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

So You Think You Can Dance 5, May 21 – Making Mary Love Her Job


Nobuya Nagahama, 27, of Woodside, NY, is hoping to keep the smiles going with his wide range of dance styles. I have a bad feeling about this. He takes the stage with a Native American sounding song that turns hip hop. He’s much better than I thought he’d be, with a little comedy thrown in. He needs to pull his pants up though. Sorry, used to saying that to my son. Someone get the guy a belt.

Nigel confirms Nobuya is from Tokyo and tells him he has two fantastic lockers in Tokyo, and while he doesn’t do it as tight as NIgel would like to see,the speed at with which he was doing it didn’t help him lock. He liked the comedy and the nice slow moves. Nigel’s fear is that he can’t do anything other than that, as is the norm with lockers. Noguya says he can do some other stuff, but he doesn’t like it, which Mary points out could be a problem on the show. Napoleon says the locking is superb, and he knows it’s because of the influence from Japan. Tabitha hopes he can follow this with some other styles, and he moves on to the choreography round.

It’s time for the choreography round where Lauren Gottlieb from season three is waiting to teach them some moves. I wonder if she had a good reunion with Faina. The dancers have just thirty minutes to get it right. Mutation decides this isn’t for them and leaves. Mary tells Maksim it wasn’t the easiest thing for him, and he has a lot of work ahead, but they’re give him a ticket for Las Vegas. Nobuya gets through as well, as Mary says they see a lot of promise in him. Twenty-seven in all make it from Brooklyn on day one.

On day two, Arielle Taylor, 20, of Princeton, NJ, is the first to hit the stage. She auditioned for the third season, but doesn’t think she was ready, as she was still in high school. I don’t remember seeing her before, but she definitely looks ready now. The growth seems to have done her well in the past few years.

Nigel tells Arielle he always said he liked her when she auditioned before, so he wonders what has happened to her that she never made it through. She tells him that in Vegas she was told she danced too contained. Mia had choreographed it, and Nigel knows she would have wanted the dancer to use the whole stage. He hopes she learned from that. Mary tells Arielle she’s stunning and a beautiful dancer. What Tabitha likes is that Arielle’s back, following her dream. Napoleon call her good, nice, better than nice, super duper nice. And yes, she gets another ticket to Hollywood.

Thomas Martin, 25, of Dracut, MA, and Amanda Clark, 28, of Manchester, NH, are doing a dance called Bolero, like rumba but with dance and fall. It’s all about the connection. When he was younger, he was a baton twirler. He just likes performing. They aren’t bad, but it’s definitely lacking some finesse or something.

Nigel confirms it was the Bolero, then says he doesn’t know what to say, as it seemed ungainly to him. Mary adds that a bolero is supposed to be a sensual, sexy dance, and they saw none of that, being basic, novice, beginning level dancing. It was just not good, but she hates to be like that. They get all noes and leave quietly.

Nina Extrina, 18, of Holland, PA, and Igor Zabrodin, 23, of Feasterville, PA, are hoping to put a positive spin on the morning. They do ballroom dancing together, and specialize in Latin, competing for three years. They’re going to do their cha cha with a secret trick in the end. They’re cha cha-ing well enough, and in the end do a very unique low spin. That must be the secret move.

Nigel tells Nina she could put wet clothes on and spin dry them. And if she had a glass of milk, she’d have a milkshake by the end. They make a great couple and look out for each other. When she can’t talk, Nigel figures it’s going to take her a half hour to unwind. He appreciated the lack of face pulling, thought they had good arms and hands. Mary calls this the longest spin she has ever seen, and gives a little scream, which Igor says they were waiting for all day. Nina admits it took two years to get the spin down. Tabitha thinks it’ll be interesting to see what they can do when they don’t dance with each other. And with that, they’re on to the choreography round.

Late in the afternoon the weather is getting worse, raining. Kellen Stancil, 23, NYC, brings his umbrella in, doing the dance along with it. He’s a beautiful contemporary dancer. Something tells me the umbrella’s use was planned He’s just fun to watch.

Mary asks what the umbrella represents to Kellen, and he has a hard time explaining as he didn’t expect her to ask that. He lost his aunt recently, and she just used to love watching him dance, so he looks up to the Heavens and says “that’s for you.” An umbrella covers you and holds you and while his aunt isn’t physically here anymore, he knows she’s watching, hovering over him. Every time you’re under the umbrellas you’re safe and can do whatever you want when you’re under that umbrella.

After more applause, Tabitha tell Kellen that’s why they enjoyed it so much, because he really connected it to something. Napoleon agrees, saying it all felt good, and Kellen moved him. Mary figures him he’ll be very happy watching that as it was just gorgeous to watch. As he cries, Nigel knows the others said everything, and just gives him a ticket to Las Vegas.

The last person up on day two is Chimezie Nwosu, 20, West Orange, NJ . He’s not nervous at all, but okay, he admits he’s a little nervous. He has a problem when his name is pronounced wrong, and Nigel does it wrong right off the bat announcing him. He does some hip hop to traffic noise, emulating a car, kind of acting out the whole thing, and fake dies at the end, flashing a peace sign.

Nigel tells Chimezie the choreography was a lot of fun and inventive all the way through. From the performance aspect, he had a lot of fun with it, but he’d like to see him do some other stuff, too, as that’s not enough. Mary admits to a smile on her fade throughout, and says she’d pick up a telephone for him. For Napoleon, there wasn’t a lot of meat in the choreography and not a lot of foundation, but just like the others said, he is a performer, and if Napoleon can get his hands on him, it’ll be great. Tabitha thinks Chimezie made some great choices and used the stage well. They all decide to send him on to the choreography.


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