“SYTYCD” Season 9: Salt Lake City Auditions Recap
Last night the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 9 auditions made their final stop in Salt Lake City. With "SYTYCD" judging veteran Adam Shankman joining Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy at the judges table, we knew we were in for a great night. A well-known dance hotspot, SLC has been the audition city for at least a couple of dancers each season since it was added to the audition tour in Season 4. Needless to say, expectations were high—and the dancers didn't disappoint! From smokin' hot ballroom dancers to breathtaking contemporary, it was a great night loaded with promising talent.
Here are the top 5 moments from last night's audition:
1. Adrian Lee: First, can we say how HORRIBLE those Season 7 home visits were? Worst. Idea. Ever. If someone isn't going to make the top 20, please don't punish them more. Back to Adrian Lee, this guy is absolutely stellar and by far the best dancer we've seen on the audition tour. Although the judges weren't crazy about his choreography (We thought it was great), they still praised his technique and performance. We can't wait to see him in the top 20! (Fingers crossed!)
2. Leroy Martinez. He runs an after-school program for kids, he works at a doggy daycare and he can seriously bust a move! He's a big dude, but that didn't stop him from wowing everyone with back handsprings, stalls, head stands and more. He was completely unexpected and amazing! We think they should have sent him to Vegas.
3. Gene Lonardo. This dude showed up dressed (complete with glitter face paint!) as a preying mantis ready to show us a routine based on the life cycle of the male insect. You know, the birth, search for mate, mating and finally decapitation—what?! We thought this was for sure going to be a "So You Think You Can What?!" moment, but boy were we wrong! His movement was totally quirky and bizarre, yet surprisingly technical. If we didn't know better we'd have thought a blonde Mark Kanemura was dancing—and you all know how we adore Mark. And we agree with Nigel, Sonya would love him.
4. Deanna "Dee" Tomasetta. Her solo was absolutely gorgeous and the kind of dancing we've come to expect from the show. Her exquisite technique, finesse and dynamic performance quality could just be enough to propel her to the top 20.
5. Whitney Carson. This ballroom dancer is smokin'! Don't let that innocent face fool you, she knows how to work the camera and the judges. With her rockin' bod and stellar technique, there's no doubt she has a real shot at the top 20. Plus, she got the first hot tamale train scream of the season!
The “So You Think You Can What?!” Moment of the Night: Like last week, it was too hard to choose just one.
Second Runner Up: Adam Shankman's bad cold/allergies, which led us to believe that he was crying after every single performance.
First Runner Up: Johnny Ahn the dating machine. With the faces he was pulling during his routine, we're not sure he's going on a date any time soon.
And the Winner Is: Lynn Gravatt. The alien-possessed dancer extraordinaire. She was terrifying and awesome all at the same time. And we absolutely adored her glitter hairspray.
Check back next Thursday morning for the recap of VEGAS WEEK! And don’t forget to let us know if you’re loving this season as much as we are!
Kalani Hilliker made "Dance Moms" fans sit up a little straighter when she first appeared on "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" back in 2013. The then–12-year-old ballerina had charisma, she had sass—and, wow, did she have technique! Abby Lee Miller, the show's infamous host, saw Kalani's star potential from the start, saving her from elimination and ultimately inviting her to perform alongside Maddie Ziegler on Season 4 of "Dance Moms." "I was never supposed to be on 'Dance Moms' beyond that one performance," says Kalani, now 16, but she ended up staying on the show for the whole season—and the following three. "It was my first time, but not my last time, causing drama. And it was also the first time I got to meet the other dancers, who have become like sisters."
We're on somewhat of a dance photography kick here at DS, so we figured we'd keep it going in a very big way: an exclusive interview with Rachel Neville, the photographer responsible for all those absolutely drool-worthy dance photos on your Instagram feed. We caught up with Neville at PurePoint Financial in NYC, where her new show, "A Command Performance," is up on display (and we highly recommend you check it out).
Acupuncture has proven benefits for reducing pain and getting dancers back on their feet, but it's also a way to treat your overall well-being—in both mind and body. "Acupuncture works very holistically," says Cassandra Krug, licensed acupuncturist at the Acupuncture Clinic of Boulder, in Boulder, CO. "Even if you come in because of ankle pain, we're looking at your whole body. We're trying to return you to a place of homeostasis, or balance."
Peter Schmidt, a licensed acupuncturist who works with Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers, thinks that acupuncture—when combined with the work of dancer-friendly Western doctors, physical therapists, and orthopedists—results in a higher success rate for his patients. "Acupuncture can't address everything," he says. "But for things that are bothering you that don't show up on an X-ray or MRI, acupuncture could help." Is acupuncture right for you? We talked to the experts to find out what dancers should know before going under the needle.
Before we get into this week's recap, let's all show some love for Travis Wall, who had a day yesterday. Just hours before "So You Think You Can Dance" was set to air, Wall was at Disneyland (with friend and "Modern Family" star and aspiring Shaping Sound member Jesse Tyler Ferguson, NBD), where he found himself at a bit of a standstill—literally. "Not gonna be able to make 'So You Think' tonight...because I'm stuck on Indiana Jones," Wall shared on Instagram yesterday afternoon.
But hooray! He eventually did get off the stalled ride, and was in the audience alongside Mandy Moore. We're glad you made it, Travis!
On to the show:
This week, the Top 9 performed solos and duets with their All Stars. You know the drill. As always, we'll skip the solos and get right to the good stuff. (Though the solos were, like last week, so good.) Here's how it all went down.
To say that three-time-Emmy-nominated choreographer and dancer Stacey Tookey is in demand is an understatement. One glance at her resumé says it all: She's worked with artists like Celine Dion, Justin Timberlake, and Michael Bublé; performed with R.A.W. (Mia Michaels' dance company), Parsons Dance Project, and Ballet British Columbia; choreographed viral music videos like Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts" and Ingrid Michaelson's recent "Celebrate"; presented full-length works for Los Angeles Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet; and formed her own contemporary company, STILL MOTION. She's currently marking her 10th season choreographing for and judging on "So You Think You Can Dance," which is where she racked up those Emmy noms.
Tulle is the common thread (or should we say fabric?) that has woven its way through the course of Janay Robison's life: She's handled the delicate netting in one way or another since the age of 7. Once a soloist on her university's ballet company, she's now an emerging designer in the wedding dress industry, and has seamlessly transitioned from tutus to big-day gowns.
Robison is currently one of Utah's leading ladies in fashion. She launched Utah Fashion Week, an event that has grown to incorporate over 50 local designers and hundreds of models, make-up artists, and hair stylists, in 2014, and has had her gowns featured in several magazines. But she's found ways to pay homage to her past life as a dancer—and to use her dance knowledge in her new business. From her work ethic to her designs, Robison says ballet has given her a solid foundation from which to launch a successful wedding dress line. Check out our interview with this talented artist, and discover how she's combined her passion for dance and her love of fashion.
Yesterday, Chrissy Teigen posted an Instagram video of her trying out a pair of pointe shoes, with a hand from husband John Legend.
Yes, Teigen is obviously not a trained dancer. Yes, she looks pretty awful in the video. Yes, she could've hurt herself. Dancers and dance fans have been quick to point out all of these facts in many a comments section.
But this video is not the next Kendall Jenner-esque ballet fiasco. And here's why.
P!nk's intense, addictive new single "What About Us" is an anthem worthy of blasting during a killer cross-training sesh, scream-singing out the car window, and inspiring some truly incredible movement.