Recap: Top 8 Performances

On last night's show, there were a bunch of forgettable routines and then a few that we’ll always remember (and we predict that one number may even win an Emmy…ahem, Tyce). With hilarious Ellen and opinionated Mia on the judges’ panel, it was surely an entertaining night! And then the most exciting thing happened: Cat announced that this season’s winner will be featured on the cover of Dance Spirit! We’ve been covering this show since it launched and feel so honored to officially pair up with a program that has changed the dance community. Bananas!

And on to the recap…drum roll please!


The Travis Wall group number was phenomenal. Travis is on our hot list right now. The top 8 truly looked like they were having mad fun up there and attacked the movement. Agreed with Nigel, it was so Lady Gaga.
Verdict: Booked on the hot tamale train.


Evan and Janette (jazz)
This was lukewarm for us. It was great to see both of them step way outside of their styles, but neither of them was quirky enough for Sonya’s choreography. Mia said that Janette is her favorite. Lucky girl.
Verdict: Missed the train.


Evan and Janette (rumba)
Okay this time we believed them. Janette was awesome as usual. We thought that Evan's body was strong, and he captured the sexy feel of the dance.
Great one-liner: “You did it, but you did it with a Zoolander face.” –Mia
Verdict: Taking a later train.


Ade and Melissa (cha cha)
This couple is still doing it for us. But this number wasn’t. For a spicy routine, they danced it pretty stiff.
Verdict: Missed the train.


Ade and Melissa (contemporary)
We can’t watch this piece without crying. It. Was. Incredible. So moving. And it shed light on a very serious issue. We totally agree with this comment: “Your maturity gave you the responsibility to carry this routine off.” –Nigel about Melissa
Verdict: Booked on the hot tamale train.


Jason and Kayla (Broadway)
We were smiling throughout the entire performance. It was really strong, sexy and the chemistry was great.
Verdict: Booked on the hot tamale train.

 

Jason and Kayla (hip hop)
Well, they really got into their zombie characters. This Shane Sparks routine showed off their pretty nasty (and by nasty, we mean awesome!) hip-hop skills. Mia called Kayla “disturbingly hot.” Totally.
Verdict: Booked on the hot tamale train.


Brandon and Jeanine (waltz)
This was very slow and the judges said that they needed more control. True, but they still looked gorgeous.
Verdict: Missed the train.


Brandon and Jeanine (pop jazz)
After they were harshly critiqued on the waltz, they went twice as hard the next time. And it was fierce! We liked that they were side-by-side for most of the routine. Both gave extremely powerful performances. We could watch this over and over.
Verdict: Booked on the hot tamale train.

Spoilers: Tonight’s 100th episode is going to be a big deal with performances by Katie Holmes and past season dancers. Expect to see Ivan, Travis, Benji and Natalie from season 2, Sara, Pasha, Anya and Hok from season 3 and Chelsea, Will, Courtney, Comfort and Joshua from season 4.

 

And don't forget to follow our live reactions Twitter! —Lauren Levinson

(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

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Cover Story
Photo by Erin Baiano

Click here to vote for Emma.

There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "

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