Friday, July 31, 2009

High School Reunion - 30 years?

David and I are in Salt Lake City this weekend for my high school reunion. We flew in yesterday and it feels really strange because I was just here last weekend. They may have to start charging me state income tax. I can't believe it has been 30 years since I graduated from high school. I truly am the crypt keeper!

To prepare for this reunion I...

did not get in shape.
did not get tan.
did not lose any weight. (in fact I think I gained about 3 lbs. just thinking about losing weight)
did not buy a new outfit.
did not even get my nails done.

What was I thinking?

Basically, I am going to have to rely on my winning personality to show people how well I'm doing. Snap. Well, at least I have an attractive husband who is charming and well spoken and not at all opinionated and borderline obnoxious. Snap. Well, at least he's attractive!

I'll let you know how it goes! I actually only spent the last year and a half at Olympus High School. I moved there my Junior year so it's not the same as seeing people you grew up with your whole life. I did make quite a few good friends there, though, and I am excited to see them. A couple of them were on the reunion committee so I had to go!

Kristy has been working at a Marriott Spring Hill Suites hotel in Renton. She gets a friend and family discount rate that she can pass along. Like the airline industry, she gets the best discount and her immediate family gets the next best and then friends and family get a little something. She says for all of you to feel free to contact her and she will hook you up if she can. She can get a discount at just about any Marriott Hotel. It's worth checking. Her cell is 509-760-8809. Her email is kristyearl@gmail.com.

Kristy is bringing a boy to the family reunion in a couple of weeks! Just so there is no confusion... it is not the "agent" (Zac), it is the "geek" (Trevor). But it is not Trevor McKinnon (ler longtime friend), it is Trevor Lacey. Please refrain from calling him a "geek," that was merely a term used to distinguish her two recent beaus. Trevor is in the computer field, but he may not consider himself a geek so let's all be nice... at first! Ha Ha

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance Auditions


Last Thursday Courtney, Kylie and I drove down to Utah for SYTYCD auditions which were held in downtown Salt Lake on July 24th. Courtney was auditioning though lots of people assumed Kylie was old enough to audition but she’s not (must be 18). For those who live under a rock and haven’t heard, SYTYCD is going to be running two shows this year! That is why they were holding summer auditions which they have never done before. So…



Auditions opened at 1:00. Normally they open at 8:00 but since it was Pioneer Day the city would not let them start any earlier. We got in line about 6:30 a.m. and were probably about 150 people back. I would guess that there were over 1,000 dancers but it was hard to tell. I am a terrible guesser and am probably way low. I'll try to find out the exact number. It was very boring and quiet for the first few hours. It was a pretty calm crowd. We were in the shade and quite comfortable for most of our wait. The last hour got hot and miserable.







Horrible picture of me but the only one we have to prove I was there too!

The cameras started appearing about 10:00. There were two teams with a camera and they just came up and down the line looking for something interesting. They set up quite a few shots and told everyone what they wanted them to do. There were about 8 really obnoxious people that jumped in front of the camera every time they saw one. Most everyone else had at least some shred of dignity. At one point the camera team came by and pointed to Courtney and Kylie who were sitting back away from the main throng and said, “Come with me.” He took them and a few others and went off to film some sort of running scene. They chose Courtney quite a bit for camera time. We’ll see if any of it makes the show.

Cat Deeley didn’t come out until about 12:30. She looks exactly like she does on the show only not as tall as you would think. She looks like she is maybe 5’8”. The camera crews had already scoped out those who Cat was going to talk to. So they just took her around to those people. For example, some little dance or cheer team had come to support someone so she talked to them and danced with them. Someone else had brought two cute little nephews and she talked to them. Kacey deliberated about bringing Rhode and Scarlet. We weighed out all the pros and cons and she decided against it. Scarlet was possibly going to wear a shirt that said “I taught my Aunt Courtney everything she knows” while Rhode’s said something like, “My aunt is better than your aunt!" Obviously we had no idea what waiting in line would be like and knew that it could potentially be hot and miserable especially for little kids. Also alot depended on what kind of mood Scarlet was in. She is not too fond of strangers. It's all or nothing with Scarlet so it could go either way. I called Kacey from the line, though, and told her that the kids totally would have gotten on camera which made us both sad they weren’t there. Then Kacey told me that Scarlet had had a major two-year-old meltdown that day and Rhode had also gotten sick. So I guess she made the right choice but they would have been adorable.

These camera guys set up at the end of the alley we were waiting in and they had people do tumbling tricks headed towards the camera. There was a girl named Ashley who was an amazing tumbler! She could do just about anything. She would round off back handspring and then layout right in front of the camera on uneven pavement! They they would say, can you do it again and try to land closer to the camera? She did it 3 times in a row and landed about one foot from the camera. She was unbelievable and of course... she got cut! She was in Courtney's group the second day.



Camera setting up to tape Courtney...


Courtney dancing for the camera...


By the way, girl in the colorful shirt and boots behind Courtney in the picture above... crazy! Not crazy good, just crazy!! We got to hear a lot of her stories and she was on her meds that day (she told us) and she talked non stop and she got in front of the camera every chance she could. And I mean every chance she could! I am sure you will see her in the footage. I don't think they could possibly edit her out of everything she was in.

