With the post-event media storm of Kanye/Taylor/Beyonce “drama,” it wasn’t the totally-expected a-hole actions of Kanye during yesterday’s MTV Video Music Awards that caused me to stir in my seat. That happened during Lady Gaga’s performance as right in the middle of her spectacular spectacle it was a backup dancer who, thanks to So You Think You Can Dance is now of rock star calibar status, made me immediately jump up and giddily exclaim, “Season 4 Mark!”
Unlike the practically-guaranteed recording contract given to any top 10 American Idol contestant (those that can carry a tune, that is – Sanjaya, stick to the celeb-reality shows), the dancers on SYTYCD aren’t afforded as much opportunity to gain wide exposure, and usually never seem to have a forum bigger than the brief national tour held post-finale each year. So it’s exciting to see a contestant, especially one who had such a quirky style and stood out in several memorable pieces, have such prominent placement on a big stage like the VMAs.
Some have returned during the audition process and competition rounds to choreograph routines for subsequent seasons’ contestants (Travis and Dmitry are stellar examples of success) and some have shimmied their way over to ABC as pro partners on Dancing with the Stars (Lacey and Chelsie) but more often than not I wistfully wonder, “where are they now?” It’s most likely the nature of the profession, not having a dance equivalent of radio or iTunes to further their careers makes it tougher to follow a favorite, so to give their fledgling hoofers a boost the show should give a shout out every so often to those who have found dance employ, backup or otherwise, after finishing the competition.