"So You Think You Can Dance" Recap: Vanessa Says "YAS"
It's the second episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 14, and tbh, so far we're yawning more than we're yay-ing. We want to see more performances and hear less talking—and we're dying for more Cat Deeley.
During Los Angeles Auditions Part II, there were some highs (ballroom babe Jensen's outfit), some lows (uh, triple-jointing), and plenty of shrieks and screams from one Mary Murphy. (Noticeably absent, however, were Hot Tamale Train tickets, of which Mary distributed zero throughout the hour-long episode.)
Let us get you caught up on the names you need to know...
Tristen and Jensen
We say: These ballroom partners from Provo, UT, seem destined to do well on this show. First, because dancers from Utah always do well on this show (see, for example, Allison Holker, Mollee Gray, Witney Carson, Alexia Meyer, Hailee Payne, Jenna Johnson—shall we continue?), and second because being on "SYT" is in Jensen's blood. If she looks familiar, it's because she pretty much is: Jensen is Lindsay Arnold's little sis! Tristen and Jensen (no, they're not dating, they assured Nigel) perform a Samba, and Jensen's neon fringe outfit is amazing.
The judges say: Nigel said it "woke him up." Mary said "YASSSS" a lot.
Vanessa Hudgens says: "GURL U R A STAR!"
The verdict: They're through to The Academy.
Sade Keinu Austin
We say: This Brooklyn-native started at 2, and credits her parents—a Nappytabs-esque duo who choreographed for the likes of Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson—as her inspiration. Her whacking-style routine wasn't our favorite of the night, but it was good and full-out.
The judges say: Nigel called her "a little ball of dynamite" and said she was "tremendous." Mary said she was "on fire."
Vanessa says: "YASSSSSS!"
The verdict: Through to The Academy
We say: The 18-year-old from Louisiana has been dancing since he was 2, even though his #TBT-style video seemed to indicate that he seriously hated dancing. But, he explains, once he turned 12, he quite literally found his groove. He performs a lovely contemporary piece that's heavy on the tricks and flips. He's elegant and can jump ridiculously high, but his feet could use some work.
The judges say: Nigel called it "one of the most outstanding routines of the day," but said he "wants to feel something. "Mary called it "mind-blowing" and said Matthew makes dancing "seem easy." Meanwhile...
Vanessa says: "Amazing! Wow! Man, are you a good dancer!"
The verdict: Academy-bound
Inyoung "Dassey" Lee
We say: Dassey moved to the United States from South Korea because of "So You Think You Can Dance." No, seriously. (Even Cat Deeley was all "whaaaaa?" when she heard this.) Dassey popped and locked her heart out to a remix of the classic song "Big Spender," and she tore. it. up. As for how she'll fare when faced with, say, a Travis Wall contemporary routine? TBD. But we'd like to see her try, because she's good-looking and so refined.
The judges say: Mary said "wow!" and "holy moly!" and "You went bam on us! You just hit us!"
Vanessa says: "YASSSSSS! Loved it! It was amazing! It was feminine, but also masculine."
The verdict: "Academy, you go girl!" —Vanessa Hudgens
We say: Blessin wants to bring steppin to the masses. She's a member of a step squad, and she's got rhythm, she's got music. She also has a killer attitude, great stage presence, and a very dramatic death drop.
The judges say: "I thought stepping was just for guys," Nigel said, while Mary told Blessin she has "fire" and "passion" and "dominates," while acknowledging the show will be tough for her because it requires dancers to become proficient in so many technical styles.
Vanessa says: "I feel, like, empowered to be a lady right now!"
The verdict: Blessin is through to the choreography round, but is later cut when she can't quite keep up with Mandy Moore's choreography.
We say: We love him. Fave of the night. Dustin rolls up with a fancy hat, a bowtie, and confidence, and it's immediately clear that this street performer is smooth. He floated and glided across the stage like he was wearing ice skates (but really cool ones), and evoked a Lil' Buck-ish vibe with his jookin' moves.
The judges say: "I don't know how you don't have serious knee problems," Mary exclaimed before screaming so loudly it caught Nigel off-guard.
Vanessa says: "That finger thing was insane!"
The verdict: Academy
Next week, we're off to NYC for auditions in the Big Apple. Here's hoping for more of a wow factor in the city that never sleeps!
Last May, we told you about a special exhibition of the Mark Ryden artwork that sparked Alexei Ratmansky's sweet-treat of a ballet, Whipped Cream. Well, hold on to your tiaras, bunheads, because there's a brand-new exhibit featuring actual costumes from this megahit production. The Nutcracker's Land of Sweets has some serious competition!
Kyle Van Newkirk is a tap dancer you probably remember from the premiere season of NBC's World of Dance. In case you missed it, he is also one of Showstopper's incredible convention teachers. What makes Kyle stand apart from some of today's other incredible tappers? He isn't afraid to change what tap means to his audience and even himself. This modern view of tap dancing is important because it shows us that tap dancers are just as versatile and dynamic as dancers of any other genre. We sat down with Kyle to get his advice on bringing tap dancing into the 21st century.
Sure, dancers definitely have some unique identifying characteristics. (We're all obsessed with Center Stage? FACT.) But we're also subjected to all kinds of annoying, inaccurate stereotyping. Here are 10 dancer stereotypes that we never want to hear again.
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.
Picture this: You've scored tickets to Ellen DeGeneres' hit show, "Ellen." The day has come, the show is as hysterical as ever, Ellen is debating the biggest hot-button issue since the blue/black or white/gold dress, "Laurel vs. Yanny" (side note: it's LAUREL, people), and tWitch is killing it over at the DJ booth, as always. Ellen decides it's the perfect time to single out an audience member and, lo and behold, that person is "SYTYCD" champ ( and December 2017 cover star!) Lex Ishimoto.
The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center is the 54,000 square foot home of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, one of the largest facilities dedicated to dance on a private university campus. Designed for their innovative new curriculum, that supports a range of dance styles, the school's staff designated Harlequin to provide wall-to-wall flooring for the large 3,500 square foot Performance Studio as well as five dance studios in their new state-of-the-art building.
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's safe to say that faux-diamond earrings are a dancer's best friend. A fixture onstage at just about every competition weekend, these blinged-out baubles are also the surest sign that recital season is upon us again. And what better way to get into the sparkly spirit than by drooling over these 5 diamonds in the rough? (Sorry not sorry!)
DancerPalooza, America's Largest Dance Festival, is moving to sunny SAN DIEGO, California from July 24-29, 2018.
Check out all of the NEW Intensives DancerPalooza has to offer this year!
You could say that a perk of dancing with Los Angeles Ballet is its proximity to Hollywood. It's no wonder, then, that when actor and comedian Kevin Hart was looking for someone to teach ballet lessons for his new "What the Fit" YouTube show, he reached out to the nearby company. The series follows Hart and his celebrity friends as they try different forms of exercise (such as sumo wrestling and goat yoga), with hilarious results. For his ballet episode, Hart brings along Hangover star Ken Jeong—and the dancers do their best to keep these madcap comedians under control.