“SYTYCD” Season 10 Recap: The Top 10 Perform
Definitely not Nico's best look. (by Adam Rose/FOX)
Whew! I’m pretty sure I’m just as exhausted as the dancers must be in the aftermath of this week’s episode. Yes, they were the ones who actually performed all the super-tough choreography, but I had to sit and watch two more out-of-this-world talents get sent home. And the show’s producers didn't even try to spare our emotions this week. So glad I had the added fun of the All-Stars to keep my spirits up! So how am I supposed to pick just 5 moments from last night? I don’t mean to sound like a reality TV judge (okay, maybe I do), but this was a really tough decision…
1. Christopher Scott’s rocking chair-themed opening number. It, well, rocked! I’ve never really been hip hop’s #1 fan, but this season has proven to me that Christopher Scott can do no wrong. His choreography from last night had all the ingredients of a terrific opening number: organic but creative partnering, inventive use of props to further a concept and some good old-fashioned acrobatics. (Ordinary cartwheels are going to seem so boring now, compared to the wildly kinetic ones the Top 10 pulled off on those rocking chairs!) Oh, and that final moment when the dancers scattered instantaneously, only to reveal one chair rocking by itself at center stage? Magic, pure and simple.
2. The wardrobe department was all over the place this week. Results ran the gamut from hot to, um, not. The good: Cat Deeley’s studded wrap dress, Amy’s sassy fringed disco number and Makenzie’s retro chiffon circle skirt. The bad: Jenna’s skimpy lavender nightgown (with white granny panties—yikes!). The ugly: Nico’s reptilian getup. Yes, I know he was supposed to be something totally bizarre and otherworldly, but that floppy turtleneck with the random spots completely swallowed up his lanky neck and torso. And while his All-Star partner Comfort’s reptile makeup was pretty fierce, Nico just looked like someone had smeared greenish dirt on his face—not good.
3. Mary acted even crazier than usual! Wait, is that even possible? Apparently so, and we have her new diet to blame. The weirdness started after Hayley did a hip-hop routine with All-Star tWitch. Mary got so excited about Hayley’s flat-as-a-pancake hands that she started to go off about how she can’t have pancakes on this new diet of hers. Then, while commenting on Jenna’s contemporary performance alongside All-Star Neil, ice cream became a metaphor for sinuous partnering. Huh? These unusually awkward moments were of course punctuated by an ample dose of Mary’s usual silliness (lots of squealing, The Hot Tamale Train, you know the drill). Here’s hoping Mary goes back to "normal" soon. I’m not sure I can handle this much crazy from her on a regular basis!
4. Amy and Fik-Shun’s partnership had to end with the arrival of the All-Stars. Yes, we knew that this time would come sooner or later. Still, it’s kind of sad to think that we won’t be seeing any more of their combined kooky charm on the “SYTYCD” stage. But both Fik-Shun and Amy proved this week that they can produce great chemistry with other partners, too. Amy tackled disco with her trademark spunk alongside All-Star Brandon Bryant. Meanwhile, Fik-Shun blew me away with his maturity and confidence as he partnered Season 8 winner Melanie Moore through a percussive jazz routine. Maybe the end of “Fik-my” (or “A-Shun”?) just means we’re in for even more diverse performances from both Fik-Shun and Amy as this season continues.
5. Jenna, Makenzie, Nico and Tucker all end up in the danger zone, and we say goodbye to Makenzie and Nico. This may not have been a huge shock, but it was so sad to see two such technically gifted dancers go. Hopefully, the exposure Makenzie and Nico gained on the show, along with their obvious talent and ability, will garner them plenty of professional opportunities soon. Best of luck, you two! (Oh, and Makenzie? You may not be America’s, but you’re definitely My Favorite Dancer.)
Next week promises plenty more “SYTYCD” excitement, with the All-Stars choreographing for and performing with the remaining 8 dancers! Will you be tuning in? Did the judges choose the right guy and girl to send home this week? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
For more on choosing whether to compete or not, click here.
I started dance classes at a young age. By the time I was 3, I was training at The Dance Club, and I grew up there. I started with the basics—ballet and jazz—and eventually added tap, tumbling, contemporary, and hip hop.
Early on, I did compete. I remember my first time: I did a trio at a small local competition, and it got first place. The trophy was as tall as I was, and I loved it. I attended conventions as a mini, and had the opportunity to take classes from Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Andy Pellick, and Joey Dowling-Fakhrieh. There was so much variety—I was in awe.
For more on choosing whether to compete or not, click here.
My mom was a dancer growing up, and she went on to become a dance teacher, so I've really grown up in the studio. I started classes when I was 2, and by the time I was 9, I was training at The Dance Club and knew I wanted to dedicate all my time to dance.
Daphne Lee is a queen, and not just in the "OMG Girl Boss Alert" sense of the word. She's an actual queen—a beauty queen. Crowned Miss Black USA in August, she's been doing double duty as she continues to dance with the Memphis based dance company, Collage Dance Collective. Lee's new title has given her the means to encourage other black girls and boys to pursue their dreams, while also pursuing dreams of her own. The scholarship money awarded with the pageant title will assist her as she earns a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Hollins University.
When a choreographer finds a composer whose music truly inspires her, it can feel like a match made in dance heaven. Some choreographers work with the same composers so frequently that they become known for their partnerships. New York City Ballet soloist and resident choreographer Justin Peck, for example, has tapped composer Sufjan Stevens numerous times (last spring, the two premiered The Decalogue at NYCB, to rave reviews); L.A. Dance Project's Benjamin Millepied's working relationship with composer Nico Muhly has spanned a decade and two continents; and when tap dancer Michelle Dorrance premiered the first-ever Works & Process Rotunda Project, a site-specific work for New York City's Guggenheim Museum, last year, percussionist Nicholas Van Young was by her side as an equal partner. Successful collaborations require compatibility between artists, direct and honest communication, and flexible, open minds. But when the stars align, working with a composer can be extremely rewarding.
For ballerinas, it's the dream role to end all dream roles: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the type of part dancers spend years preparing for and whole careers perfecting. And it's a role that New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck never thought she'd dance. Though Peck is one of the world's preeminent ballerinas, her short stature made Odette/Odile, typically performed by longer, leggier dancers, seem (almost literally) out of reach.
Then—surprise!—her name popped up on the cast list for NYCB's fall season run of Swan Lake.