So You Think You Can Define Gender Roles In Dance
May 23, 2009 9:21 PM Subscribe
So You Think You Can Dance, the American dance-based reality show with a very high viewership (and more than 10 country-specific spin-offs) has a minor controversy brewing in their fifth season: one of the judges, Nigel Lythgoe, commented "I think you'd probably alienate a lot of our audience" after watching a straight/gay male ballroom dancing couple. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) issued a call to action to contact FOX and Lythgoe. Lythgoe tweeted more of his thoughts, but then went on to apologise for all his comments. Additionally, FOX issued a comment on how auditioners and contestants are reviewed. But none of this addresses the role of gender in dancing, though Lythgoe has clarified his thoughts before: that men "need to be very strong. Dancing is role-playing most of the time. And you need to be strong and lift girls. You need to look stronger than the girl you’re dancing with." Specific roles are assigned by gender in many styles of dance, including Square dancing, Tango, Poi, Haka, and many others. But there are opportunities for gender-role free dancing, as with the Lavender Country and Folk Dancers and other such groups.
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