Amitava Sarkar
We don't even have to ask.

Getting Down Right Here and Now

Probably the only reason there aren't any Houston finalists in So You Think You Can Dance is because the show's producers didn't make it to Houston for auditions, Dance Houston director Andrea Cody says. But they should.

'Cause we've got extraordinary dancers here, she says, and she's willing to prove it starting August 25 when Dance Houston puts on its annual competition at the Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall. For three days the best of the best dance companies will pop, slide and swing their bootays while audience members vote for their favorites.

Cody is a fan of the Fox TV show and thinks its audience has made the right picks so far. Twelve and a half million votes were cast in the latest round and on last night's show, to no one's surprise, Ivan and Natalie were voted off. Each one walked into last night marked for termination. The judges opined that Natalie was somehow lost without her former partner Musa. The audience agreed. And Ivan, though still delightfully funny and playful and a master of hip-hop, was judged to be "limited." Shades of They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

The biggest surprise of the night was that Travis polled more votes than Benji. This is the most beloved Benji since the dog of movie fame. But is he (the human Benji) too Broadway? We'll find out in next week's finals: Donyelle v. Heidi and Travis v. Benji.

And then what? Cold turkey? No more watching the acrobatics? The top 10 are going on tour, but so far Houston isn't on the list.

Not to worry. Cody, who does ballroom dancing herself, says you can get your fix at the late August shows at the Hobby. Houston dancers are particularly strong in the hip-hop and jazz genres, she says. Versatility and sizzle.

As for the grand finale of So You Think You Can Dance, Cody's only prediction was that Benji will somehow triumph: "I can't take my eyes off of him." -- Margaret Downing

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