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Exclusive Interview with So You Think You Can Dance Judge Dan Karaty

February 20, 2008 04:20 PM by Jennifer_Brown

Dan-Karaty-Courtesy-Kelsey-S-McNeal-FOXDancers across America, lace up your dancing shoes! As Reality TV Magazine previously reported, FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance is auditioning for the 2008 season. Recently we had the opportunity to chat with So You Think You Can Dance judge, Dan Karaty, about the upcoming season, his faves, and what it takes to land a spot on the show.

Karaty, who, along with fellow judge, Mary Murphy, and the rest of the So You Think You Can Dance crew, will be visiting, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Salt Lake City, says that he’s most looking forward to one audition in particular.

“I’m really looking forward to Washington, D.C., just because we’ve always had so much talent in New York City. We’re hoping that the talent of New York City filters on down to D.C.”

Yet, Karaty is quick to point out, he’s also looking forward to seeing what D.C.-natives have to offer, and certainly can’t count out any dancers in any city, openly encouraging all dancers to come out and “take your shot,” even if you’re a hip-hop artist who doesn’t know a thing about ballroom dancing.

“What our show does is incredible,” he says. “The versatility that we require from the contestants is just insane. How many dancers can do [all genres of dance]? To be able to do everything is almost unheard of.”

The key word, of course, being “almost.” Karaty admits that his favorite past competitors are the hip hop artists nobody expected to be able to handle ballroom dancing, such as season one’s Jamile and Ivan, from season two. But both dancers, Karaty explains, “got better every week,” and that’s what he loves most about So You Think You Can Dance.

“Every year it seems like the dancers get better,” he says. “We truly find the most talented dancers out there.”

This, Karaty explains, is what makes So You Think You Can Dance unique from the other dancing shows that have cropped up in the reality TV world. Yet, Karaty couldn’t be more thrilled for the competition.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am [to see more dance competition shows on TV]. For years dance was a background art form – in the back of commercials, in the back of movies, behind the lead singer of a band. I say the more the merrier. I watch all the shows. [America's Best] Dance Crew is incredible.”

Although some of the longer-running and more popular reality shows are making format changes this year, Karaty speculates that So You Think You Can Dance will stick with its tried-and-true format, which would include keeping with a single winner, despite the hope of some fans that both a male and a female winner would be chosen.

“I think the men and the women both bring something different to the stage. They’re both equally entertaining to watch. We’re looking for America’s Favorite Dancer – it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman.”

However, Karaty warns, man or woman, you must do something to stand out in the crowd if you expect to be noticed.

“Thousands of dancers show up,” he explains. “You may be a great dancer, but you’ve got to bring something else to the table. Something that sets you apart.”

That something extra might be a fun and unique personality, or even a prop. Karaty recalls a dancer from a past season who showed up with a mattress on his back. The prop aroused the judges’ curiosity, and it turned out the dancer wowed them.

“He was unbelievable. Maybe this year someone will show up with a trapeze or a trampoline or something,” he laughs.

Perhaps that’s what’s got Karaty most excited about the upcoming auditions: the chance to see new, daring, and unique performances of great dancers.

“We’ve never limited the dancers. You never know what’s going to show up.”

Season four of So You Think You Can Dance will start with a two-night, four-hour premiere. The premiere episodes will air on Thursday, May 22 from 8:00 PM (ET) to 10:00 PM (ET) and on Wednesday, May 28 from 8:00 PM (ET) to 10:00 PM (ET) on FOX.

Reality TV Magazine is your source of So You Think You Can Dance news. For other great reality TV news, please feel free to visit SirLinksALot: So You Think You Can Dance.

Photo Courtesy: Kelsey S. McNeal/FOX

Topics: So You Think You Can Dance |

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