Just for fun
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Although we watch "So You Think You Can Dance" for the killer choreography and fantabulous dancing, sometimes the show is downright hilarious, too. Here are seven laugh-out-loud "SYT" moments that still have us giggling.

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Just for fun
Giphy

Although we watch "So You Think You Can Dance" for the killer choreography and fantabulous dancing, sometimes the show is downright hilarious, too. Here are seven laugh-out-loud "SYT" moments that still have us giggling.

Keep reading... Show less
Just for fun
Look at all those baby faces!! Do you know which "SYT" season this classic photo is from? #classic (via Instagram)

Bless you, Person Running the "So You Think You Can Dance" Social Accounts. For the past week, that anonymous hero has been taking a fabulous little walk down memory lane, posting pics from seasons past—way past, in some cases. And they're bringing back alllllll the memories.

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Just for fun
Look at all those baby faces!! Do you know which "SYT" season this classic photo is from? #classic (via Instagram)

Bless you, Person Running the "So You Think You Can Dance" Social Accounts. For the past week, that anonymous hero has been taking a fabulous little walk down memory lane, posting pics from seasons past—way past, in some cases. And they're bringing back alllllll the memories.

Keep reading... Show less
Just for fun
via @kidathegreat Instagram

There's a new challenge taking over social media and it's bringing out the dancer in everyone. So You Think You Can Dance: Next Generation winner Kida Burns (aka Kida the Great) has inspired a new trend thanks to an impromptu dance session in his kitchen. In a recent Instagram post, Kida and fellow dancer Jabari Timmons break it down to the tune of the Nintendo Wii song.

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Just for fun
💯 💯 💯 (via Instagram)

On Friday night, the iconic RuPaul made history as the first drag queen ever to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And it didn't take long for the world's most fabulous RuPaul fan/one of our favorite human beings, Mark Kanemura, to commemorate his idol's accomplishment with—naturally—a WALK to end all walks.

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Ballet Stars
Stella Abrera at the Genée International Ballet Competition in 1995. Photo by Pete Jones, Courtesy Royal Academy of Dance.

On September 7, The Genée International Ballet Competition—the Royal Academy of Dance's flagship event—gets underway in Lisbon, Portugal. Founded in 1931, the Genée recognizes top talent with medals and cash prizes, as well as exposure to company and academy directors. Competitors perform a classical variation, a commissioned piece by an emerging choreographer, and a "Dancer's Own" solo, choreographed by either the competitor, their teacher or a peer.

The 10-day competition, which hosts young dancers trained in the RAD syllabus from around the world, has helped launch the careers of many of today's ballet stars. Just who, exactly? Take a walk down memory lane as we reveal eight familiar faces.

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Try Out Cecchetti


Want to try out the disciplined, anatomically inspired, line-driven style of Enrico Cecchetti? Attend Cecchetti USA’s “mini-intensive” February 20–21 at the Huntington Academy of Dance in Huntington Beach, California. “We welcome people from all styles. We’d like you to see what Cecchetti is all about,” says Judith Hawkesworth, summer school coordinator for CUSA.

 

The workshop offers classes at each Cecchetti level of study, plus a conditioning class that focuses on abdominal and foot strength, flexibility and turnout. Says Hawkesworth, “Cecchetti is so simple, pure and clean that it’s a wonderful foundation for any type of ballet.” www.cecchettiusa.org. —Katie O’Connell

Taking a Cue from Reality TV


Inspired by the popularity of So You Think You Can Dance, Vasile Petrutiu started the World Ballet Competition four years ago. The WBC capitalizes on the drama of competitions: Dancers pick numbers out of a hat, scores are projected on a screen above the stage and unknown talent gains international recognition. The competition is broadcast live online—last year 300,000 people watched.

 

Over 15 schools, including Boston Ballet School, the Harid Conservatory and Juilliard offer scholarships to top competitors. Winners also receive cash prizes up to $10,000. And with so many people watching, dancers get a huge amount of exposure.

 

 

The 2010 WBC takes place June 7–12. Dancers ages 10 to 22 can enter as soloists, couples or in an ensemble. Competitors must be pre-selected through DVD applications, due February 15. www.wbcorlando.com. —Jennifer Stahl



Become a Better Partner

 

If you’d like to improve your partnering skills this summer, try a weeklong pas de deux workshop with Sirius Ballet Company in Covington, Georgia. “Beyond the occasional partnering class, few students get to perform a pas de deux,” says artistic director Jaime Robtison. “Once given the opportunity, dancers often become more aware of their bodies.”

 

In addition to technique and pas de deux classes, dancers receive private coaching and perform a classical pas de deux with its accompanying variations and coda. The deadline for auditions by DVD is March 1. www.mainstreamdance.com. —Rebecca Ain



TIP: What should you focus on during your first professional auditions?


Unlike at a school audition, directors are looking for a perfor­mance, not just skills. Don’t worry about technique: That’s what you’ve been working on for the past nine or ten years, and it isn’t going to change in the span of seconds. It’s okay to be scared (that will give you an adrenaline rush to help get through class) but get excited about the dancing, too. You have to show them you enjoy it—that’s what you’re gonna be doing for a living.
—Michael Wozniak, first year corps member at Ballet Arizona



When I saw Paloma Herrera of American Ballet Theatre step onto the stage of So You Think You Can Dance last fall, I was speechless. One of my favorite ballerinas posed confidently to begin Kitri’s variation, on what seemed to be an awful floor for pointe work. Nevertheless, Herrera delivered under bright spotlights, in front of TV crews, and for millions of SYTYCD fans watching at home. If she was out of her element, it was impossible to for anyone to tell. Herrera could probably perform with spunk, strength and spot-on turns under any given situation.

