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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Why Got To Dance Is My Favourite Dance TV Show

....& 'So You Think You Can Dance ?' is not

Fox's So You Think You Can Dance got renewed for a tenth season in the U.S a month ago. Season 9's ratings for the show were up compared to Season 8's overall by the end of the grand final.

I was a regular viewer of this programme from seasons 1-4, but during seasons 7 and 8, I was one of those people who tuned into the auditions and when it came to the live shows, I stopped watching after the first 2 eps of it. I am just not feeling this show as much as I did when it first debuted over 10 years ago.

How many times do we have to sit through the same dance routines and choreography performed every week in each season of So You Think You Can Dance?

Yes, Nigel and the producers decided to ditch the results show last season, but the results show is the least of my concerns; it is that of the lack of dance styles and quality of the performances that makes me question So You Think You Can Dance? as a series. 

The performances of the dancers during the last 2 seasons did not make me go 'wow'; and too much time the show was concentrating on the  judges comments, moreso than the dancing. 

I don't know if this is the direction the choreographers wanted to opt for, or whether this is Nigel Lithgoe's doing. Sorry to burst people's bubble, but it seems that contemporary and hip hop is all that is being plugged on this show. Where is the variety? 

Well, the answer is the variety and styles of dance can be found in the British telly dance show 'Got To Dance'.

It's interesting that there was a U.S version of Got To Dance titled 'Live To Dance', which paled into comparison to its British counterpart, that flopped badly in the ratings. It was a shame it ended prematurely because had it had a better panel of judges, a better host and the atmosphere was more lively and the audience weren't silent most of the time, it would've stood a proper chance against 'So You Think You Can Dance?'.

Also, a similar thing happened with the U.K version of 'So You Think You Can Dance?'; it was a reversal of fortune for that series in Britain; a major hit in the U.S but British audiences didn't warm up to the show and its format. As a result, it struggled in the ratings, especially when it went up against Got To Dance and ITV1's Britain's Got Talent, and got trounced by it, and was later axed by BBC1, who later replaced 'So You Think You Can Dance?' with The Voice. 

People have cited one of the reasons for So You Think You Can Dance's cancellation in the U.K is that many of us Brits aren't interested in dance. That is not entirely true- there are people who want to watch dance and dance shows on TV. Take Got to Dance: people are tuning in, even though numbers aren't as big as they should be. 

The problem with U.K's So You Think You Can Dance, was the overall format that bored people. If you want to cater something like dance to the masses, you need to do it in a way that makes it easily accessible by EVERYONE. 

The judges on U.S's So You Think You Can Dance are all right;  Mary Murphy's not bad, though I can understand why people find her irritating, Nigel Lithgoe is okay as well. Famous choreographer Debbie Allen is a great mentor, and as a fan of hers, I feel she is better off on a dance show where she is a judge and can form an opinion on dancers of every age and of every style, rather than be a mentor and made to offer critique and feedback on dancers who are 20 -something or above with a professional or experienced dance background. As she owns a dance studio that has dancers as young as say 6 years old, her advice to the little boys and girls dancing on a show similar to say a dance equivalent to America's Got Talent, would be invaluable. I like -rather than love 'So You Think You Can Dance? ' when she is on, but not so much when she isn't.

As for the other judges, Mia Michaels is all right, but the rest I could care less for.

I look at So You Think You Can Dance and all these dancers taking part in the show and these dance routines; these dancers are well trained, well prepared, have good technique and so on. Yet are all made to dance in a particular style, - and sometimes that style just doesn't fit the performance. I can sort of understand the challenge of making dancers dance in that one style- mostly contemporary - but as a TV show, contemporary is not necessarily considered by many as 'exciting' as a spectacle. Got To Dance has contemporary dancers, but the performances are slightly more interesting to watch because they tend to spice up the style a little. But on 'So You Think You Can Dance?' that is rarely the case.

I love Got to Dance more than So You Think You Can Dance- in fact, I have enjoyed the former so much more, ever since it debuted on Sky than Fox's So You Think You Can Dance's previous 3 seasons. The variety and diversity of dance styles, the varying ages of dancers from say 6 years old to 60 something, the judges, the host Davina McCall (I like Cat Deeley as the host of SYTYCD, but personally speaking for me, Davina has the better presenting chops overall), the backdrop and setting of the show is so glamourous, the audiences enthusiasm towards looking forward to the performances is great.

And though it looks more glitzy than the (defunct) British 'So You Think You Can Dance?'; the dance performances are far better, breathtaking, mesmorising and at times jaw dropping than what the latter show has had.

Regarding the U.S version of  'So You Think You Can Dance?', I think it would be for the best to call it quits on this series after the 10th season.

All TV series run its course the longer it remains on air; the phrase 'the best is yet to come' does not apply to a show such as 'So You Think...'; it's well past its prime and I think viewers want something different.

Got to Dance, on the other hand, has a good future ahead of it; currently it is in its fourth series (season for those in the U.S), and I can see it go on, perhaps past series 10 - as long as it sticks to the current format and the performances are great, and that it still has Davina as host. I think if (and when) she decides to quit presenting Got to Dance, then I'll be worrying for the show's future slightly.

If there is one problem with Got To Dance, it is that it is on Sky One- not everyone has Sky One, and had it been on say ITV1 for example, the ratings will be much bigger and I for one, would be able to tune into the show much easily.

But regardless, it's Got To Dance that gets my vote as my favourite dance show over 'So You Think You Can Dance?'.... dance is not just for budding and experienced dancers attending dance school you know, but dance is for everyone. And that is one message Got to Dance is rightly promoting over say So You Think You Can Dance's main 'if - you- are- classically- trained - at- contemporary- dance, or- a awesome- hip- hop- dancer- mantra, then- you- are- considered- as- a - dancer-  in- our- books'. 

Which is not ideal really.

Sorry 'So You Think You Can Dance?', but I think your time is well and truly up. 


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