Adam Rose/FOX

"So You Think You Can Dance" Recap: Welcome to The Academy!

They've impressed the judges, now it's time for the Top 100 dancers to enroll at The Academy—and to impress the All-Stars. Welcome to So You Think You Can Dance Academy!

The 100 dancers who made it through auditions in NYC or L.A. are now at The Academy, which is basically a beautiful building with floor-to-ceiling windows. The show opens with that Mandy Moore-choreographed Academy routine which, even after watching it 12 times and trying to learn all the choreography at home, is still delightful.

Here's how The Vanessa Hudgens-less Academy is going to work... (We miss you so much, Vanessa.)

First, the dancers perform a solo for the All-Stars.

Then, if the All-Stars are psyched about it, they'll send the dancer to the first choreography round. From there, the dancers get an hour to learn the choreography before performing it for the All-Stars. Then, the All-Stars decide who they love the most, and they'll beg them to be on their team. Ultimately, each All-Star will be paired with one dancer to form the Top 10, and those dancers will compete in the live shows. So basically, it's "SYTYCD" meets "The Voice." Got it? Good. (Oh, and if the dancers aren't good enough at any point—either performing their solos or during the choreography rounds—the All-Stars can get all "boy bye" on them. Scary!)

"It will be the hardest challenge of their lives," Cat tells the audience before introducing the All-Stars.

Adam Rose/FOX

The All-Stars! Season 14's very esteemed panel includes Robert, Gaby, Paul, Jasmine, Marko, Comfort, Cyrus, Jenna, Fik-Shun, and Allison. (Who would you choose?!) Cyrus is looking for passion! Gaby wants to see how quickly the dancers can pick up choreography under pressure! Allison loves everyone!

The good thing about these episodes is that they move fast, and we get to see a lot of dancing along the way. Here are the moments that stood out most from the first week at The Academy.

Lex Ishimoto—again

No one can get enough of this guy. The fan favorite performed another solo, much to the delight of the All-Stars. He made it through the Nappytabs hip-hop choreography round, and joined Team Gaby. (Did anyone else predict he'd either be Team Allison or Team Robert? Curveball!)

Blue-haired Kaylee Millis and Robert Green

These two teamed up to dominate the Nappytabs choreo, and both ultimately made it onto All-Star teams (Kaylee joined Team Cyrus. Cannot wait to see this dynamic duo in action!)

Everyone wants Logan Hernandez

The contemporary dancer performed his solo again, and the best part wasn't even the dancing—it was the priceless reactions from the All-Stars. They loved him. (Jenna, Robert, and Allison really loved him, and all tried to get him on their respective teams. But he opted for Team Allison.)

By the end of the night, 71 dancers had made it to the hip-hop choreography round, and a handful of them made it onto All-Star teams. (Dassy Lee nabbed a spot on Team Fik-Shun while Kevin Davis Jr. went with Team Allison.) Next week, the cuts keep coming as the dancers head into the ballroom round. See you then!

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 courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search