For most of my life summer has been associated with dance-- from dance competitions when I was younger, to So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) on TV beginning in my mid-20s, and on this blog. This past summer it felt to me like dance was everywhere on TV, not unlike the summer of 2014 when there were also six dance shows on my DVR.
- SYTYCD- Just like in 2014, the winner (Lex Ishimoto) was pretty much a foregone conclusion from his first audition, but this was a really lovely season to watch. Several of the girls were great and the group numbers (especially with the All Stars) were very strong. This middle-aged lady, oddly, became all shippy about the relationship between Taylor and Lex as well...
- World of Dance- A new addition to dance shows this year and I doubt it will come back. The convoluted structure resulted in an unsatisfactory result (I thought). There were many SYTYCD crossovers, from dancers to competitors, but there was a link between Taylor (pictured above) and my favorite, Eva Igo. Both attend the same dance studio- Larkin! Must be something in that Minnesota water.
- Dance Moms- Notice that none of these top dancers have ever been on any iteration of Dance Moms. I've written before that I feel obligated to watch this show, but honestly the formula and the yelling had gotten so bad that I started fast forwarding a lot of it. Not true this season (Season *7*, how is that even possible?!). With Abby Lee Miller's legal troubles the whole format and show have been transformed, and for the better. The new teachers/choreographers make things interesting and t's fascinating to see these dancers take on new styles. And it must be said that I have loved Laurie Ann Gibson since Making the Band 3, so I love seeing some boom kack on my screen again.
- Bring It- Remember what I said about Dance Moms getting so formulaic I fast forwarded a lot? Well, I can now say that's how I feel about this other dance series on Lifetime. Which is a shame, because it had been more interesting in the past. (Wish Hit the Floor came back this summer, but I can hope soon!)
- So Sharp- This was basically my favorite show of the summer. The "girls" are older (all of them are in college, dancing as a Lousiville Ladybird). The coach, Todd Sharp, is clearly a fascinating character. The built-in dramatic arc of a national championship (the only competition we saw thankfully) and college worked well, and seeing so much practice put the attention on dancing and relationships. This show regularly made me laugh out loud (like, after seeing him do a very girly dance routine, Todd declares that anyone who sees him dancing should, "Consider yourself blessed."). He takes himself seriously, but with a wink and a nod. of course there is also some other dance show crossover, as there must be. Jill Vertes, mother to mom Kendall on Dance Moms, is also mom to Ryleigh on So Sharp (another older daughter also danced for Louisville). I wonder if we will see Kendall on this team in a few years? It would be good sign for her to go to college considering all the homeschooling the Dance Moms girls do now...
- Making the Team: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders- I'm late to this bandwagon, but I am all in now. I watched Season 11 on my iPad and was fascinated for so many reasons (more on that another time). This current season has quickly become one of my must-watch shows. The whole cult of the Cowboys, and this team, is compelling to watch. With some many contestants it's hard to keep track of everyone (but I do get bummed when a multi-season competitor gets cut), and I now sense there is *so much* behind the scenes drama that I kind of desperately want more of (examples: Holly P. leaving the team [the redhead pictured below] and an audition favorite who was spotlighted, who danced for Louisiana and had dark hair that "needed a makeover", just not at training camp and no mention of her ever again). The multi-generational ties is also really interesting as well...* I wonder what dance shows the summer of 2018 will bring!*