“SYTYCD: The Next Generation” Season 13 Recap: The Academy
Welcome to The Academy!
The first rounds of auditions are complete, and this week we say "see ya later" to Nigel, Paula and Jason—and hello to one Miss Maddie Ziegler!
Here's how The Academy will work...
First, the dancers will perform solos for the panel of All-Stars: Sasha, Paul, Fik-Shun, Jenna, Comfort, Kathryn, Robert, Jonathan, Gaby and Joshua. After all the solos are complete, each All-Star will vie for five dancers (three in his or her own style, plus two wild-card options) to be on his or her team. (And like on "The Voice," if more than one All-Star wants a dancer, the dancer gets to pick which team to join.) Then, the choreography rounds begin. This week, the dancers get 90 minutes to learn a Warren Carlyle Broadway routine that they'll perform for the All-Stars. Then each All-Star will cut one dancer from his or her team before going on to next week's contemporary (with Travis Wall!) and hip-hop (with Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo!) rounds.
Got all that? Here are our five favorite moments from The Academy this week.
Warren Carlyle with dancers during The Academy. (Photo by Adam Rose/FOX)
We can't get enough of this girl. She was the first dancer up this week, and her solo killed. She earned hoots, hollers, "werks" and cheers of approval from all the All-Stars, who were on their feet by the end of the routine. Ultimately, both Kathryn and Sasha wanted Tate on their teams, and Tate chose to go with Kathryn. (Kathryn also scored beautiful ballerina Avery for her team.)
The "firecracker tapper" turns like a top and is so fun to watch. Plus, she's smart: Last week, she danced to a Paula Abdul song, and this week it was a Jason DeRulo jam. Girl knows her audience! Well played, lil' Emma. (Unsurprisingly, she joined Gaby's team.)
3. Sage's solo
The 13-year-old contemporary dancer could totally be a young Travis Wall, right? So we were super happy to see him join Robert's team, where we're absolutely confident he'll thrive. (Robert also got too-cute J.T. on his team, whose post-Broadway-round tears crushed our hearts. He's too sweet to cut! Can't we all be winners?!)
Maddie's here! (Photo by Adam Rose/FOX)
4. Not having the parents onstage!
It was so nice getting to see the dancers really be in their elements this week—meaning they got to perform without their parents joining them onstage. In light of the mounting pressure of the competition, the dancers seemed more at ease during their solos this time around.
5. The All-Stars
Raise your [jazz] hand if you cried when Jaryan didn't make the cut at the very end of the episode. (Joshua and Fik-Shun, you guys raising your hands? We know you are.) It seriously broke our hearts when Jaryan didn't get to continue after the ballroom round, but seeing the way the All-Stars all reacted to his breakdown was so heartwarming. Joshua was sobbing, and Fik-Shun joined Jaryan onstage to comfort him. It's clear the All-Stars already care so much about these kids, and we're excited to see where they take them onstage and beyond over the course of the season. (And we definitely have a big box of tissues on standby for the many inevitable tear-jerking moments we're about to endure.)
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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.
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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.
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?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.