Wednesday, August 6, 2014

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 10

Wow!  What a great show tonight.  I loved seeing the all stars return.  The So You Think You Can Dance all stars are dancers who had breakout performances on previous seasons.

Before we get to the all stars, though, there is the opening number.  The top 10 dancers performed a fun number to "Bang Bang" (Jesse J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj).  The number, choreographed by Jamal Sims, had the dancers dressed as neon cowboys and cowgirls.  You could tell the dancers were enjoying this "cut loose" piece.

The guest judge this week, sitting with Nigel and Mary, was figure skater Tara Lipinski.  She is upbeat and articulate, with constructive critiques.

After each dancer performed tonight, they learned if they were safe or in the bottom two guys/bottom two girls (in jeopardy of going home).

Bridget and all-star Brandon performed a Bollywood Disco number choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan to "Disco Khisko."  It was a happy dance with sparkly costumes, but not one of the truly spectacular Bollywood numbers from this show (like Katee and Joshua, Season 4).  Bridget's dance fate:  bottom 2 girls.

Tanisha and all-star Ryan performed an Argentine Tango choreographed by Leonardo and Miriam to "The Gaucho's Pain (Tango Jointz)."  (Photo of Tanisha and Ryan, above.)  At one point Ryan balanced Tanisha on his neck.  They danced well together, and this was a great number.  Tanisha's dance fate:  safe.

Emilio and all-star Jasmine performed a hip hop number choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon to "Get Low" (Dillon Francis and DJ Snake).  Emilio was the king and Jasmine was the pet snake who wanted to be in power.  I often judge dancers on competitive shows based on who draws attention and performance focus.  In this case, that was definitely Jasmine.  I felt that Emilio was outdanced.  Emilio's dance fate:  bottom 2 guys.

Valerie and all-star Ade performed a jazz number choreographed by Tyce Diorio to "Hearts a Mess" (Gotye).  Valerie was supposed to be upset and angry.  There were a lot of great lifts.  I do agree with Nigel, who said that Ade is a dancer with great breadth of movement, and he showed Valerie up.  Valerie's dance fate:  safe.

Rudy and all-star Jenna danced a cha cha choreographed by Louis Van Amstel to "Maps" (Maroon 5).  The dance was about their attraction.  I felt Jenna drew focus in this number and outdanced Rudy, although he is a very likable personality onstage.  Rudy's dance fate:  safe.

Jacque and all-star Cheon danced a contemporary/ballet duet choreographed by Travis Wall to "Adagio for Tron" (Daft Punk).  Nigel raved about the "range of movement."  I thought the blending of styles was intriguing, but the very dark stage lighting made the number hard to see.  Jacque's dance fate:  bottom 2 girls.

Ricky and all-star Lauren performed a rockabilly style jazz number choreographed by Mandy Moore to "Bossa Nova Baby" (Elvis Presley).  This number was so much fun!  It was one of the standout performances of the night for me, and I already plan to find it online to watch again.  Ricky's dance fate:  safe.

Casey and all-star Kathryn performed a Broadway number choreographed by Spencer Liff to "Maybe This Time" (Liza Minelli).  It had a theme of loves me, loves me not.  There was some beautiful movement in this piece, and Casey is really coming into his own on this show.  Casey's dance fate:  safe.

Jessica and all-star Twitch performed a hip hop number choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon to "U Got Me Up" (Calmere's Underground Goodies).  It was about an old guy at a bus stop who meets a younger pin-up girl.  This was the other standout performance tonight for me.  It was so much fun!  I am just happy every time I get to see Twitch dance.  Jessica's dance fate:  safe.

Zack and Amy danced a contemporary number choreographed by Sonya Tayeh to "Europe, After the Rain" (Max Richter).  The number was a tribute to her friend, who died suddenly.  It was atmospheric, with lightning and the sound of rain, and it was really beautiful - lots of lifts and leaps.  Zack's dance fate:  bottom two guys.

It was announced that Sonya is going to be choreographing for the Martha Graham dance company.  What an honor for her!   I wonder if she will still be doing work on SYTYCD as well?

The bottom dancers appeared on stage:  Zack, Emilio, Jacque, Bridget.  It was announced that Emilio and Bridget got the lowest number of votes, so they went home this week.

Next week's show will feature the music of Michael Jackson.  The dance pairs will be:

Tanisha with all-star Nick
Valerie with all-star Ryan
Rudy with all-star Allison
Jacque with all-star Twitch
Ricky with all-star Jamie
Casey with all-star Comfort
Jessica with all-star Will
Zack with all-star Mackenzie

That sounds like a great show.  I love Michael Jackson's music, too!

What did you think of the show this week?  Which performances were your favorites?  Do you think the right dancers went home?  I would love to hear from you in the comments, below.

A Day in the Life of an eBay Seller

The alarm goes off at 7:00 AM.  It feels much too early!   I get up, walk the dogs, and sit down to breakfast.  Over breakfast I check in at work-related social media sites:  my business page on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.   Then I come here to blog.  (This is one of my favorite parts of the day!)

I pack anything that sold and drop it off, usually in the neighborhood "blue box."  (Most of my packages are small, and I always print postage on eBay, so they can be mailed in any USPS mailbox.)   If I have any bigger packages, they need to go to the Post Office, which is thankfully only 2 miles away.

Then it is time to list items in my eBay store.  Over summer I'm listing just a few new items a day (5 most days).   I look into one of my "treasure boxes" of unlisted inventory.  (You'll find a peek into one of the boxes above.)  These are items I found at local yard sales, estate sales, or thrift stores.  I try to list similar items on any given day in order to expedite listings.  It is much faster to list 5 motel postcards, 5 cookbooks, or 5 children's books at the same time.

At this point the pups will want to walk again.   This is a nice break!

By now it is probably lunch time, so I make something fast -- usually a sandwich with fruit or yogurt.

Then I settle in for the long afternoon.  This is tedious, so I make sure to have something fun to listen to (usually XM Radio - oh how I love XM!).  Each afternoon I open up Turbolister, my listing program, and pull out my inventory cards.  I am going through items A - Z and checking titles and item specifics.  I am pulling some lower value items to donate.  I am also saving photos to my computer if the listing was created before 2013.   In early 2013 I had a major hard drive crash and lost all my photos.   I had backed up most of my personal pictures but have very few of the eBay pics here.  (I know - not smart!  I learned!)  My goal is to complete this process by Labor Day.  This work fills the afternoon, broken only by a late afternoon dog walk. 

By the time dinner rolls around (6:00 PM) I am delighted to turn the computer off and take a break.  I find I am spending much less time on the computer outside of work hours these days.  I do enjoy my personal Facebook page, and I usually pop in there most often (via iPad or phone).  

This schedule will change in September.  I am excited about Fall, and look forward to spending time on Etsy.  I am trying to freshen up my eBay listings and save photos this Summer, so I can put some real energy into Etsy this Fall.  I will have to post another day in the life then.