There are many dancing contests in the United States and around the world. Some competitions are professional, some are amateur and others more athletic. They all have one thing in common, passion. So You Think You Can Dance is not the only dance competition around.
The creators of Fox Network’s American Idol, are also the creators of So You Think You Can Dance. Both shows have been equally successful, as most of Dick Clark Productions have been. American Idol has been around for 14 seasons, and So You Think You Can Dance has been for 12 seasons. These shows have had some terrific performers and performances.
Another popular television program is ABC’s Dancing With The Stars; the format is similar to So You Think You Can Dance, in that each week winners advance. In other ways, the programs are different. For example, So You Think You Can Dance has amateur performers and in the ABC show there is one professional on each team. ABC just announced that the program was nominated for more than one Primetime Emmy Awards. To the network’s credit, Dancing With The Stars just completed its 20th season.
Elsewhere in the U.S. there is a small troupe of World Champion Irish Dancers. The team from Chicago’s Trinity Academy of Irish Dance is young. Specifically, there are 18 team members and their ages range between 10 and 13. Presently, they are too young to compete on So You Think You Can Dance. Until they’re of age, they will be competing against other Irish Dance teams.
Last year (2014), these girls competed in the Irish Dancing World Championships in London. There were 5,000 other dancers in attendance with 31 different countries represented. Classified as the Chicago troupe, they competed competed in the “13-and-under girls choreography division.” The girls from Trinity Academy of Dance took first place. The World Championship win was number 17 for the Academy.
So You Think You Can Dance is not the only Dance competition around. In April this year there was an entirely different kind of dancing competition in Beijing, China. It is called the “World Pole Dance Championship.” The men and women in this contest never perform in a shady nightclub. The music, lighting effects and colorful costuming are eye-catching and add depth to a real athletic form of dancing. The first World Championship Pole Dancing Competition was in 2005. Their mission was to change the perception of professional pole dancers. Presently, it is considered a sport even though it is called dance. There is a desire among these performers that Pole Dancing (of this type) should be an olympic event.
The U.S.A. Dance’s mission “is to improve the quality and the quantity of ballroom dancing.” The organization holds the task of education to be necessary. They are educating the public about ballroom dancing’s ability to “enhance a person’s physical and mental well-being.” Their educational programs target all age groups “from pre-school to seniors.”
As far as competition goes, U.S.A. Dance has a division called DanceSport. These are local and regional dance competitions. The regional is also called National Qualifying Events. The next level is the U.S.A. Dance National DanceSport Championships. At this level “dancers from pre-teen to seniors 55+ compete” in their varying divisions and proficiency levels. From there, the United States’ World Teams are chosen. The World Teams represent the U.S. at the “WDSF World DanceSport Championships and World Games.”
Since So You Think You Can Dance contestants are dancers from all disciplines and backgrounds it is likely participants have trained through these various organizations or similar programs.
There is another group not often considered dancers per se. These groups are cheerleaders and drill teams. Team members compete at the local and national levels for titles. They hail from young non-professional to professional levels of expertise. All of these are examples which suggest that So You Think You Can Dance is not the only Dance competition around.
By Cathy Milne
FOX: So You Think You Can Dance ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
abc: ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Has Been Nominated for The 67th Primetime Emmy Award
Medill reports Chicago: CHICAGO IRISH DANCING WORLD CHAMP CELEBRATES HERITAGE, COMMUNITY
Huffington Post: World Pole Dance Championship Brings Out Serious Athletes
USADance: Our National Mission
Feature Photo Credit Courtesy of SnapperCR29’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Photo Credit Courtesy of Gary Wilmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License