Posted by Dizzy Miss Lizzy
Let me preface this by saying that I cannot dance. I love to dance, but I am really not good. Seinfeld fodder on the dance floor. Downright dangerous on the dance floor. Bravo’s new reality show Step It Up and Dance really puts it all into perspective for me.
Step It Up and Dance follows Project Runway‘s patented formula perfectly – the model/actress host, experienced mentor, the guest judge, immunities and a catchy dismissal phrase. However, none of the new SIUAD structural counterparts match the charisma of Heidi Klum and company. Elizabeth Berkley’s face doesn’t move. It’s not natural. It’s very distracting. But I digress…
What really works about Step It Up is the dancing. We get to see the dancers learn a 2-minute routine in only an hour, memorize complicated steps or work in groups to create something entirely new. Pit-stains and frustrations galore! Each dancer comes from a different style of dance, so there is a lot of cool stuff going on. At the same time, it is tough to watch a great ballet dancer fail miserably at free-style hip-hop, or a creative improv dancer trip over strict choreographed routines. Each week, the challenge changes- freestyle, choreography, freestyle battle, clog dancing… Ultimately, the winner will be the dancer who can stand out in most genres and fake it enough not to get the LD – the Last Dance – the rest of the time.
Since I’ve been away from the blog, I’ll skip the episode recaps and just give you the skinny on who’s who and where the competition stands.
Ariana – 25, teeny coastie with an attitude, voice like nails on chalkboard
Miguel – 24, arrogant and flamboyant to the point of being annoying, a Christian Siriano for the Bravo-tv dance world, he stands out in a crowd
Jessica – 22, sweet basketcase way out of her league
James – 23, talented, and scored points with this blogger early on with a timely Saved by the Bell reference (“I’m so excited…”)
Cody – 27, quiet guy in the background, but man can he deliver it!
Mochi – 30, tiny firecracker, she’s pro and it shows
Janelle – 18, FIERCE
Oscar – 31, well… he’s European, so I guess that explains it all
Tovah – 21, painfully shy ballerina, talented but limited
Nicole – 29, go-go dancer
Nick – 26, straight out of the suburbs comic-type who can actually (kind-of) dance
Michael – 25, he’s got the hip hop rhythm
The LD Who’s had to dance their Last Dance?
Episode One “A Scary Surprise” – Nicole. Nicole opted to leave the show “for health reasons” before dancing even began. *Note: It was tragic when Jack left Project Runway for health reasons. Nicole, we didn’t even care.
Episode One “A Scary Surprise” – Ariana. Ariana had a prima donna attitude without the chops to back it up.
Episode Two “Baring It All” – James. Utter shock! But I’m not as sad as Miguel, that’s for sure. Poor Miguel is so sad to lose his “sister,” which brings up an interesting point – stop calling James your damn sister! Is there nothing women can have without men trying to take it over? Am I supposed to feel that men are my sisters? Are we challenging the world and all its gender stereotypes? Is it just fun to say? I don’t get it.
Episode Three “Battle Zone” – Jessica. Old waterworks finally got the LD. And good riddance because red faces and puffy eyes do not make for good-looking television. Aww, that’s mean. I take it back. What I meant to say is that she seems sweet, but she is way too insecure for a competition like this.
There is no clear winner yet. It is difficult to measure dance talent across genres and all dancers will have to “step it up.” However, there are a few favorites. Cody is a talented dancer who can adapt to all different styles. His size is impressive onstage and he can flip. Janelle has an intense, frenetic energy that eclipses all other dancers. Tovah is beautiful, graceful and classically skilled, which is a nice change of pace from the pop ‘n lock style many of the other dancers favor.