Only because Shawn performed it And she happens to be a gymnast, are we hearing this unfair uproar and criticism. Some lifts, Flips, tumbles somersaults, athletic moves mixed with standard dance moves are the Norm for a good freestyle. As are speed, explosive moves and high energy.
I haven't seen or heard any uproar about the dance...criticism yes, but not that much tbh. I didn't think there was anything wrong with incorporating gymnastics into the dance either but I wasn't blown away by it, probably because Shawn is an Olympic gold medalist in the sport so of course it was going to be good.
If Melissa and Kelly had done that level of gymnastics in their routine I would have been blown away because, unlike Shawn, they haven't been doing it their whole lives. And I think that's what it boils down to for me...a gymnast doing gymnastic stunts in a dance competition isn't that impressive, especially when the other dancers can't compete on that level.
There seems to be a double standard being applied here. Had Tony or Val created that same freestyle for Melissa and Kelly, they would be called geniuses.
It's not wrong, it makes sense she would play to her strengths as the others did. However she's the only one who's lived and breathed her talent since early childhood, had the best coaches in the world, was in one of the best teams in the world and won at the highest level a gymnast can achieve. Her life is an acoomplishment thus far and she should be proud of herself, but I don't think she should necessarily win for doing a floor tumble or overhead somersault that she probably mastered in childhood.
If it is wrong for Shawn to do lifts and flips in her freestyle, then it would be wrong for Melissa to incorporate any balletic moves or cheerleading moves in hers.
I'm actually quite conflicted because I really like Shawn and think she's a great dancer but, while her freestyle was very good, it just didn't blow me away or make me want to root for her. I preferred Melissa's because it was the only one that drew me in and held my attention. There may have been a lot of lifts but I appreciated that this was difficult (Tony's back) and risky considering how easy it is to fumble and fall. I also think they took a risk doing contemporary dance which isn't that popular on the show but, imo, it worked.
I like Kelly a lot, but I don't think Val did her justice in either dance. She certainly deserved better than his attention grabbing moment on the violin when she should have been the one in focus during the aerial display. At least Derek made sure that Shawn was the centerpiece of their dance so kudos to him for that.