Dance News

"So You Think You Can Dance" Recap: Vanessa Sees Ducks!

Dancers auditioning for "SYTYCD" Season 14 in NYC (Adam Rose/FOX)

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!)


Let's give it up for the night's standout performers—because they're all going to The Academy!

Kaylee "Impavido" Millis

She says Impavido is "Italian for 'to fear less," and that's what she stands for as a dancer. Kaylee has always wanted to be a dancer, and when she was young her parents were like, "Nah, you can pay for that hobby yourself." So, at 12, she got a job working at her mom's deli, and used the money to travel and dance. (If Kaylee looks familiar, it's probably because you've seen her as a PULSE Elite Protégé.)

The judges say: Nigel praised Kaylee's individuality and her "neat style" and "great face where you know you're pleasing people." He also liked her funk. Mary "absolutely loved it."

Vanessa says: "So beautiful! You are such a beautiful dancer! So much precision. Your groove is amazing. Beautiful, beautiful dancer."


Ana Sanchez

The 4'11" ballroom dancer tells Cat Deeley in her pre-performance interview that she "wants to get on the Hot Tamale Train." Spoiler: She does. (Also, can we puh-lease get some more Cat Deeley up in here?) Ana and her partner (who isn't technically auditioning because he's "too old") perform a Colombian salsa, which, they explain, is faster and has more flavor and passion than a regular salsa. (Sounds like some salsa shade-throwing, amirite?) The lifts were great, but Ana seemed more focused on the steps than on having fun with them.

The judges say: Mary screamed really loud, then praised Ana for her stamina and called her a "little hot tamale." Nigel liked the lifts and said he "can't wait to practice some of those lifts with Vanessa." 😬

Vanessa says: "YAS QUEEN! Good things do come in small packages! That was so fun! The way you're like WOO when you're dancing!"


Koine Iwasaki

The Japanese-born dancer—whose parents are both sushi chefs—says dance "helps her communicate in a way that language can't." That is so beautiful, and so was her performance. Lots of deep second pliés, loads of emotion, and one very bendy back.

The judges say: Standing ovation! Nigel said she had power, strength, and tremendous technique, and that her performance was very professional. Mary appreciated the layers to her performance, as well as her beauty and strength.

Vanessa says: "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I got chills when you hit your last pose. Your control! Your precision! You showed so much. When you smiled, I literally said awwww and it just made me so happy."


Joseph "Klassic" Carella and Huwer "Havoc" Marchet

Their style is called "flexing," and you can read more about it (and see it!) here. It's a genre that originated in Brooklyn, and it involves "connecting, punchlines, grooving, gliding," and other elements. It's weird and different, and we would've liked to see them go to the choreography round, but...

The judges say: ...straight to The Academy! Nigel says it was very artistic, and he thinks Havoc is a genius. Mary says it was "sick."

Vanessa says: "You like, told a story. And there was like, some comedy." (Bless your happy heart, Vanessa.)


Chaz Wolcott

This guy! He's a professional Broadway dancer who toured with both CATS and Newsies, so there's that. He's also on faculty at Broadway Dance Center. As if this tapper's not going to get through. His sounds are clean, he's super classy, and he pirouetted for long enough that the cameras eventually cut away to Vanessa screaming "YAS!"

The judges say: Standing ovation! Mary says Chaz was the first tapper to get her teary-eyed, and Nigel says Chaz was one of the best tappers he's seen in years.

Vanessa says: "You are so good! So so good! I felt you through your dance. There was a certain yumminess to your dancing."


Ryan Bailey

He's a quirky guy who has his own quirky contemporary style, and we love him. He says his style "sometimes confuses people" (foreshadowing), but it's nice to see some totally original work. He danced to "Time of My Life"—that Dirty Dancing classic—and took it in a totally unexpected direction.

The judges say: They didn't so much say words as they did just kinda fumble around looking for the right way to describe what they'd just seen—but they knew they liked it.

Vanessa says: "Your routine was really confusing to me. I saw a duck..."

That's all for this week! There's more to come from NYC, so we'll see you back here next time!

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