Dancing off the Edge

with Jenny T. Partridge

So You Think You Can Dance?–Week Two

Posted by jennytpartridge on June 1, 2007

Love, love LOVE this show. Loving it just as much this year as in prior years. (Just a brag note here. I met Allison Holker from Season Two last week. We hired her to do a master class at our studio, and can I just say she is just as cute, and JUST as talented and sweet as she seemed on the show. She got robbed. The girl should have won. Her or Travis.)

Back to SYTYCD.

I only got to watch half of the two-hour show the night before, because there was an emergency involving a twelve-year-old’s wardrobe (or lack thereof) and some talent show for the seventh grade, and we had to put the siren on the top of the old Jeep and head to the mall. At EIGHT-FREAKING-O-CLOCK at night. Oh, will me back to the days when an emergency involved the last Bud in the twelve-pack and no more nachos. Seven-11 is much closer (and quicker) than the mall.

I did catch the two ballroom dancers from Happy Valley, the heart of Mormon Utah, who made it through to the choreography round. Ballroom dancing is BIIIIIGGGG in Utah, and even bigger in Utah County, home of Brigham Young University. In fact, dance is pretty popular all over this state and in the Mormon culture. Evidence? Benji, last year’s winner, is a Mormon returned missionary. (Mormon missionaries figure big in the Jenny T. Partridge books, as well, although in a kind, gentle, amusing way. I promise.)

But the two dancers from Utah were an odd couple, and Nigel cracked me up. The girl seemed to have an involuntary tic that made her wink continuously, and if she’s the good Mormon I think she is, I can see this landing her in some trouble. Well, maybe not if she doesn’t hang out in bars. “But she winked at me, Bubba!” And her partner has been hiccuping for seven years! They had Mary laughing so hard that I’m guessing people all over America had seizures just from the noise. They were both capable dancers, so who knows if the winking and hiccuping will be their downfall.

The highlight of week two, for me, was on Thursday’s show. (Helped along by the fact I didn’t see much of Wednesday’s show. Darned kids.) A physically handicapped dancer, with scoliosis, made it through to the choreography round (where they teach them a combo and see how they pick it up). This is an important thing. Just because you can break or freak, doesn’t mean you can swing or do lyrical. Everybody has strengths, of course, but I’ve noticed that contemporary lyrical dancers seem to have an easier time adjusting to different styles than other dancers. Ballet being the root of all dance is, of course, the difference. Back to Bryan Gaynor, the computer science student with scoliosis. Stunted by this disease, and limited in so many ways, he still managed to get out there and entertain the judges, the audience, and frankly, me! They let him through to the choreography round, and of course, couldn’t let it get past that, but judge Shane Sparks said he was casting a movie and he would put Bryan in it. I hope that comes about.

There was also a clogger, Brandon Norris, that just knocked everyone’s socks off. Not a pretty face, but boy can that boy clog. Pretty cool. Didn’t know cloggers could move like that. Nigel prefaced his performance with the statement they had never put a clogger through to Vegas before. First time for everything. Will he be a Benji, last year’s winner? I personally didn’t agree with Benji winning, even as charming and good as he was. Both Allison and Travis had FAR superior technical skill, but Benji won the hearts of America, and it’s a popularity contest at the end.

Other interesting highlights included the story of Myles Johnson, a former high school quarterback who broke his leg and had to quit football. His coach had him enroll in ballet to help build his strength and agility back up, and GUESS WHAT? Myles likes dance better than football. Interviews with his father included Myles’s old football games running on the television, while his father reminisced. And Myles admitted there was a while there when his father disowned him. Myles, only having danced for eight months, was very lacking in technical skill but showed great promise. And he’ll get the chance to work with some of the best, because they sent him through to Vegas, after the choreography round. First person he called? His father. And yes, I’m sure the real issue between daddy and son is that DAD is worried his son is gay. It happens. And the boy was very pretty. But not everyone who dances is gay. So let’s not judge. Today, anyway. When he hooks up with Travis, we’ll talk.

A downside of the episode was the joking of Nigel and Mary when Shane bonded with a breaker, Tony Velez. They gently danced around the word gay, much like American Idol and Simon and Ryan, but Shane got them both good. He told them to leave, and when they walked away, he sat in both their chairs, did a great imitation of both, and sent Tony on to Vegas. Go Shane!

Come on, folks, if you are going to talk about the dance world, you have GOT to talk about how many of the men ARE gay. Why can’t we just be honest about it, instead of just making snotty jokes that only hint at it. To me, that is snide, and catering to the world’s obsession with “right” equaling “heterosexual.” Get over it, folks. There have been gay people since the beginning of time, and it’s not going to end anytime soon. Start worrying about what is going on in YOUR OWN bedroom, and stay out of everyone else’s. The world of the arts is filled with homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. Makes it interesting. And that’s my rant for the day.

 We have to talk about the bad, of course. There was the rather large woman, Kippery Rigsby, who did “skreet” dancing. She admitted she had paid someone $1400 and got an agent who told her she was good. Con artists abound in just about every profession. She could barely move. She could NOT dance. Over the music, you could hear Mary say: “She’s sucking the life force out of me.” I’m ashamed to admit it’s true.

All in all, it was an entertaining week, but I’m looking forward to the REAL dancing. We only get to see snippets of it during the audition shows. The good stuff starts when the finalists are picked. Of course, I’ll be around for the Vegas auditions. Ya’all come back now!


3 Responses to “So You Think You Can Dance?–Week Two”

  1. Tanglefoot said

    I only watched this because of you. And for the most part (barring bad jokes, bad dancing, and Mary’s HIDEOUS laugh – kind of like Rosie O’Donnel on crack) it was great.

    I was very impressed with Shane. His judging was kind, insightful, and helpful for the most part, he told it like it was / is / and will be.

    Bryan Gaynor was awesome. I hope Shane lives up to his promise.

    The clogger was fabulous.

    Wednesday night’s girl who was dancing for her mother touched my heart deeply.

    And the girl with the torn fish nets and kitty cat ears was a terror.

    Thank you for your comments, for turning me on to this show. Now let the real dancing begin. Even Ducky is watching. Although he’s bummed it’s not Dancing With The Stars.

  2. I agree about Catlady, Cele. Sheesh!

  3. Trish Ryan said

    I can’t believe I missed last week’s episodes! Thanks for the recap 🙂
    I’ll have to get back into the summer groove of tuning in so I don’t miss anymore. And you’re right – as entertaining as the early stories are, it’s better once the real competition starts!

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