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Last night’s “So You Think You Can Dance” episode brought us round two of Vegas Week—which meant group routines, emotional goodbyes and the reveal of the Top 20. Here are the top five highlights of the episode:
1. Only one group—Bloodline—really WOWED us. Without fail, the "SYTYCD" Vegas group routines bring tension. Someone shows up late to practice. Someone fails at being a leader. Everyone gets little to no sleep. But this time around, there was one group that made that all worth it: Bloodline, made up of Team Stage dancers, which had unique choreography set to operatic music. The routine was strong, technical, and clean. Both Travis and Nigel said Bloodline was the best group of the day, and Paula even compared them to a company that had been dancing together for years. (She’s always been good with those metaphors.)
Bloodline shows everyone how it's done. (screenshot via fox.com)
2. NappyTabs was, as always, adorable. Napoleon and Tabitha led Team Street in a hip-hop routine for the choreography round—but before they began teaching the dancers, they cleared the stage and Tabitha showed them how it’s done. Napoleon said what we were all thinking: “If a 41-year-old mom can do it, so can you.” And she responded with a sweet, “Thanks baby.” This may not be the first time they have been the dance couple we all aspire to be, but I’ve decided they are forever my #relationshipgoals. (And if I could dance like Tabitha, that'd be cool too.)
3. Asaf Goren kind of disrespected the judges. Asaf was one of the few dancers on Team Street who had to dance for his life; while he's definitely an entertainer, he constantly had trouble picking up choreography. As Nigel was giving him feedback, Asaf interrupted him and let his frustrations be heard. Maybe it was the language barrier, but no one could really understand the point he was trying to make about head spins and power moves in 2015. Good thing Paula came to his defense, because he could’ve ruined his chances of moving on right then and there. It was awk, to say the least.
4. Dennis got offered a spot in the Top 20—but decided to leave the competition. After making it past the choreography rounds and being one of the few ballroom dancers to master multiple styles, Dennis (a winner of “So You Think You Can Dance Canada”) turned down a spot in the Top 20. The judges praised him for being so well-rounded, but he said he was upset that there was going to be less ballroom representation than usual in the competition. (Well, now there definitely is, without him.) As we saw in earlier moments of the show, it seems that Dennis really made the decision to leave because his girlfriend, Antonina, didn’t make it to the next round. While it’s sweet that they’ll be reunited, it’s also heartbreaking that he gave up something so many people worked hard for. Understandably, Nigel was not pleased.
5. Gaby Diaz proved being persistent (and versatile) will get you far. Gaby Diaz originally auditioned in Dallas, where her tap solo wasn't up to the competition's standards—Jason Derulo said something about it being too much of the same thing. She then returned to the Detroit auditions with a successful new solo, showing she knows how to take corrections. That’s right: She didn’t wait for the next season to make her comeback. While in Vegas, Gaby continued to prove she could handle the pressures of different styles of choreography. She was one of the last ones to find out she'd made it into the Top 20. And, as Travis pointed out, she's the only tapper on Team Stage.
A lot of journeys came to painful ends last night. I was devastated when, after being cut, Nick Morales said he might not continue dancing—that’s definitely not the message this show's trying to send. And when Marie “Poppins” said she loved it so much sometimes it hurts, she embodied the unique determination that it takes to be a dancer. On a happier note, I have to say I’m really liking tWitch as captain of Team Street. (I can already see a budding bromance forming between him and Virgil.) And I'm so excited that Dance Spirit friend Alexia Meyer will be joining Travis on Team Stage! Congrats, Alexia!
As if announcing the Top 20 weren’t enough, the last 30 seconds of the episode revealed that one dancer had to drop out due to an injury. Who could it be? And who will return? Let us know what you thought about last night’s episode in the comments, and check back here next week for our recap of the first live episode of the season!
(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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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer