By Guest Blogger Stephanie V.
Emanuel Sandhu is still not doing skating competitions for the third year in a row. His last appearance was at the 2007 Worlds, where he placed 16th. After that, he looked for other projects. During the summer 2008, he did the auditions for the first season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. He made it somewhat easily to the final audition, although Sandhu didn’t make it to the top 20 to be on the show. Even if the judges were impressed by his potential, they thought that he was relying too much on his tricks (like doing a triple Axel) and that he had some negative attitude.
Summer 2009, Emanuel tried again. He was the first dancer to do the audition in Toronto. His solo did great impression… One of the judges, Mary Murphy, did her famous scream of appreciation and Emanuel got a boarding pass to the final audition. Still in Toronto for the final audition, Emanuel passed through all the rounds to make the top 20.
Sandhu has a big background in ballet, as he studied for 10 years at the National Ballet of Canada. For the first five weeks of the show, Emanuel was paired with Kim Gingras, a hip hop dancer. Despites their different dance background, Emanuel and Kim got a great chemistry and passed through two hip hop routines and also theatre style, Jazz Funk and contemporary dances. They got a standing ovation from the judges for their Jazz Funk routine they did for the week number 3, choreographed by Blake McGrath. Their second hip hop dance (and their last dance together) made some great impressions as well. Emanuel and Kim made their way easily to the top 12 without being in the “bottom 3”.
After 5 weeks, the dancers had to change partners every week till the end of the show. Also, the dancers had to do a solo to get some votes. So, he did a Samba with Tara-Jean Popowich. His solo of the week 6 is surely my favorite, where he showed that he was at ease in many different styles. The week 7 got a bit hard on Emanuel. Still dealing with 2 broken fingers since the week 2, he sprained an ankle during the rehearsals for the Tuesday show. Although, he hit a contemporary piece and a disco routine with his partner of the week, Melanie Mah, which got average comments.
For the week 8, where the top 4 of the show would be decided, Emanuel was paired with Jayme Ray Dailey. They had Quickstep and Jazz Funk routines. If the Quickstep had some great starting, the judges pointed out that the real Quickstep part suffered a bit. But the Jazz Funk routine didn’t impress much and didn’t look that great on Sandhu… I’m not a pro in dance, but I blame mostly the choreography for that. Sadly, it came to an end for Emanuel who didn’t get enough votes this time to make the top 4. Sandhu accepted the verdict and he said, before to thank everyone, that he never thought that he would get that far .
Although, being eliminated of the show wasn’t the end of Sandhu’s dancing career. Since November 25 till December 22, Emanuel is doing a Canadian tour with the top 10 of the show. They are visiting 18 cities from Kelowna (British Colombia) to Halifax (Nova Scotia). After that, who knows what Sandhu will do : Keep dancing or return to skating ?
Videos and pictures of the season 2 can be seen on the following web site : http://www.ctv.ca/mini/dance2009/ (Sorry, Canadians only can see the video...sad face).
Stephanie wrote the first of what I hope to be many guest blogger submissions. You can follow her musings via Twitter by following @Einnaf.
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