so you think you can dance

13Nov09

I just had the most ridiculous conversation with a friend of mine. He and I are huge fans of So You Think You Can Dance and have been from season 1, which was roughly when we met each other. So we’ve been talking about the same contestants and dances ad nauseum for years and we think we’re experts.

So today we were critiquing this season’s competitors.

Was Ryan and Ellenore’s tango amazing? It was good, props to her for keeping it together with the dress, but we’d rather have seen Janette and Brandon do it.

How great is Legacy? He’s done extremely well for what he’s been given but we’ve certainly noticed how little of the floor he’s being asked to cover. He’s improved immensely but ballroom (especially latin) will be the true test when he actually has to do a lot of footwork. Funny how he hasn’t been assigned that yet.

My friend and I also watch the occasional video of past contestants. Blake’s samba with ashle comes to mind (season 1). That dance wasn’t nearly as lifty as subsequent dances have become but the absence of lifts/tricks meant there was no place to hide. Either they had the samba down or they didn’t. It looks simple in comparison but I wonder how many of the contestants in the past two or three seasons could actually get through it.

And what about that Victor/Channing contemporary? We both thought the choreography was spectacular, the dancing pretty good, but it missed the spark it should have had. Plus (and this is where my friend and I collapsed into giggles about how we think we know what we’re talking about) Victor seemed to be too weighty, my friend said, and didn’t quite know how to use his taller body in the same way that Danny Tidwell did.

So…here’s a question. Favorite routines, favorite dancers, favorite choreographers from the past six seasons? I have a tendency to focus on the men, rather than the women, so my list will reflect that.

Best male dancer: Danny Tidwell. (Is this even a question?)

Runner up: Travis Wall. (Imo, he’s the most complete dancer ever on the show in terms of what the show’s looking for. Talent, likeability, versatility, etc. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s the only non-ballroom contestant who returns to choreograph. But Danny beats him out in terms of sheer sublime talent.)

Honorable mention: Brandon and Blake. These two were both excellent but has just something missing. I never really clicked with Brandon’s personality and while Blake’s left much to be desired, he was so talented, it didn’t matter. His big failure was the lifts and, if I’m really being picking, his spins weren’t at the same level of Travis/Danny. But that’s splitting hairs.

Best male ballroom: Pasha.

Runners up: Artem and Dmitry. I think these three might be the best we get.

Best female ballroom: Janette.

Runner up: Lacey. This is a close one for me. Lacey was outstanding but her personality left me slightly cold. Janette was sensational, imo. Both were in some of the best ballroom routines we’ve seen and both shone in other genres as well.

Honorable mention: Anya. She left way too early in her season. She might not have been particularly versatile but she was scintillating in ballroom. Plus it’s hard to think who else Danny could have been partnered with in those early rounds.

BBoys: I don’t really have a favorite here; two really stand out in my mind. Hok, both for his tricks and the Wade Robson hummingbird routine, and Dominic, for staying the longest of any bboy. But Dominic didn’t get to show how good he is until America’s Best Dance Crew. All in all, the bboy thing is a mixed bag. We’ll see what happens to Legacy once he’s forced to do a lot of footwork.

BGirls: There’s only been one but she was pretty good. Sara.

Best male hiphop: Joshua Allen, without question. No runners up yet but I suspect Russell’s going to be fast on Joshua’s heels.

Best ballroom (not tango) routine: Danny and Lacey samba. Runner up? Blake and Ashle samba.

Best tango: Janette and Brandon. Insanity.

Best hip hop: This is a bit of a mixed bag; there’ve been quite a few weaker offerings and few outstanding ones. I’d say it’s a tie between Shane Sparks’s zombie offering with Kayla and Jason (season 5) and NappyTabs’ first piece ever, No Air, with Joshua and Katee.

Best Mia Michaels routine: Where do you start? Because it changed what the show was, I’ll say the park bench routine. But there’s so much else. Special recognition has to go to last season’s “gravity”/addiction piece, which was far superior to cancer dance.

Best Wade Robson routine: Again, where do you start? I have to say Sexy Back but tomorrow I’d probably say something else (Ramalama?). I will say this about Wade though; a lot of times, I’d rather see him do the dancing than the contestants.

My favorite solo: Danny Tidwell’s version of the Wade Robson dance to John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” that all 10 contestants had to dance.

My favorite routine (any genre, any season, couple or group): Season 2, top 6 group routine to Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek”, choreographed by Mia Michaels.

Your thoughts? Categories you want to add? (After all, it is skewed heavily male at the moment.) The comments await…

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5 Responses to “so you think you can dance”

  1. 1 The History Enthusiast

    Funny, I tend to watch the girls more than the guys. I don’t have as specific of a list as you do, but my favorite large group routine may’ve been the Lion King one…don’t know why, because it wasn’t the calibre of the dancing per se.

    My all time favorite dancers are: Sabra, Neil, Jeanine, Kherington, and Twitch. Not all of them are the most technically accurate dancers (though Sabra and Jeanine had flawless technique), but some of them just made me smile.

    It’s hard for me to choose my favorite Mia routine, although the one about her dad with Lacey was definitely the most heartwrenching. There really wasn’t a lot of dancing in it, but it was just so sweet.

  2. 2 thefrogprincess

    Of your list, I loved Sabra and Jeanine. Neil didn’t do much for me in general but his table dance with Sabra was spectacular.

    Also, I should have included this on my list but my favorite partnership is Joshua and Katee, season 4.

    • 3 CAG

      Katee and Joshua were also my all time favorite couple. Too bad there is no venue to see them dance together again. I really miss the special performance quality they had together.

  3. 4 whitheramp

    another category:

    Best Person Voted Off Too Soon: CRAIG DEROSA!

    • 5 thefrogprincess

      Oh, craig derosa. All kidding aside, I’d put Blake in that category and Janette. Those are the only ones who come to mind but who knows who all went home who might have been decent in the first few rounds of each season.


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