Dance News

"The swaggiest thing I have is like, kick-ball-change. It's a really good kick-ball-change." —Nick Lazzarini, Voice of Reason, "All the Right Moves"

Last night's episode of "All the Right Moves" was mostly hilarious (Nick compares riding a bike with "Toddlers & Tiaras") with a tiny touch of boy drama (don't kiss your best friend's girl, people) and, naturally, an explosive blow from Taja, who threatened to leave the company. There wasn't enough dancing for my liking, but there was still plenty of action, so let's talk about that, OK?

The 10 Lessons We Learned From “All the Right Moves” Episode 3:

1. The backpacks on this show continue to be amazing. I realize that during the first scene I was supposed to be focused on the blowout between Travis and Taja and the whole "this needs to squash" drama. But really, all I could think was that last week, Travis rocked a black sequined backpack (which appeared again this week before he did his solo), and this week Taja made her exit wearing a yellow fur backpack thing. I would like to pitch a spin-off to Oxygen called "Backpack Shopping with Shaping Sound." I will gladly let Travis and Taja hook me up.

Oh yeah, and Taja quits the company. She says her work ethic is "misunderstood," and this makes Travis sad because he feels like he and Taja have such a long-standing relationship and she would never do this to him. Luckily the other female dancers in the company are pretty much awesome, so I think everyone will be OK.

2. At some point, you have to make a decision: Are we best friends or are we professionals? Obviously leading a company of your peers is going to be challenging, and this came to a head in last night's episode with the Taja/Travis stuff. I think Travis could have come down on Taja a bit harder, honestly, which I know is tough. But by saying, "Enough is enough, shape up or you're out," he would have maintained the upper hand instead of letting her be the one to leave.

Travis made a great point later when he was talking with Jaimie, and it's a point I wish he had made directly to Taja: "You would have never done that with Brian Friedman. You would have never done that on 'X Factor.' " It's so true. Look, I like Taja, I really do, and I get where she's coming from sometimes. But she does act differently around Travis than she does around Nicole Scherzinger, I'm sure, and that's not fair.

Also, Taja's hair bouf gets bigger every week.

3. Jaimie and I have the same bunny onesie. I got it for Christmas. It's really snuggly and wonderful. It's no sequined backpack, but it's still pretty cool.

4. Travis doesn't want to be a dancer. "It may be hard for people to believe, but I don't like dancing as much as I like choreographing," he said last night. I like that he's evolved, and that he's done it consciously and at his own will. It wasn't like he stopped growing as a dancer or got injured or dried up. Travis was always a really good performer. But he realized it wasn't what he wanted to do, and so he took action to transition into choreography, and ultimately he wants to be a director. I give him a lot of credit there.

"My life as a dancer, to me, means nothing," Travis said. It's kind of a bummer because he's really talented and he can do something like 4,200 pirouettes, but hey, if he's not digging all that spinning, why do it? Power to you, Trav, for doing what you want and not just doing what you're already good at.

5. Kyle and Noelle together should be illegal. It's just too much good-looking-ness happening.

6. Chantel Aguirre is my favorite female dancer right now. She doesn't even have to dance. I just think she's so stunning.

7. The whole "Teddy kissed Kyle's girlfriend" thing from the episode previews was just slightly blown out of proportion, don't you think? First of all, it didn't really seem clear to me that Noelle and Kyle were actually dating. Were they? Did I miss that? I don't know. So yeah it's a bit shady that Teddy and Noelle kissed (where were the Oxygen camera crews for that one?), and Teddy says it was all "intense," but the bro code didn't seem quite as broken as the previews indicated.

What have we learned from all this, dancers? Don't drink tequila. It's evil and it ruins lives and friendships.

Also, in the "morning after everyone got drunk and kissed the wrong people" scene, Teddy's Gatorade matches his bright-green shirt. I realize this has little relevancy, but it's something I noticed and appreciated.

