"So You Think You Can Dance" Recap: Welcome to The Academy!
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.
Here's how The Vanessa Hudgens-less Academy is going to work... (We miss you so much, Vanessa.)
First, the dancers perform a solo for the All-Stars.
Then, if the All-Stars are psyched about it, they'll send the dancer to the first choreography round. From there, the dancers get an hour to learn the choreography before performing it for the All-Stars. Then, the All-Stars decide who they love the most, and they'll beg them to be on their team. Ultimately, each All-Star will be paired with one dancer to form the Top 10, and those dancers will compete in the live shows. So basically, it's "SYTYCD" meets "The Voice." Got it? Good. (Oh, and if the dancers aren't good enough at any point—either performing their solos or during the choreography rounds—the All-Stars can get all "boy bye" on them. Scary!)
"It will be the hardest challenge of their lives," Cat tells the audience before introducing the All-Stars.
The All-Stars! Season 14's very esteemed panel includes Robert, Gaby, Paul, Jasmine, Marko, Comfort, Cyrus, Jenna, Fik-Shun, and Allison. (Who would you choose?!) Cyrus is looking for passion! Gaby wants to see how quickly the dancers can pick up choreography under pressure! Allison loves everyone!
The good thing about these episodes is that they move fast, and we get to see a lot of dancing along the way. Here are the moments that stood out most from the first week at The Academy.
No one can get enough of this guy. The fan favorite performed another solo, much to the delight of the All-Stars. He made it through the Nappytabs hip-hop choreography round, and joined Team Gaby. (Did anyone else predict he'd either be Team Allison or Team Robert? Curveball!)
Blue-haired Kaylee Millis and Robert Green
These two teamed up to dominate the Nappytabs choreo, and both ultimately made it onto All-Star teams (Kaylee joined Team Cyrus. Cannot wait to see this dynamic duo in action!)
Everyone wants Logan Hernandez
The contemporary dancer performed his solo again, and the best part wasn't even the dancing—it was the priceless reactions from the All-Stars. They loved him. (Jenna, Robert, and Allison really loved him, and all tried to get him on their respective teams. But he opted for Team Allison.)
By the end of the night, 71 dancers had made it to the hip-hop choreography round, and a handful of them made it onto All-Star teams. (Dassy Lee nabbed a spot on Team Fik-Shun while Kevin Davis Jr. went with Team Allison.) Next week, the cuts keep coming as the dancers head into the ballroom round. See you then!
Misty Copeland. Her name is synonymous with exquisite artistry and outspoken advocacy. And her visibility has made a huge impact on the ballet world. Ballet's relationship with race has always been strained at best, hostile at worst. But Copeland's persistent message and star quality have finally forced the ballet industry to start talking about racial diversity, inclusivity, and representation. "The rarity of seeing ourselves represented is sad," Copeland says. "The more we see every hue and body shape represented on the stage, the more possibilities young dancers feel they have for themselves."
Last month, we asked why there wasn't a Best Choreography category at the Oscars—and discovered that many of you agreed with us: Choreographers should definitely be acknowledged for their work on the super-dancy movies we can't get enough of.
Now, we're taking matters into our own (jazz) hands.
Contemporary phenom Christina Ricucci has super-flexible hips, which means she can stretch her legs to unbelievable heights. But when she noticed herself making contorted positions in class, Ricucci realized she was approaching her extensions all wrong. "I went back to the basics in class, squaring my hips and using my turnout," Ricucci says. "I learned to create proper positions, rather than whacked-out versions of them."
Some dancers are so wonky they have a hard time supporting their high legs, while others struggle with limited flexibility. But no matter your facility, you can find a balance of stretch and strength to achieve your fullest range of extension. It's not about how high (or not) your legs can go: It's the quality of the movement, and how you get those legs up, that counts.
Yesterday, the dance community was heartbroken to learn that Jaime Guttenberg and Cara Loughran, both 14-year-old dancers, were among the 17 people killed on Valentine's Day in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Once upon a time (until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi concluded, to be exact), figure skaters had to compete to music without words. Before this rule change, a skater faced an automatic point deduction if the music even hinted at vocals. Understandably, there were *a lot* of Olympic programs skated to classical music, and you'd tend to hear the same music selections over and over and over.
There are plenty of current Olympic figure skaters who'd make beautiful dancers (first among them Adam Rippon, whose gorgeously choreographed long program won the internet, if not the gold). But today, as we wait for the women's figure skating competition to crown its new champions, we wanted to throw it back to one of the most beautifully balletic skaters of all time: Sasha Cohen.
The high-flying leaps of grand allegro are meant to be incredibly exciting. But at the end of an intense ballet class, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to give them the attention they deserve. Want to pump up your big jumps? Follow these 10 vital tips from Jennifer Hart, curriculum director and instructor at Ballet Austin.
"Whole, low-fat, or skim?" The question of which milk to drink has gotten a little more complicated lately, with a wide variety of nondairy milks popping up in grocery stores. To find out which ones are worth your milk money, we had registered dietitian Monika Saigal answer some FAQs.