Dance Fever Week 5 Discussion Thread

Round A
V & Cat - Hip Hop (IL)
Robin Ray and David Elkin - Theater Arts (TN)
Jennifer Willemet - Freestyle (LA)
Burst Rock - Hip Hop Mime (Long Beach, CA)

Round B
Funk & Fusion(Jason Carter, Dana Garcia, Shamar Valdez) - Hip Hop
Next - Club Freestyle
Latin Rhythms - Mambo
Maude Jo Baczynski - Tap


Staff member

This week’s results were totally atrocious!

Every other week I have understood why the judges made the decisions they did. This week is the first time that I can’t help but think that the judges really don’t get partner dancing. The theatre arts couple in group one were, to my way of thinking, clear winners. Group two results were no better—the mambo couple got entirely gypped!

I understand all of the comments in previous week’s threads (Week 1, Week 2, Week3, Week 4) regarding this as a variety show vs. a true competition, but please…give me a break!
I second that Argh!

Jamie made a comment that really shows his partiality. When he gave his comments about Mambo Rhythms, it was someting like this (paraphrased):
You remind me of the Old School Dance Fever. You would have been really great.
So Jamie...I guess it's up to you to decide what the "New School" Dance Fever should be, right?

Not one single dance couple has won so far. Shall we define "New School" as any form of dancing that is not couple dancing?


Staff member
DanceMentor said:
Not one single dance couple has won so far. Shall we define "New School" as any form of dancing that is not couple dancing?
Tonight's the only night that really irks me. I thought a case could’ve been made last week for Kyle & Sarah, but also think that the Belles deserved their props. Tonight, however, was a totally different story. In my mind there was no competition for either of the couples in question (and Mambo Rhythms especially).

What a let down/travesty. Again, I get the idea of it being a variety show and not a competition, per se, but shouldn’t quality and overall skill of movement count for something? Similarly I honestly think that both the visual impact and the performance aspects of tonight’s couples surpassed that of their competitors. And, as much as I’m willing to admit that V & Cat and Funk & Fusion were good acts, there is no doubt in my mind that more people, with less training, could duplicate their acts vs. those of tonight’s partnered dancers.
I'm going to have to be the desenting opinion here.

I've never been a fan of dance theatre so I may be biased... but I always thought that some kind of dancing should be involved. The couple as smooth they were did nothing but a bunch of tricks. Seriousely they walked from trick to trick, the music was little more than window dressing for what any trained acrobat duo could surpass. Seriousely I've seen acrobats with far better tricks get dismissed from troupe auditions.

I found it very interesting in an intellectual sense but it didn't move me.

The mambo couple I thought was fair but I would have liked to have seen more complex syncopations/footwork from them. The body movement for the girl was grweat, the guy's was okay, but when they finally broke apart I was pretty bored over all. I assume at this point their music like anyone who isn't dancing to TOp 40 R&B/Pop charts music was redubbed, but even so they seemed to have little in the way of complexity and layering I expect in dancing to polyrhythmic music.
Well I guess I will put in my opinion since there seems to be a little bit of turmoil over this weeks decision. I honestly felt like this weeks contestants were weaker than the ones in past. I do feel like the couple dancers were better overall than the other dancers. I did feel like the ballroom couple was not as smooth in their transistions as I wanted them to be. I also felt like the mambo couple lost their energy midway through the routine. The female mambo dancer was stronger than the male and overdanced him on a number of sequences. The other groups were still not as strong as the couples. This weeks winners will be a serious contender to the overall championship.
I'm very much in support of the Clogger groups. They deserve to be in the finals.

Here are the main problems I have:
1) The criteria that is used to judge the couples. I doubt there is any documentation. The judges are pretty well free to develope their own methodology.
2) I've noticed in several comments the judges have made that have some degree of partiality toward some dancers.
3) Though this doesn't show any partiality by the judges, it's not a level playing field when it comes to the music that is aired on ABC. Was the decision to change the music made before or after the decision by the judges?
4) I don't believe any of the judges would qualify as being experts in partner dance. It's pretty well a known fact that judges tend to give better scores to people/styles they are familiar with.

