“Bunheads,” Season 1, Episode 4

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Boo/Courtesy of Picktainment.com

“Bunheads” was back with an all-new episode this week, and perhaps the funniest episode to date.

Fanny was on a mission to get the studio in prime condition for the Joffrey auditions, which ended up being difficult when all of Michelle’s stuff (and some stuff that wasn’t hers but came with her partially furnished Vegas apartment) show up on a moving truck.

Boo’s mother was concerned about Boo’s feelings: she didn’t get the audition last year and was very upset by that. But Boo said she feels ready this season. Her mom actually bought her a “Better Luck Next Year!” cake before the audition. And then Boo’s one of Boo’s pointe shoes broke. Luckily, Sasha was bold enough to steal money from her mother’s purse to buy Boo a new pair…but of course played it off as though her father had bought them for her and she was just dumping them on Boo.

Fanny (right) and Michelle (left)/Courtesy of JustJaredJr.com

All did not seem to be going as planned for Fanny when she received an urgent fax notifying her that the audition would not be held in her studio (the floor wasn’t quite right). Fanny was highly upset; after all, she had worked with the summer program for 12 years. And the audition was moved to another part of California. The girls wanted to go but Fanny didn’t.

Meanwhile, Michelle was having her own audition nightmares. She decided to make it her mission to help Fanny and her floors. And she succeeded…well, thanks to Fanny, and they got Joffrey back!

Boo didn’t get the audition, but “she was seen,” which to Fanny was all that mattered.

SYTYCD, Season 9, Episode 7

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Kenny Ortega/Courtesy of Seekingthetruthmjfans.com

Tonight it was time for the Top 20 to take the stage and compete for the viewers’ votes!

The opening number was a phenomenal piece – office workers and bosses using mug and desk props, among other things. An intense number for the beginning of the show, keeping the dancers in a small space – but their movements, even in that small space, expressed the high stress of the piece perfectly.

Then it was time to welcome the Top 20 as individuals – so great to see Detriot’s Will Thomas strut his stuff!

Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and Kenny Ortega were all on deck to judge this evening – Happy Birthday Mr. Lythgoe!

We’re voting for individuals this week, not couples.

What’s coming for next week? Two boys and two girls will be cut. The judges are making these decisions at the beginning stages.

First up were Witney and Chehon. Each couple had nine seconds to talk about themselves. What we learned: Witney is afraid of crickets. Chehon is bilingual and a dual citizen. They took on the Samba to “Jump.” Witney look like a Latin pop princess in her sparkly pink outfit. The couple’s movements were sharp.

“You are a star,” said Lythgoe to Witney, though he thought Chehon was a bit out of his style, and apparently, his feet.

During the commercial break we saw a preview for “Step Up: Revolution.” Join the Mob here and you could be in a music video!

Then we had Tiffany who has baby hands, and George and he hates the outside, together for a Sonya routine. The lines and the movements were beautiful, expressing great emotions for people so young.

“You both surrendered to this choreography,” said Murphy. “You were living it.”

We then met Janaya, who wants to meet Shamoo and is afraid of Chucky, and Brandon, who is from Kansas City and very allergic to animals. They would work together to build an emotional hip hop routine by Tabitha and Napoleon. AND OMG TABITHA IS PREGGERS!

Janaya and Brandon’s routine required a lot of partner work and you could sense the level of trust that existed between the two contestants.

Alexa was up next. She loves red lipstick. Daniel, her partner, is Australian. VERY Australian. They had a jazz routine. And speaking of partnering and props…and tight red suits…looked like Alexa’s diet of sprinkles can’t be that unhealthy. Looked tricky but the couple pulled it off. Lythoe wanted more passion.

Next: Amber. She loves bunnies and used to run track. Nick. He just took 23 credits and said it was crazy “don’t do it.” They were set up with the Viennese Waltz. Did they get it together in time?

Murphy thought it was dreamy – and Amber pulled it off in heels.

“So lovely,” said Ortega.

However, the Viennese Waltz, like the Disco, rarely does well with fans of the show.

Courtesy of Homorazzi.com

Remember Amelia from the auditions? Her dad is a tattoo artist. Partner Will (YAY) loves orange…but apparently not short interviews. Character Pop was the style assigned to these colorful dancers and the audience loved it.

Janelle can cook anything. Dareian can imitate Donald Duck. They had to tackle African Jazz. Very fast, totally in sync, and, as Tyra Banks would say, “Fierce!”

