“So You Think You Can Dance,” the hugely popular, “American Idol”-style reality show on Fox, has garnered some serious attention in its eight-year tenure. Dancers of many creeds have strutted their stuff in front of a varying panel of judges in an attempt to be christened America’s favorite.
The show, now in its eighth season, begins with a lengthy audition process in select cities across the country. Dancers show up in droves for day-long auditions and a lucky few are sent through to Las Vegas for the next round of cuts. They then compete for a spot in the Top 20 and, once those 10 girls and 10 guys are chosen, the serious competition begins. Ultimately, one dancer is chosen by viewers as America’s Favorite Dancer. (Cue up the video below for a taste of what this season’s Top 20 can do.)
Like the “Twilight” series, Lady Gaga and fanny packs, this amount of attention naturally brings along differing points of view on the show itself. “So You Think You Can Dance” has been a big component in making dance more accessible to an audience that might not otherwise be interested. However, some dancers have voiced the concern that this shiny, commercial version might be alienating styles like classical ballet or modern dance.
Tiler Peck, the principal for New York City Ballet, chimed in on the issue alongside Michelle Dorrance of “Stomp,” Dallas McMurray of the Mark Morris Dance Group, hip-hoper Anthony “Ant Boogie” Rue II, who toured with Madonna, and Brittany Marcin, a former Rockette. For these four, dance is a business. To read their insight regarding SYTYCD, follow the link here for the original story from the New York Times.
The season finale is on Fox today at 8 p.m. EST. Regardless of your stance on “So You Think You Can Dance,” most dancers find it at least somewhat entertaining … even if, like Olympic figure skating, you’re only watching it for the falls.