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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

So You Think You Can Dance 2, 06-14-06 – Changes to the Routine


Ballroom dancer Stanislav had his auditioning partner cut in the last round, but his new partner will be jazz dancer Erin. They will be doing Ron Montez’s choreography of the paso doble. In the past year, since I began watching this show and also watching Dancing with the Stars, I have heard “paso doble” more often than in my entire life. In fact, I never did hear of it before. But now I know it’s a ballroom dance where the male becomes the bullfighter, and his female partner the cape. Stanislav says it takes very little for him to get used to a new partner (which I’m assuming isn’t good news to his other partner/girlfriend). She has very little experience dancing as partners, and recognized that he is a great partner.

It’s obvious that Stanislav is carrying Erin as they dance the paso doble to Malaguena by the Manhattan Pops Orchestra. This is beginning to worry me how the eliminations will work. Will both partners be eliminated if one is bad, or will they take the male from one partnership and the female from another, and make a new couple of the remaining two? It would seem unfair for someone like Stanislav to get eliminated because his partner doesn’t have what it takes. Nigel calls it a great routine, and says Stanislav was very majestic, powerful, and masculine, but he felt Erin was sliding around with her shoes not catching the stage. She didn’t have the passion he wanted to see. Mary gives out a predictable “Ole!” then says she expected the greatness from Stanislav, but she feels Erin did a standout job for never having done this before, although her paso doble did come off somewhat jazzy. Dan tells Erin that if she didn’t have Stanislav as a partner, she would have been dead meat. He thinks the best thing she did was let him lead her around the stage.

Joy figured she would wind up with ballroom dancer Dmitry as her partner, as she is very tall, just like he is. They will be doing another Shane Sparks hip hop routine. Shane is very worried about Dmitry, as it’s all new stuff for him. Hip hop, Shane believes, is universal, and something you can’t teach, per se. He says it’s not just moving your hand, it’s moving your hand a specific way. Dmitry just seems to be missing the funkiness.

Dancing the hip hop routine to Hit the Floor by Twista Feat Pitbullhe, there is certainly no more funkiness. Dmitry jus doesn’t seem to have it in him. You can tell he’s trying, but it’s jus tnot there. Nigel comparies this hip hop to that done by Donyelle and Benji, and says this one doesn’t feel hip hop at all. It’s just doing steps and being together. Mary doesn’t know what he’s talking about. She advises us to call the fire department, because Dmitry and Joy are smokin’. She thinks Dmitry doing well is her bigest shock of the day. Perhaps we should stick her finger in a light socket to remind her what a shock is. Dan says Mary was just being nice, and says what they did was regurgitated choreography. It’s not that they didn’t do the steps, they just had nothing behind it.

Ballet dancer Ryan wasn’t too happy with the partner chose for him when Heidi walked in the door, as he had wanted to be paired with Natalie, Benji’s cousin, making her another Latin and swing dancer, yet she’s excited to be with him. Ryan figures it to be a clash of personalities – her high energy with his “Mr. Relaxed.” They will be doing the Vinnese Waltz choregraphed by Ron Montez. Realizing this is new territory for Ryan, Heidi feels she needs to manage on her own. I understand her viewpoint, but that’s never going to come out right in a partnership.

Watching Heidi with Benji in Las Vegas, we know she can do partners, but Ryan seems slightly stiff as the two do their Viennese Waltz to Caribbean Blue by Enya. Nigel thinks Ron played to their strengths with this routine, and liked the beautiful lines, but didn’t see too much of a closed hold which is the European version of the dance. Mary says this was more like 50/50. The upper bodies had fabulous lines, but from the waist down, she felt it was disaster. Dan feels the whole thing lacked a l ittle bit of finesse, but says once they put these two in costumes and played beautiful music and had thelights on them, they did better than he had expected.

Ballet dancer Ben, who is said to dance very high on his toes winds up with popper Ashlee as his partner. This one’s going to be interesting. They will be doing an 80s disco routine from Doriana Sanchez. She explains that 80s disco is not as much partnering as 70s disco, and a little bit freer. Again, she wants to tell a story, this one from the movie Flashdance. Both Ben and Ashlee are new to partnering, and even the hand thing felt awkward to them. Her biggest fear is doing the lifts, as he’s never done them, and even he says he just doesn’t have the guns to lift a girl over his head.

You can take the boy out of the ballet, but you just can’t take the ballet out of the boy, as Ben and Ashless attempt 80s disco to Flashdance by Irene Cara. Nigel finds a lot of the routine juvenile, and says the spinning wasn’t good. He suggests they both polish up their solos for the next night. Mary says this is one of her favorite songs, yet she felt nothing. The lifts didn’t go that well. Dan says flat out, “That was bad.” He tells Ashlee that to be completely honest, he believes it’s her fault. He thinks with a better partner Ben could’ve done more.

Contemporary dancer Travis partners with Martha, and they are both so excited they run around saying, “I hate you!” Tyce Dorio comes in to teach them some Broadway choreography. He wants to bring to mind Gene Kelly and Cyd Charise. Travis was on Broadway for two years, so he definitely has an edge here. Tyce warns him not to bust out and show everyone everything he can do in the first ten seconds. It’ll be hard, as these two are very confident.

Dancing to Steam Heat by The Pointer Sisters, all I can say is wow. He’s just amazing, and has been since the beginning. She just adds to it. I can see these two at the end. Nigel agrees, saying they’ve just served notice that they are the couple to beat. He thinks we didn’t even see all there was, and he also gives props to Tyce for capturing Bob Fosse’s choreography so well. Mary calls this couple two dancin’ machines, and also agrees they are the couple to beat. She thinks we saw Martha’s personality tonight, and everyone already knows what a great dancer Travis is. Dan agrees, saying many people might not understand how difficult their routine was, as there’s not a lot of tricks, but it takes exception dancers to pull that off. Now they’ve set the bar for themselves, and need to bring it every week.

Break dancer Musa needs someone to balance him out, and he ends up with Natalie, a trained jazz dancer. Alex DeSilva teaches them the mambo, and is worried about Musa, although he notes Musa seems to be very confident. Natalie says the mambo makes her feel like a woman, very sassy. Alex has a hard time getting Musa to lead and Natalie to follow, as Natalie keeps leading, and Musa lets her.

Musa and Natalie do their mambo to Nina by Joe Quarter Sextet. The acting is great on Musa’s part, and there’s no denying they have great chemistry. When he’s allowed, Musa shows some great footwork. Nigel says if you work on the premise that every guy was watcing Natalie’s hips and not Musa’s feet, it was fantastic. He says Musa did the right thing to stand there for most of the routine, but he loved it when Musa got into the style and started going and feeling it. Mary thinks it should have been “So You Think You Are Hot?” Musa was standing still a lot, but Natalie was hot and sexy. Dan agrees the dancing left something to be desired, but feels they have the best chemistry so far.

The couples receiving the least amount of votes will wind up dancing solos on Thursday night to save themselves. I think we might possibly see Ivan and Allison, Dmitry and Joy, and Ben and Ashlee, and possibly Stanislav and Joy. They just didn’t have the same chemistry and magic as the other pairs.

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