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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: A Chance to Dance

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I just heard about a new show that airs this Friday, 8/17 on Ovation called 'A Chance to Dance'. The premise is that dancers compete to earn 2 open spots in a nationally recognized company (contemporary?). I guess the judges/show are being introduced on SYTYCD tonight.


"Nigel Lythgoe, Co-Creator and Judge of So You Think You Can Dance is bringing you the next reality dance phenomenon. Are you a classically trained dancer?


Trailer for show if this link is allowed:


I heard that this is the last season for SYTYCD so they are probably looking for a replacement?! Should be interesting!

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If you have Comcast, the first episode is already up On Demand.

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This is the last season for SYTYCD??? I did not know that. I am depressed.

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I hadn't heard last season so let's not jump the gun unless we see that in print. I don't see A Chance to Dance as a replacement though, because it's set up is that the choreographers have 28 days to audition, choreograph and ready a group of dancers to perform for the Dizzy Feet Foundation Gala and open for the SYTYCD tour. I enjoyed the show, but wish the Ballet Boyz had a national platform to audition their dancers instead of going to 3 top Competition studios in Utah.

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For all Nigel, et al's admonitions to the SYTYCD contestants to 'get more training', all his shows tend to draw more from the competition dance circuit than the not. So . . . . perhaps if he had provided the Ballet Boyz with the opportunity to audition students at more technique-training schools, he could 'put his money where his mouth is' and really help educate the public on the more nuanced aspects of the dance forms that take serious slow-boil training (ballet, tap, particularly come to mind).

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My DD and I are extremely interested and excited about this show because one of the dancers at our (very small but very good) studio got through the audition process and is on the show. Of course we have no idea of how she ultimately did because she is not allowed to say, but she is shown in a moment of high drama in one of the trailers! We do think she came home too quickly to have made it through to the final cut, but who knows! For what it's worth, she is 100% ballerina - trained with the classical "slow boil" method, and on her way to the Indiana University ballet program with a scholarship this fall. So while I have no idea about any of the other participants in the show, I can say with certainty that at least one of them fits that profile!

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I am actually a Nigel fan. Competition dance is huge in the US right now and he is bold enough to put his money where his mouth is to support dance! Between SYTYCD, Dizzy Feet Foundation, National Dance Day and his other projects, he has helped dance become a relevant topic again. I think the new show is great advertising for classical dancers and training and will help educate the masses a little more. I don't think a purist attitude will survive the test of time. Audiences change and he is at least bringing a huge amount of awareness to the world about what is happening in the dance world. To treat ballet as purely an art form is not going to attract audiences and more specifically financial supporters. Developing an appreciation in the viewers for what it means to be classically trained, may help them become the ballet audiences for the next 25 years.

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We watched the show last night. Liked it a great deal. The Ballet Boys were very critical and did IMO want to see ballet as a solid foundation for the dance training. They were saying things I've always heard - such as they could tell when the dancer did not have a solid ballet foundation, they didn't like attitude, and they wanted to see emotion. they brought up interesting points about the differences in American vs. European dance. They were saying that where they were from, they audition in groups only, and would just have never had the nerve to do solos in front of people like that. A comment was made by someone, though I'm not sure who, that American dancers were 'trained for solos' (something new to me!). But the Boys were very open minded and trying to take talent into consideration. They will be going to only 2 other cities is what I saw - Austin and Washingon DC to get a total of 24 dancers. I have to admit I didn't quite understand how many dancers were being invited to NY, but in the end they will only use 12 for the show was my understanding. At any rate, we saw a girl my DD knows in the audition scene in Utah, and she got cut the first round. Not sure why she got cut. They did wind up inviting a ballerina to NY (she was on pointe for one of the rounds) so they did take ballet into consideration. I do think they were really looking for the right people to fill the spots and not limiting themselves to any one genre. I did not agree with all their choices, but I do like watching their process. They are fun to listen to, and I did enjoy the whole first show, except for the staged 'phone call' at the beginning.

And I certainly hope this is not the last season for SYTYCD!!! That would be terrible!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hope that a few more people were able to see last night's episode, which was filmed at Jacob's Pillow (stunning!). The show really is focused on the dancers and on creating choreography, and not on rivalries and drama. The two biggest "drama" moments last night were a dancer getting injured in a fall, and a different dancer's heart condition acting up - much more true to the art form, and familiar to me! And watching them coach and work with the dancers is fascinating to me, no matter how contrived the set-up is. Even my husband (who is completely allergic to reality TV and somewhat ignorant of dance in general) really enjoyed it and felt that he learned a lot!


I am hoping that the viewership is big enough that we see more of this type of show in the future! It's too bad it's on such an obscure cable channel.

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I like the show because the Ballet Boys are a combination of Gordon Ramsay(Kitchen Nightmares) and Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May (Top Gear/BBC). ddsbiggestfan, that may be why your husband also liked it!

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Just began watching this through our cable's on-demand programing. We are excited to watch the entire process unfold.


I am sure if there is a second season of this program, the audition numbers would be far different than this first season. Audition turnout seemed low and possibly under the mainstream dance radar, summer intensive auditions in our area draw larger audition numbers than they had auditioning in a couple of the cities they visited. Maybe this is the angle they wanted...makes the process more dramatic trying to find dancers up to the level they are looking for. Either way, enjoying the program!

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I missed the first show but saw the 2nd two and really enjoyed them. Thank goodness for DVRs so I can see the first one even though out of sequence.

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Funny my DVR wouldn't record it. A message "Ovation blocks recording of this Series" came up.

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The final 24 dancers' bios are online at: http://ovationtv.com/a-chance-to-dance/meet-the-dancers


Only a handful are actually ballet dancers, most are the SYTYCD variety of contemporary dancers from the competition circuit. On episode 3, one of the dancers was seriously slipping on stage in her socks. OK, why would she not take them off? I don't get the black menswear socks that contemporary dancers like to wear?


I have really enjoyed the show so far. Hopefully the full episodes will be available online at the ovationtv.com website.

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