What can Amy and Fik-Shun expect now that they’re officially the winners of “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 10? We caught up with all 10 former champs to find out about their post-“SYTYCD” lives.
Eliana with Dmitry Chaplin on an episode of "Bones." (photo by Patrick McElhenney/Fox)
Eliana Girard, Season 9
Eliana started rehearsals for Taylor Swift’s Red Tour just a few months after her win. “The show made me more inspired to grow as an artist,” says the ballerina, who will spend this month performing with T-Swift in Australia.
(photo by Gilles Toucas)
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, Season 9
Talk about branching out—this ballet boy-wonder has got acting (a guest-starring role on “Bones,” plus several commercials), clothing design (an upcoming “CheForce” line for dancers) and choreography projects (alongside Mia Michaels) in the works. He’s also launched his own dance convention, CheForce. “I couldn’t be more grateful that America gave me the chance to grow on the show,” he says. “The journey completely changed me.”
(photo by Jonathan Ressler)
Lauren Froderman, Season 7
Lauren had just graduated high school when she made it onto the show, and she put off college to tour as the “SYTYCD” champion. She then danced full-time for a while—teaching master classes and performing on “Glee” and at the Kids’ Choice Awards. But now she’s a full-fledged college girl! Lauren will graduate from Loyola Marymount University in 2015 with a BA in liberal studies. “Then I’ll get back into the grind of auditioning,” she says.
(courtesy Russell Ferguson)
Russell Ferguson, Season 6
Krumper Russell recently choreographed for Ukraine’s version of “SYTYCD,” started his own company called SideStreet and snagged a featured role (alongside Chehon) in the new dance flick East Side Story. Bostonians can catch him in Tony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, December 6–22, at John Hancock Hall.
(photo by Josh Williams)
Jeanine Mason, Season 5
“SYTYCD” was the first of many TV appearances for Jeanine. In addition to her former recurring role on “Bunheads,” she’ll appear on TNT’s “Major Crimes” this month and recently shot pilots for MTV and Fox. She’s also been attending University of California—Los Angeles. “Graduating this year will be a proud moment!” she says.
(courtesy Joshua Allen)
Joshua Allen, Season 4
In addition to being a Season 10 All-Star, Joshua’s pursuing a career as a triple threat. He was featured in Step Up 3D and Footloose, appeared on “Community” and “American Horror Story” and plans to release his first album this year.
(photo by Quinn Baston)
Sabra Johnson, Season 3
Since her win, Sabra has been dancing all over the world. She spent a year with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in NYC, danced in Mexico City and Germany and is now a member of dance theater company Staatstheater Darmstadt in Austria.
Benji Performing on "Dancing with the Stars" (photo by Adam Taylor/ABC)
Benji Schwimmer, Season 2
Benji’s been busy choreographing for the stars: He created and danced in Paula Abdul’s final “American Idol” performance. Staying true to his swing-dance roots, he’s also won the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championship the past four years in a row with partner Torri Smith.
Melanie and Nick performing at The Dance Awards (photo by Matthew Murphy)
Melanie Moore, Season 8
If it seems like Melanie’s all over your TV screen, that’s because she is. She burned up the dance floor as a Season 10 All-Star, danced at the Primetime Emmy Awards in September and played a New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts student on Season 4 of “Glee.” She’s also a member of contemporary company Shaping Sound.
Nick Lazzarini, Season 1
Besides his fame as the very first “SYTYCD” champ, Nick is probably best known as a founding member of Shaping Sound. He’s also a beloved faculty member at JUMP dance convention. How can future contestants achieve his level of success? “Make sure you’re open to anything and everything,” he says.
In actual life, Kathryn and Chantel (and a host of other former Dance Spirit cover stars, including Melanie Moore) really are members of Tookey's company.
Sure, I'm jealous. But I'm sure a spot will open up in the company—and the friendships—for me soon enough.
In the meantime, I am so into this just-released video from Tookey showcasing a bit of the incredibly talented dancers from Still Motion in Moments Defined.
