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

So You Think You Can Dance, June 23 – Pushed Out of a Comfort Zone


Ashley Galvan recalls that her mom used to like to dress her up like a girly girl. She did her first competition at the age of 4 and did things she probably couldn’t do now. She’s dancing with Mark Kanemura to a Travis Wall jazz routine. The story is about her breaking up with Mark, then realizing she wants him back, and it includes a lot of rolling around together. Travis calls it hard partnering because it’s fast and because of the difficulty of the dance, you have to keep the emotion stagnant. Like last week, Ashley knows she could have a hard time with the emotions. Wonderful, by Annie Lennox, is the backdrop to the dance, and I have to say it’s amazing choreography by Travis, and made even better by Mark, who has always done such great character work. Ashley’s good too, but I always have a hard time ignoring Mark who was my favorite during his season.

Nigel thinks we need to be careful, and says it’s a note to Travis really, as he needs to keep jazz and contemporary separate. I have to say I wondered the same thing, but then though maybe it was just me not knowing enough about the dance styles. Nigel didn’t find he learned anything new about Ashley, and wants to see her pushed into other areas, and hoped he would with her doing jazz. He hopes the girls will stick around this season instead of disappearing and leaving just guys. Not if it’s anything like American Idol the past few years. Following that, just one girl will last, along with a group of guys. He goes back and notes the dive was a great, and it was.

Mia really liked the walk in the beginning and says it was a great moment in choreography. She has to say that while they talked about it not being jazz, they needed it to be jazz. However, Ashley is one of her favorite girls, but needs to be aware of her transitions and keep the story alive through the lifts and transitions. Adam is in the same place with her as last week, as it’s about finding the stuff that the choreographer didn’t give them. There were a lot of lifts, but he’d like to see more moments of her just breathing.

Billy Bell was a really fat baby and didn’t start dancing until later in life. He wore fire suits and danced to Backstreeet Boys, calling it epic. Wow. He and Comfort Fedoke are dancing to a ‘Lil C krump routine. ‘Lil C notes this style of hip hop originated in the pit of the belly of the ‘hood. He has to transform this guy into Billy B Buck. Billy thinks he can fake it and make it it look for a second like he is buck. They’re dancing to So U Thnk U Can Krump by Tha J-Squad, and I think Billy has been saying the whole time he can’t. They start the dance from a picnic table, to the beat of a bass drum. Billy definitely gets the character he’s playing; let’s see if he can pull off the buck. I think he does as best as he can with it. Does it match Comfort’s level? No, but he does pretty well.

Nigel first complains about the music, and Cat tells him he’s not supposed to like it, the young people are, as Nigel says he will complain all the way to collecting his old age pension. He knows this is probably the most alien style for Billy, and believes it’s a warrior’s dance, yet doesn’t think he found the warrior in him yet. He does celebrate the fact that he put himself through this and gave it everything he could.

Mia thinks Billy knocked on the warrior’s door, but was afaid to open it. She’s a little freaked out, as he was trying to be a badass, but wasn’t quite there. ‘Lil C tried to create Billy B Buck, but it was Billy B Whack, but she still loves him. Adam laughs, saying Billy was trying so hard out there, and Comfort says it was buck for her, coming from where he came from. Adam tells Billy he’s one of the best dancers they’ve had on the show, but it was a bad experiment. He was missing the Hit, Rebound, Suspend, but as Adam says, it doesn’t matter, as he’s still a great dancer.

Robert Roldan was crazy when he was a little kid, and thought he was a shining star in his first dance perfromance. He works with Anya Garnis on a Jean-Marc and France Argentine Tango. Jean-Marc explains it’s about this gorgeous Italian young man and a gorgeous Russian woman, and the only way he can translate his passion to her is through dance. He gets out a fire extenguisher to prove his point of how hot it needs to be. They dance to Libertango by Bond Quartet, and I have to say his leg flicks are matching hers perfectly. He does seem to stutter a little over doing a lift. For me, though, they definitely found the characters and the heat.

Nigel notes that tonight they’re not only asking them to dance, but to role play, and this role was as the dominant male controlling his woman. Without question, he did that this evening, as he looked magnicent. His carriage was terrific. Mia didn’t feel the same. Robert looks in the face like a young Pablo Verone, and she expected him to be flawless like him. For her, with his carriage and groundedness, while it’s supposed to be about a man eating a woman, but felt like Anya was eating him. Let’s get our minds out of the gutters folks.

As Mia says it’s skritchy, Anya says she wouldn’t have looked like that if Robert wouldn’t have been by her side. With the judges split so far, Adam compares himself to Switzerland. He does understand what he’s saying, and says he had beautiful footwork for someone who’s never done it before. He looked stressed out and needs to stress his steps.

Melinda Sullivan recalls herself as quirky as a child, being interested in music and dance. Her first perfromance was tapping when she was 4 years old and was at a community college, but to her was Broadway. She’s dancing a contemporary routine with Ade Obayami, choreographed by Stacey Tookey, who explains the story of this routine is exploring the relationship between Mother Earth and Mankind. We only have one shot and one planet. Melinda gets beat up throughout, saying Mother Earth is taking a beating. They dance to a song covered by a storm warning, and while it’s a beautiful dance, I don’t get much out of it, but I did enjoy Mother Earth pushing Mankind away, yet at the end it seemed as if Ade was almost groping Melinda.

Nigel calls this a lovely idea from Stacey, and notes she’s Canadian. Having just been up north, he understands the point of the story about Mankind killing off the beautiful earth. He tells Melinda for a tapper she has some beautiful lines. Tapping is so easy smooth and honey, and “like you’ve had a joint.” But with this, she has to be on it and hit the lines, and it was tremendous tonight, with Ade a remarkably strong dancer.

Mia loved the concept, the story, but the dress is a lot of things for her, but then again she’s wearing a bedspread. Hey, that’s her comment, not mine. But she loved the concept. She thought her lines and feet didn’t show at all that she was a tapper. It was a yea. Adam tells Melinda she was great and fantastic and has little to add to the others’ critiques.


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