As this season’s "So You Think You Can Dance" winds down to its conclusion, I’ve been thinking about how cool it is that I have a cohort of dancer friends from around the country who are watching it with me and commenting along on the discussion boards of Yehoodi, the swing dance website I help run. It’s like having the coolest, smartest, funniest people in your living room watching it with you, except without having to clean up the mess later.
The real diehards have their laptops open as they are watching it live, commenting in real time on the boards:
RubyMae: Liked the Krump but for the terribly awkward lifts. Lifts aside, I thought it was tight.
TXJess: Did the disco look really sloppy and choppy to anyone else but me?
TinyMich: Danny solo! Song! Must itunes! Now!
Others either post longer, more thoughtful commentary, often reviewing the footage later from their DVRs:
The most consistent couple tonight for me was Pasha and Sabra. They
danced both pieces well, but I wasn’t really wowed by either one.
Despite Mary’s lack of criticism for Sabra in the Quickstep, she was
off balance and missing her footwork through the whole routine. It was
a well choreographed routine, even if it wasn’t tight enough for my
tastes. The Broadway piece was pretty darn good. I think that if it
were any other couple dancing these two routines they’d be gone next
week. I don’t think that’s the case here.
Mouth: Ok the only thing I hate is that people get all
angry at the idea of giving Lacey and Pasha a latin dance but plenty of
hip hop dancers get to dance hip hop and plenty of modern/contemp
dancers get to dance modern/contemp, so how would this be any
In fact, have they EVER gotten a dance style that was EXACTLY theirs? I know a lot of the other dancers did.
That said, I knew they wouldn’t do it.
Maybe if they make the finals, but even then it’s unlikely. They
don’t seem to want either of them to win, just to do well because they
are interesting "characters" for this show.
And that’s just the discussions on my little swing dance board. The official Fox.com discussion boards are getting hammered with rabid fans posting away. I can barely manage to look at the kinds of "OMG!" and "WTF!" and all the "!!!" posts. As my friend Mugsy says, it makes Yehoodi look like the Algonquin.
With technology what it is today, we can all be commenting along online with friends or strangers, watching bootleg footage on YouTube, blogging and twittering away. And it’s not just 13-year old girls. Lots of my 40+ friends are just as hooked.
"So You Think You Can Dance" and its ilk are so clever, understanding that all this background chatter on the internets is free marketing. They have online polls, "backstage" videos, catty recaps, along with their discussion boards on the official website.
Which as far as I’m concerned is all contributing to the greater good for dance as an artform. The show is exposing people to new forms of dance that they probably knew very little about (krumping, smooth waltz, paso doble, etc) and showcasing the finest talent in the art. The producers and judges have in large part refrained from embarassing or humiliating their "contestants" like you can see on other shows. The touring live version of SYTYCD is probably already sold out, or will be soon. It’s one slick, entertaining show that gets people to care about musicality, extension and form.
I’ll be sad when this season is over.