“It was like a jungle dance-off!” Murphy said. She was proud of Janelle for tackling the new styles (Janelle is a belly dancer).

A special reminder: National Dance Day is July 28. Please visit fox.com/dance for more info!

                Meet Eliana: she hates raisins. And Cyrus: he has gauges. Together: Broadway. “Run and tell that!”

“She just gets down!” said Murphy of Eliana. Ortega felt as though he were at a Broadway show.

“You gave it your heart and soul, and you kicked it to the back wall,” he said. Lythgoe believes she has set the bar for the other girls.

We met Audrey – she loves Taylor Lautner – and Matthew – he loves hiking. And then what we love – a Titanic routine by Travis Wall to “Enchanted Melody.”

Last of the night were Lindsay, who hates tomatoes (me too), and “karate kid” Cole who is a cliché, with a fiery Paso Double to “Unstoppable.” Very passionate and highly dramatic – would be a perfect ten on “Dancing with the Stars.” It was Lythgoe’s favorite Paso Double, from Cole out of the guys on the show – ever.

Time to vote!

“Breaking Pointe,” Season 1, Episode 6 – Season Finale

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Courtesy of Tvlistings.zap2it.com

We’ve seen the tears, the falls, the relationships, the rejections and the meltdowns. It’s all come down to this – the season finale of “Breaking Pointe.”

This is the week before closing night and the end of the season. Adam is already looking to next year next week in New York, where he will search for new talent to bring to Ballet West.

The dancers are focusing on themselves and their upcoming performances. There is a review of their show from opening night in the paper.

Christiana’s solo is described as “spell-binding” and the company gets a good review. Allison revealed she doesn’t usually read them. Beckanne said dancers get upset if they’re not mentioned in the papers.

Courtesy of Articles.Philly.com

Beckanne knows she has limited time with Katie, who will be going to Ohio. Beckanne wants to throw a party.

“No crying,” Katie said. “The hard goodbyes, they’re coming.”

It was time for Katie to clean out her locker. She said she feels as though, over the past three years, she has failed by not getting Adam to see her.

Rex was still down about his fall in “Petite Mort.” He blames his lack of focus on his tenuous relationship of Allison, who wasn’t there for him after the show even though he is always there for her. The guys said they think it’s time to move on. Rex is determined to be flawless for closing night.

The dancers are in and out of the studio and the recital hall. It’s intense. Beckanne is still stepping in for another dancer – she’s danced in every show. Katie comes to watch her perform on closing night.

Christiana’s partner is sick.

“I always want to perform,” she said. “I’ve worked really hard and I don’t want to completely lose out on closing night.” Adam decided to have her dance on closing night with a new partner.

“Here I go, just trying to perform the best I can,” Christiana said. She is worried about the younger generation “nipping” at her heels.

“I’m so excited, I can’t wait to hit it one more time, and I’m said that it’s going away,” Ronnie said. “You’re giving it everything you’ve got…I want it every day.”

And just like that, it was over.

“We made it, and I was so proud of everyone…our performances, they were wonderful,” Christiana said.

“I was really happy with how the whole run of this show turned out. I’m going to miss it know that it’s over,” Adam said.

“We get to let our hair down and celebrate,” another dancer added.

Ballet West went to hit the town. Allison left. Rex chased.

He decided it was time for a chat in the morning. Allison said she will not change, that she cannot be the person he wants her to be.

“I came to tell you that I don’t want to hang out with you,” Rex said. It looks like AlliRex is over…or is it? The ending shot was her going to visit him.

And so is Katie’s time.

Courtesy of Entertainista.com

Her friends threw her an excellent going away party, complete with an incredibly sexual toast from Ronnie.

The next day Ronald took her to the airport.

“I’m not good at saying goodbye,” Katie said. “I kind of feel like I wasn’t good enough and that’s why we have to separate,” said Katie.

“Katie’s my first true love. It’s a rough situation,” Ronald said. “She truly deserves the best things.”

Were you crying during Ronald’s speech? We know we were.

 

SYTYCD, Season 9, Episode 6

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

America…Meet your Top 20!

Courtesy of Poptower.com

The Ladies:

Alexa Anderson

Amber Jackson

Amelia Lowe

Audrey Case

Eliana Girard

Janaya French

Janelle Issis

Lindsay Arnold

Tiffany Maher

Witney Carson

The Gentlemen:

Brandon Mitchell

Chehon Wespi-Tschopp

Cole Horibe

Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer

Daniel Baker

Dareian Kujawa

George Lawrence II

Matthew Kazmierczak

Nick Bloxsom-Carter

Will Thomas

Let the competition begin.

