So You Think You Can Dance Top 20 to Top 18


I’m back to share another edition of thoughts on So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 whether you want me to or not. This is what absolute power feels like! But seriously, I’ll probably be doing this for the rest of the season so PREPARE YOURSELVES. Anyway, this week ballet superstar Misty Copeland was the guest judge. This is how she likes to spend her time. You know, just being awesome and inspirational while dancing in abandoned buildings.


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I liked her critique style for the most part, although she did seem to remind the female contestants that they are women and to use that in their dancing quite a bit. But whatever. I am not an amazing and beautiful ballet phenomenon so do your thing, girl. (I may be the lamest, guys). She did offer more technical critiques, which I am a fan of and I think the show really needs. Another thing I noticed this week is that flexibility wasn’t necessarily a super important skill in the Top 20. A few of the dancers seemed a little stiff and that showed in their performances. I mean, they can’t all be as crazy flexible as Tanisha or Stanley but still. Granted, I haven’t stretched in months and am still delusional enough to think I can touch my toes. The dancers also picked their new partners this week and a few pairs seemed off to a great start. Here are my top three dances from this week:

1. Carly and Serge, Sonya Tayeh Contemporary piece to “Latch” by Sam Smith

Sonya Tayeh is having a inspired season so far. This piece was the best of the night and showcased one of my favorite dancers from last week, Carly. But I was not expecting to care about Serge at all. I just hadn’t warmed to him but this performance changed my mind. The connection between the pair was fully formed and the moment Nigel mentioned when Carly just looked up at Serge with so much trust and tenderness set the tone for the entire piece. Carly has become my favorite girl of the season and Serge has moved from close to the bottom to near the top for the guys. Every movement was completely lived in and the lifts were so beautiful.

2. Ricky and Valerie, Travis Wall Contemporary piece to “Oh Darling” by Gosling

Again, this dance featured a couple of my favorites from last week. I really liked the way the lifts were used in this piece. Ricky and Valerie are similar in size so giving each of them the chance to lift the other was pretty cool. Valerie did really well with the contemporary and I like this new partnership a lot. There were moments when it was clear that Valerie doesn’t quite have the flexibility that the other Contemporary girls have, but she held her own. And Ricky was in his element and was as fantastic as last week.

3. Jaque and Zack, Sean Cheeseman African Jazz piece to “Dibiza (Kick*** remix) by Danny Tenaglia

This piece was strange. And I mean that in a good way. The dancers portrayed abstract art that came to life and were supposed to look animalistic and “not pretty.” I am a big fan of animalistic style dancing and I particularly loved when Zack was lifting Jacque using his neck. The rhythms in the piece were interesting and African Jazz always makes me want to get up and move. I also really enjoyed the contrast between the sharp and smooth movements.

At the end of the show Malene and Nick were eliminated. To make it to the Top 20 you have to be a pretty talented dancer, so I’m sure they’re great, but I just couldn’t remember what the danced the week before. They didn’t stand out to me and that may have been the case with voters as well. What did you think? Were you sad to see them go? Did the judges seem to praise some of the dances too highly? I mean, I’m all for positivity, but it is possible to give constructive, helpful, respectful feedback without exaggerating the quality of a performance. Oh, well. Let me know.



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