So You Think You Can Dance

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So You Think You Can Dance

According to a non-dancer (Emily Pau)

 

I honestly have never watched an entire episode until this review so…don’t hurt me!  So, in case you all missed last week’s Top 14 performances, here is my take on the episode.

The Top 14 performed a beautiful opening number with all of the dancers dressed in gorgeous white flowing robes adorned with gold braces and crowns obviously paying tribute to the ancient Greeks. However, one of the dancers is dressed in a normal/ modern white outfit and the others perform their routine around him. The modern man is left standing in the middle with a gold-like paint on his pure white shirt as the others gather at his feet. This routine could be a symbolic tale of how the Greek gods blessed the human race with brilliant artistic skills and that this one man has been “artistically touched” by the gods.  All in all it was a very interesting piece.

Team Bridget and Emilio were the first to perform that night and I have to say their routine was a little odd at first–a couple of demons on a mission from Hell to steal someone’s soul. Ok. At first their choreography looked like something out of Black Swan especially since Bridget kind of resembled Mila Kunis and I wasn’t that impressed. It wasn’t until their final product was complete that their jazzy dance moves and flashy red 1920s garb made the theme a fun and exciting dance routine!

Team Rudy and Tanisha’s stunning routine was absolutely breathtaking from beginning to end. It was a gorgeous story of seduction; it was like watching a contemporary Argentinean Tango. Rudy was definitely right when he said that you really can’t tell who is seducing whom. They were equally talented in their dancing and were perfectly synced throughout their performance. Everyone was completely wowed by their powerful choreography. That truly was an amazing routine!

Zack and Jacque, well more like “Count Zack and Lady Jacque,” were sensational with their hot vampire-ish routine. It was a wonderful twist to the Spanish Paso Doble as the judges mentioned but also seemed to give a slight nod to the dramatic American Tango. “Count” Zack did a wonderful job of being the vampire who brings the beautiful “Lady” Jacque back to life who doesn’t give in to his commanding yet enticing presence.  Her striking twists and turns prove that she is just as powerful and is not easily won over by his devilish charm. Their constant battle of dominance was absolutely thrilling to watch to the point of not knowing who really “won” the battle.  Perhaps it was a respectful tie…

Teddy and Emily did a great job taking everyone down the road of Broadway.  Their opening moves were fantastic which wonderfully progressed to the tight leg work. It looked like it did a number on their thighs just from watching it. The couple tried their hardest to channel the flairs of Bob Fosse but considering this was a difficult routine to imitate I thought they did a decent job.

Jessica and Casey were the essence of perfection with their sweet country love story. A flawless routine that gave the judges chills with their “porch swing” turns and steady lifts. Casey did a wonderful job complimenting Jessica’s shy and gentle nature as the loving boyfriend who adores her very being. Their amazing chemistry spent “electro shocks” through the audience and judges. It was certainly a routine you would want to watch over and over again.

However, the Quick-Step styles of Carly and Serge undoubtedly possessed cat-like glides, slides and hops. Their little Charleston steps were so much fun to watch after seeing them practice so hard to perfect it. Serge and Carly were incredible as the flirty yet modest cats of the Quick-Step.

The final paring, Ricky and Valarie come together to create a slightly creepy story about a witch doctor bringing a voodoo doll to life. I was completely blown away by their insane hip-hop moves and I don’t really care for hip-hop. It was as if I could imagine puppet strings on Valarie’s arms and legs as Ricky perfectly controlled her gangling body throughout their marvelous routine.

I wasn’t too crazy about the solos except for one of two and they definitely should not have been in the bottom 6. However, I thought some of them were better dancers when they were with a partner instead of their solo. Without a doubt each of the dancers was amazingly talented, but like in anything some stand out more than others.

The seven ladies of the show performed a beautiful final routine in their fluid purple gowns. It was as if the choreographer was still using the Greek mythologies as a canvas for their stage drama. The ladies were breathtaking as they seemed to embody the world of the Muses. Even as a group, each dancer added her own special flair to the story. The seven dazzling “muses” constantly lifted each other up as if to symbolize the essence of sisterly love regardless of competition. It was a piece that could bring tears to your eyes.

