So You Think You Can Dance — Salt Lake City, NY, LA

8 06 2011

After watching these auditions, there seems no end to the talent still out there. Most of the people picked have contemporary or hip-hop backgrounds; very few ballroom dancers have been seen.

Salt Lake City

Robin Antin from the Pussycat Dolls (and sister of famed hair stylist Jonathan Antin), Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe served as judges for this segment of the trip. I found Robin annoying with her constant talking about the Pussycat Dolls and if this or that contestant would work for her group. This is not about them; this is about THIS show.

First to perform are a pair of steppers, Devon McCullough and Micah Clark from SLC. They were in-sync with a very difficult routine. During choreography, however, only Devon made it through to Vegas.

Chyna Lee Smith from Pocatello, Idaho, had overflowing enthusiasm and a long list of SYTYCD alumni with whom she has worked: Matt, Natalie, Brandon, and Allison Hooker did the choreography for her audition. She comes from a dancing family, her mother having danced with the Osmond’s. She’ll be one to look for during the Vegas auditions.

It was fun to watch Annie Gratton, of Phoenix, Arizona, with her father, Francois Gratton. I dare say that the father performed better than the daughter when they danced together at Nigel’s request, but Annie is going to Vegas; dad can’t meet the 30-year-old cut-off.

Tadd Gadduang reminds me of the playfulness of Dominic Sandoval. He performed his hip-hop routine to classical music. He was straight through to Vegas.

Samantha Miller many have lost some of her memories, but her muscle memory is still there. She was put through to choreography but was told to come back and audition next year.

Day two of Salt Lake City discovered the talents of Chase Thomas from Provo Utah. Performing a contemporary routine, he showed a lot of strength. His lines were not the cleanest, but he did okay. This is the young man whose former girlfriend cheated on him, but found someone else and is now happily married. He is through to Vegas.

I am not sure what I make of the Brittany/Ringo Starr thing. If her father was just acting, then no harm, but he was demented and has delusions thinking he is Ringo Starr, then that was wrong to have exploited him.

New York Auditions

From my birthplace, Brooklyn, Jason Gilkison, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe were judging this set of performers. I was introduced to a new term: Whaackin. It is a style of dance that came into prominence around the 70s in predominantly gay club scene. It draws from modern jazz, funk, soul and ballet to name a few. It also has distinct elements of vogueing and locking as well. Samara “Princess Lockeroo” Cohen from Brooklyn brought this unique style of dance to life and got a ticket straight to Vegas.

Performing a contemporary/lyrical dance was Brandon Jones from New Brunswick, NJ. He had great height and strength. He was given a ticket to Vegas.

Brian Henry from Brooklyn was an odd dude. Performing an energetic and aggressive krump dance, he looked angry. However, when he said it was his “praise dance” and that he “krumped for Christ” I did not know how to understand that. After choreography, he was given a ticket to Vegas.

Our Irish step-dancer, Mary Kate Sheehan, also from Brooklyn, was up next. She made great use of the stage and made step-dancing look easy and graceful. She was sent to choreography and then earned her ticket to Vegas.

Virgil “Lil’O” Gadson from Philadelphia was also given a ticket to Vegas.

Day 2 of the Brooklyn auditions brought out dance styles other than contemporary and hip-hop. Jess LeProtto from Little Falls, New Jersey performed a cute jazz routine. He reminded me of Evan. After choreography, we will be seeing more of him in Vegas.

One of the few contestants we’ve seen performing a Latin dance, after only 3 years of ballroom experience, Kristen Dobson impressed Mary Murphy. Jason gave her some constructive criticism about her performance. We’ll be seeing her in Vegas after showing her abilities in the choreography session.

The “Woo” Man, 30-year-old Robert Taylor, Jr., of Brooklyn, was a lot of fun in his hip-hop routine. He was not as tight as others we have seen, but he was given a ticket to Vegas.

Los Angeles auditions

Tyce DiOrio, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe were the judges for this last on-the-road auditioning segment.

Jordan Casanova of Chino Hills, CA, was a sexy spitfire. She said she “turns into something else on stage.” Indeed she did and earned the first ticket to Vegas.

Derion “DC” Chapman of Reseda, CA, reminded Nygel of Twitch, who was in the audience. He was given a ticket straight to Vegas.

Having tried out many seasons in the past, Arielle Coker of Los Angeles wowed all the judges with the improvements she had made. We will be seeing her in Vegas.

Hero McRae, hailing from Japan, was crazy good with her hip-hop routine which was rewarded with a ticket to Vegas.

The last day of on-the-road auditions brought us such potential as Alexis Mason, sister of Season 5 winner Jeanine Mason). Patty Anne Miller, a style consultant, also of Los Angeles, did a fabulous hip-hop routine. She had received a full scholarship for drumming to Berkeley School of Music and had graduated. Both received tickets to Vegas.

The last audition was for sisters Sasha and Natalia Mallory from Bakersfield, CA. Sasha had previously been a dancer on Adam Lambert’s tour. Nigel was surprised at the dancing that came from Natalia because of her weight. Nigel has a short memory (Donyelle Jones, 3rd place winner in season 2). They were sent to choreography and both sent through to Vegas.

Vegas week is grueling and only the strong (and those who avoid injuries) survive. I hope some of my favorites will be there.


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2 responses

2 10 2012
www.mycityclothingllc.com

I remember him from Jr. high school over at Valley! Always has been a great dancer ever since we were all little

2 10 2012
www.mycityclothingllc.com

Tadd Gadduang that is…

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