8. Nick taking hip hop is the best ever. He walks into Bryan Tanaka's class with a sideways hat and a greeting of "What up, gangsters?" Nick claims he's terrible at hip hop. "I'm stressed out about this!" he exclaims. He says he doesn't like doing hip hop because he's not good at it. I get that—but I thought he looked pretty good! Granted, he was dancing next to Teddy, who crushed the choreography effortlessly, but Nick held his own. Still, Nick doesn't want Shaping Sound to do hip hop in its show, and then he drops a "You go, Glen Coco." Just...yes. Yes, Nick.

Then, Nick and Travis have a heart-to-heart back at the house, which is great. Nick recounts his day of hip hopping, dropping great lines like "Not to mention, Teddy was like DJ Swagaroo." He tells Travis that when he's not good at something, it stresses him out. And that brings us to knee pads...

9. Travis teaches Nick how to ride a bike, but it's about so much more than that. This was, hands down, the most excellent part of the episode. To summarize: Nick agrees to learn to ride a bike (which he refers to as "a machine") if, in turn, Travis will overcome his fear of performing a solo. Travis is practically giddy about getting Nick into knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet and it's so ridiculous to watch.

Nick in a helmet is cute enough, but Travis wanting to teach him to help him "overcome his control issues" is even more precious. Then Nick slams his head into the ground to make sure his helmet works. Now, we all realize this scene wasn't just about learning to ride a bike, right? There's deeper contextual meaning here as Nick "takes one for the team, bites the bullet and tries not to break his face" on the bike. This was about Nick pedaling around ("pushing like a mom from 'Toddlers & Tiaras' ") and overcoming his own fears so Travis could take that energy onstage with him to perform a solo. That's friendship, man. Bromance—brodance—at its best.

10. Kyle is angry. Luckily, anger looks good on him. Everything looks good on him. Teddy confesses that he and Noelle kissed, and Kyle seems a little "kicked while I'm down." He tells Teddy he's "been lost the past couple weeks" and ultimately snaps that he's "over L.A. and over Shaping Sound." But considering he's in the previews for next week's episode, I don't think he's going too far. And I predict he forgives Teddy, because they are besties.

Next week: tWitch is back! Plus, the boys plan to go to NUVO to perform a Shaping Sound piece, but then everyone bails and it is scandalous. 

Until then, tell us what you thought of this week's episode!

Dance News

"Drop the attitude? Why don't you...drop off the face of the earth?" —Nick Lazzarini, Voice of Reason, "All the Right Moves"

This recap is tardy, and for that I'm truly sorry. I was out of town last week hanging out at "So You Think You Can Dance" (more on that soon—I promise many details) and tragically, the Sheraton Four Points didn't grant me access to the Oxygen network!

But now I'm back on the east coast and here to recap all the lessons we can take away from last week's pretty awesome episode of "All the Right Moves." There was prop drama! Teddy being late for stuff...again! Kyle getting important meetings that may help propel his budding career as an actor! And, ultimately, we saw snippets (not nearly enough of them, FYI) from Shaping Sound's premiere show, Come Together.

So what did we learn? Now's the time to tell you...

1. The kitchen at The Manor is disgusting. Filthy. Come on, guys. You're better than that.

2. Teddy has a touch of Dance A.D.D. The Shaping Sound premiere show is just three days away—OMG!—but multi-tasking Teddy is busy working on a documentary of his own called "Misery Loves Company." It's based on Plato or something. "I don't have time for this criticism," Teddy snaps at the "Misery Loves Company" crew when they're trying to figure out how Teddy can split his time. And naturally Nick and Travis are "kind of annoyed" that Teddy is having these other meetings, thus making him late for Shaping Sound stuff. "It's Teddy, he doesn't think about anything," Nick quips. Teddy, we love that you're so passionate in so many ways and you want to try so much different stuff, but you've gotta prioritize dude. Because Nick's about to snap...