As others have pointed out, this is far from a "true competition".
I agree


As others have pointed out, this is far from a "true competition"

I also agree. I knew from the moment I read that MC Hammer, Carmen Electra and little-known Jamie King were judges, that this was gonna be a "Star Search" style dance contest. But, my friends still decided to go audition. Luckily, the judges smiled upon clogging, but it wasn't really about that. It wasn't the money they were after either. It was finally getting a chance to show the world how we dance. Show the world what clogging really is. That was their mission.

Instead of celebrating dance and bringing people together, Dance Fever has lit a fire amongst dancers and split everyone apart. Now that I think about it, Dance Fever was a horrible idea. Is the chance to win $100,000 worth it if now the dance communites are more pissed-off than ever? Can many different dance styles ever co-exist on the same stage? Is it better for the cloggers to stay in their world, and the partner dancers to stay in their world? And the breakdancers to stay underground?

A multi-genre dance competition has never been done before... especially on TV. And it will probably never be done again, either. It's never been done, because it's impossible. ABC Family tried to make a fun little dance show to get a million people to watch their cable channel on Sunday nights... and instead it destroyed the dance community.

People are getting so upset that dancers "lose" on Dance Fever. But, dancers can "win" on 30 Seconds to Fame, when their only competition is a fire-eating, juggling midget. Is that winning? Some of the contestants on Dance Fever are national champions. Can you be a king outside of your kingdom?

Maybe Dance Fever should have the style of judging like on Star Search. You remember... where Ben Stein and Naomi Judd pick random "Stars" and assign them to the various contestants. Those stars have no criteria... only what they see at that moment. Ben Stein doesn't sing, and Naomi Judd doesn't dance... etc... Did the CBS messageboards light up after each episode of Star Search?

Any way you slice it, a fair battle between multiple dance styles is never gonna happen. But, for those who perform on Dance Fever, at least they get to list it as a national TV performance on their resume. And maybe that's all they wanted... instead of a phony crown.

Michael Scrip

Hey everybody,

Now that I have your attention... :) I wasn't being ugly in my previous post. I was just saying that all of the bad press that Dance Fever has generated among different styles of dance, it's not really a big deal after all. One month from now, we'll all go back to our dance communities and competitions, and do what we've always done. Dance Fever will be a memory. But I hope it taught us all a little about different styles of dance.

Instead of trying to compete against each other on TV talent shows... what can do to work together? Since there's no way to prove who's better in a competiton, let's combine our talents and create the best stage show ever! Tell the real story of dance, through our diverse dance backgrounds.

Mark and Brian from All That! and I went to Mars Hill College on clogging scholarships. The clogging team there was named the Bailey Mountain Cloggers. We've traveled the world sharing our Appalachian Folk Dance. We show the history of where it came from and where clogging is today. Every spring, the college puts on a stage show to tell the story. It combines music, dance, history and magic. Each year, we've added new elements to better tell the story.

I've competed clogging for 14 years. As a child, competitions were fun. We got a hotel room in another town, go out to eat, and see friends that you don't normally see. We paid to dance, and we basically bought trophies.

While I was at Mars Hill, we did competitions... but it was the exhibitions that really made me happy. We would do at least 2 shows a month, in our community, or travel in the Southeast to perform in any type of venue. We danced in schools, festivals, or even big conventions in front of thousands of people. Those shows made me feel the best.

Competition is necessary to keep you motivated to build better skills and techniques. But, I reached a point where it seemed silly to pay to dance in front of 5 judges.

At an exhibition, the smile I would get from a person in the front row was the only trophy I needed. That's what kept me motivated.

I'm excited to see my friends and roommate dancing on TV. But that's not the final moment. There's more than that. Dance Fever is just a stepping stone on the way to the next big thing.

