"SYTYCD" Season 9: The Top 4 Perform
This is it! It's the performance finale and it's time for Eliana, Cyrus, Tiffany and Chehon to show America why they each deserve to be named America's Favorite Dancer (plus the top guy and girl land a spot on the December cover of Dance Spirit!).
With such awesomely talented dancers—and heavy hitter Rob Marshall sitting on the judges' panel—it's hard to nail down just five moments that made us flash our jazz hands at the TV screen. So is it OK if we do something a little different? How about a quick rundown of all the evening's routines, described in Twitter-style 140 characters or fewer? Cool, glad you're on board.
Cyrus and Eliana, Paso Doble: Eliana is technical & gorgeous. Cyrus dragged her around the floor & it looked so fun. Cyrus wore a dress. Mary said "You delivered." Yes!
Tiffany & Will Wingfield, Jazz: Dislike: Tiffany's garter. Like: Tiffany's commitment. Love: Will. Not super exciting, but well executed. Cat said "That was joyful." Agree!
Eliana & Chehon, Ballet: OMG a legit classical ballet routine!!! Pointe shoes! A tiara! Pink tights! Love love love. Fantastic. Standing O from the jidges!
Tiffany & Cyrus, Lyrical Hip Hop: Now THAT'S full-out! T&C killed that Tessandra Chavez choreo! Mary called Tiffany a "little beast" & Rob complimented their "abandon."
Top 4, Group Routine: Each in his/her own style, which is cool. A bit disconnected as a group, but lots of lovely little solo moments. Not outstanding, but cute.
Eliana Solo: This girl is a star. You know that by now, right? Great partner, exceptional soloist, fantastic technique & genuine personality.
Chehon & Allison Holker, Contemporary: It's so hard not to watch Allison, but man oh man, Chehon is worth your attention. And that kiss at the end! tWitch, don't be mad!
Interruption: Mary just said Stacey Tookey was "Nemmy Ominated." She means Emmy Nominated, right? Right. (And well-deserved. Tookster, if we can call you that, you're the best. One-handed lifts? Seriously? Well played, S-Tooks, well played. Now just let me know which nickname you'd like to go ahead with. K good choreography, love you, bye.)
Eliana & Tiffany, Burlesque to Broadway Or Something: Love the girl power. Adore both these ladies. Not sure we needed the pole dancing. Nigel loved it. Naturally. Oh goodness.
Cyrus Solo: Is he the BEST male dancer still on the show? Nope. But does America love this guy? Clearly. And in his element, he's unstoppable.
Tiffany Solo: This girl is a fighter. She's strong, full-out & so invested in every routine. Also, she's stinkin' adorable. Want to put her in my pocket!
Cyrus & Chehon, Jazz?: Love dude duets! So much strength. Nigel said Cyrus is his "favorite person on the show" & Chehon is his "favorite dancer on the show."
Jean Sok, Guest Performance: He only has one full leg. Crazy impressive. Crazy awesome. Crazy inspiring. Jean, I bow down to you.
Chehon Solo: Danny Tidwell 2.0. But a little more charismatic & with the highest jumps EVER. Stellar performer, great technician, truly stunning.
Eliana & Alex Wong, Contemporary: Dream Team reunited! This was AWESOME. Just...awesome. These two together are un-stinkin-stoppable. Wow. Nigel's fave of the night!
OK, Nigel just said Eliana is his favorite of all-time on this series. That's a compliment if I've ever heard one!
Sorry sorry sorry, back to 140 characters.
Tiffany & Chehon, Rumba: Sexy time! The curtains! The white dress! It was so sweet & innocent. These two nailed it.
Cyrus & tWitch, Animation: Madd Chadd cameo!!! Didn't love this one as much as I'd expected to. Oh well. Still love them both!
So basically, last night's episode just made us love every member of the Top 4 even more. What a strong, deserving group. We hope you voted, America—and we'll proudly feature your top guy and top girl on our December cover.
Fess up: Who'd you pick up the phone for last night? Chehon? Cyrus? Eliana? Tiffany?
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.