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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


Jose Ruiz was very athletic when he was younger, then met a friend when he was 13 who taught him B-Boy, and started battling at 14. He did a performance in Montreal that really had the crowd going, and he’ll never forget it. He’s doing Bollywood with Kathryn McCormick. Choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan says he’s never worked with a B-boy (altough he calls it B Bopper), and Jose has never heard of Bollywood, so this could be interesting. The story will be about a genie in a bottle. They dance to Marjaani Marjaani Kasame from the Billy Barber soundtrack. While we knew Kathryn would pull off Bollywood quiet well, Jose does it well too. This guy never heard of it until this week, but here he is pulling it off.

Nigel notes it really is taking people out of their elements this week, but he doesn’t feel Jose got quite all the way to India, but does find he got almost there, getting to about South Africa. He makes a comparison to the U.S. in South Africa at the World Cup, and says that’s what it will take from Jose, as he has great talent. Nigel isn’t sure he had the fingers right, but it didn’t matter to him. His performance was great.

Mia loves Jose so much right now, because he mde them smile. He was so wrong, but so wrong it made him right. He brought a groove into it which was hilarious, but that worked for him. She’s not sure if it was Bollywood, but it was fun, and he’s tackling everything with a smile on his face. Adam jokes to Jose he wants his clothes back after the show. He notes if there was a prize for the brightest light on the show, he would have won it already, as he was an absolute joy. It was totally wrong, but was fantastic to watch, signed, sealed, and delivered. Nigel goes back and compares it to Kent’s cha cha last week. Technique didn’t matter so much as how fun it was.

Lauren Froderman was really talkative and hyper as a kid, and watching the clip they show of her earlier dance performances, it looks like the ones my daughter is in every year. Those littler girls are the cutest things! She’s dancing hip hop with Dominic Sandoval and a new choreographer to the show, Tessandra Chavez. Tessandra notes this hop hop is sending a message about the many women who get themeslves in abusive relationships, and being about how well Dominic and Lauren can connect. Last week the judges thought she needed to be in her character more, so this she sees as a gift. With song obliterated by a storm warning, I have to say this dancer who specializes in sexy is pully out the anger and hurt. I can see it. I can see that she’s hurt and fighting back. It’s a great piece, and danced well.

Facing the judges, you can see Lauren put it all in there. She’s not the smiling giggly thing she usually is. Nigel tells her he believed the perfromance, and on a technical note, he welcomes Tessandra to the family, and bringing an important message to the show. He would like Lauren to have her feet closer together, and give more rooting. He also notes her sway back, but Mia tells him it’s because she has a really good butt. He thought it wa a fine performance from both of them, and he thanks Dominic for containing his fun factor.

Mia calls it an outstanding performance from both of them, yet wished she felt more in the abuse part, wanting Lauren to get more out of the dance step and into the abuse to where it was disturbing for her watching it. She thought this was one of the best of the night. Adam tells Lauren she’s so technically adept, so talking to her as a director, he took her notes. She listened to him, and he cannot tell her how much he apprecitaes that, as she just got better. She’s in an emotionally raw space, as he can see it on her, and he wants her to celebrate that, as she just became an actor. Lauren notes she’s usually focused on steps and choreography, but after what Adam said last week, she wanted to take it to a different place.

Kent Boyd was about 8 years old in one of his first performances and got so many comments about how crazy he was, and notes he didn’t know how to control the love of dance back then. He’s doing jazz with Courtney Galliano to a Tyce Diorio-choreographed piece. They’re supposed to be a couple that’s together, but not together, and Tyce says it’s the kind of thing where you want what you can’t have. They need to pull off a sexual attraction to each other, and Tyce explains Kent was always bright-eyed and shocked about touching Courtney. He says this is a stretch for him, but he’s going to get it. They dance to Amy Amy Amy by Amy Winehouse, and Kent has that look on his face from the very beginning. You know that look by now … that cat ate the canary look. He loses that, which is good, because it wouldn’t have worked with the routine. He reminds me a little of a young Mark Kanemura here, I have to say.

Nigel tells Kent his journey from Wapokoneta is moving very fast. He wants to know what he’s wearing, and jokes that when a lot of people hear his name, they picture him wearing that, a suede-look sleeveless top with high belt and round buckle, with a wreath hook coming down from his neck. Nigel says he’s not one of those pepople. He really enjoyed it, and classified it as jazz. He doesn’t think he was havng as much fun with it as his cha cha, so he has to find out how to have fun with stuff he’s good at as well as stuff he’s not good at. He could tell he was focused on dominating Courtney, and Nigel thinks she’d eat him alive. Courtney points out he was fabulous at beng sexy.

Mia isn’t sure how she feels about it and notes there were moments of technique and physicality. Kent has such a big personality that it stays in Kent World, yet he needs to transofrm in every perfomance. He needed to eat her alive, and how Anya ate Robert, Couertney ate Kent, and he needs to step into a more mature world now. Adam tells Kent it’s not an external putting on of a character, but about finding that connection with his partner each week. He’s a fantastic performer and a great dancer. For his part, Kent says he is Cute Kent and needs to be Sexy Kent.

I don’t think Cute Kent has a thing to worry about this week. If I was a female, other than Lauren, I’d be worried about elimination tonight. Robert isn’t a big name coming into this, but he needs to pull off a Kris Allen or Lee Dewyze, and just be so good and interesting no matter how big of a name he is, that people keep him around the first few weeks just for that, until he becomes a bigger name. He can hang in there with Billy, Alex, and Kent, and just needs to prove it.

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