"So You Think You Can Dance" Finale Recap
I love cuddling up on the couch to watch “So You Think You Can Dance” on TV, but seeing it live is another story. Yesterday, DS editor in chief Alison Feller and I traveled to L.A. for the taping of the finale. The bright lights, crazy-enthused audience members, star-sighting and, especially, watching Cat Deeley dance along to each routine on the sidelines really changed the experience—and made us love the Top 4 dancers even more! At the end of the night, we were beyond thrilled to see ballet-trained dancers Eliana and Chehon named America’s Favorite Dancers. Get excited for more insider secrets to come in our December issue (with Eliana and Chehon on the cover!), but for now, as always, here are our top five moments.
5. The opening number! Nothing beats seeing the Top 20 dancers together again, and watching them being blown across the stage was out of this world. (You should’ve seen the size of that fan.) We’ve come to expect a lot from big group finale numbers, and Chris Scott and Sonya Tayeh’s collaboration did not disappoint. The costumes were beautiful, the concept was ethereal and the dancers were spot on.
4. On the final episode, Cat delivered her best look yet! Super-sleek hair and a sparkly dress (with sparkly-er shoes to match) made the perfect look for our favorite host.
3. We’re not sure why Cyrus got a special customized number, but we were willing to go with it. And thank goodness, because that was really awesome. Chris Scott’s poker routine (which he was in!) with Comfort and tWitch was fun to watch, showed off these dancers’ unique skills and was so complex that even the cameras were involved in the choreography.
2. Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba! I can’t even handle how amazing the final routine of the night was. Nappytabs came back to the show in style with this Lion King-inspired number for the Top 10 plus the All-Stars, and their routine definitely makes my top five “SYTYCD” moments of all-time. It’s Disney remixed—what’s not to love? The only sad part about seeing this number live was that I couldn’t hit rewind and watch it again twelve times.
1. Of course, our favorite moment was seeing two winners crowned! America’s Favorite Dancers, Eliana and Chehon, both seemed genuinely shocked and honored by their new titles. But even better than their reactions were the reactions of their fellow finalists. Cyrus and Chehon’s hug was precious, and when the Top 20 and All Stars rushed the stage, you could taste the love in that room.
The So You Think You Can Whaaat?!? Moment:
Oh Mary Murphy, I love you, but you would not be allowed on my Hot Tamale Train with all those flaming red accessories. Her bracelet, her earrings and her huge shoulder flower—plus what you didn’t see on TV, her shoes!—were sparkly, sequined red. Now, I can appreciate some tasteful sparkle (see moment number 4 above), but this was just too much.
We can’t believe another season of “SYTYCD” has flown by! We’re spending the day today taking gorgeous pictures of Chehon and Eliana, and you can check them out and read their stories in the December issue of Dance Spirit! Until then, tell us what you thought of the show. Were you surprised by the winners? Did you have different favorite moments? And were you just devastated that Jesse Tyler Ferguson wasn’t a judge? Let me know!
P!nk, known for her high-flying, acrobatic awards show sets, has literally raised the bar for pop stars everywhere. For her performance at last night's American Music Awards, P!nk decided to break out some flips and tricks ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING. WHILE FLAWLESSLY SINGING HER FACE OFF. You know, just casually, like you do when you're a full-on goddess.
When you think of a dancer, a double leg amputee may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Eric Graise, who's one of the stars of the upcoming "Step Up: High Water" YouTube Red series, hopes to change that. Graise, whose legs were amputated as a child due to missing fibula bones, will play a character named King in the new dance series, set to debut early next year.
We all suffer from Nutcracker fatigue sometimes. After a zillion performances, it's hard not to. But there's nothing to restore your little-kid sense of Nutcracker wonder like a look at the sheer scale of a world-class Nut.
New York City Ballet's iconic production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker opens on Friday, and for the past week, the company has been Tweeting out some seriously eye-popping #NutcrackerNumbers. The stats cover everything from the number of jingle bells used on each Candy Cane costume (that'd be 144) to the watts of light used in the show's grand finale (ONE. MILLION. WATTS.).
One of the most beautiful things social media has brought us is the ability to feel like we're up close and personal behind-the-scenes with all our favorite dancers. And one of our favorite stars to Insta-stalk are actually two casts of 36 scintillatingly synchronized precision dancers. I'm talking, of course, about my mild obsession with the legendary Radio City Rockettes.
Consistent turns are a must for aspiring professional dancers, but pretty much everyone struggles with pirouettes at some point. Luckily, since we're all beholden to the same rules of physics, there are concrete steps every dancer can take to reach his or her top turning potential. “Three is the new two when it comes to pirouettes, but the secret to turning is technique, not magic," says Bojan Spassoff, president and director of The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.
Falling out of your doubles? Aspiring to go revolution for revolution with your class's star turner? No matter where you lie on the turning spectrum, our 360-degree guide to pirouettes will help you improve.
You rehearse your group routine to perfection, but when the big performance rolls around, everyone turns into speed demons. It's the runaway-train effect—and it only takes one loud tapper, or zippy turner, to throw the whole group off the music.
While nerves and excitement are partly to blame, the ability to keep to tempo begins in the studio. A well-developed sense of musicality is your best defense against the dreaded speed trap. "When you understand how the steps fit with the music, going too fast won't just feel like rushing," says Jeremy Arnold, lecturer of tap at the University of Texas at Austin. "It'll feel wrong." How can dancers develop that musicality? It all starts with learning to listen.
Have we mentioned lately how much we love dance dads? Especially ones who show up to their daughter's ballet class sporting a tutu, like Thanh Tran.
You've seen it a million times: A glamorous, toned dancer posts a perfectly styled shot of her colorful smoothie bowl. The caption gushes about how great you'll feel if you eat "clean"—but what does that actually mean? DS asked registered dietitian/nutritionist Rachel Fine and holistic health coach (and founder of The Whole Dancer) Jess Spinner for all of the dirt.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org a chance to be featured!
I'm being bullied by one of the girls at my studio, and it's awful. I've talked to my dance teacher and confronted the bully directly, but it hasn't made a difference. What should I do?
Bunheads, this one's for you. They say you can tell a Nutcracker by its "Snow" scene—and we fully believe it. There are so many versions with extra goodies—olive branches! Fake snow! Sleds! Choirs! Snow queens!—and each brings a special something to the holiday favorite. But do you know which ballet has what?