Another tip of the hat to the Greeks was the final male group enactment of the seven lost souls of the sea. The men gave life to these isolate creatures of the sea with their wave-like upper body movements perfectly linked together similar to men in a row boat. Their flying jumps provided were just the right touch to give the audience the feel of a high-rolling tide sweeping them throughout the gloomy tale.

At first I really didn’t care for the show because I thought the stories were the typical “artsy” stories were everything had a meaning and unless you were a dancer you didn’t really get it. Also, I thought some of the dance routines were a little predictable in how the ladies would move their hips, thighs, bum and whatever else the choreographers wanted to emphasize.

I totally understand that dance is like that sometimes and I have to admit it’s a little fun to dance like that. But I’ve also seen dance routines where it is still sensual but respectful.

I did like how the girls were seen outside of the dance studio. They showed how many dancers led normal lives that are not constantly surrounded by dancing. One girl worked at a grocery store and another was a tomboy. I was very glad to see that!

The men were even stereotypical in the way they carried themselves because almost all of them seemed to have the same metro-sexual look. Not every male dancer is like that, that’s seems to be what Hollywood wants to portray. I know several guys who are professional dancers and who are very masculine in their dancing and stature. They are nothing like the guys on TV.

The costumes, however, were gorgeous! I wanted a couple of them but have no place to wear them.

All in all it was a fun show to watch. I didn’t like it that much after the opening number and even a little bit of the first routine but I quickly enjoyed watching the ups and downs of the show.

Tuesday Tunes: 2000’s

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

 

 

 

We are wrapping up our Dancing Through the Decades series this week with a look back at the turn of the century. If you weren’t dancing in parking lots, plazas and everywhere else to the crazy moves of the Cha- Cha Slide, Souljia Boy and the Cupid Shuffle, then you were probably trying to master the hottest dance moves of the Pop Stars. Brittany Spears, NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce are just a few that revolutionized the art of choreography during the first decade of the new millennium.

 

 

The Cha-Cha Slide

 

Early 2000’s Choreography  (N*SYNC and Bye Bye Bye) 

 

 And to top it all off…the Evolution of Dance!

 

Links We Like Friday

Links We Like

Cool Inventions  I like the peel back shade!

 

The Lion King      Parenting Done Right

 

 

Famous Last Words of Famous People

http://www.buzzfeed.com/video/mattpagourgis/12-legendary-last-words

 

Talent Rally Highlights 2014 (Very Talented Kids…check out MJ!)

 

You know this popped into your head the first time you heard the song. Don’t deny it!

 

If You Haven’t Seen This…Shame On YOU!!! 🙂

 

 

Tuesday Tunes: The Rockin’ 1950’s

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

              1950’s!

 

 

The United States in the 1950’s experienced marked economic growth – with an increase in manufacturing and home construction amongst a post-World War II economic boom. The 1950s are noted in United States history as a time of compliance, conformity and also, to a lesser extent, of rebellion. However, in the mist of the Korean War and the Cold War, the sock hops were the hottest places to be for the young teens of the 1950’s. Kids crowded the dance floors twisting and twirling to the rockin’ tunes of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker and the King himself.  Rock n’ Roll was certainly here to stay!

 

Rockabilly Dance

 

The Twist

 

Jailhouse Rock

Tuesday Tunes: 1940’s!

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

           1940’s!

 

 

The 1940’s were dominated by World War II and  pulled the US out of the Great Depression. Women were needed in factories, agencies, companies and even baseball teams and the military to replace men who had gone off to war. Food, metals and various materials were rationed to help the Allies win against the Axis Powers that threatened the world. However, swingin’ new music from Glenn Miller, The Andrew Sisters, Artie Shaw, Count Basie and many others provided fast and up-beat songs for the latest dance crazes of the decade.

 

Glen Miller …. In The Mood (A tribute to the 1940’s)!

 

Andrews Sisters and Swing Dancing

 

The Jitterbug

Links We Like

Links We Like

 

…I know you just sang that line….now you’re going to listen to the song, aren’t you? …Yeah you will…and why not it’s FRIDAY!!! 🙂

 

 

5th grade boys Synchronized Swimming Talent Show Skit 

 

 

Dude Sits Down At Public Piano…. Gives it a Schoolin

 

 

Kid Singin’ the Blues…like a boss

 

 

These Marines Just Let it Go

 

 

 

Tuesday Tunes: The 1930’s!