We're all dancers. We dance because it's in our heart. Our common bond is that we all dance. Different styles... absolutely. We all have a gift, and we can't let a TV show alter our course in life.

Keep dancing,

Michael Scrip


Staff member
Hey Michael...I didn't take your last previous post as "ugly." But I also don't think that these "debates" are really pulling the different dance communities apart either. Its more just that we would like to see the various dance forms apreciated for what they are. Has any single act been perfect? No, of course not...but it would still be nice if all aproaches were given their due as equally legitimate forms of dance/art. Remember, up through this week I have supported the merits of the various "winners." I just wish the spotlight was being cast a little wider (but only when merrited, of course), that's all.

You're a great writer and we appreciate your posts on the Dance Forums. Anytime you want to tell us more about clogging, we're all ears (or should I say eyes).


Staff member
From Latin Rhythms!

Hi all,

I just wanted to take the time to share with you a really classy e-mail I got earlier today from Jorge Alvarez, of Latin Rhythms. He had read the comments here and sent me a very humble e-mail. I asked him if it would be OK to share his comments and here was his response:

Jorge Alvarez said:
Jonathan, sure it would not be a problem for you to share these comments with the forum. I gladly appreciate you took the time to read my e mail and write back.

I’m glad someone out there appreciated what we did on dance fever. We had fun either way and enjoyed ourselves in Las Vegas. If we could do it again we sure would, and wouldn’t change a thing because we felt we did everything we could. At that point it was just left up to the judges’ hands to decide who moves to the next round.

jorge alvarez
Now that’s class!
Thank you

Thank you DanceMentor,

I've never really thought of myself as a writer... but when it's something I'm passionate about, it's easy to write :)

Earlier I mentioned the Bailey Mountain Concert where we combined clogging with other types of dance. I will elaborate a little more here.

This year, the show was called "The Journey." It told the story of a girl named Layla who danced her whole life. The company she danced for never wanted to expand, and break barriers. So, she quit the company, and quit dancing altogether. Layla got a miserable office job, and quickly realized that she left her heart on the stage. She crawled back and begged for them to let her rejoin the cast.

Throughout the whole 90 minute production, the audience saw the historical side of clogging, in a re-created barn scene in the whole first half of the show. It was a celebration of traditional mountain clogging, complete with live music and a cast of 50 dancers.

After Layla came back to the company, she finally convinced the producer to let her help lead the show in a new direction. Then the show took off. Using live music, contemporary clogging and percussive dance, lyrical, waltz and other types of dance, "The Journey" came to life.

One of the nice things about the Bailey Mountain Cloggers is that it is a college dance company. There are many resources available at the college. This year, "The Journey" used the Mars Hill Jazz Band, Marching Band drumline and the college Step Team to help illustrate how music and dance is evolving. It was a spectacular production.

This year was the first time I had to sit in the audience and watch the show. I graduated in 2002 and Mark graduted in 2001 and we were proud to come back to Mars Hill and watch the legacy that we left behind. Mark and I were both sitting in the audience, and tears of joy filled our eyes as we watched such a beautiful celebration of music and dance. We're proud to be Mars Hill graduates.

During our time at Mars Hill College, we've had tons of memories. Maybe I should start a new thread and get alumni and some current BMC dancers to write in and tell some of their best memories of dancing at Mars Hill. We've definately had a unique college experience, having the opportunity to dance all over the world!

I realize that this has nothing to do with Week 5 of Dance Fever... but I promise I'll put my future posts in another thread. :)

Thank you all for listening,

Michael Scrip
Mars Hill College Alumni


Staff member
Re: Thank you

MScripClog said:
Maybe I should start a new thread and get alumni and some current BMC dancers to write in and tell some of their best memories of dancing at Mars Hill. We've definately had a unique college experience, having the opportunity to dance all over the world!
That would be fantastic! I'd love to read a thread of that nature.

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