Dancing for Extra Credit

Image from asianheritagemonth.net

With So You Think You Can Dance U.S. Season 8 premiering May 26, 2011 and So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 4 premiering June 20, 2011, that’s a whole lot of reality dancing competition to take in this summer! And especially for reality shows, I should watch each episode close to their air date.

So far, only Toronto auditions have aired but something so funny happened that I just had to blog about before the the Top 20 dancers are revealed. At that point, I will blog again if there’s anyone I’m particularly cheering for!

The dancers we see in the Toronto auditions episode were already prescreened and those who really wow the judges with their solo go straight through to the final rounds in Toronto. If the dancer hasn’t been able to show all his/her talents, the judges ask the dancers to go through a rigourous hour-long bootcamp choreography session and dance again for the judges. This year, dancers who did get the direct pass to finals have the option to attend the choreography session, totally optional, and with no extra credit. How many dancers took that up? Two! Daniel Keith Morrison has a sense of humour (read: character) and his solo looked awkward for two seconds until he really got into his hip-hop routine. And 18-year-old Jordon Bartley is completely self-taught hip-hopper so I worry that he hasn’t self-taught himself other styles such as contemporary and ballroom. Given there was ample time to rest before the next round, these two dancers took extra effort and I admire them more for it.

Image from thestar.blogs.com

How utterly Chinese is it of me to do the extra session even if it was optional! I think when I was in kindergarten I declined extra arithmetic problem sets, had the honesty to tell my mother, and got berated for not doing them! From then on, I did the extra problem sets!

Two interesting dancers have made it to finals so far.

Andrew Chung. A 24-year-old b-boy from Toronto concentrated on locking this year as his strategy and performed a cool routine to We No Speak Americano. In the three previous seasons, he has made it to finals but been eliminated at some point, coming really close to the Top 22 last year. This year, he advances straight to finals again.

Vicky Luo. 23-year-old Vicky from Ajax is another tenacious dancer. I remember watching her in the past seasons, quite unique as a Chinese classical dancer with great costumes that put one I’ve seen so far look so amateur. (I just re-watched her Mongolian dance from 2 years ago.) For the past two seasons, she has made it to finals and been cut at the ballroom stage. The profile clips show her doing some contemporary, ballroom, and hip moves, in her solo she did not seem to have great extension or jump very high. She was sent to choreography and passed that round to finals.

One more Asian face flashed by and no profile was provided so perhaps he does not get far in the final rounds. His name was Lennon?

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