3. When it comes to being hilarious, Travis is getting up there with Nick. "Misery will have to wait for its company until Shaping Sound is done with its performance." This is fantastic, Travis, and I love you for being so pithy and witty. But seriously, Travis has ceased all other commitments so he can focus on this company, and so has Nick. If Teddy wants co-founder credit and he wants to be as important as Travis in this company, he needs to start respecting everyone's time. Right?

4. As much as I love Nick when he's being sarcastic and funny, I love him even more when he's got his little black jazz shoes on. Sometimes when I'm watching this show, I forget that it's a dance show and not a soap opera...which is fun, because it's during those soap-operatic moments that Nick delivers his most memorable one-liners. But every now and then, the boys are quiet and the music is loud and they just dance it out. And in this episode, Nick danced it the heck out. With a red chair (previously seen in the May/June issue of Dance Spirit!). Nick rocks out during his solo, and by the time he's done with his pirouettes (roughly 800 of them in a perfect row) he's deliciously sweaty. I definitely wouldn't not date Nick if he were into that...

Later, there was some mega-drama with that little red chair. It may be made of velour and it may look nice, but it's a real pain in the glutes because it won't slide on the marley floor at the theater. The guys were like, "Nick, you have to ditch the chair for your solo because it's not gonna slide, literally, or maybe it's gonna slide too much" but Nick is all, "whatevs boys, I'm using the chair, it's my best friend." So he uses it...and...he falls. Sad Nick. Like a true pro, though, he gets right back up and keeps grooving.

5. It would make me slightly jealous, but Nick and Kyle would make a pretty awesome (and hot) couple. I know there's the whole "I'm gay, but he's straight" issue, but can't these two just make it work? Kyle's happy jig dance when he found out he landed a meeting with casting director Robert Ulrich was precious. Also Nick called him Michael Flatley. They have the witty banter thing down.

6. It's possible the Shaping Sound lady dancers had to sign a contract saying that in order to be in the company, they would maintain exceptional hair. See: Taja's ever-growing bouf. Alexa's wildly out of control yet stunning curls. Ryan Ramirez's similar curls. Allison Holker's lusciously long locks that seem to hold flawless beach waves for days. Kaitlynn Edgar's bleachy bob that is amazing. I guess this is why I will never be in Shaping Sound. Also I'm not a very good dancer anymore. So there's that. But more importantly, it's about the hair.

7. Kyle was a tapper! Did you know this? I did not know this! When he went to Juilliard (straight from high school, no less), he started with a specialty in tap! Granted, he eventually ditched it. But Kyle is pretty, and he's a good dancer, and he knows how to do flap-ball-changes and time steps?! Holy perfection.

8. Melanie slipping and falling during dress rehearsal was tragic. OK, maybe not for her, because she was all, "I'm OK, I promise," but OMG I hated watching that! She dashed out of the studio and immediately went to snag some ice, and you could see tiny tears of sadness dripping down her face once the guys found her. I thought she was going to be broken forever (which, come on Alison, you know she's not, you just saw her and chatted with her and watched her dance on Tuesday...). Travis was quite dapper about the situation, saying the guy should never ever ever ever under any circumstances ever in life drop his lady partner. And yet...down went sweet lil' Mel. Anyway, she's fine. Thank goodness.

9. Denise Wall gets stuff done. She swoops in hours before the performance and is like, "What needs to get done?" and then she does it all. As Travis proclaims, "Best Mom Ever!" (Our sister mag, Dance Teacher agrees: DT presented Denise Wall with a Lifetime Achievement Award this year. During her acceptance speech, Queen Wall talked about how her boys mean the world to her. Clearly. She sewed pants for them at the last minute before the show...and all that jazz.) She also helps with the chair dilemma. Crucial!

10. You've gotta love this crew. Seeing the Shaping Sound dancers literally come together (Get it? The show is called Come Together!) backstage before the premiere show was heartwarming. The boys put in so much hard work that went far beyond choreography. They costume shopped. They put down a marley floor. They ripped up a marley floor. The invested their own money in addition to so much of their time.

