Fox has picked up one of my faves, So You Think You Can Dance, for a twelfth season – but when things roll around next summer, they won’t be the same show I’ve always known and loved. According to a press release from Fox, the show’s been revamped to a new “stage vs. street” format. Here’s the official word on how they’re shaking things up:
Throughout the auditions, the dancers who advance will be placed into two teams – the STAGE dancers, featuring those trained in styles such as contemporary, ballet, jazz or tap; and the STREET dancers, hopefuls skilled in hip-hop, animation or breaking. As the auditions continue, the judges, along with each team’s All-Star Mentor, will eliminate dancers until only the Top 20 – 10 Street Dancers and 10 Stage Dancers – remain. When the competition goes “live,” the Top 20 will be challenged weekly to perform a variety of styles, working with world-renowned choreographers. One dancer from each genre will be eliminated each week leading up to the Season Finale. Who will win…a dancer from the stage or the street?
I am…cautiously optimistic about this change. Let’s say I’m very cautious. It might not be a bad thing, though I don’t really feel it’s necessary. I know a show fears going stale after 12 years on air, but if it ain’t broke, you know?
On the one hand, this new format may eliminate a lot of the cringe-worthy early numbers, where animators are forced to do Broadway and ballet dancers struggle through a dirty hip hop routine. Then again, I can see this going very bad, very easily – why pit two styles against each other like this when it’s all dance? I don’t like the idea of calling jazz or tap “high art,” and hip hop or krumping “street” in such a clear-cut, definitive way. There’s a weird cultural/classist undertone to the theme that makes me uncomfortable. But hey, maybe I’m just thinking about it too much and it won’t be like that at all. What do you think – are you excited about the new format, or do you think they should keep the show as is?