02 June 2006

"So You Think You Can Dance"

So You Think You Can Dance is my summertime treat. For a girl in the boonies who grew up loving movie musicals and '80s dance videos, the show is a bright spot in the dance-less TV schedule. I have no rhythm to speak of -- not all black folks can dance. Still, I feel inspired to move after watching a great dancer. The new season started last week and it was perfect timing because I needed a shot of inspiration to help me stick to my exercise routine.

Last season, I didn't start watching the show until after the initial audition phase. I made a few observations while watching the auditions this season. Although in most areas the saying "You can't judge a book by its cover" is sound advice, it didn't apply in this case. It was obvious from first glance which people could dance and which ones couldn't. The toned bodies were a dead giveaway, but it was more than that. The bad dancers didn't dress like dancers. They were either in street clothes or costumes that they thought were dancewear. Also, the bad dancers lacked grooming. The men had scraggly hair while the women had bad hair and makeup. It was almost as if the good dancers cared more about their bodies and it was showing in their appearance.

Another thing I noticed was the explanations. The good dancers talked about when they started dancing and how much they loved it. The bad dancers, on the other hand, focused on irrelevant details like what the parts of their costumes represented or the deep meaning of their choreography. The truly poor dancers bragged about how good they were! A big warning sign about the upcoming performance was how the dancer described their style. If she said something like, "I use a combination of jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, and ballroom.", then I knew the dance was going to be awful. The good dancers would say that they knew how to do those dances but they picked one style for their performance.

Luckily, the audition phase is over. The judges picked 125 dancers to go to Las Vegas and participate in classes. A lot of dancers have to be eliminated before the partnering phase, so this is where the drama and personality clashes start showing up. If you want to watch a reality show, tune in for the next few weeks. If you prefer a talent competition, wait until they narrow it down to 24 contestants.
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