Planning on spending the holiday weekend catching up with your DVR? Make sure you don’t miss Tuesday’s episode of “Dancing With the Stars.” In addition to sending two couples home (no spoilers here!), there’s an awesome number by hip-hop superstar Parris Goebel, a creative performance by Paula Abdul and, my personal favorite, a beyond stunning contemporary piece choreographed by some DS favorites, Derek Hough and Allison Holker. Some highlights:
Choreographers Allison and Derek set the mood.
Oh hey, Kathryn McCormick, looking gorgeous as always.
I see you, Melanie Moore.
Is that a slow motion jump? Mind blown.
Love the use of water. This gives “dancing in the rain” a whole new meaning.
Best. Closing pose. Ever
Forget to record the episode? Never fear, abc.com is here. Click here to watch.
As if last night's Oscars didn't feature enough dance goodness (still obsessed with that swoon-worthy Justin Timberlake opener), "Good Morning America" gifted us with another fab show this morning—featuring a few of our fave dancers.
The performance on "GMA" was set to La La Land's catchy opening song "Another Day of Sun" and featured some fantastically old-Hollywood-esque choreo by Mandy Moore (she choreographed the film) and Al Blackstone.
So, I think I speak for everyone when I say it took me a solid five minutes to stop CRYING after I saw Jim and Megz cry during their elimination on last night's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance." I sent numerous #SOS texts to my fellow DS editors but they were too distraught to respond—so I was left alone with Megz and Jim's goodbye montages. Dramatic? Nah. It's a cruel world and this is just how "SYTYCD" goes. We knew this was coming, people—the Top Six would become the Top Four: Hailee and Gaby for Team Stage, and Virgil and Jaja for Team Street.
My. Heart. (Screenshot via FOX)
But enough blubbering. There's still a lot of dancing to process, and the remaining four are an incredibly gifted group of artists. Behold, my Top 5 moments from last night:
1) Just the fact that everyone had to dance THREE ROUTINES this week. Coupled with the fact that they apparently only have 7 hours to learn each one, including time with the choreographer, their partner (if they have one) or the entire group if it's a group routine. THAT'S SO MUCH CHOREO AND SO FEW HOURS! Add on the pressure of a live show, a title on the line and the fact that they're constantly being critiqued not only by the judges, but by all of us—yeah, that's a lot. Bravo, dancers.
2) Hailee's solo to "Elastic Heart" was a really touching moment (as were all the solos and their inspirations). Hailee has secured her spot in the Top Four, due in large part to the fact that she's amazing at adapting to so many different styles. But watching her solo was special because she was truly in her element—yet no different than when she performs in a genre that isn't her favorite. That's the sign of a great dancer, especially this far into the competition—one who is always convincing, no matter the circumstances. Hailee's got that ten times over.
3) Jaja's robotics solo quite literally took my breath away, because I kept saying "no way" every single time she hovered, isolated, popped, locked, dropped and clicked her body around. It was NUTS. She's a radiant person and it's so apparent in her dancing that it's no wonder she's in the Top Four.
4) Virgil's routine with All-Star and champion Melanie Moore was not only a high note of the episode, but of the season. These two have an absolutely lovely chemistry, and very contrasting qualities of movement—something that worked in their favor. They complemented one another as Melanie's sweeping legs and fluid transitions intertwined with Virgil's precise and punctuated articulations of the choreo. The judges clearly felt the same way, with Paula describing Virgil's performance as "mature and vulnerable," so mature, in fact, that she had basically no criticism to offer.
5) Gaby and Jim's Joshua Bergasse-choreographed Broadway routine was not a huge hit with the judges, it was definitely one of my highlights. I love Bergasse—how could you not? The man is super-skilled, as are the two dancers he worked with this week. Even though Nigel said the routine felt "jazz club-esque," Gaby and Jim grabbed the fever/hallucination theme and ran with it. Their commitment was 1000% (as it always is with these two), and while the judges recognized this, the dancers still weren't met with the response they deserved.
