Coming off the success of another season of Dancing With the Stars, we now get to watch people that are better than the celebrities we watched, but not quite as much as the professionals we watched, but they could be. On So You Think You Can Dance, hosted by Cat Deely for the second year in a row, we have auditions in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and tonight, New York. The judges for tonight are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Dan Karaty. With more dancers, choreographers, and dance schools than anywhere else, it makes for great possibilities for the level of talent.
The dancers will be given a short time to make an impression on the three judges. If they like them they will move on, by immediately getting a ticket to Las Vegas. If they don’t, they will immediately leave. And if they’re just not sure, they’ll have the dancers stick around and work on some choreography at the end of the two days in New York, and if they can pick it up easily enough, they are then moved on to Las Vegas.
The first contestant is “Dancing” Derek Bradley, 22, from Holley, New York. He’s called this because he loves to dance so much. As he speaks, Leif Garrett’s I Was Made for Dancing plays in the background, cueing us in that this isn’t going to be a serious audition. He says dancing opened up a totally new world for him that no one else understands. He says he has quite a lot of endurance as well, as he once danced 22 hours straight. Much of what he does it is moving his feet like he’s almost running (and not even close to the Running Man), and flail his arms about. This is so manic, I’m hoping he doesn’t hit the coffee machine on the way out.
While Mary works on that famous cackle of hers, Nigel notes that it says in Derek’s biography that he can dance a long time without getting tired, and this is while Derek has just collapsed on the floor. He notes Derek looks a little tired, and he says he’s not and just needs to borrow some water. Mary thinks he’s about to become delirious and says it was just a lot of jumping up and down and not really much dancing going on. Dan thinks Derek is definitely the life of the party, but Nigel doesn’t think anyone could keep up with him. Derek says there’s not anything they or anyone can do to stop him, and Mary argues no one is trying. When Nigel again points aback to the fact he wasn’t really dancing but jumping around, Derek says it’s because his legs go quickly and he picked a song that was too fast. Next time he’ll try a different song and try to impress them more. He leaves and gets oxygen from the medic.
Tiffany Green, 20, of Wolcott, New York, tries to do some jumps, but looks to be a little too heavy for them. It’s hard to say whether she learned a little at one point then fell way behind or whether she learned from watching other people. She’s asked what kind of formal training she has had, and she answers contemporary, prompting Mary to say that just wasn’t good. She acknowledges that she is struggling to say something good to Tiffany, and she ends up saying she felts a sense of desperation watching it, and Nigel answers that was just them watching it. Tiffany asks if there’s anything she should work on, and as the question is deferred to Dan, who just sits and stares down with nothing to say. After she is excused, she says she was thinking of opening a studio, but maybe now she’ll just open a restaurant. I don’t think she gets that it helps if you have some actual knowlege or training in a certain area if you tend to open up a business in that.
Jessica Diaz, 30, of New York City takes a crown off in the middle of her dance and does a spin. She tries to lift her leg, but she has no balance, then goes into the full chinese splits. Nigel tells her he didn’t understand the story, and she explains he lost his crown. When he asks who “he” is, she explains Jesus, and confirms Jesus is meant to be herself, as she fell, spun, and went into the splits to cut the barrier and everything else away. It’s her own vision, prompting Nigel to ask what planet she is from. Her response? New York.
Anya Garnis, 25, of New York City and Pasha Kovalev, 27, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, take the stage together, and the first thing Nigel whispers to the others is that Anya is “so sexy.” Watching the both of them dance, I think the whole thing is sexy. When they finish, Nigel tells them that was hot and fabulous to watch. He feels as thought they should both go straight through to Las Vegas. Mary calls it unbelievable, and thinks they are the best ballroom dancers they have ever had on the show. Dan asks what he’s going to say after that. Nigel gives them to tickets to Las Vegas, and Anya admits Pasha didn’t want to audition with her, and she forced him. They could end up being one of those really great stories, but it will be interesting to see how they dance separately.
As it’s turning into evening on this first day of the auditions, there are only a few dancers left. Heather Zampier, 25, of Windsor Mill, Massachusetts explains she got her first tattoo at 18, and she hopes to get thirteen more this weekend, despite the fact her mom will kill her. One of the tattoos is “To Breathe Is To Dance” on the back of her neck. This one is either going to be really good or really bad. She explains in 2004 she was dancing and experienced back pain which led to a bone spur, and her being told not to dance again after two hip surgeries. She doesn’t feel as if she can stop, because it really is like breathing, and this is her firs time auditioning since her surgeries. It’s a challenge to go against the doctors’ advice.