"So You Think You Can Dance" Recap: Vegas Week
Malece's miraculous recovery!
It’s Vegas Week!!!!!! This episode was jam-packed (all of Vegas in one episode!?), so we didn’t get as many featured performances as I’d like. And many early standouts (like Jennie Begley, the Boston ballerina) weren’t even shown at all. Here are five must-see happenings from the collage of dance moments that was last night’s show:
1. Malece Miller’s big fall. Got to hand it to “SYTYCD,” they’ve mastered the art of catching injuries in action and playing them over and over in slow motion. And watching Armen drop Malece on her head (on cement!) was definitely cringe-worthy. This is why you shouldn’t practice lifts when you’re tired, people! I’m surprised Malece was the only casualty of Sonya’s choreography. After a night in the hospital, Malece returned as sassy as ever. Then, as if we didn’t already love her enough, she didn't even throw Armen under the bus (even though it was clearly his fault!) when explaining what happened to the judges. She’s got the look, she’s got technique—and now she certainly has the story. I smell Top 20. Armen, however, is eventually sent home. I’m not upset about it.
2. ShanShan Qiao-Rothlisberger (best name ever!) doing hip-hop. This Mongolian bowl dancer was good at her own thing, but I was surprised that the judges sent her to Vegas. Why would they think she could do anything else? But then, she totally pulled off Nappytabs’ hip-hop choreo! OK, she didn't exactly get the choreography, but she was beyond in character with her dope hip-hop outfit. So much swag. I have to be honest; I never thought that girl had it in her! Of course, she was sent home later, but color me impressed.
3. Watching the groups struggle to make up choreography is usually my favorite part of Vegas Week. This year, it kind of got skipped over. But that first group, including early favorite Jenna Johnson, was just lovely (and so not cheesy!) in their tribute to the heroism after the Boston bombings. I couldn’t tell if everyone was crying because of exhaustion or genuine emotion, but it certainly made this piece stand out. Check it out:
4. Animator Jade Zuberi got a whole lot of air time after his partner, Sydney, threw him under the bus and asked Sonya if she could switch to someone else. Ouch. Sonya doesn’t like that, and, though Sydney's a beautiful dancer, it probably ruined her Top 20 chances. After practicing by himself all night long (aww!) Jade doesn’t do so badly, and is the only dancer asked to dance for his life. As dancers generally do while dancing for their life, he wowed the judges—and then later, he was asked to dance for his life again, this time in an awesome battle with Cyrus’s buddy Bluprint. Have to admit, I was on Team Bluprint during this battle, but the judges let both of them stay. Prediction: these animators will be the final two on the “green mile” next week.
Watch them battle it out:
5. Amy Yakima. Even though she wasn’t dropped on her head or part of any intense drama, this little firecracker stood out the entire episode, especially in Sonya’s choreography. She’s the quintessential Sonya dancer for sure. Adam calls her Top 20 material. And I’d be surprised if we didn’t see her there.
Only 33 remain, and next week we’ll get down to 20! Who do you think will make the final cut?
Don't forget to enter our "SYTYCD" finale sweepstakes—you could win a free trip to the finale in L.A!
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: