The season fifteen auditions continue tonight from Los Angeles. Once again, Cat hosts as our judges, Nigel, Mary, Vanessa, and Twitch decide who gets sent to the academy and who goes home.
Up first is Tessa Dalke. She is currently in college studying psychobiology. She put dance on hold to concentrate on school but misses it so much that she had to come to audition. She’s a very strong and expressive contemporary dancer. The flexibility is crazy. Lots of wow moments during that. Nigel and Mary are up on their feet. Nigel likes that she is humble and calls the routine brilliant. Vanessa loves how strong she is. Twitch calls it awesome. Of course, all the judges say yes and Tessa heads to the academy.
Next up is Jay Jay Dixonbey, a jazz dancer. He has been dancing since he was a child. He made it all the way to the academy last season and after the show, he worked with Travis Wall and “Shaping Sound.” DAMN. Once again, as we have seen many times in the past, working with Travis pays off dividends. This dude is an incredible dancer. Just oozes personality and with wonderful musicality. I see a definite top twenty spot in this kid’s future. Mary loved it. Nigel calls it stunning and loved the attitude. Vanessa got hyped from it. Twitch thought he did a great job. All of them say yes as another dancer heads to the academy.
We return with Nathan Hughes and Courtland Davis. They are best friends and met in a crew. In six years, they never had a single argument. They want to go into the communities and inspire the youth. Such cool moves. This is a pair I would love to see attempt other styles because they are so good at what they do that if they can master other things, they would be forces to be reckoned with on a show like this. Such swag and stellar hip-hop storytelling too. Nigel compliments Nathan and says he was a little stronger. He mentions that neither did anything he hasn’t seen before. Vanessa also didn’t find anything that stands out for her. Twitch says they are fun to watch. He agrees that Courtland didn’t have a solo moment. They give props to Twitch as an inspiration. Mary doesn’t feel they are strong enough. Vanessa says no. Twitch says yes. Mary is a yes. Nigel says yes to Nathan and yes to Courtland. Both are heading to the academy.
Hannahlei Cabanilla is up next. She started dancing at two and was really shy. She peed onstage during a competition. She just couldn’t hold it in and didn’t want to ask to go to the bathroom. LOL. Wow. Another stunning contemporary girl. I think I liked her more than the first one we saw tonight based solely on how she interpreted her song choice. Hannahlei is very good at making a routine feel like a complete thought as opposed to just showing off strong moves. And don’t get me wrong, she has some very strong moves but more than that, she told a story that I bought into fully. The judges have nothing to say. They just all get up and wave tickets in the air. Of course she is heading to the academy.
Time for a montage now. Sydney Moss, Chelsea Hough, Rebecca Troyak, and Dayna Madison all show off some great contemporary and jazz moves and are all sent to the academy.
CJ Butler is up now and he will be doing his own hip-hop. Three years ago, his mother was killed by his stepfather and he and his little brother witnessed it. He feels like he failed his mom because he couldn’t save her. His mom was his best friend. He lost his passion for dance. But he feels like his mom wouldn’t want him to give up because we only have so much time. Damn, this story is rough. Aww, he’s a good hip-hop technician too. Lots of musicality and has a good ear for interpreting the song. You can tell he has a lot inside of them that needs to be let out through dance. Twitch commends him on his bravery. He is conflicted because he isn’t sure if the dancing is enough. Mary tells him what happened isn’t his fault. She also doesn’t think the dancing is strong enough. Nigel feels he is a bit uncontrolled. He wants him to reign it back in a bit. Vanessa says CJ is inspiring. She wants him to polish. It is a no from them all and that’s it for CJ. Damn, I really thought he deserved a shot at the academy. If this season still had a choreography round, he would have been sent there for sure. The judges all give him hugs and a pep talk.
Now we get a montage of people who didn’t quite do enough for the judges. They are all sent home due to various reasons. Many tears.
Twitch talks about hip-hop- the origins of it, and how this show has brought it into the mainstream. And that leads us into Dustin Payne, a twenty-six year old animator. He made it to the academy last season but was cut after the ballroom round. He wants to show growth this season. I love what this dude does with his hands. He could do a whole routine just with his fingers. I don’t remember him from last season at all so I will refer to the judges on whether he has improved but I definitely saw enough to think he merits returning to the academy. Plus, he said in his pre-audition package that he has practiced so perhaps this is his season to improve on that failed ballroom attempt. Twitch loves how Dustin evolved from getting cut. He loved the confidence too. Mary loved it all and said it was amazing. Nigel loves him again this year and prays he has worked on his ballroom. He calls him a smart dancer. Vanessa calls it fire and was amazed at how clean it was. They all give him a yes.
Finally tonight, we have Nicole Clonch. She is doing west coast swing and her partner tonight is season two winner, Benji Schwimmer. Nicole is actually Benji’s official swing partner for competitions. So, so good. DAYUM And unexpected in execution too. Odd song choice and a much more subdued performance that what Benji usually does. I was totally expecting something fast and quirky. The tricks here were out of this world and totally breathtaking. All four judges are up, naturally. Vanessa loved the tricks. She calls Nicole fantastic. Twitch says it is an honor to see Benji but his eyes were on Nicole. Nicole says she does ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary to supplement her swing. Mary notes how this is a different type of swing. Obviously, Nicole gets her ticket.
Next week, we head to NEW YORK as the auditions continue. Join me please and have a great week everyone. :D