“SYTYCD” Season 9: The Top 16 Perform
Last night on "So You Think You Can Dance" the Top 16 showed up ready to wow the judges and win America's hearts. But for two dancers, it just wasn't enough. After last week's votes, the six dancers in jeopardy were Amber, Lindsay, Eliana, George, Brandon and Dareian. The judges—Nigel, Mary and Christina Applegate—chose to say goodbye to Amber and Brandon. It's always hard to see dancers go home, but we were especially sad to see our former cover girl go. We love you, Amber!
Now for the Top 5 Moments from last night’s episode of “SYTYCD!”
1. Witney and Chehon's contemporary routine. I'm pretty sure I've been dreaming of dancing to "I Will Always Love you" my whole life. Guess I'll just have to live vicariously through Witney (who was named after Whitney Houston?!) and Chehon. Stacey Tookey's choreo was stellar tonight—it was passionate and technical and the chemistry was so real.
2. Tiffany and George's hip-hop routine. Nappytabs bringing their real-life impending parenthood to life? Saaa-weet! I don't have any munchkins of my own yet, but I imagine when I do I'll be dying to bust out this choreo. Plus, Tiffany handled the routine like a boss. Girl's got swag.
3. Eliana and Cyrus's hip-hop routine. Tabitha and Napoleon were on fire last night—great choreo and concepts all over the place. And seriously, Cyrus might really be a robot. Yes, I think he is. Plus, did you catch Eliana's stink face? Get it, girl!
4. Audrey and Matt's salsa routine. Can Audrey get any more adorable? I won't say it was the sexiest salsa I've ever seen, but I didn't really care. They're so peppy and sweet and I just want to put them in my pocket. (I'll admit, I didn't love Liz Lira's choreography.)
5. Amber and Brandon's jazz routine. I definitely love me a sultry, steamy jazz routine! Well done, Ray Leeper. While Brandon did look a bit awkward, losing his balance more than a couple of times, Amber was right at home. She was technically gorgeous, but it was her performance that really made me sweat. SO hot.
The “So You Think You Can Whaaat?!” Moment of the Night: Janelle and Dareian's cha-cha routine. "Call Me, Maybe"? Seriously, Pasha? I love you, but honestly, I can't take any routine seriously when they're dancing to Carly Rae Jepsen.
A big congrats to the Top 14! We’re super-excited to see what they'll have to show us after the two-week break. But until then, what did you think of last night’s episode? Did the judges send the right dancers home? Who's your favorite? Tell us in the comment section below!
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.