"SYTYCD" Season 9 Favorites
Today is the day! Before long we'll crown our two (two!) "So You Think You Can Dance" champions! We'll know who'll be on our December cover! It's finally happening! I'm so excited that I overdid it a little on the caffeine this morning!
But really: This should be a fantastic finale episode, right? And DS editor in chief Alison Feller and managing editor Rachel Zar will be there in person to see how it all goes down. Follow us on Twitter to catch their tweets from L.A. tonight during the show!
In honor of the fantastic four finalists, I thought I'd round up my top four routines from this season. Then I started browsing and discovered I couldn't, just couldn't, stop at four. So, without further ado, here are my top seven routines:
-Eliana and Alex—contemporary by Stacey Tookey. I mean, when they paired these two technical powerhouses, we knew something magical was going to happen. Did we know it'd be this magical? Nuh uh. Bravo, guys.
-Eliana and Chehon—ballet by Marat Daukayev. Two very classy ballet dancers doing some very classical ballet? YES PLEASE.
-Chehon and Kathryn—contemporary by Tyce Diorio. Tyce's stuff is generally far too cheesalicious for me. But Chehon's emotional connection to this "suitcase" piece made what could have been a bit melodramatic feel honest.
-Tiffany and Brandon—disco by Doriana Sanchez. Any time there's a Doriana Sanchez disco on the lineup, you know you're in for a good time. This particular routine takes everything that's awesome about Tiffany and turns it up to top volume. And those insane PANTS! Love, love, love.
-Tiffany and George—contemporary by Sonya Tayeh. (George! I miss George.) A beautiful, heartfelt routine with a bit of Sonya quirkiness to stop it short of saccharine.
-Tiffany and Cyrus—lyrical hip hop by Tessandra Chavez. Clean, musical, hard-hitting, passionate—it's reminiscent of Chelsea and Mark's showstopping "Bleeding Love" routine from Season 4. And that is high praise right there, people.
-Cyrus's Top 4 solo. OK, yes, it's not a routine. But when it comes down to it, "SYTYCD" choreography doesn't really mesh with Cyrus' unique skills. Only when he's doing his own thing can you see just what a BEAST this boy is.
Well look at that. Going into this, I thought I was an Eliana girl all the way—and who ends up on top of my roundup? Tiffany! Just one of many signs that this contest could still go in any direction—which is just one of many reasons I can't wait for tonight. Another reason? Three words: Carly. Rae. Jepsen.
Tune in tomorrow for our recap of what promises to be an epic finale!
P!nk, known for her high-flying, acrobatic awards show sets, has literally raised the bar for pop stars everywhere. For her performance at last night's American Music Awards, P!nk decided to break out some flips and tricks ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING. WHILE FLAWLESSLY SINGING HER FACE OFF. You know, just casually, like you do when you're a full-on goddess.
When you think of a dancer, a double leg amputee may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Eric Graise, who's one of the stars of the upcoming "Step Up: High Water" YouTube Red series, hopes to change that. Graise, whose legs were amputated as a child due to missing fibula bones, will play a character named King in the new dance series, set to debut early next year.
We all suffer from Nutcracker fatigue sometimes. After a zillion performances, it's hard not to. But there's nothing to restore your little-kid sense of Nutcracker wonder like a look at the sheer scale of a world-class Nut.
New York City Ballet's iconic production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker opens on Friday, and for the past week, the company has been Tweeting out some seriously eye-popping #NutcrackerNumbers. The stats cover everything from the number of jingle bells used on each Candy Cane costume (that'd be 144) to the watts of light used in the show's grand finale (ONE. MILLION. WATTS.).
One of the most beautiful things social media has brought us is the ability to feel like we're up close and personal behind-the-scenes with all our favorite dancers. And one of our favorite stars to Insta-stalk are actually two casts of 36 scintillatingly synchronized precision dancers. I'm talking, of course, about my mild obsession with the legendary Radio City Rockettes.
Consistent turns are a must for aspiring professional dancers, but pretty much everyone struggles with pirouettes at some point. Luckily, since we're all beholden to the same rules of physics, there are concrete steps every dancer can take to reach his or her top turning potential. “Three is the new two when it comes to pirouettes, but the secret to turning is technique, not magic," says Bojan Spassoff, president and director of The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.
Falling out of your doubles? Aspiring to go revolution for revolution with your class's star turner? No matter where you lie on the turning spectrum, our 360-degree guide to pirouettes will help you improve.
You rehearse your group routine to perfection, but when the big performance rolls around, everyone turns into speed demons. It's the runaway-train effect—and it only takes one loud tapper, or zippy turner, to throw the whole group off the music.
While nerves and excitement are partly to blame, the ability to keep to tempo begins in the studio. A well-developed sense of musicality is your best defense against the dreaded speed trap. "When you understand how the steps fit with the music, going too fast won't just feel like rushing," says Jeremy Arnold, lecturer of tap at the University of Texas at Austin. "It'll feel wrong." How can dancers develop that musicality? It all starts with learning to listen.
Have we mentioned lately how much we love dance dads? Especially ones who show up to their daughter's ballet class sporting a tutu, like Thanh Tran.
You've seen it a million times: A glamorous, toned dancer posts a perfectly styled shot of her colorful smoothie bowl. The caption gushes about how great you'll feel if you eat "clean"—but what does that actually mean? DS asked registered dietitian/nutritionist Rachel Fine and holistic health coach (and founder of The Whole Dancer) Jess Spinner for all of the dirt.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org a chance to be featured!
I'm being bullied by one of the girls at my studio, and it's awful. I've talked to my dance teacher and confronted the bully directly, but it hasn't made a difference. What should I do?
Bunheads, this one's for you. They say you can tell a Nutcracker by its "Snow" scene—and we fully believe it. There are so many versions with extra goodies—olive branches! Fake snow! Sleds! Choirs! Snow queens!—and each brings a special something to the holiday favorite. But do you know which ballet has what?