"SYTYCD" Season 9: The First Elimination
Last night on "So You Think You Can Dance," the Top 20 became the Top 16. The six dancers who received the lowest votes "from America" were Janaya, Alexa, Witney, Nick, Daniel and Chehon. The judges chose to save Witney and Chehon from elimination, and so we said goodbye to the other four. Major bummer. What happened, Alexa?
But the show wasn't a total sadness-fest. There was a bathtub! There was a "big sexy tomato." (Adam Shankman's words) named Cat Deeley, looking ravishing in bright red. ("Take a bite, why don't you," Cat quipped back at Mr. Shankman.) And best of all, there was a preview performance from the dancers of the upcoming Step Up Revolution, which opens in theaters July 27 and is guaranteed to be awesome.
Oh and if you think Kathryn McCormick, the film's leading lady, is super hot (which she is—this is not a debate), get excited for the November issue of DS. And if you think tWitch is the hottest male dancer of all time (also not a debate), you're in luck even sooner: He just may be all over our September issue.
On with the Top 5 Moments from last night's episode of "SYTYCD!"
1. The awesome Marilyn Manson opening number featuring the entire Top 20. The sequined outfits the dudes were wearing? The red-hot ladies with their crazy headpieces? Oh Nappytabs, you've done it again. It was sort of Afro Jazz meets hip hop meets Thriller and I totally dug it. Also, there were fog machines. You simply cannot go wrong with fog machines. Plus, I appreciated that all the dancers really blended. I wasn't focused on one dancer the entire time, even though Cyrus was kind of the routine's front-man. They all worked really well together.
2. Amber's arms. Oh, she did a tango last night? Cool. I barely noticed. For all I know the girl could've been wearing tap shoes and shuffilng up a storm. I could not take my eyes of her killer, oh-so-defined upper body. She's awesomely ripped and I want to be just like her. But yeah, she did do a tango, and it was pretty great. My ballroom expertise (that's a slight exaggeration) tells me that she nailed the quick, fancy footwork and her upper body was nicely pulled up and controlled. Well done, former DS cover girl.
3. Amelia and Will's Sonya Tayeh routine. While I always love Sonya's choreography, this routine was interestingly un-Sonya. I appreciated that Amelia quite literally threw herself into every single move, and Will seems like a fantastic I-will-always-be-there-to-
4. Audrey and Matthew, are you serious? These two are dynamite! Between last week's Titanic routine and this week's Sonya Tayeh number, they've solidly established themselves as two dancers to beat. This week, Audrey managed to be fantastically fierce, despite her sweet little braid and rhinestone-bedazzled bra. And Matthew, rocking the guyliner, has mastered the art of partner eye contact. These two rocked it last night. Dare I say they're my favorites at this point in the competition?
5. Tiffany's lilac-colored Foxtrot costume. It was so sparkly and gorgeous. I could not take my eyes off this dress! I'm not normally one to rave about the ballroom routines on "SYTYCD," but I thought The Tiffster and George did a pretty swell job with this one. But also, the dress. Where can I get it? It's very versatile, and I would be able to wear it out dancing, and to work, and at dinner parties and running in Central Park. I would never take it off.
The "So You Think You Can Whaaat?!" Moment of the Night:
Adam Shankman, I respect you and I enjoy the way you manage to layer so many tops each night (a shirt, a vest, a tie, a cardigan, a blazer, another vest, a sequined brooch...it all just keeps layering)—but please reel it in with the tears and the overly-dramatic statements. Every routine makes this guy cry. Every dancer seems to get a standing ovation. When he told Amelia her lines were "perfect" I was semi-baffled. Yeah, she's great, but from what I saw she needs to work a little harder to get those legs fully extended and those feet fully pointed. So to call her perfect? Seems a little over-reaching, Adam. Not every routine has to be OMG-the-best-thing-ever, and not ever dancer is the most incredible one you've ever seen onstage. Just keep it real, OK?
Congratulations to the Top 16! We're psyched to see what you have in store for us next week. Until then, what'd you think of last night's episode? Did you like having all the good stuff crammed into one show? Are you wicked pumped to see Step Up Revolution next week (the answer is yes)? And do you think America and the judges got it right by eliminating Alexa, Daniel, Janaya and Nick? Tell us in the comments!
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.
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.
Lani Dickinson's power, grace, and raw presence make her a standout with AXIS Dance Company, whose mission is to change the face of dance and disability by featuring a mix of disabled and non-disabled performers. Born in China, Dickinson was adopted by an American couple and started dancing at 8 in Towson, MD. She attended the Boston Ballet School for two summers, studied at the Idyllwild Arts Academy for the last two years of high school, and graduated with a dance degree from Alonzo King LINES Ballet's BFA program with Dominican University of California. In 2015, she joined AXIS and won a Princess Grace Award. Catch her this month during AXIS Dance Company's 30th-anniversary season—and read on for The Dirt!
Week five of "Dancing with the Stars" proved to be one of the best weeks of the season so far. (And we're not just saying that because Mickey made a cameo debut on the piano during one of the routines—although that certainly didn't hurt!) Everyone brought their A-game, and with such a fun theme the contestants were able to really let their guards down. There was true sincerity in their dancing that we hadn't seen before. But not all Disney stories end with a "happily ever after," and one couple still had to hang up their dancing shoes.
If there's one week you should watch all the routines of it's undoubtedly this one... But, ICYMI, scroll below for our highlights of the night.