"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!
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.
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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:
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.
This Nationals season, Dance Spirit followed four talented dancers from The Dance Awards, NYCDA, Showstopper, and Starpower for an inside look at everything that goes into the biggest competitions of the year. First up: Isabella Torres from Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, who competed at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals for the first time this year. (All photos courtesy Shannon Torres.)
Merritt Moore is a ballerina who just so happens to be graduating from Oxford University with a PhD in quantum physics. Is she even human? The jury is still out on that - but the 29-year-old, who earned her undergrad degree from Harvard, has actually found dance to be a powerful tool that assists her in her studies.