Monday, May 13, 2013

So You Think You Can Choreograph?

Do y'all know what starts TOMORROW?  Huh, do ya?

So You Think You Can Dance!!!!!  -aka my all-time-favorite reality tv show.  (Sorry, Heidi.  It's not that I prefer Cat Deely to you- I don't- it's just that I prefer dance to fashion.)

While I love meeting so many talented dancers every season, the real appeal to the show, for me, is the choreography.  I've never 100% been on board with the fact that it's the hunt for America's *favorite* dancer- you know, the most charming guy with the cutest smile or the girl with the quirkiest facial expression and most emotional back-story- because it detracts from what this is supposed to be- a dance competition.  I understand why the show is set up that way, though.  I mean first of all, most audience members calling and texting in their votes know nothing about dance technique and just like with American Idol (or, you know, American politics), when the general population votes for someone, the best person for the job won't be chosen, but, rather, the one who's most able to charm their way into your heart.  And, for that matter, since this show is ultimately about getting a job for these dancers, it is rather true-to-life that the best dancer doesn't always win- because auditions are about standing out in some way to the judges, and that doesn't always mean having the best technique.

In my opinion, the people that deserve the most credit for getting the winners into the finale are the choreographers.  Especially early in the season, when the audience doesn't know much about the contestants, most people are likely to vote for the dancers in the routine that entertained them the most.  And while those dancers must work hard to execute those routines properly, the choreographers must create something that is inherently entertaining- movements that connect the dancers to their audience, to the music, to the story that they're telling.  (Not that every piece has to tell a literal story, but again, when your audience is not composed of typical dance connoisseurs, it's easier for them to connect to two characters acting out a scene.)  For me, the choreographers are the reason I keep coming back to this show.

So, I thought I'd have some fun in this little corner of the blogosphere this week by pairing up some of my favorite SYTYCD choreographers with music that I think they could create magic with.

Dave Scott - hip-hop (group number) - Can't Hold Us Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

The first time I heard this song- on one of those Microsoft Outlook commercials- my first thought was, "This would make a great group routine on SYTYCD..."  (Okay, so I'm a bit obsessed.  Whatever.)  But seriously- it's fun and energetic, and a routine of 10 or 20 dancers that really fills the stage would be the perfect translation of this song into movement.  I prefer Dave Scott's group numbers- like Warrior from season 6:

Sonya Tayeh - jazz (girl group number) - I Love It Icona Pop

This song has to make an appearance at some point on the show, if only because it's just so upbeat and quirky and...weird.  You know who else is upbeat and quirky and weird?  Sonya Tayeh, obviously.  And while I love Sonya's couples pieces, I think this song is suited to a girls group routine (because for some reason it feels a little "girl power" to me.  Anyone?  No?  Okay.) and she's worked magic with those routine's in the past, like for the girls of Season 8:

Tabitha and Napoleon - lyrical hip hop - Just Give Me a Reason P!nk ft. Nate Ruess

OK first of all, I adore this song.  I'm not always the biggest fan of Pink (has she always spelled her name with an exclamation point?) but the way her and Nate's voices harmonize is just magic.  And this one is just a no brainer- a hip hop routine about relationship issues?  Obviously only one fantastic choreography duo fits the bill for this.  Of course you remember Bleeding Love:

Tony Meredith and Melanie Lapatin - jive - Rock This Town The Stray Cats

I've gotta show some love to the ballroom choreographers on this show, too.  And while I'd prefer to just call this style of dance "swing", the producers are all fancy and call it "jive."  (Which I guess is technically accurate for the way they perform it on the show.)  This song is on my personal swing dancing playlist, and I'm surprised it hasn't been used on the show yet.  If anyone could put together an awesome routine for it, though, it would obviously be Tony and Melanie :)

Doriana Sanchez - disco - Cosmic Girl Jamiroquai

I will forever and always associate this song with the opening credits of the movie Center Stage, my all-time-favorite movie.  That said, it boggles my mind that this song has never been used on SYTYCD- I realize disco isn't the most common dance style on the show, but it always provides a challenge for the dancers in terms of speed, precision, showmanship, and athleticism, and if they pull it off, the disco routine is the most entertaining of the evening.

Mandy Moore - jazz - Killer Queen Queen

I love Mandy Moore's awesome 80s jazz routines- and she seems to have a thing for Queen songs, so I'd love to see her have a go at one of my favorite Queen songs!

That's all for this post- check back on Wednesday for some more of my SYTYCD fantasy picks!

Are you going to watch the first round of auditions for this season of So You Think You Can Dance tomorrow night?  Who is your favorite SYTYCD choreographer?  What's your all-time-favorite SYTYCD routine?

Much love,
The Geeks


  1. Ugh favorite routine?! You can't narrow them down to one! A few that I've loved... Kherington & tWitch "Dreaming With a Broken Heart," Katie & tWitch "Mercy," Chelsie & Mark "Beautiful," and Travis & Heidi "Bench Dance." Oh, and anything Melanie did in season 8.

    Basically, I think Mia Michaels needs to come back because I <3333 her. And I really don't like Mandy Moore that much, I just don't connect with her or her choreography at all.

    1. Mia is definitely the best choreographer the show has ever had, hands down. All my favorite routines are Mia routines :D I like Mandy's pieces because they're classic *jazz*- like the classes I took growing up. They're stylized but it's still basic technique that every good dancer *should* know. What can I say, I'm a sucker for the classics :D

  2. Oh, and I love Travis Wall too. Everything he does.

  3. Everything Melanie did. One of my favorites was Lauren Froderman and Billy Boyd (?) doing Mandy Moore's "Boogie Shoes" dance. It was just so cute and smily. Travis Wall is one of my faves, especially Melanie and Marko's "Turn to Stone" that opened Season 8. BUT OMG, so many! Let me think... tWitch and Katie "Mercy", Mark and Chelsie "Bleeding Love", Jeanette and Brandon Wade Robson's "Thief" piece, Mia's "Gravity", Lauren Froderman's "At Last" solo. SO many!

    1. Oh I loved 'Boogie Shoes'! And yeah it's way too hard to pick just *one* all-time-favorite routine, isn't it? :D