From what I could see, the show was killer. Like seriously killer. The dancers were just so into it, and it was electrifying. I loved the montage of all the routines and I was so happy it went well. The whole "we're a company of best friends" thing is slightly cheesy, sure, but ultimately it makes for a really good show because everyone is having so much fun together onstage. The chemistry is palpable. Also, the "Sing Sing Sing" Act I finale was a crazy good time. Travis, you say you want to choreograph, and you're great at that, so I get it. But please don't stop performing yet. You're great onstage.

Offstage, though, slightly scary, huh? Travis sort of passes out after "Sing Sing Sing" and it's unclear whether it's from exhaustion or because Allison Holker secretly fed him a banana while they were partnering. My guess is exhaustion. Dr. Someone is called to the dressing room where Travis is given special medical attention, and is told "everything is fine." Miraculously, Travis is cured and cleared to make it through the second act after a hefty dose of fresh air. The company gets a standing ovation, Travis solidifies his spot "on Cloud 9" and everyone is sweaty and high on adrenaline. Nick cries and Teddy pops champagne. And Kyle takes off his shirt. Hooray!

Bravo to the Shaping Sound dancers who put on a fabulously fun show. I can't wait to see what the company does next.

And I won't have to wait long: Tune in tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10 PM EST for the 2-hour finale of "All the Right Moves." Jaimie is going to dance! Travis meets with Ingrid Michaelson! (Love herrrrrr OMG.) Kyle has a pretty significant beard! Adam Shankman gives advice! Dun dun dunnnnn.

Dance News

"I'm making a little, like, brunch. I was gonna season the chicken with some banana chips...but I thought not...because you're allergic to them." —Nick Lazzarini, Voice of Reason, "All the Right Moves"

This episode is all about "theater shopping," and I realize that sounds more like a QVC special than an hour of fun and dancing with four pretty boys. But don't worry: This was actually a very productive episode! It wasn't the funniest—there were no scenes with Nick learning how to ride a bike—and there were no cool backpacks. By the time the episode wrapped, though, the guys had a theater for their show, they held a successful fundraiser, they got a surprise visit from studly Dom and, I think, they finally finally finally wrapped up the "we got drunk and kissed the wrong people" love triangle drama.

It was the fifth episode of the series—only three left!—and Travis, Nick, Teddy and Kyle taught us many important-ish lessons about dance and life.

1. Kyle and Chantel Aguirre should be in love. Think of all the talented, beautiful, dark-haired, perfect-skinned babies they could have! These two performed a duet to Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and it was fantastic, and it was fantastic because the dancing was good, not just because Kyle was shirtless.

2. Kyle is always shirtless. I'm not complaining, I'm just a little curious. Was this in his contract? "Kyle, you must be half-nude for at least 50 percent of every episode. Please sign at the dotted line." I mean, why is everyone hanging out in the kitchen and Kyle is a little bit naked at the breakfast bar?

But in other news, Kyle is exploring additional, non-dance career options, and his head shots would make great wallpaper in my bedroom. He reads a script for this casting director lady, and she doesn't seem to think he's very talented, but what she doesn't realize is how pretty Kyle is. No one cares whether or not he can act or sing or dance or emote. Look at him! Just let him live his handsome life. But Kyle is frustrated because he's not booking anything and he's waiting for his break, and I get how discouraging that must be. Pretty people struggle sometimes, too.

3. Noelle does not get to get angry. When she says Kyle and Chantel's duet was "so good" she may as well have said "My mouth is filled with vomit right now and I'm going to cut Chantel while she's sleeping tonight." Noelle, it seems you've boarded the train to Jealous Town, which is crap because you had Kyle! He was all in like with you and stuff, but then you got tequila-ed and you kissed Teddy. You don't get to be jealous now! Sorry.

4. "The kiss" is, without a doubt, the most insanely blown-out-of-proportion, dragged out storyline on any docuseries ever. In this episode, Nick finds out about "The Kiss." He is not enthused, and it's affecting the company! "I would have hit your face repeatedly...Come on, homewrecker," Nick says. He's so mad at Teddy when he finds out about it! How dare he kiss Kyle's girl!

