Paula Abdul‘s new show, Live to Dance, airing on CBS is a heartwarming competition about the power of dance. The formula for Live to Dance is not unlike most reality talent shows with a host, a panel of three judges including Paula Abdul, founding Pussycat Doll member, Kimberly Wyatt, and choreographer Travis Payne, and many eager dancers who come out with tricks for their chance to win $500,000.
Unlike other reality competitions, Live to Dance exudes positivity and embraces dancers from all walks of life. Anyone can compete – old, young, hearing impaired, trained, untrained – and all are given constructive criticism from the judges who ask the dancers who do not receive at least 2 gold stars out of 3 (each competitor must receive at least 2 of 3 gold stars in order to advance in the competition) to go back to work to reach their true potential. Though Paula expects a certain caliber of dance, she is loving, gives off good energy, promotes teamwork, and highlights the importance of family. The major theme of Live to Dance is that everyone can find joy and happiness in their life through dance. Paula truly believes in the power of dance saying, “When you can inspire people, that’s the ultimate gift.”
The premiere episode, which featured auditions from Los Angeles and New York City, opened with tear-jerking story about a nine year-old named Jalen who was the cutest, sweetest boy with amazing break dancing moves. On the flip side, the elderly Bev and Hap performed a soft shoe routine to James Brown that brought down the house. The remainder of the episode had every style and age in between and ended with Amanda and D’Angelo, a power couple (who are under the age of 10) performing a contemporary latin fusion dance. Those kids are superstars.
I also want to note that of all the dancers on the show, everyone said they started dancing because of what they saw on tv. No one said they were inspired by a live performance they saw as a young child and I think that speaks to the pervasiveness of tv and how it shapes the arts.
All in all, I enjoyed the positivity, the level of talent and the diversity of talent on Live to Dance.