So You Think You Want to Dance?

In the final leg of its fifth season, Fox's sweat-drenched dance competition is an unlikely hit. The only drama in this reality show is dance with a capital "D."

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"The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure."

-- Mikhail Baryshnikov


As reality TV shows go, So You Think You Can Dance is the unlikeliest of hits: No one’s throwing temper tantrums on the Fox show, no one’s serving up diva ‘tude or pursuing world domination through Machiavellian manipulations. There are no scandals, no promises of riches or recording contracts. There are no Susan Boyle surprises. 


This is no Dancing with the Stars, where formerly famous faces with little or no dance experience suit up on ABC for a chance at resuscitating flat-lined careers. Nor is this anything like Oxygen’s Dance Your Ass Off, where contestants get served an extra dose of humiliation with their weight loss regimen. 


This is not about the pursuit of fame—or infamy.