Who are you rooting for this season and why? Let us know in the comments below!

“Breaking Pointe,” Season 1 Episode 5

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

It’s opening night for Ballet West.

“This is it, this is what you’ve been waiting for,” said Christiana.

“You’ve been great, so just do it, and enjoy,” Adam told the dancers, 24 hours before first cast and 48 hours before second cast went on the stage.

It’s Ronnie’s first opening night with Ballet West, and Adam thinks it will help him earn the promotion he wants. He believes Beckanne will bring down the house. He knows he has given a lot of responsibility to Allison, but thinks she can pull it off. He only hopes that Rex is focused enough to make it through with Christiana, an older and more experienced dancer, as his partner.

Courtesy of Buddytv.com

So, performance day superstitions? Christiana has a pre-performance routine with food. Beckanne enjoys shopping. Ronnie refuses to get sucked into a routine.

“Everybody’s really tense,” Adam said. “I’m really tense.”

Rex’s and Allison’s families are there to see them perform, which Allison said just ads more pressure. Allison is still nervous about her tempos.

Ronnie’s solo in “Paquita” is a hit.

“It’s what I live for,” said Beckanne of her solo. Adam liked what he saw.

Courtesy of Buddytv.com

Allison was not pleased with her solo’s tempo.

Next up, “Emerlands.” Both Christiana’s husband and Adam were very proud of her performance.

Then, “Petite Mort.” This one freaks Adam out “the most.” This one has props. But everything went well…tonight.

“Overall I was so happy with how opening night went. I was pleased with my dancers, and the audience loved it,” said Adam. “Tomorrow, second cast, we do it again.”

Adam believes second cast is challenging because every changes roles. Allison will be dancing in Christiana’s role, which is really stressing her out. Beckanne will be dancing second cast as well because the dancer she shared the role with for “Paquita” is injured. Christiana and Rex are dancing the leads in “Paquita.”

Everything goes well until “Petite Mort.” Rex fell.

“It’s just not a fun thing to fall onstage,” he said. “But I still had to go one…I couldn’t let it get to me.”

“Falling happens onstage. What’s important is how the dancer gets up,” Adam said, adding that he was proud of the way Rex handled himself.

Next week we get a glimpse of what’s going on with Ronald and Katie…and closing night.

Tune in next Thursday at 8/7c CW for more “Breaking Pointe” and watch full episodes online here.

“Breaking Pointe,” Season 1, Episode 4

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

“It’s there last chance to get it right before opening night.”
The last week of studio rehearsals is finally here. “Emeralds,” “Petite Mort,” and “Paquita” are about to grace the stage. Sleep and dance, as Ronnie put it.

The dancers are getting excited.

“It’s what I live for,” Beckanne said.

“I live to perform,” Ronnie said.

Courtesy of Social.entertainment.msn.com

Rex is feeling the pressure – especially with Allison hanging around.

The music director being in the studio only adds to the stress. He needs to figure out the pace and tempos for the ballets based on the dancers’ movements. Allison is not pleased with how the director has been conducting her opening. But, as one of the dancers put it, you don’t want to make the conductor angry.

“I just want to get it right,” Allison said.

The younger dancers are keeping it light and fun, but the older dancers are getting stressed.

Adam is most worried about “Emeralds.” Less rehearsal time has been dedicated to this ballet; but he has great confidence in Christiana as his lead. Allison has Christian’s role in the second cast.

Costume fittings are here this week as well, and boy do they look beautiful. Allison is being ballerinazilla though, aggravated at everything, including the costume fitting.

Photo Credit Erik Ostling

It’s time for Rex and Allison to talk. Rex is confused; he loves Allison, but knows she’s not returning his love. Allison is still getting over her previous relationship and knows she’s not in a place to commit, but feels like she needs Rex. They will always be friends, but will it ever be more than that, neither of them know.

“They both need to focus,” Christiana said. Rex is her partner for second cast in “Paquita.”

“What you thought you were comfortable with in the studio can be your biggest problem on stage,” Christiana said when they started stage rehearsals.

“I always get really nervous,” Adam added. It’s the first time the guys are rehearsing full prop for “Petite Mort” on stage, and having some issues. Tempos are causing problems as well, for both Rex and Allison.

“I’m getting a little tired of her,” Adam said of Allison. He does not think she is being professional. She’s crying and making faces and he can’t take much more of it.
“I have no patience for a bad attitude. Period.”

