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SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (SYTYCD) – Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Random Thoughts.

Auditions ended this week in Salt Lake City. Fortunately, the city came across pretty well, at least better than last time SYTYCD came to town. Back then, the dancer human-interest profiles all seemed to reinforce Utah stereotypes with young contestants already married and with multiple children. Utah is more than that.
There was some interesting talent at the Utah audition. I liked Brian the red haired break dancer, whose body was able to bounce off the floor like a rubber ball. Dance has that amazing ability to allow us to see the body in ways we never have before, and he did, doing the seemingly impossible. On the other hand I again have a hard time watching abuse to the body – slamming the body down and putting joints and skeleton in compromised positions they were never really meant to be in.
I also liked the woman in the orange top. She was incredibly strong, but what I appreciated about her dance routine was that the gymnastic based tricks were well integrated into the whole dance. Often you can see a trick coming from a mile away; they can break the continuity of the dance and serve more as a means to show off than show dance.
I think certain dance moves should be banned forever. I don’t want to see women pulling their legs up behind their back. It’s a contortionist act. Yes you can do it but so what and to what purpose? I also don’t want to see dancers dropping down onto their knees like hundred weight cannonballs. Why is this “cool”? Why is it fun to watch someone damage his or her body?
I liked the blond ballroom dance woman. I felt she danced with tremendous abandon and effortlessness. I get excited watching dancers surrendering to the moment, dancing on the edge of control, but never letting things get away from them.

I haven’t much to say about Las Vegas; I’m now waiting to get down to the final twenty. The show though did remind me that SYTYCD has an age minimum of 18 to audition. I appreciate that. Dancing, as an art, is a mature activity, requiring life experience, training, and a developed sense of self to enrich and inform one’s dancing. The poise that some of these dancers demonstrate amazes me. I can’t image myself at their age being so mature and in control.
I do feel bad for those first round dancers who were eliminated. It must be a hard blow to be sent home after only one minute of dancing in front of the judges. Dancers must always be able to balance the joy of dancing with disappointments and rejection. Not easy.