Yeah, I admit it. Every Tuesday night you will find me watching the local Fox affiliate because that's when So You Think You Can Dance airs. Now, understand that I am not a dance junkie, per se. I love the performing arts, but I have little or no use for most reality shows or talent competitions. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood were pleasant surprises in the music scene, but I didn't follow their respective rises on American Idol. And I certainly didn't vote for them.
As for the tripe that is Dancing With The Stars, the less said the better. I don't care whether or not Buzz Aldrin can cha-cha. But I sure care whether or not Malece and Alan can pull off this week's salsa. Or if Aaron and Jasmine's quick-step routine will be good enough to keep them out of danger for another week.
I love SYTYCD. I love the talent that would otherwise never get a showcase. I love that it exposes me to different genres and styles of dance. I love the education it gives me every week, and that it exposes me to dance I would never otherwise see. They do Bollywood, for crying out loud! I also love that it gives work to some insanely talented choreographers each week -- people like Sonia Tayeh and Tyce D'Orio and Travis Wall. Before SYTYCD if I wanted to see Tyce D'Orio's work, I would have to go to NYC and catch a Broadway musical.
Another factor is that my wife also loves the show. She is more knowledgeable about dance than I am, and often sees some nuances in the performances that I miss. I love that I'm learning from her.
The competitive aspect of the show is its weakest link, at least for me. The two regular judges are reliably well-versed in dance, but the third rotating "celebrity" judge can be hit or miss. Sometimes they're surprisingly brilliant in their critiques, but sometimes they can be a waste of everybody's time. I understand that the premise of the show is that it is first and foremost a competition, but I wouldn't care if it just showcased the choreography every week.
But it IS a competition, and one well worth your time. So next Tuesday, join me.
Oh, and vote for Malece.