OCD TV: “So You Think You Can Dance”

You know what show I can’t stand? “Dancing With The Stars.” Ugh. Just the thought of its pandering smarminess nauseates me, and if you feel the same way, I have good news. To counteract the feeling of disgust that lingers a week after the “Dancing With The Stars” sugary, tacky finale, there is “So You Think You Can Dance,” and the answer is yes. Not for me, personally. I’m fine dancing with friends at parties and doing a bit o’ robot every so often, but I can’t Dance. Note the capital D.

I caught the show last season after “American Idol” finished and since it’s from the same creators, the set-up is almost identical. It’s a simple formula and it works; auditions with really ridiculous people just trying to get on television and people whose raw talent makes me feel incredibly insignificant in the boogie-woogie department. There are three judges; a “mean” British guy, one stupidly freaky woman and then the third rotates through different choreographers whom I’ve never heard of because I never thought about choreographers long enough to remember a name except for Bob Fosse because his name gets stuck in front of show titles. Phew. There is also the host, Cat Deeley, who talks to everyone as though they are 5-years old, including the viewing audience, but she’s hot, so no one seems to mind.

P.S. That girl has a great hair stylist.

So you think you’re done reading? Wrong. There’s more after the jump…

But what really got my attention last season were the dancers. I suppose because I really don’t know much about dance and never really cared either, watching these contestants was a whole new experience. I was in awe of their flexibility, grace and the ability to jump really high. I have none of these qualities. I am as flexible as a plank of wood, can jump about half a foot off the ground, and then land like an elephant. A good friend once said to me, “When you come over, it’s like a tornado came through the house,” since I had walked in, gone to the bathroom, pulled the sink an inch out of the wall trying to turn the faucets on the wrong way and then tripped down the stairs knocking over a pile of carefully-sorted magazines in my rush to tell them I had broken their whole upstairs. Call me Sarah Van Dyke. Actually, don’t.

So you can see why I am so impressed by dancers with poise and grace–they have what I haven’t got. Not to mention energy! They must eat a lot of Power Bars. The only dancing that I find strange and somewhat annoying is the ballroom dancing. It’s so weird! They have these bizarre frozen smiles on their faces half the time and their upper bodies look all stiff, but their legs are moving in fast motion. It’s just creepy! I know it’s really difficult but ewww, it makes me feel funny to watch. Dancers also tend to wear really tacky clothes while performing, second only to ice skaters. I get that they need to be able to move in them and also reflect the dance, but do they have to always look like they’re wearing Barbie clothing from 1985?

Looking back, I think that the moment when I truly realized dancing in any formal capacity was just not going to happen was when I saw the reflection of the whole dance class in a big mirror. It was a tap class (I had already given up on ballet and was really enjoying all the noise I could make with tap shoes) and we had to wear a purple leotard and matching tights. I looked at the reflection and thought, oh, I am a grape. I was only seven at the time, but even then I knew that girls like me who were already taller and weighed more than the boys, did not belong in leotards, no matter what the color. So I traded my leotard for jodhpurs, took up horse riding and found the 1500-pound animals a much better match.

I am really looking forward to “So You Think You Can Dance” this season, especially after a lackluster “American Idol.” It’s so much fun when the dancers have to try different styles, from tough-guy breakers doing hilarious interpretive dance, to prissy male ballroom dancers krumping. So, check out “So You Think You Can Dance,” Wednesday and Thursday nights on FOX. I’ll be watching too, and avoiding wearing anything that even comes close to purple. Except for maybe a bruise.