A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this series is the brainchild of Simon Cowell and bears many similarities to his mega hit American Idol. In the early auditions, some aspiring dancers are clearly looking for their 15 minutes of fame, while others are earnest but lacking in skills. And a few are physically hurt in the process. The judges can be mean-spirited in their critiques of the dancers. When the dancers are good, it's awe-inspiring, but there's too much fluff to sort through to get to the real meat of the show. Once the final 20 are selected, wannabe hoofers young and old will enjoy the competition.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
It'll be hard to keep your feet still while watching SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. After a series of auditions around the country, 20 dancer hopefuls tap, break, or sashay their way to Las Vegas for the formal competition, where they work with five of the nation's top choreographers. Live results determine who keeps dancing, who's going home, and who's crowned America's No. 1 dancer.
Is it any good?
When the heat is on, it's great fun to watch a show that combines all types of dance, including ballet, salsa, hip hop, jive, ballroom, tap, and more. But the series needs work. It doesn't have American Idol's polish or fluidity; exchanges between judges are awkward and lacking in conviction, and they give unclear advice to competitors who are turned away.
Kids who like to dance or like to watch dancing will enjoy the program. But some questionable material needs to be screened: One contestant talks about drinking problems interfering with his dancing, another calls himself "Sex" and describes himself as a male sex symbol, others get bleeped when responding to the judges, and so on. If kids (and their parents) can see past this and focus on the dancing, it's very inspiring to watch the dancers' hard work. It's contagious, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the amount of hard work, patience, and strength it takes to make it as a dancer. Do you think you could do it?
What do you think of the judges' critiques? Which ones are constructive? How can someone bounce back from such disappointment?
How do you feel about the competitors who weren't serious about the audition? Do you think that impacts the show's integrity?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love dancing
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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