Category Archives: Dance

The Problem with So You Think You Can Dance

Last night since season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance started, I was emotionally invested in the show and it was because they were doing classic Mia Michaels routines from the past.

This season, I’ve flipped on SYTYCD¬†for a few minutes and always ended up turning it off, frustrated. There are a lot of reasons, the lack of diversity in the top 20, the same dance styles, the same tired, over used choreographers and judges. It’s just become boring. But last night, with the tribute to Mia Michaels, it showed the weakness of this season and how it will never measure up to the glory days of the past.

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Step Up 4 – Revolution

No one wanted to go see Step Up Revolution with me. I blame Step Up 3D. In my review last year, I called it the weakest of all the Step Up films. It was a major disappointment. Sitting in the theatre to watch Step Up Revolution I just prayed it didn’t suck so my sister, who I dragged along with me, wouldn’t complain.

It didn’t suck.

Besides Step Up 2: The Streets (one of my favourite dance movies of all time) this was the next best one in the franchise. Strong dancing, a storyline that made sense and good music. That’s all I need to enjoy a dance movie.

Set in Miami, it follows Sean, played by Ryan Guzman, and his friends who are part of a dance flash mob. He meets Emily, played by So You Think You Can Dance season 6 finalist Kathryn McCormick, who is a contemporary dancer who dreams of becoming a professional. Together, they use the dance flash mob to protest the demolition of Sean’s neighbourhood by an evil land developer – who happens to be Emily’s father.

There were elements of the story that I could see coming from a mile away. The acting was very weak. There was one point in the movie that Emily calls Sean “John” and no one caught it. There wasn’t any chemistry between the two main characters, but they’re both nice to look at and Kathryn is an incredible dancer.

Did it have to be in 3D? No.

Dancing is always what saves these movies. I really enjoyed all the dance scenes. I liked the idea of the flash mobs. Some of them were cool and inventive and others were a little far-fetched. The best flash mob scene was the one in the office building. However, the song choice was a little controversial to me being a Les Twins fan. They danced to a song called Ants by the group Edit. It’s a great dance song because Les Twins danced to it first. It’s the kind of song you hear and think of Les Twins. It would have been great to bring them out at that point in the movie and watch them dance to a song that is pretty much their own.

There were a lot of familiar faces in the movie, like Twitch, Philip Chbeeb, Celestina and Mia Michaels. I liked that they brought back the contemporary aspect of dance. Travis Wall killed the choreography for those sections. And that final dance? Almost as good as the one in Step Up 2. Bringing out familiar faces always makes me lose it.

I enjoyed this movie a lot. As with every dance movie, no matter how bad the storyline or the acting is, inspires me and makes me admire dancers. Especially watching Twitch. I’m so proud of him for living the dream. Being in a movie like this is every dancers dream.

If the Step Up franchise ends here, I’ll be okay with it. They ended on a high note.

 

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Dance and YouTube

When I was younger, taping music videos was a full-time job. I remember days when I’d watch BET or MuchMusic for hours waiting for one specific video. If that video came on, I had to jump to grab the remote and press record. Most of the time it was a dance video. I’d have to tape it so I could get the choreography. I’d rewind and fast forward and pause making sure I was able to hit every single move. There were so many times I’d work up a sweat in my basement and wish people could watch me and see how I was killing the movement.

Now kids all over the world can have millions of people watch them dance thanks to YouTube. YouTube has made so many regular people instant stars by singing or doing weird stunts or having unique talents but dancers have really taken off because of YouTube.

French dancers Les Twins owe a lot of their fame to YouTube. A performance they gave at World of Dance in San Diego in 2010 has over 11 million views. Beyonce saw them dance on the internet and invited them to dance in her videos and live shows. They are worldwide stars now who have danced for other artists and teach all over the world. (I met them too, check out the post if you haven’t.)

A dance battle featuring Miley Cyrus and cast members from the movie Step Up 2 that was featured on YouTube made headlines in 2008. Celebrities got involved and people flocked to the internet to watch this dance battle. In my opinion its one of the most exciting things that’s happened on YouTube.

Now there is a new dance channel on YouTube that is all about the “dance lifestyle.” DS2DIO has four shows that feature interviews with famous dancers, videos of dancers in interesting locations and actual classes taught by choreographers to the stars. I find the classes the most interesting part of the channel. Most people will never get to take a class with Fatima Robinson, Wade Robson or Brian Friedman. Now they can because of YouTube. If I was still in the culture, I would totally set my computer up, put some comfortable clothes on, grab a water bottle and try to get the combination. Dancers are encouraged to learn the routine and post it on YouTube for other people to watch.

Dancers have always been in the background. It’s only recently with dance reality shows like America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance that they’re really getting the fame and recognition they deserve. When I was younger, I’d do my research and learn who each dancer was. Now a lot of dancers are recognized thanks to social media and reality shows. I think it’s great. Dancers are athletes who make music come alive.

Next time you’re bored, go on YouTube and watch some good dance videos. Here are some of my favs:

Mos Wanted Crew (the real winners of ABDC)

Les Twins, Chachi Gonzales and Smart Mark

Jabbawockeezz PYT (from ABDC)

Chris Brown doing the dougie

Beyonce rehearsing “Why Don’t You Love Me”

What are your favourite dance videos on YouTube?

 

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America’s Best Dance Crew Season 7 Finale Review

As an ABDC enthusiast, I have to say that season 7 was probably the best since season 3. Strong crews, amazing dancing, exciting competition, great critiques from JC and D-Trix and that emotional connection. Watching the finale, I realized how passionate I was about these crews. I haven’t felt that way since the Beat Freaks/Quest Crew finale. It was a great season. Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about season 7.

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America’s Best Dance Crew Episode 2 Review

Season 7 of ABDC continued this week, introducing us to the remaining 5 crews in the competition. Continuing with the “Season of the Superstars” theme, it was Flo Rida week and the man himself sat at the judges table. Here’s the rundown of the second episode of season 7.

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America’s Best Dance Crew Season 7 Review

I know I’m late, but ABDC doesn’t premiere in Canada until Sunday so I had to watch it online. Leading up to this season I was so excited, especially knowing that one of my favourite crews of all time, Fanny Pak, would be coming back to compete for the title that they rightfully deserve. But my excitement dulled slightly when I heard that once again they were doing a “Season of the Superstars” season, where every week all the crews dance to music by one artist. And the first artist for season 7? Britney.

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Michael Jackson Immortal Tour… And Les Twins

When my sister and I watched the Cirque Du Soleil: Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour last night, I figured I was probably the only person in the audience who was there just to see Les Twins. I’ve talked about these twin dancers from France on the blog before. I’ve watched countless YouTube videos featuring them dance, taped Beyonce’s BET Awards performance because they were in it, so knowing that when the Michael Jackson Immortal tour came to Toronto, I’d get to see them live, I bought a ticket. Not only did I get to see an incredible show, I got to meet Larry and Laurent.

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