Next week? It’s time to shine in the spotlight. Tune it at 8/9c to the CW.

“Bunheads” Season 1, Episode 2

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Two episodes of “Bunheads” down and already one character down.

Courtesy of Crushable.com

R.I.P Hubbell.

So what’s going to happen to Michelle? Nothing as of yet, with Fanny aggressively going about planning his memorial service.  Luckily, Fanny has some friends to help – and maybe keep her under control. An odd mix indeed, but the ladies kept up the humor in this episode.

“I don’t do funerals. There’s no celebration,” Fanny said. “Buddhists believe everyone comes back.” Which translates to party. But what starts out as a traditional Buddhist ceremony slowly turns into a circus – Barnum & Bailey’s tent included.

Michelle thinks Hubbell’s death was her fault, and seeks solace in Fanny’s dance studio…and the bar.

Since Fanny’s in full grief mode, no one’s around to teach the girls, who Boo makes stay in the studio, just in case their teacher shows up.  When Fanny doesn’t come around, Shae takes it upon herself to go and find her, which she does, sad and alone. She also finds Michelle, sad and alone, and tells her that someone needs to act.

So act Michelle does. No more tent. No more plane. No more excessive amount of lilies. No sitar. No more 500 guests. Just candles, a whole lot of tulle, and a dance for Fanny.

Courtesy of Afterellen.com

Fanny seems to warm back up to Michelle, but then comes the news that Hubbell has left everything to her.

Catch this past week’s full-length episode for a limited time only here.

“Breaking Pointe,” Season 1, Episode 3

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Tonight on the CW’s “Breaking Pointe” it was drama as usual: the ugly side of ballet, “the side nobody ever sees” the tension, the stress and drive for perfection, and, of course, the romantic problems. And this all unfolded during rehearsals for Ballet West’s upcoming performances.

This week dancers were for parts in “Paquita” and everyone wanted the leads. Adam brought in Elena Kunikova, a “Paquita” veteran, to get them to push for perfection. Rex was extremely stressed about getting a lead.

“His (Rex’s) biggest drawback is that he’s incredibly insecure,” said Adam. He put Katherine and Christiana up for the female lead. Then it was Beckanne against Allison for a role. Everyone wants to be first cast.

“For a dancer, a leading role is what they live for…they’re all trying to be the best…they can be,” Adam said.

But Ronnie wasn’t worried – he was going to hang out with his sister and get his tattoo touched up. He opened up a little bit about his family and childhood. He was really into racing as a kid; his father is very supportive of his dance career.

Adam went back to make his decisions.

Katherine and Ronnie were chosen for the principal lead, first cast. Christiana and Rex, second. Beckanne, first cast, lead role. Allison seemed overwhelmed: she is in all three ballets for the season. Adam isn’t concerned – he wants her on stage opening night and knows she can do it. Elena’s advice? “Just dance.”

 

Beckanne/Courtesy of Blog.zap2it.com

 

Beckanne worried about her youth. She is only 19, way younger than the principal dancers in the company, and her friends are in the corps. The older girls don’t seem to really accept her into their group.

While the girls were out, they touched on body image issues. They believe that no one in the company could possibly anorexic. With all the calories they burn they eat multiple meals per day; they burn thousands of calories during a show. Good to hear. Body images were also brought up in the season premiere of ABC Family’s “Bunheads.” Then sexuality: Thomas, 24, is the only gay dancer at Ballet West. The Allison and the other Katie decide to take him out to find a guy, and they succeeded.

Then back to business. Rehearsals for “Paquita”  started. Allison got more and more frustrated with Adam. She said she feels as though he’s rushing her to perform all of these ballets. Beckanne thinks it’s easy.

“Beckanne is incredibly gifted…she is learning very well,” Elena said.

Leave it to Rex to bring Allison’s spirits up – and cook her dinner. Then (big surprise) we’re back to her not wanting a committed relationship.

So where’s Katie of Katie and Ronald? Hanging out with Beckanne. And of course they’re eating too.

“Dance Magazine” wants to do an article on Beckanne as a rising star in the dance world. Christiana did not seem pleased.

Christiana/Courtesy of Snakkle.com

The dancers relaxed in the hot springs and had a mud war after a long week of rehearsal. They know that next week will be just as tough.  Dancing in the studio is one thing. Dancing on stage with props is another.

Watch full episodes for free online and make sure to tune in next Thursday at 8/9c.