As we were waiting for Courtney to go in, Randy and Caitlin came out the doors who are two contestants from this season who have already gotten voted off. They were standing right by us so I asked them if we could take a quick picture (not usually like me) and they did so that was fun. They opened the doors and let dancers in about 1:30. That was where we had to part ways. No guests are allowed in. For the very first round, they take the dancers 10 at a time and put them on the stage and each one has to improv in their chosen style for about 30 seconds for the producers to music that the producers choose. Judging this round is the executive producer (who everyone says is really mean) and 3 or 4 other people along with Pasha and Anya. Courtney was not sure exactly who was making the decision though.

Kylie with Caitlin and Randy...


Courtney was clogging so she was put at the end of the group and when it was her turn she was allowed to choose music or acapella. She chose acapella and did her freestyle. I never got a picture of her whole outfit because she was always changed by the time I saw her. She was wearing the black shirt that you see her wearing in line (but without the scarf) plus a black ruffled skirt that is almost like a tutu. Then she had on blue and black striped socks which came over her knees. (Thanks Vickie and Caitlynn!) She also had blue streaks clipped in her hair that matched the socks. She looked great. She was not your average clogger and that is exactly the niche we were going for. You are supposed to try out in your specialty but there are a ton of contemporary and jazz dancers so Courtney chose to clog so that maybe she would stand out. We know quite a few amazing contemporary dancers who did not make it through the first round, so we decided to go for clogging and… she made it through the first round! That first round narrowed the field from about 1,000 (?) down to appx. 200.

Courtney heading in on the first day... so exciting!

video

So they gave Courtney a yellow ticket and she then proceeded to interview with other producers who try to find out if you have any great sob stories to share. Unfortunately, Courtney being the middle child of 7 is about as much of a struggle as she has come up against! Oh well. She also got to dance in front of two different cameras. One was for the crazy dancing and the other was a slow mo cam. We didn’t hear anything from her that first day until about 7:30 when she was done with all of her filming. That was a long wait for us without any news! But she had been having a great time. Those who had gotten yellow tickets were assigned to come back either Saturday or Sunday.

She had to be there at 7 a.m. on Sunday and they put them in line outside the theater calling them by name. Courtney was dead last! Hmmm…what does that mean? They had to wait in line outside for over an hour. In that time, Courtney found a dead bird that had fallen in her bag. She screamed and made a policeman get it out for her. Then 3 policemen wrestled a belligerent homeless looking guy to the ground and arrested him. It was quite exciting.

For the next round, they again went on stage in groups of 10 to do more improv but this time it was in front of the judges – Nigel, Mary and Mia Michaels! It was the same as the last time except everyone danced to the same music even the specialty dancers like clogging, ballroom, pointe, etc. The song was 9-1-1. It had a fine clogging beat so that wasn’t a problem but it sure was a problem for some specialties. I’m not really sure why they find it worthwhile to make someone dance in their specialty style to music that doesn’t suit it but they do.

Brad, Kylie and I were waiting outside because family members are allowed to come in if your dancer gets through to the solo round. We saw quite a few people come out while we were waiting to hear since Courtney was in the last group. There were lots of disappointed dancers coming through the door. A few were mad and cameras followed them. Mostly they were saying that it was ridiculous how many amazing dancers they were sending away. Finally a guy came out to tell us the results of the last group of dancers. They were putting bracelets on the families of those that got through so they could go inside. We told them Courtney Earl and he put bracelets on us and we were so excited. We went inside and were busy signing releases when Courtney came walking up and said she got cut. So the guy outside had just made a mistake but it made it even more disappointing. So close!

So out of the 100+ dancers that made it through the first round and came back on Sunday, only about 30 got to go in front of the judges to do their solo and possibly get selected for Vegas. There was probably the same amount on Saturday though we don’t know for sure. Courtney said that it was just crazy some of the amazing dancers that they didn’t keep. She said the choices were very random. Courtney said almost every time she thought for sure they would keep a certain dancer because they were amazing, it was like - nope, cut! Lots of stunned, disappointed dancers outside. Most of them were very gracious. I am guessing that Salt Lake city is not their most interesting city to film disgruntled dancers in.

See the girl in the following picture in green striped shirt? She is completely blocking my view of Cat Deeley. Cat was right there about 5 feet from us but this stupid girl stepped right in my way. When I lifted my camera higher to get a picture, the crew said no pictures. For some reason, they would not let anyone take pictures or video of Cat.




All in all it was a fun experience and we look forward to seeing the Salt Lake auditions after having been there in person. Hopefully Courtney will make it in a shot or two when they air it. We’ll see! I couldn’t have been more proud of Courtney. She was and is amazing!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shane Sparks in da house!

The girls and I have been at drill team camp at the Bellevue Hilton this week. Kylie and Kendall are both attending the camp and Courtney is here as an intern. She was chosen to assist the teachers. It's been great!


Shane Sparks was here for a hip hop master class on Tuesday. He is very short but very nice and it was fun!





Mattie and Kylie dancing:


Kendall and Sam Calder:
Tonight was formal night. All the girls dressed up and had a nice dinner.
Kendall, Courtney and Kylie:




The whole team:





Kenzie Baker and Kylie:

The Molahiettes have dominated and have learned a lot as well. These girls are so talented! We are so proud of them. We head home tomorrow after they perform and earn more awards...