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

So You Think You Can Dance, May 31st – Of Cowboys and Cloggers


The next day we meet another inspirational dancer, to go along with Jon “Quincy” Vereen that had lost his leg. Bryan Gaynor, 20, of Kenesaw, Georgia is a computer science student at a university. He has scoliosis and the doctors are debating what they should do with him. He can lift one arm all the way up, but the other only half way. He just wants to prove he can stand in front of judges with no fear and no worries. He actually does a pretty good popping robot type thing that is very entertaining. Nigel tells him to be honest, he doesn’t know how successful he’ll be on the show, but it doesn’t matter, as what he’s done is take his physical appearance and size and use it to his advantage. He calls it brilliant and sensational.

Mary calls it very clever and says she just loved it. She just wanted to watch him, as he just knew how to work all three of them. Shane calls it insane and says it got him crying. He calls Bryan money, and says if he doesn’t make the show, he’s got a future ahead of him. Shane hopes someone sees him and recognizes the talent he has, as he’s perfect and cold. Nigel asks what he suffers from, and Bryan explains scoliosis. He also says he finds himself to be fortunate to still be walking and dancing. Nigel tells him he’s doing far more than entertaining everyone, as he is also inspirational for anyone that has a physical disability. Bryan is sent through to the choreography.

Myles Johnson, 20, of Cartersville, Georgia has always been into sports, and football was his main thing. He was always pushed by his father to continue it. His senior year of high school he broke his leg and couldn’t play football, so his coach asked him to try ballet to improve his leg. He dad was willing to let him do it at that point, Myles eventually decided to give up football to pursue dance. His dad first disowned him and shut him out for a long time. His dad explains he had an All-american quarterback son that was dating a cheerleader and felt he had it all. He wishes he still played football, and Myles adds that a son is always looking for his dad to be proud of him. He tells his dad his support means a lot to him.

It’s surprising seeing this athlete dancing ballet, but Myles is actually pretty good, and you can see how his natural athleticism helps him. Nigel tells him he is terrific for only having danced for eight months, and Mary agrees, but questions whether he is ready for the show. She doesn’t think his technique is good enough, but says he should keep it up since he’s that good after just 8 months. Shane tells Myles to not take it as an insult when Mary says he’s not ready, as this show is crazy, but he knows he will get better and better. Personally, Shane understands getting hooked on the world of dancing, he’s been doing it since he was born. Shane votes no, but Nigel votes yes, as he’d like to be a part of the learning process for Myles and this could give him some new choreography to work with, although he doesn’t think Myles will make it through, as he’s too raw. Mary doesn’t think he’ll get through either, but is taking Nigel’s lead.

Next up is Ashley Simpson. No, really. It’s Ashley Simpson, 18, of Tempe, Arizona. She says she is teased about her name all the time, and people either don’t believe it’s her real name or are disappointed when they are expecting to meet a celebrity. She has waited all her life for his experience, to work with the choreographers out there and the most talented kids. She does a lyrical dance where she’s rolling on the floor and touching herself like E.J. was doing yesterday. Let’s see if this bothers Mary as much as when he did it.

Shane says Ashley has lot of control and is very strong. He loved it. It was fantastic for Mary, and she feels Ashley is the type of person people would get up off their couch and stop eating dinner to vote for. Hmm. Double standard? Nigel calls her very, very good and wants to send her to the choreography round. Mary, though, wants to send her straight to Las Vegas and when Shane asks if she’s serious, she asks if he is hard of hearing. They let Mary have the triumph and Ashley has some tears, then gets her ticket and leaves.

In a really cool, obviously planned out but it doesn’t matter routine, the crowd waiting outside get on steps nearby and with a background of Twist and Shout from Ferriss Bueller’s Day off, they do the exact dance from when Ferriss was on the parade float. … Bueller? … Bueller?

Kippery Rigsby, 27, of Foley, Alabama, says she’s been dancing since she was 3, with hip hop for 3 years and ballet for 5. It sounds like she is saying “screet pop dancing,” but she has to mean “street.” She doesn’t seen to move at all, just a little with arms, and Mary says to the others during the audition that Kippery is sucking the life force out of her. For someone that lively as Mary, that says a lot. Nigel doesn’t doesn’t know where to begin, but asks if she enjoys dancing, and when she replies she does, he tells her to tell her face that. He says he didn’t know what she did, but it wasn’t dancing. She talks about being at a dance workshop in 2006 that cost $1400, and an agent told her she was a good dancer. Nigel says he’d do the same for $1400. He says you should never have to pay to dance in front of agents. They should want to come see you because you are good.

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