"SYTYCD" Recap: Week 1, NYC & Miami Auditions

"So You Think You Can Dance" is back! And to be honest, I'm a little nervous about what this season has in store after last night's show. I don't think the Season 7 winner will be coming out of NYC or Miami. There were some good dancers, but there were also some disasters. Onto the recap...

 

The first round of auditions happened in NYC (We were there! Check it out.) with judges Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels and Nigel Lythgoe on the panel. It's great to have Mia back and we're definitely excited to have her on board for the whole season.

 

The first dancer we saw was Sarah Brinson, a 22 year old from Philadelphia. Her contemporary routine to "Stand By Me" was sweet and earnest. A self-proclaimed "big girl" growing up, we loved that Sarah finally seemed comfortable and at ease with herself and her body. Her confidence got her a ticket straight through to Vegas. (And Nigel, we love you, but the pervy comment about her mom playing golf with Tiger Woods? Ick.)

 

Next up was Giselle Peacock. LOVE her. She was a total standout in Broadway's Burn the Floor—she shone even when dancing behind then-engaged Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff. Her sizzling Latin ballroom routine got Mia to simply say "Oh my God, you're so hot." Adam told her she was "a huge turn on," and with that she was off to Vegas.

 

Then we had our first disaster: Mike Perlman of the "1 2 3 Party" boys. Sure he was kind of cute (OK, really cute) and certainly good for a laugh with his lime green T-shirt, knee-high socks and pink and purple bike shorts. But ultimately he wasn't a dancer. No Vegas for him, but thanks for the giggle.

 

Returning hopeful Teddy Tedholm came back to NYC to audition, this time in a more understated outfit. Gone were his checkered pants that he wore during Boston's Season 6 audition round, this time replaced with a simple black suit. Both Adam and Mia were (for the first of several times last night) nearly in tears at the end of Teddy's contemporary solo. Mia called him brilliant and said he "represented the unpopular kid at school." Adam said "Oh my God" and cried. Per usual. 18-year-old Teddy, for the second time, was given a ticket to Vegas.

 

After that we were given brief clips of Briana De Falco and Daniel Baker, both of whom were also sent through to Vegas. Then came Chris "Isolock" Dixon, who reminded me of Phillip Chbeeb. His IsoLocking (a mix of isolations and locking, in case that wasn't clear) was pretty cool, though not overly impressive. He made it through to the choreography round (taught by returning All-Star Courtney Galiano from Season 4 and  Season 5's Jason Glover) before he was cut.

 

On the second day of NYC auditions, Nigel begins with some advice for the contestants: "Be yourselves. Be unique. Make sure we haven't seen anything like you," he told them. And yet, we were shown another slew of contestants who didn't quite stand out. Lots of contemporary solos, lots of the same stuff we've seen before.

 

Up first was Wadi Jones, with his impressive tricks, who made it through to the choreography round. Forgettable. Anthony Burrell came next. He was strong, mature and fantastic. Straight through to Vegas! Then we saw Megan Davis (Shout out, she's from my home state and actually teaches at my old studio—yay New Hampshire!), who was a Dance Spirit fashion model last year. The judges loved her and handed her a ticket to Vegas.

 

Edward Spots, a dancer in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's preprofessional program, was next. His jumps were high, his turns were quick and his baby face was pretty adorable. But his feet were less than stellar and overall I didn't find him to be memorable. He was followed by Megan Carter, who was the second dancer to bring Mia to tears. Megan may be a bigger girl, but she's got one heck of a penchee and some seriously impressive extension. As Mia said, she proved that everyone can dance, no matter what size we are. Granted Nigel knocked her down a bit afterward by saying she'll have a hard time getting jobs... But still, it was touching and she was talented.

 

Then we moved on to MIAMI! On the panel this time: Nigel, ballroom expert Jason Gilkison and fan favorite Sonya Tayeh.

 

I have to be honest, in all the shots they showed of Miami, it didn't look like there was much of a turnout for auditions. Twenty contestants were given tickets to Vegas from this sexy city, which was actually surprising since the talent they showed during the episode wasn't much to write home about.

 

First up was German ballroom dancer Michael Petr. Loved him! He earned a nod of approval from Jason Gilkison, and another one from us. Tyrelle Rolle came next. A contemporary dancer, he's only been dancing for seven years (because he "didn't want to deal drugs") and was sent through to Vegas. Joining him on the Vegas bandwagon was Henry Rivera, who was adorably nervous during his on-camera interview, but truly shone during his audition.

