So You Think You Can Dance? - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Thursday, August 23, 2018

So You Think You Can Dance?

It’s 3:47pm, and Rihanna’s “Only Girl” is blasting through Stage 36 at CBS Studios Los Angeles. On this mundane Monday afternoon, hundreds of middle-aged moms and grandmothers have their children in tow, for a live taping of FOX’s dancing sensation show, So You Think You Can Dance. The cameras are slated to officially start rolling at 5:05pm, but in the meantime, Rih Rih is keeping the crowd grooving.

If you’ve ever witnessed a live taping of any show before you’d know all the TV magic, and then some that go into the madness. At around 4:15 the eight dancers that were still left standing: Jensen Arnold, Jay Jay Dixonbey, Darius Hickman, Cole Mills, Slavik Pustovoyto, Magda Fialek, Genessy Castillo, and Magda Fialek all performed a snippet of their respective routines. These small dance steps are used for their solo fillers during the show. The brief shooting marks the first time the audience gets to see the dancers onstage. But these small solos aren’t shot in real time—they are later added onto the show.

When the real live taping finally happens, host Cat Deeley finally arrives looking stunning in a red dress. The audience coordinator instructs the crowd to remain silent, as she begins to read from the teleprompter. After the judges: Vanessa Hudgens, Nigel Lythoe, Mary Murphy and Stephen “tWitch” Boss are brought out on stage, and the crowd erupts into joyous praise.

Soon after, small interview style segments are seen on the two monitors onstage showcasing each of the dance partners as they practice their routines. First up, is Jay Jay and Jensen with a choreographed sexy jazz piece choreographed by Sean Cheesman. With a brown-looking leather couch in the center of the stage, the two made created a sensual number that had the crowd oozing. After their set and some well-earned praise from the judges, the show went into commercial break.

During these brief pauses, production staff quickly cleans up the residue onstage, and either leaves it blank or presents the next set design for the upcoming performance. For most of the show, the crowd surprisingly stays on their seats. It’s amazing to think that the space we’ve all inhabited as spectators, is miniscule compared to the gigantic stage you see while watching the show in your living rooms.

Yet it’s a magical experience being there in the present, as everything is unfolding and being created. The set for So You Think You Can Dance feels like you're inside a spaceship navigating through the solar system. Little white lights dotted everywhere look like shooting stars, and neon lights that read: So You Think You Can Dance mark their territory towards the back. Another point is that the judge's table is nestled in an adjacent corner that faces the stage; unless you’re on top at the sides of the stage you’re mostly facing their backs. For some reason, I thought the whole audience would get a view.

Amid all the flashing lights, this is a competition. After each duet and group dance among the young men and women, Magda and Cole were voted off. What makes it worse, is that their families and supporters were right in the audience—but, hey this is show business. Let's see what happens to the top six next week. Who are you rooting for? 

#dance #FOX # SoYouThinkYouCanDance

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