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Going mainstream – it’s the big conundrum of the dance community. How does a dance company appeal to a larger audience and enter into the realm of pop culture without compromising the art?

Every dancer has his or her own opinion about reality competition shows, such as So You Think You Cand Dance and Dancing with the Stars. And movies like Black Swan definitely ruffled some feathers (pun intended). But whether you love it or hate it, dance is gradually finding its way into the mainstream market.

This summer, several stations are jumping on the dance band wagon, bringing America both scripted and unscripted dance on TV: Ovation TV presents A Chance to Dance, a new season of SYTYCD, ABC Family has Broadway’s Sutton Foster starring in Bunheads (no relation to the Sophie Flack novel), and the cwTV goes behind the scenes at Salt Lake City’s Ballet West in Breaking Pointe… Now, enter Dd, a bunch of dancers still working and thriving in the real world of dance and full of opinions about these programs.

Ballet West dancers Christiana Bennett & Christopher Ruud in The Nutcracker, Photography by Luke Isley

Yours truly will kick off the Dance on TV segment of Dd – starting on Thursday May, 31, 2012, with the premiere of Breaking Pointe, I’ll recap the good, bad, and ugly of the show and open the discussion for all to contribute to the debate.

About the show:

“This project is a wonderful opportunity for Ballet West and the dance world,” says Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute. “When the BBC approached us, their idea was to create the antidote to the movie ‘Black Swan..My hope for BREAKING POINTE is that we can set the record straight about the dance world. I want to present the real joys and heartaches – dramatic, yes, but not with overblown and exaggerated stereotypes.”

How Dd will play a role:

I’ll tweet live during the show and post my thoughts the following morning. Admittedly, I’m looking forward to seeing just how “real” it is and hope our readers will feel compelled to voice their opinions as well.

On June 10, 2012, Dd-er Kristin Storey will tackle the ABC Family melodrama Bunheads and, on August 17, 2012, contributor and co-founder Candice Thompson will open up the discussion about BalletBoyz in A Chance to Dance.

Here’s to a summer full of dance!

Written by Stephanie Wolf

Stephanie Wolf

An Atlanta native, Stephanie Wolf has performed professionally with the Minnesota Ballet, James Sewell Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, and Wonderbound (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado). She has a BA in Liberal Studies from St. Mary’s College of California. Her writing has been published in national and regional media outlets, including Dance Informa, Indianapolis Star, and the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Currently, Stephanie lives in Denver, where she is a public radio producer and reporter. She loves bluegrass, cooking, Netflix, and owls.