Yet after she finished, my first thought was, “What is she doing up there?” The sophisticated ballerina didn’t seem to fit on the stage of the popular television show. In no way could I belittle what So You Think You Can Dance has done for the dance world—the show has exposed amazing, raw talent and has broadened the horizons of audiences, with or without dance experience. Nor do I find contemporary styles any less beautiful than classical ballet. However, the SYTYCD stage exudes a slightly different atmosphere than the Metropolitan Opera House. I couldn’t help but wonder if putting artists like Herrera on reality TV belittles the art of ballet.

Then this week I heard that American Ballet Theatre soloists Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews are scheduled to perform the pas de deux from act III of Don Quixote live on SYTYCD tomorrow night. Finding out about this upcoming performance urged me to brainstorm more about the situation. Sure, dancers from classical companies are different than contemporary dancers, and they thrive in different venues. However, distinctions between the classical and the contemporary are blurring now more than ever before. (Flash back to rapper Big Boi from OutKast’s collaboration with Atlanta Ballet in 2008.) Maybe soon we will see stars from So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew touring at the Met and the Kennedy Center.

If anything else, ABT’s appearances on the popular TV show will give audiences an increased awareness of the ballet world. Someone who has never even heard of Don Quixote could develop a newfound love and appreciation of ballet—which is always an amazing thing.


Catch ABT’s Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews on So You Think You Can Dance tomorrow night at 9:00 PM (EST) / 8:00 PM (CST), and share your thoughts in the comments!

New York City's Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet is arguably the edgiest, coolest ballet company in the country. But what's more impressive is how they accomplish this without alienating mainstream audiences. In fact, they've been able to reach potential dance fans that most companies only dream of: This spring, they danced alongside Emily Blunt on the big screen in The Adjustment Bureau. And on Thursday, they'll be streamed into your living room as guest artists on So You Think You Can Dance. Jon Bond and Soojin Choi (on Pointe's October/November 2010 cover) as well as Jason Kittleberger, Acacia Schachte and Ebony Williams will perform a piece from artistic director Benoit Swan-Pouffer's Installation series. Tune into FOX to see how they transfer their unique brand of awesome to the SYTYCD stage.

It's that time of year again: So You Think You Can Dance producers are looking for their next batch of talent! The show will travel to five different cities early next year—and the top contenders will earn a ticket to Las Vegas for callbacks, where they'll learn multiple styles by top choreographers and compete for a coveted place in the top 20. Here's the just-released audition schedule:

 

Atlanta, GA                       Thursday, Jan. 5               The FOX Theatre

                                                                        660 Peachtree Street, NE

                                                                        Atlanta, GA  30308

 

Dallas, TX                         Friday, Jan. 13                  McFarlin Memorial Auditorium

6405 Boaz Lane

Dallas, TX  75275

 

New York, NY                   Monday, Jan. 23               Manhattan Center

                                                                                    311 W. 34th Street

                                                                                    New York, NY  10001

 

Salt Lake City, UT            Thursday, Feb. 23             Capitol Theatre

                                                                                    50 West 200 South

                                                                                    Salt Lake City, Utah  84101

 

Los Angeles, CA               Friday, March 2                Orpheum Theatre

                                                                                    842 S. Broadway

                                                                                    Los Angeles, CA  90014

 

Venues are subjest to change. For the latest information, go to fox.com/dance.

It's been a dramatic ride for the ballet dancers on this season of "So You Think You Can Dance" so far. I was thrilled when three—three!—ballet specialists made the Top 20 a few weeks ago: former San Francisco Ballet dancer Daniel Baker, former Los Angeles ballet dancer and Come Fly Away cast member Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, and Joffrey Ballet School-trained Eliana Girard. They were even showcased together in a highly technical piece by Complexions  Contemporary Ballet's Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden. (It wasn't my personal favorite, but anything that gets pointework on national television is fine by me.)

Initially, then, things were looking up for the ballet crew. But from that point on, the men, especially, struggled, and both Daniel and Chehon ended up in the bottom 6 at the end of this week's show. Chehon was saved by the judges; Daniel was sent packing.

With the exception of the phenomenon that is Alex Wong, ballet dancers have always had trouble on "SYTYCD." I think that's partly because audiences just expect more of contestants with strong technical training. Ballet dancers' failures on the show are more pronounced, and their successes less impressive, because audiences set higher standards for them. To be fair, ballet dancers do tend to have a hard time relaxing into other styles. But they're cut a lot less slack in hip hop routines than hip hop dancers are in contemporary routines, for example.

I'll miss Daniel, but here's hoping that Eliana and, in particular, Chehon, make it all the way this season. There's a reason the judges saved Chehon: Not only is a beautiful technician, but I think he also has that ineffable "it" factor. He just needs to stick around long enough (and stay away from the samba long enough!) for everyone to realize it.

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