They are not just dancers. The contestants on the great TV dance competitions this summer, “World of Dance” on NBC and “So You Think You Can Dance” on FOX, should be praised as tremendous athletes. You can also include the dancers who are performing on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” who are put in the mix with singers, plus extreme and crazy performers.
It is impressive to see the beauty and grace in their moments explode into emotional storytelling, and how they take your breath away when they soar through the air with leaps that defy gravity.
There are many different forms of dance styles and all are used to dazzle the audiences and judges on the competition shows. NBC’s exciting Season Two of World of Dance airs Tuesday nights following America’s Got Talent. The World of Dance judges, Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and Ne-Yo, have a passion for dancing, as does lovely Jenna Dewan who takes on the duties of host and mentor. The series has brought elite international dancers together to compete in epic battles of artistry, precision, and athleticism to win a million-dollar prize.
Jennifer Lopez also serves as an executive producer and reports that she is proud to produce “something that is so close to my heart. I am so happy that World of Dance has resonated with audiences and we are able to put dancers on the pedestal they deserve. I cannot wait to continue this journey and my partnership with NBC.” Lopez also stars and produces the Peacock Network’s cop drama Shades of Blue, currently airing its final season Sunday nights.
Lopez calls World of Dance, “Super-inspiring. You know, I love dance at such a core level, and I always consider myself a dancer kind of first, because I became a singer and an actress after I was a dancer. That was the first thing my mom put me in when I was 5- years-old. That was my first form of artistic expression so for me it’s so part of who I am. To watch the really young dancers and the seasoned couples dancing together, it just reminds me of all of the reasons why I love dancing, why I wanted to do this in the first place.”
Dancer and Emmy-winning choreographer from Dancing With the Stars, Derek Hough reports that the bar for the world class competition has been raised this year. “It’s scary sometimes. Audiences will see death-defying moves and stunts that are happening. There are injuries. This is a real thing. That’s why we (the judges) are so invested as well because we understand the toll it takes on your body, your life. You dedicate your life to this art form, and these dancers are risking it all.”
The storytelling will be extraordinary too. Hough explains, “World of Dance is so much more than a show about dancing. This show has so much heart.”
On Fox, the 15th edition of the Emmy-winning So You Think You Can Dance airs Monday nights. This season, highly skilled dancers between the ages of 18-30 are showcasing their talents in various dance styles, including contemporary, tap, hip-hop, ballroom, animation, breaking and more. Executive producer and creator of the show is Nigel Lythgoe who also is a judge along with the ultra-enthusiastic Mary Murphy and actress-singer-dancer Vanessa Hudgens (of High School Musical fame). Cat Deeley hosts.
Lythgoe said, “I am so excited for the 15th season of So You Think You Can Dance because the talent we are seeing has been raised to the highest level we have ever seen.” As the competition advances, the top dancers are selected to move on to the SYTYCD studio and work with world-renowned choreographers and compete in a variety of styles each week for America’s votes. Contestants will be eliminated weekly until a winner is named the Favorite Dancer on the season finale.
Derek Hough gives credit to all the dance shows for helping to educate audiences about performances, the different styles, and the skills needed to be a great dancer, so there is greater appreciation for dancers. Tune in and enjoy these amazing athletes.
Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association, has written for a variety of top publications for more than 35 years and was half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.