Live to Dance

Common Sense Media says

Cheesy dance contest is family-friendly but feeble.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids might learn a bit about different dance styles and traditions.

Positive messages

The overall message is that it takes real dance talent to make it to the top, but the judges also give consideration to passion and heart.

Positive role models

Most of the featured acts -- and especially those who get through to the short list -- are positive and inspiring role models, showing off hard work and passion for dance. Dancers represent a variety of ages, styles, and talent levels.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Some skimpy outfits and occasional sexy dancing.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, content-wise, there's nothing here that will set off any alarm bells, other than some pretty tame not-so-sexy stuff. That all adds up to a decent choice for families who are looking for clean, multigenerational viewing. Thanks to Paula Abdul's cheerleading, there's also an overriding theme of positivity, and the featured dancers who go the distance make strong role models.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Paula Abdul pulls judging-panel duties while simultaneously strapping on executive producer shoes in LIVE TO DANCE, a reality dance contest that whittles down scores of hopefuls (both groups and individuals, who represent a variety of ages and dance styles) to 18 semifinalists. Those deemed good enough to make the judges' short list will get the chance to dance for a $500,000 prize, but only one act can be crowned the Live to Dance champion. Along with Abdul, original Pussycat Dolls member Kimberly Wyatt and choreographer Travis Payne round out the judging panel.

Is it any good?


If America's Got Talent is your idea of a good time, you'll find more to like with Live to Dance, which is essentially the exact same show -- just with dance acts, different judges, and lower production values. But if you're a dance purist who prefers competitions like So You Think You Can Dance or Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew, this touchy-feely talent show might not hold as much appeal. At least in the early rounds, heart is sometimes valued too much over skill, which means that some of the acts that get through don't have what it takes to truly impress.

Oh, and that aw-shucks feedback Abdul was famous for on American Idol? Well, it's still intact here, and you'll get plenty of it -- along with Abdul's signature pipes on the show's theme song.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about televised talent shows and why they seem to be so popular. How does this show differ from other dance competitions on the air? What does it do differently to try to set itself apart?

  • Why would dancers want to appear on this show? Is money the only motivation, or are some just looking for fame?

  • Do you agree with the judges' decisions when it comes to who goes home and who gets to advance? What criteria do they seem to be using to make their choices?

TV details

Cast:Paula Abdul
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Live to Dance was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old January 9, 2011
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old January 8, 2011
This is a great show and the judges - despite being one that is gay - are nice and do not act like idiots. I found this show to be very entertaining and cannot wait for more. The only thing is for younger kids it might be scary because a lot of people fall and get injured while auditioning.
What other families should know
Too much violence


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