 

I'd like to forget that painfully awkward father/daughter dance, so we'll move on to Ami Aguiar-Riley, the mom who was good but not great (though her 6-year-old son is wicked cute). She made it through to the choreography round and, ultimately, was given a ticket to Vegas. Candace Craig, the boobalicious dancer with the fantastic legs, also made it through to choreography but was then cut. Loved her personality—she just needs to figure out how to rely more on that and her dancing than her body.

 

Rose Neptune came next with a "ballroom" routine that I don't want to talk about, prompting Sonya to sigh and say "I'm disappointing in Miami." Us too, Sonya!

 

Lastly came Jose Ruiz, a stellar B-boy who was sent right to Vegas. With his cornrows, mile-wide grin and rapid-fire headspins, the judges compared him to Legacy and we can't wait to see how far he makes it in the competition.

 

Next week: Auditions in Chicago and L.A. Check back for the recap!

via YouTube

Beyoncé's choreographer + Beyoncé's dance captain + the greatest duets of our generation = dance video greatness. Yes, it may seem too good to be true, but the dance gods have gifted us with this very sequence—and it's the best thing we've seen in a long time.

Keep reading... Show less
Future Star winner Kaitlyn Chapa (photo by Rainbow Dance Media Center, courtesy Jennifer Chapa)

Dance Spirit is beyond excited to announce the first round of 2017 Future Star winners! Every year, DS partners with competitions to recognize dancers with exceptional presence and ability. The second round of winners will be featured in our January issue, so stay tuned!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Photo by Erin Baiano

You're obsessed with class videos. We're obsessed with class videos. The passion, energy, and talent showcased in these clips, which give us an insider-y peek at the commercial dance world's hottest classes, are totally irresistible.

But at what point does the phenomenon go from being a good thing to a bad thing for dancers and the dance world? Is the focus on filming distracting from the work dancers are supposed to be doing in class? Are overproduced videos presenting a dangerously misleading picture of the dance world? Is the pressure to be a class video star becoming too much for dancers to handle? These are some of the questions A-list dancer and choreographer Ian Eastwood—no stranger to the class video himself—has been asking on Twitter. And they've sparked a lively, important debate.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer

Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!

Keep reading... Show less

It's time for a tutu test! So many iconic ballets, so many beautiful tutus. Can you figure out which ballet each of these costumes comes from?

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Kalani, Kendall, and Chloe (courtesy Anne Watkins)

Our favorite drama-filled, dance reality show may have ended this past fall, but "Dance Moms" stars Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall aren't about to let that end their dance careers. In fact, these dancing kweens are taking their moves to a city near you with their Irreplaceables Tour! The girls are going all out for the three-week dance production, which is taking them across the country. And these dazzling dancers aren't just content with showing off their dance skillz—they want to pass along their tips and tricks in a dance workshop where they'll lead fans in stretches and dance routines from the show.

Dance Spirit caught up with Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall to find out what they love about tour life and where they see themselves five years from now.

Keep reading... Show less
Watch This
Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker" (photo by Simon Annand, courtesy Raw PR)

When most of us think of The Nutcracker, we imagine a growing Christmas tree, dancing mice, and a little girl named Clara (or Marie) traveling to the Land of Sweets. But companies around the world have been reinventing the holiday classic, changing the storyline or adding their own spectacular sets and characters. To get in the Nutcracker spirit this season, check out these out-of-the-box productions.

Keep reading... Show less
Watch This
Screenshot via YouTube

Shut up and take my money!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Katarina leading an assisted-living class (photo by Mary Y. Jakimier, courtesy Jakimier)

Aspiring ballerina Katarina Jakimier, a Dallas, TX, native, was just 12 when Dance Spirit first featured her, highlighting the innovative pointe shoe recycling program she created in her community. Now 16, Jakimier is still studying ballet intensively—this past fall she started training at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany—and is still on a mission to make the world a better place. Recently, she founded the Silver Swans Ballet Program, which allows senior citizens in retirement homes to experience the magic of ballet, and to reap all of its health benefits. Here, she tells us how the initiative came to be. —Courtney Bowers

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
courtesy Red Is Dancing

Distance, schmistance.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Want to Be on Our Cover?

covermodelsearch-image

Video

Sponsored

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Sponsored