In the past couple years, several dance shows started airing on national television. So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy open up
In what ways do you think So You Think You Can Dance differs from the other dance shows out there?
Nigel Lythgoe: It’s pretty obvious – I don’t know any other dance show out there that deals with all of the different genres of dance as we do. I don’t know any other dance show that shows the choreography in the way that we show it or the choreographers. I also don’t know any other dance show that deals with the public. We have kids – ordinary kids, and some who came from the streets – who want to become professional dancers. The other dance shows are based on one genre – just hip hop or just ballroom. We also have real talent.
Mary Murphy: It’s all done with extraordinary dancers. There’s not a professional paired with an amateur. It’s not just amateur-amateur. These are all dancers that are going to make it their life. This is something that they have a true passion for. They haven’t been asked to do it just to lose weight or to advance their career. This is their life. Whether this show was on the air or not, dancers will dance just about anywhere because they feel the need that they have to. So when you have such commitment and such passion, I think it is so very different then any dance show out there, and the fact that we’re asking them to switch from one dance style to the next is incredibly difficult. I’ve tried it myself and I can tell you once you get your body moving into a specific way, it doesn’t really want to change. It’s very hard and we ask them to do it in 5.5 hours. They go from hip hop to Quickstep. A ballroom dancer may have to dance hip hop and a jazz dancer may have to dance Krump. It’s unbelievable and it never ceases to amaze me that a lot of the dancers seem to pull it off at a fairly professional rate. Every once in a while, a dancer like Brandon and Janette do an Argentine Tango that looks as good as any Argentine Tango dancers you’ve ever seen in the world.