Sunday, July 08, 2012

Since we've been left in a SYTYCD-less lurch this week, we might as well take another sneak peek at the Cat Deeley Cross Cultural Comedy Hour.

And in grand vaudevillian fashion, it starts off with the highest form of comedy, IMPRESSIONS. Hark:

Reese Witherspoon!

Evan Kasprzak!

(Note the shrug, A+++.)

And finally, a contestant with long-term prospects on SYTYCD!

Wuh oh:

Don't let her sunny disposition fool you: Cat is a gangster on the buzzer.

But leaving aside the fun and games, reader Daniel offers some quick yet valuable firsthand insight into some of the characteristics of competition circuits that have come to define SYTYCD:
I competed for eight years back when I started dancing, and I was never even given the chance to choreograph my own solos. But it isn't so much that they hire choreographers (although this does happen), as that you compete with your studio, and your dance teacher choreographs your solos. [...] The scoring for competitions, however, is more subjective than you think. It isn't like figure skating at the Olympics, where you are required to do a certain number of "elements" and get docked points if you fail them. Depending on the competition, you get judged on a numerical basis on different categories: Technique, Musicality, Performance, etc. etc.
Daniel goes on to address ballroom:

Also, as I still have some toes in the dance world, I can say that SYTYCD does not have a good reputation in the ballroom world. In fact, the really great ballroom dancers are no longer auditioning because the show is supremely unfair to them, so the show has to fill in with sub-par ballroom dancers and even more contempo kids. 
Not to mention ballroom dancers who are barely out of high school. The state of ballroom on SYTYCD is particularly sad because it's mostly an innocent bystander in the show's campaign to kill off all other styles contemporary machinery (which in turn makes Iveta's multi-season chase to be on the show that much more poignant and sad). The non-contemporary styles are included as a matter of lazy tokenism, and particularly since the sixth season, the dancers in these styles are eliminated at a disproportionately fast rate until the competition is filled only with contemporary and jazz dancers, plus the lone hip-hop dancer allowed to reach the tour cutoff point after his (and I do mean "his") fellow hip-hoppers had been eliminated weeks before.

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