As they say, it's not over till it's over. But in two weeks' time, we'll have a new "SYTYCD" champion and that's just crazy. What have you thought of the season so far? Are you still crying about Jim and Megz? (Yes.) WHO DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO WIN?!? Tell us in the comments below and check back here next week for our review of the finale.
Melanie Moore bursts onto the Finding Neverland stage with a gigantic center-split leap the moment the curtain rises. She’s dressed as Peter Pan—yet over the course of the two-and-a-half hour Broadway retelling of J.M. Barrie’s path to creating Peter Pan, Moore dons nine costumes, six pairs of shoes and four wigs. In fact, her backstage quick-change choreography is just as intense as Mia Michael’s high-energy onstage choreography. “My fastest costume change is about 45 seconds,” Moore says. “It’s certainly never boring!”
What does it take to prepare for such a whirlwind? And what does this season’s most buzzed-about Broadway show actually look like backstage? To find out, we followed Moore as she prepared for an evening performance at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
Melanie Moore (as Peter Pan) flying over the cast of Finding Neverland (Carol Rosegg, courtesy Richard Kornberg & Associates)
1. Once Moore arrives at the stage door, she signs in before heading up to her dressing room. “We have to be at the theater 30 minutes before curtain, but I tend to get here about 45 minutes before that,” she says. “I put my wig on at the half-hour call, and I like to be basically ready to go once I’m wearing it.”
Moore's dressing room (photo by Matthew Murphy)
2. Moore shares a dressing room on the fourth floor of the theater with three other dancers. They all do their own makeup.
3. Next, Moore gets her hair wig-ready. She twists tiny sections and pins them close to her head.
4. Moore warms up wherever she can—often in her dressing room, or, if there’s room, onstage. “I do so much jumping and running around in the show,” she says. “I usually start on the floor, stretching out.”
(Photo by Matthew Murphy)
5. The wig master helps Moore put on a wig cap that she wears throughout the show. Her microphone is attached to the top of the cap. “I wear four wigs, starting with the Peter Pan wig,” Moore says. “But my favorite is the mullet I put on for the pirate scene at the end of Act I. I requested to wear that wig. I’ve decided that my pirate name is Mandy Jo.”
6. The stage is kept really cold because of the dry ice used during the show. “The floor is freezing, so I usually keep my Uggs on before the show,” Moore says. “I start out barefoot, so I need to keep my feet as warm as possible.”
(Photo by Matthew Murphy)
7. Finally, it’s time to put on the first costume and become Peter Pan. Moore actually has two Pan costumes: “This is my regular one—it’s really tight so I can be lifted and do a lot of partnering,” she says. “The other is my Flying Pan costume. It’s big enough to fit a full-size harness underneath.”
When the Tinker Bell lights aren't onstage they're stored in four buckets off stage right (photo by Matthew Murphy)
Today marked the last of Broadway Week on NBC's "TODAY." And while we were treated to performances from many shows on The Great White Way—including On the Town, Chicago and Something Rotten!—one giant, dance-filled production was missing: Finding Neverland. As luck would have it, rival show "Good Morning America" took care of that over on ABC yesterday.
Matthew Morrison (with a swoon-worthy Scottish accent as Peter Pan playwright J.M. Barrie) led the Broadway cast in the number "Believe." Hooked? It gets better. The legendary Mia Michaels set the moves for Finding Neverland—which becomes pretty apparent as the number gets going and her signature style shines through. Like she said back in our March issue, "You’ll definitely see 'Mia' in there...it’s 'Mia' with more of a theatrical, Broadway-esque feel."
Watch the video below, and look out for "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 8 winner—and Dance Spirit cover girl—Melanie Moore!
In case you missed the best night on TV—a.k.a the live broadcast of the Tony Awards—Dance Spirit's got your back. Here's a rundown of the show's highlights, a couple of its more cringe-worthy moments, and some of our favorite (and least-favorite) red carpet outfits.
