Pasha & Lacey – Hip Hop
The choreography was very clever. I loved the little “heartbeat” Lacey did before she really joined in the dance. Their musicality was absolutely wonderful. I totally bought Pasha as a Hip Hop dancer. Very cute and corny and "Tranji-esque." Lacey really captured the style of movement needed for the mannequin. (And it forced her to stop mugging for the camera!) The run around they did where she had to pivot on one foot but remain stiff at the same time was smoothly executed. I also loved Lacey’s costume. Wardrobe actually made her look hot without putting her in something resembling underwear or a negligee.
I love to watch her move. Her extension is always perfect. The energy just flows right out of her. I didn’t care for the way she was lit. (Surprise!) The light was too harsh on her face and she had that washed-out, over-exposed look to her.
Lauren & Danny – Contemporary with Mia
Finally! Mia finally gets her hands on Danny! Oh joy! Thank you…thank you…thank you!!! I missed the rehearsal package at the top so I didn’t get to hear Mia talk about the piece. (Would love a link if anyone finds the complete package!) I loved the whole first part of it up to Danny’s amazing pirouettes below the stairs. They moved so well together and really complimented each other. The part where she launched herself at him with complete abandon and then he caught her and they fell forward was powerful and smoothly executed. I had mixed feelings about the running across the bridge at the end. I wish that space had been clear of spectators so that it could have been filmed from downstage instead of from behind them. Not so much a gripe with the way it was danced but with the limitations of how it had to be shot with all those people in the way.
The use of the dressmaker’s dummy with the gown was an interesting way for a ballroom dancer to overcome the disadvantage of not having a partner! I wondered if this was a partner routine of his that he adapted to perform as a solo. Whatever the case, it worked very nicely.
Sabra & Neil – Jazz
Awesome! I loved these two together! Their musicality was right on and their energy was amazing. The plank he did above her on the table showed so much strength and control. The lift they did with her high up in the air in the splits was absolutely stunning. Neil’s leap had such power and elevation. There was so much intensity in both their physical movement and in their connection. Definitely an all out polished performance. Possibly my favorite piece of the whole season.
Her pirouettes were lovely. Other than that I didn’t really feel it was especially memorable.
Lacey & Pasha – Smooth Waltz
So romantic and dreamy! What woman wouldn’t want to waltz with Pasha? He is such a wonderful partner and always makes his ladies look so good. Their rise and fall was very nice and their movement just flowed like water. They looked absolutely elegant as they moved across the floor. The roll around lifts where she went over his back were beautifully executed. The only fault I could find was the same one the judges mentioned, sometimes Lacey’s hands weren’t extended quite right and looked awkwardly placed instead of elegant.
Instead of just linking a series of show-off tricks together, Neil performed a grounded solo that really did show off his talents. I finally figured out what one of the things I really love about Neil is – he’s like this little ball of energy that explodes without warning whenever you least expect it. The power in that leap near the start where he just launched himself and flew around in mid-air followed by the soft, cat-like landing. His arabesque was just beautiful, still and extended with such tension. But then came the contrast of the powerful flips that he flew through but finished with such control. This was definitely one of the best solos of the season because it really showed such an amazing range of what Neil is capable of doing.
Lauren & Danny – Disco
My least favorite couple number of the night. I didn’t especially care for the choreography. I liked Sara’s disco piece much better. I do like Danny and Lauren as a couple. I think physically she’s the best match he’s had all season. I felt that the lift they did after the “death drop” was a little awkward looking. She wasn’t quite centered and he had to adjust her in the lift.
Yet another costuming disaster for Lacey.....she's back in the negligee. Why does she keep getting put into things that make her look thick round the middle? I swear wardrobe managed to make Donyelle look thinner last year with everything they put on her but everything they give Lacey adds pounds. What’s the deal? I didn’t really care too much for Lacey’s solo either. She looked so “tarty” to me, like she was just wiggling around shaking her booty. Not a lot of variety or energy. And I really could have done without the part where she stuck her butt in the camera. YIKES! I felt like I was supposed to tip her when she was done.
Sabra & Neil – Paso Doble
I loved both of their costumes. Sabra really used the skirt to her advantage. I think I caught Neil looking like he was catching flies a couple of times. The lift was so strong.
As always, his leaps were just beautiful. I really enjoyed watching the flow of his arm movements this time around. Every movement seemed so natural and effortless.
So who's going to get cut? I absolutely can't pick. At this point I'd have to say my four favorites are Sabra, Neil, Danny and Pasha.