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

 

           The 1930’s!

 

 

 

 

The 1930’s was a time of celebration and hardship. Talking pictures were all the rage at the local theaters and radio became a household item where everyone could tune in to hear Orson Wells tell the American public of a pending alien invasion from War of the Worlds. The Depression sent many families into poverty and many businesses were closing up shop, but that didn’t stop America’s optimism and ingenious designers from opening the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge for the whole world to see. The 1930’s had its ups and downs throughout the decade but that didn’t stop people from dancing! Dances like the Foxtrot, Tap and the Waltz were becoming popular once again on the dance floor while others like the Jitterbug and Swing were just getting started!

 

 

A Dutch instructional film from 1930, demonstrating the ballroom Foxtrot of the time.

 

Keep Punchin Jitterbug Contest

 

Fred and Ginger – Waltz in Swing Time (Waltz, Tap and Swing all in one)

Tuesday Tunes: Buddy Ebson

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

 

Before he was Jed Clampett…

       

         Buddy Ebson

 

You get more negative reactions than positive reactions as you go through life, and the big lesson is nobody counts you out but yourself…I never have, I never will.

 

Buddy Ebsen began his career as a dancer in the late 1920s in a Broadway chorus. He later formed a vaudeville act with his sister Vilma Ebsen, which also appeared on Broadway. In 1935 he and his sister went to Hollywood, where they were signed for the first of MGM’s Eleanor Powell movies, Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935). While Vilma retired from stage and screen shortly after this, Buddy starred in two further MGM movies with Powell. Two of his dancing partners were Frances Langford in Born to Dance (1936) and Judy Garland in Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937). They were a little bit taller than Shirley Temple, with whom he danced in Captain January (1936). MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer offered him an exclusive contract in 1938, but Ebsen turned it down. In spite of Mayer’s warning that he would never get a job in Hollywood again, he was offered the role of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (1939). Ebsen agreed to change roles with Ray Bolger, who was cast as the Tin Man. Ebsen subsequently became ill from the aluminum make-up, however, and was replaced by Jack Haley. He returned to the stage, making only a few pictures before he got a role in the Disney production of Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1955). After this, he became a straight actor, and later won more fame in his own hit series, The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) and Barnaby Jones (1973).

 

BROADWAY MELODY OF 1936 (Buddy & his sister Vilma)

 

 Buddy Ebsen dancing 1978

 

Donald O’Connor and Buddy Ebsen (a RARE clip)

 

 

Fun Facts about Mr. Buddy Ebson

 

Got the nickname ‘Buddy’ from his aunt, so Christian changed his name to Buddy Ebsen.

Was a Boy Scout.

In the 1930s, Disney animators filmed him dancing in front of a grid to “choreograph”Wayne Allwine’s dance steps for the Silly Symphony cartoons.

Originally cast as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz (1939), Buddy was hospitalized as a result of inhaling aluminum powder used as part of his make-up. One chorus of “We’re Off to See the Wizard” in the movie and soundtrack album retain Ebsen’s original vocals as the Tin Man, recorded before he was forced to leave the production. Because of the prolonged hospitalization, he was replaced by Jack Haley (whose reformulated make-up used pre-mixed aluminium dust), and Ebsen’s scenes were re-shot using Haley. Footage of Ebsen as the Tin Man still exists, and was included as an extra with the U.S. 50th anniversary video release of The Wizard of Oz (1939).

After seeing Ebsen in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), the creator of The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) wanted him to play family patriarch Jed Clampett. At the time, Ebsen was thinking of retiring, but the producers sent him a copy of the script, and he changed his mind.

Began his television series The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) at age 54.

Taught Judy Garland the shim-sham shimmy while they were at MGM.

Was a longtime friend of Dick Van Dyke, who hosted his memorial service on 30 August 2003.

He served in the Coast Guard during World War II as the executive officer on the Pocatello, a submarine chaser in the North Pacific.

Became a bestselling author at age 93.

Buddy Ebsen died on July 6, 2003. Just 3 weeks after his death, his longtime best friend, comedian Bob Hope, passed away.

Buddy Ebsen died just three months before his death, he celebrated his 95th birthday, on April 2.