Hugh Jackman with the cast of After Midnight
(photo Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)
–Hugh Jackman as host. It's great to see Wolverine back on the Radio City Music Hall Stage, singing and dancing with the stars of Broadway. He even cut a rug with Dulé Hill and the fabulous cast of After Midnight. Sure, his opening number (with all that awkward hopping) wasn't as fabulous as NPH's extravaganza last year, but his serenading of the female best actress nominees—in both the play and musical categories—stole my heart.
Bryce Pinkham (center) and the cast of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
(photo Heather Wines/CBS)
–The performances, obv. After Midnight, Aladdin and Bullets Over Broadway were especially impressive—so. much. tap. dancing. And here's to genie James Monroe Iglehart's win for best featured actor in a musical. But I was especially enamored with the performance from A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder—the Tony winner for best musical. In case you chose to take your bathroom break during the number, you can re-watch it here. There's not much movement, but the witty trio really brought down the house.
–The crazy Music Man rap. My viewing party went pretty nuts when Hugh Jackman busted some rhymes from The Music Man—and then even more nuts when LL Cool J and T.I. joined in. The beats—commemorating the song "Rock Island" from 1957's The Music Man, supposedly the first-ever rap—came courtesy of Questlove of The Roots. (Pretty cool.) Here's the song in the 1962 film; compare it to the Tony Award shenanigans here.
Melanie Moore with Jennifer Hudson in Finding Neverland. (photo Heather Wines/CBS)
–Melanie Moore as Peter Pan. When Finding Neverland hits the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, this summer, "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 8 winner (and DS cover star) Melanie Moore will get the opportunity to work with Mia Michaels again: Mama Mia will be choreographing the new musical. The full cast has been announced (helloooo, Jeremy Jordan!). Unfortunately, Jennifer Hudson, who sang in last night's preview, is not in the show.
Jessie Mueller (left) with Carole King. (photo Heather Wines/CBS)
–Jessie Mueller and Carole King together (again) on one stage. I certainly felt the Earth move under my feet during this performance. Jessie Mueller is fantastic as the iconic singer/songwriter Carole King in Beautiful, and I suspect she'll be fantastic in roles to come. Congrats on your Tony for best leading actress in a musical, Jessie!
–The dreamy Matthew Bomer announcing a new Tony Awards partnership with his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University. Next year the Tonys will celebrate one elementary, middle or high school theater teacher who really makes a difference. Know someone who you think deserves special recognition? Read about the new award here.
Jenni Barber (left) and Christine Dwyer (photo Heather Wines/CBS)
The Missed Opportunities:
–Wicked's 10th anniversary performance. Yes, Christine Dwyer and Jenni Barber sang an amazing rendition of "For Good." But weren't you just a little disappointed that Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth didn't pop out to sing a line or two? I mean, we know Idina was there—she sang something from her new musical If/Then. Lame, Tony Awards. Lame.
–The absent-from-TV award for best choreography. Remember last year, when we got to see Jerry Mitchell accept his choreography award on TV? Apparently the producers forgot about that precedent, and After Midnight's Warren Carlyle received his award for best choreography during a commercial break. Boooooo! Maybe if we give his acceptance speech video a ton of online views, the producers will get the point for next year.
The Best Dressed:
The history-making Audra McDonald, who took home her sixth Tony Award. She also became the first performer to win in all four acting categories (featured musical, featured play, leading musical and leading play). Yeah, she's legendary—and stylish to boot, in this pretty printed gown. (photo Walter McBride/Broadway World)
The always effortlessly gorgeous Sutton Foster. She didn't leave with a win, but her performance for Violet was strong.
(photo Walter McBride/Broadway World)
And the Worst:
The flashy Fran Drescher. She may be on Broadway in Cinderella, but believe it or not, this over-the-top tangerine dress is not a costume.
(photo Walter McBride/Broadway World)
The weighed-down Kate Mara. This dress just looks heavy. Here's hoping Netflix turns "House of Cards" into a musical so Kate can redeem her look as a Tonys presenter next year.
(photo Walter McBride/Broadway World)
What did you think of the telecast? Which performance was your favorite, and who did you think was best dressed? Was any show or artist robbed of an award? We want to hear what you have to say!