And here we are…Vegas week it is on So You Think You Can Dance 2011, and NOW I remember why I love this show so much – because it’s not just about the dancing, but the people behind the dancing.  These kids are inspirational.  In Vegas week, they must demonstrate physical prowess, mental stamina, and serious pain toleration.  We see contestants getting injured, spirits breaking, and tempers flaring…yet the strongest dancers survive it all, and they do so with a major lack of sleep and genuine smiles on their faces.  

There was so much going on tonight, but here’s a quick recap of the highlights:

A lot of dancers who we met in the city auditions were cut.  Among those cut were Hiro McCrae, Princess Lockeroo, Mary Kate Sheehan, Patty Anne Miller, Kristen Dobson, Alexis Mason, Arielle Coker, Chyna Smith, DC Chapman, and Kimmalee Piedad.  Others survived Vegas week but not without injury.  After feeling dizzy, Natalia Mallory was hospitalized and diagnosed with probable diabetes.  Ryan Ramirez was also hospitalized for a bruised tailbone and sacrum.

Thirty-one dancers remain, including Ryan and Natalia, as well as Sasha Mallory, Wadi Jones, and Robert Taylor Jr.  If I had to make any predictions, I’d be guessing that this is the year for Ryan Ramirez to make the cut.  And the judges seem to have a real soft spot for Natalia Mallory.

Already, I’m inspired by the amount of work these dancers have put forth…I just can’t wait for the actual competition to begin.

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