“SYTYCD” Season 9: The Top 20 Perform
Last night the Season 9 Top 20 took the stage in the first real competition of the season. And boy, did things get hot! Over at the judges' table, High School Musical director Kenny Ortega joined Nigel and Mary and—phew!—was I glad to have an articulate and knowledgeable judge with real dance experience weighing in on the performances.
Here are our Top 6 (sorry, I couldn't choose only 5!) Moments from last night's show:
6. Tiffany and George's contemporary routine. I professed my love for Sonya last week and I'm pretty sure that after this week's routine it's turned into an obsession. Sonya's choreo is always super athletic, but I loved the emotion Tiffany and George infused into the movement. This partnership is going to do big things, people. I see them sticking around for a long time.
5. Eliana and Cyrus's Broadway routine. The performance was 100 percent cheese ball and I totally ate it up. For never having done choreography, Cyrus was shockingly awesome and a seriously great partner. Props to Tyce was giving them choreo that made them both look great.
4. Amber and Nick's Viennese waltz. I must admit I was a bit skeptical of this pairing at first, but they actually had some pretty great chemistry. The choreography was flowing and technical and downright dreamy. Bravo, Jason Gilkison, on a great routine. And I just have to mention Amber's hair—it was rockin'. She looked gorgeous.
3. Amelia and Will's (character pop) hip-hop routine. This number was Nappytabs at their finest! Amelia and Will were completely committed to their characters and I couldn't get enough of them. They were slinky and funky and totally lovable. I can't wait to see more.
2. Lindsay and Cole's Paso Doble routine. What a power couple! And I absolutely loved Jason Gilkison's choreography. It was so strong, technical and dynamic. Are we sure Cole's not a ballroom dancer?
1. Audrey and Matthew's contemporary routine. Oh Travis Wall, just when I thought you'd leveled off, you give us this! I mean, Rose, Jack, the Titanic, "Unchained Melody"—it could have been a recipe for disaster, but it was brilliant! And very Mia Michaels-esque. Audrey has the feet and legs every dancer dreams of, and Matthew's performance was unmatched by any other guy.
And now, I just have to mention Tabitha's adorable baby bump! Oh my goodness, I can't even tell you how excited I am for baby Nappytabs. That child is going to be one funky little dude.
"So You Think You Can Whaaat?" moment of the night: Eliana's polka dot knee pads. Why? Why? Why? I'm still just so confused.
Now spill: Which routine was your favorite? Who did you vote for? Be sure to tune in next week to see which two boys and two girls are going home!
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?