a 16-year-old student at Juneau Dance Theatre in Juneau, AK, it's rarely possible. “Living in Alaska, it's difficult to travel to auditions," she says. “It gets way too expensive!" Instead, each year, with help from her teachers and a videographer, she puts together a well-crafted video and submits it to schools around the country. Last year, her high-quality video helped her earn acceptance to nearly every program she applied for. Most summer intensive programs, eager to attract students from far and wide, will accept video auditions from those who can't travel to take class. But major schools look at hundreds of submissions each year, which means video auditioners have just a few minutes—or even seconds—to make a great impression. If you're about to create an audition video, follow these tips from the professionals to put your best digital foot forward.
There are zillions of things to think about when choosing a summer program, but here's one you might not have considered: using an intensive as an opportunity to focus on a new style. Maybe you're a tap dancer who's ready to see where else your rhythm and quick feet can serve you, or a contemporary dancer curious about the more traditional roots of your genre. A summer program can be the perfect place to broaden your horizons, giving you the opportunity to make technical and artistic changes that stick throughout the year.