Later, Teddy and Noelle talk it out, and Noelle is like, "Teddy, it's cool, I've forgotten about the kiss because I've been channeling my energy into making my long hair look flowy and flawless, and also have you noticed I'm wearing pinky-purple lipstick now and it looks really awesome on me? I'm so hot." Teddy, meanwhile, likes to talk about feelings, so they do that, and then things are all patched up. No more scandalous homewrecking. Just dancing.

Yay. This storyline is over.

5. Just because your haircut is very specific does not mean you can't make it look different all the time. Taja's got the side-shaved, mohawked-on-top, braid-down-the-back hairstyle, and you may think you can only wear that one way. But false! Taja proves this is quite the versatile 'do. This week, her ever-growing mound of locks was a bit more tousled and messier than usual, which I like. It was edgy yet casual.

Oh also, Taja showed up at the company's rehearsal (I thought she quit, no?) and had a long talk with Travis. She compared Travis to her dad, and Trav wasn't into that. Something about wanting her dad's attention, and arguments, and getting defensive. But then there was an apology! She apologized to Travis for letting things escalate, and he apologizes back and wait for it...wait for it...they exchange I love yous and they hug! Peace has been restored in the world of Taja and Travis!

6. Theater shopping is boring. Sorry, guys. You're pretty to look at, but there's nothing exciting about looking for a place to perform. But it is an overwhelming process, which means Travis's stress level is at an all-time high. No bananas for you, Trav!

7. Zippers are the new sequined backpack. No, J/K. Nothing could ever replace that magical notebook-toting beauty. But did you see that shirt Nick was wearing during Dom's party? It had two vertical, not-really-functional zippers. Maybe zippers are the new tank top? I don't know. I'll ask the people at Fashion Week.

8. Travis and his boyfriend are so cute. Like really, really adorable. When Dom shows up and surprises Travis, it's the sweetest display of puppy love ever and it makes me happy. They're a precious couple. Also, it's Dom's birthday! Which means party at The Manor! Zipper shirts for everyone!

9. Jaimie wants to be in the Shaping Sound show! It's been four-ish months since her surgery, and she wants in, but Travis says no. He doesn't want to sacrifice her potential and he says she's not ready to dance. This actually blew my mind. I really thought Travis would give in because he and Jaimie are so close, and honestly just because Jaimie is an amazing dancer. But wow. Jaimie cries and it breaks my heart. This was one of the sweetest moments on the show. Good for you, Travis, for looking out for your friend, and Jaimie, your time will come (we know because you were an All-Star on "So You Think You Can Dance" like two weeks ago).

10. Nick is Mr. Business Savvy. The guys start brainstorming ways to make money, which involves "dance moms dropping some dollars in some hats." Genius! They're going to use their fan base—competition and convention kids—and they're going to do a fundraiser. They'll do a performance, they'll have a class, they'll charge $15 per dancer and they'll auction off things like solo choreography and backstage passes to their show. Just off the top of my head I can think of about 600 kids who would absolutely be into this. Good idea, guys! Also I like your fedoras.

When they're negotiating the "going rates" and "starting bids" for the items (a private lesson from Kyle Robinson!!!), Nick is the one who keeps jacking up the price. And did you see those fan girls in the audience during this performance? Yeah, their moms will be fine with dropping fedora dollars just to see their kids so happy. (Um, bidding $1,400 for solo choreography from Nick Lazzarini? Holy crap. You comp kids have some seriously generous parents!) Finally, I really liked the performance the four guys did together. It was fun and it was, well, bro-dancing at its best.

Next week: Teddy is going to be late! Teddy needs to prioritize! Adam Shankman is there! Dom is there! And the company debuts its show, "Come Together." Oh also we see Travis laying flat on the ground, seemingly unable to breathe. I swear to the Dance Gods, if that kid ate another banana I'm going to hire a group of gorillas to teach him a lesson. (No really, hope you're OK, Travis. And we can't wait to see the show.)


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