The highlight for me of tonight’s show was Danny and Neil’s Mia Michaels routine. They made the premise totally believable and both of their techniques were impeccable. What I loved about it was that their unique dance personas each came through. Danny was the sardonic, prissy, arrogant prince, which totally ties into his ABT soloist pedigree. Neil had that sort of brooding, diabolical, unpredictable element that we first saw when he and Lauren did the devil/angel Wade Robson piece.

Surprisingly, I also really liked Sabra and Danny’s cha cha. OK, Danny’s too ballet to really pull off a cha cha, but Sabra seems to be able to do any style and do it well. Her movement was so natural and she looked like she was having a great time. And that comment Nigel made about them not straightening their legs? Bullcrap. Maybe that’s what you have to do with ballroom, but in club style/traditional cha cha the more you lower your center of gravity by bending your knees, the better.

The low point? I thought Nigel and Mary’s comments about Sabra and Lacey’s piece choreographed by Wade Robson really ignorant. They said that they didn’t understand the piece so how could they possibly critique the dancing. The dancing itself was beautiful and expressive; how could they not see that? Also, by being critical of innovative and unique artistic expression that deviates from run-of-the-mill variety show and music video choreography, they are doing a disservice to artists everywhere. I guess the comment shouldn’t surprise me. Anything that deviates from what is “normal” in Nigel’s view gets some sort of comment. We’ve seen that when he accuses male dancers of not being “masculine enough”, and now we saw it tonight. Thank you Dan Karaty for bringing some civility to the judging.

PS. LOVED Danny’s tongue in cheek comment about how his masculine dance is for Nigel

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