"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?
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?