Photo credit: Adam Rose/FOX.
So You Think You CanDance kicked off Academy Week with a very speedy timeline on Monday night. The show ran through three rounds in one 60-minute episode — Hip-Hop with Luther Brown, Ballroom with Sasha Farber and Emma Slater and Contemporary with Talia Favia.
With 79 contestants stepping into Academy Week, it was hard for viewers to get a real grasp at the talent, who was there competing for a Top 10 spot on the show. Dance Network was there on Day 1 of the Academy and compiled notes on interesting tidbits of what you didn't see on TV.
1. Timeline: It's important to know that Day 1 of the Academy took place on April 26, approximately one month after Judges Auditions. The competition for a Top-10 spot ran through May 1.
2. Behind schedule: There was a concert the night before Academy began in the Dolby Theatre, so the SYTYCD crew, by no fault of their own, got a very late start on moving the sets to the stage. They were still assembling the lights and neon fixtures when the press arrived. While it wasn't a big deal to make the press wait, the dancers sat around for hours. That is not only tough to physically keep the body warm, it's also tough mentally because the dancers had to maintain a high level of energy throughout the long day and week.
3. Lauren Luteran: Lauren may have exited during the Hip-Hop Round, but she deserves major kudos for showing up to the Academy. She had been in the hospital with complications related to her cystic fibrosis. She didn't know if she would be allowed to make the trip, but was released from the hospital only days before she had to be in Los Angeles. Once she was cleared by her doctor, nothing was going to keep her away from the Academy.
4. Contemporary: This round took out a large chunk of the talent pool. On SYTYCD, viewers have become accustomed to Travis Wall teaching this round. Talia Favia's style is much different from Travis' choreography and the intricate floor work really threw some dancers off. It's why it is important to study the choreographers who regularly make appearances on the show because SYTYCD can mix it up at any time. (And they also changed it up during the Hip-Hop Round, it’s usually NappyTabs kicking off the week.)
5. Judges: The judgesare heavily invested in these contestants. They were really taking some of the cuts hard during Academy Week. This is awell-balanced panel that debated and had thoughtful conversations about who to cut and who to keep for the next round. There was more deliberating going on than in prior seasons — and this is a good thing.
With Group Round with MandyMoore and solos ahead before SYTYCD gets to the Top 20, it was a brutally hard week for the dancers. Prepare for a bumpy ride ahead, it's not an easy road to get to the Top 10 in Season 16.
Don't miss Dance Network's 'To The Pointe' interview with Season 7 'So You Think You Can Dance' winner and All-Star, Lauren Froderman: