Recap: Top 10 Performances

With Debbie Allen on the judges’ panel, this episode rocked! There were many highlights. Read on to hear our thoughts.

Booked on the hot tamale train:

Top 5 girls’ Bollywood routine
They were definitely Bollywood bombshells. Jeanine really caught our eye with her amazing stage presence. But everyone else killed it too. We heart Bollywood this season. And apparently so do the judges. Nigel called it “hot, spicy tandoori” (hilarious, right?) and Mary exclaimed, “Bollywow!”

Jeanine and Jason
Can they dance together every week? We LOVE these two together. Like Mary, we were speechless, and we also got chills and mild tears (err—jk). The passion and technique in the number was explosive. It was the best contemporary choreography on the show since Stacey Tooky’s piece (a round of applause for Travis Wall!). Debbie Allen said “This is a magical pair” and that she can’t wait to see the piece again on the tour. Yeah, us too!

Brandon and Melissa
This was definitely Tyce Dioro’s best routine of the season, and we can’t wait to replay it over and over again. We saw Hair and featured it in our July/August issue, so we can attest that Brandon and Melissa totally nailed the hippie vibe of the real show. It was fantastic—between her ballet lines and his gymnastics—a real showstopper.

Taking a later train:

Evan and Kayla
They had a major challenge: she’s way taller than him. They overcame it in the Vietnamese waltz. Overall, the lifts were awesome, the lines were clean (go Kayla!) and they looked cute together (who doesn’t look cute with Ev?), yet it wasn’t mind-blowing or fiery. Debbie Allen's reaction to this routine was the best quote of the night: “Darling, you handled your big woman!” Loves it!

Ade and Janette
Ade totally rocked in this Nappytabs hip-hip number! He got groovy! Janette, as always, gave a strong performance, but her lines were more jazz than funk. To learn more about the funk styles, check out this awesome urban spotlight.

Top 5 guys’ African dance routine

Nigel: “Evan you looked like a dancing milkshake” Ha! Lot of great one-liners on this episode, right? The number was a fun, and it looked extremely challenging. Good job boys.

Missed the train:


Kupono and Randi
These two seemed to struggle through the paso doble, and their performance was lukewarm. Yes there was some passion, but it was also kind of clumsy. We agreed with Nigel that while they did a number of things they did well, it wasn’t authentic or particularly moving dance. —Lauren Levinson


Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search