So You Think You Can Criticize?

Over at our favorite local arts blog, Another Bouncing Ball, Regina Hackett takes apart dance critics who sling mud at popular dance TV shows that they haven't actually watched (much).

This is me quoting Regina quoting Alastair McCauley (the dance critic at the New York Times and, as Regina points out, the only full-time dance critic employed at an American newspaper):

"The little I see of 'So You Think You Can Dance' and 'Strictly Come Dancing' [the British TV dance competition] tends to put me off watching more; the camera angles seldom help you judge footwork; the whole climate feels manipulative; and the dances themselves aren't those I'd want good performers to learn..."

You can read McCauley's whole piece, which is chiefly concerned with what he considers the degradation of ballroom dancing into something closer to dirty dancinghere.

I know we've got some serious dancers and some lovers of SYTYCD out there (and maybe, just maybe, some serious dancers who love SYTYCD? Do you exist?) What do you think? Do shows like SYTYCD and Dancing With The Stars help make dance more accessible to a new generation, or do they disgrace the form? Comments please.

- Holly A.
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