About LauraBelle

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

So You Think You Can Dance, May 30 – Second Chances

Sam’s performance’s is beautiful, and it’s as if you can see the freedom coming out of her that she now feels since joining her friend’s family. Nigel tells her she has a beautiful quality to her work. He believes she needs to be careful that it doesn’t become exercise on exercise. She has to bring it all together in an much more artistic way and start to feel the passion and beauty in it. He needs more passion and beauty.

Mary thinks Sam is extraordinary. She enjoyed watching her control everything, but at times she needs to let it go as well, as she’s that good, she can take more risks. She feels the choreographers on the show would like to get their hands on her. She asks if she’s supported by family, and Sam shakes her head and begins to tear up. She explains she doesn’t even talk to her family, as her friend’s mom crying in the audience.

Jesse picks up the conversation and says when Sam was dancing there was a simmering sadness in her technique in a very beautiful way. She has to know she’s there for a very special reason, as she’s a beautiful dancer. He prays to God her family comes around and accepts that this is her destiny. She’s amazing. He’s sad her family wasn’t here to see what they just saw, because it was truly beautiful.

Nigel is pleased to see the emotion come out now, as he wants her to channel it into her dance. He doesn’t know what happened with her family, but he’s shocked at any family that doesn’t support their child in something they want to do as beautiful as her dancing. But at the end of the day, it’s her life, and she must dance if that’s what she wants to do. They decide to send her on to choreography.

As a mom to a 19-year-old and 15-year-old, I have to say this story is heartbreaking to me, just as much as it is for Sam’s mom. However, I don’t want to pass judgement, as we don’t know the background of why her mom kicked her out. Watching her, I find it hard to believe that she was a total bitch to live with, or that she was lazy, or that she didn’t pull her own weight. But I don’t want to pass judgement without knowing the whole story. But anyone who has inspired the past six paragraphs has to be something close to extraordinary, and is definitely a worthwhile dancer. I hope if she doesn’t make top 20 that the encouragement she just received will inspire her to continue.

Caley Carr, 25, of Huntington Beach, CA, loves Orange County. Every morning he steps out his back door, checks out the waves, and hits the beach. He has quite the pornstache going on. Surfing is a huge part of his life and the only time he can get away to where no one can find him or call him. “It’s just you, the ocean, and your thoughts.” He loves being active, surfing, skating, and anything that involves moving, with dance playing a major part in it. He’s auditioning today so he can break out. Surfing and skating are hobbies, but dancing is his passion. He’s a tap dancer and wants to bring that back to life He promises to “get gnarly with it.”

Caley tells Nigel if he’s not teaching dance, he’s being a bar-back at Fred’s Cantina, and if he’s not doing that, he’s surfing. He life is surfing and dancing and trying to pay the bills. He started dancing after watching his sister do it. Making noise and moving was like a dream com true for him. He’s been making noise ever since, or rhythm. Nigel already appreciates his personality. Caley does some interesting things with his tapping that just seem different; perhaps it’s because he has that surfing/skating spirit behind him.

Jesse jokes to Caley it’s such a cliché that he has a mustache, surfs, and does tap. He’s seen it so many times. Seriously, he’s like a crazy mashup of a person with so many weird talents and is awesome. He was thoroughly entertained by that. Caley has such a light in him and his smile is illuminating. Caley clearly can’t believe the compliment he just received.

What Mary likes is Caley’s confidence, as so many of the tappers come out and are so panic-stricken trying to prove themselves. But he kind of built up, and took his time with the different rhythms. She thought his style was cool and fresh. Nigel agrees, saying normally they get a thousand shuffle pickup changes, what he calls machine gun tap. Nigel can tell he does more than just tapn and was trained in other styles. They agree to send him on to choreography.

Megan Branch, 18, Gilbert, AZ, drove here for the audition with her mom. She’s been with her since she started dance at 3. Her parents got a divorce in her freshman year and they lost their house. Her mom stayed up late taking extra night shifts so that she could continue her dance career. It’s a stark contract to Sam. Megan’s dance is absolutely mesmerizing. It’s innovative in a way to make you feel like you’re not watching a person even.

Mary compares Megan to a little butterfly flying all over the stage. She has plenty of speed and is so soft and light. She has flexibility and great feet with so much potential in there. She is so Megan Branch and so So You Think You Can Dance. Jesse tells Megan she is so gorgeous, he can’t take his eyes off her. He had a smile on his face the whole time. She has a great energy and brings something to the stage you can’t teach, a likability. Megan adds that people see she’s little so they don’t expect that fierceness from her.

Nigel calls Megan a little firecracker and tells her she’s really good with fabulous feet. He also thinks she has pure joy. They always tell dancers they need to feel what they’re feeling, and he felt her joy. He would love to see her just let her hair down at some point though. She gets a ticket to Vegas and celebrates with her mom.

Cole Horibe, 26, of Honolulu, HI, was put in martial arts when he was 5 years old. He used to resist the idea that his dancing looked like martial arts, but finally he just realized that’s what makes him unique, so he just embraces it. It’s the strength, directness and focus of martial arts incorporated with the gracefulness and fluidity of dance. He loves to portray different characters, and today he’ll be portraying a Shaolin warrior who has been raised to not have emotions and compassion, and to ruthlessly execute his victim. As a third dan black belt and Associate Master Instructor of Yeon Oh Kwan Tae Kwon Do, this is going to be fun to watch for me.

I can see it all in Cole. I dan see the martial arts, and I can see his dance. He’s a great dancer, and I’m figuring he’s a great martial artist as well. The martial artist in me wants to see him do some fighting. Nigel tells him it was beautiful to watch, and admits he grew up as a huge Bruce Lee fan. It was stunning to watch – control, how he got down on the floor, and incredible speed. He doesn’t think he’s seen anything like it. Asked if he’s won championships as a martial artist, Cole says he didn’t enter too many, but did earn a silver medal in the Junior Olympics. Gee, that’s all?

As for other styles of dance, he’s done jazz, modern, hip hop, ballet, contemporary, ballroom, international, Latin, salsa, mambo, and smooth standard. Jesse jokingly calls him such an overachiever, then says if he dances in other styles with the intensity he just showed them, he is very intrigued. His eyes are so intense and amazing giving him major presence. Mary thought at first it was just going to be a little bit of martial arts, but he knows how to dance in and out of those moves. His legs are lightening fast and lethal. There isn’t anybody that she’s seen that does a lot of the steps like he does. Jesse and Mary pull out “hi-yas,” while Nigel does a “High Tea.” It’s obvious, this guy’s going to Vegas.

One dancer breaks out in Broadway style song after his audition and sings “Nigel,” as Jesse answers with “Lythgoe.” The dancer comes back with “I need my,” and Jesse finishes, “ticket to Vegas.” He gets it.

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