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Dance, Dance Revolution

I’m not afraid to admit it – I’m a fan of TV dance shows, especially So You Think You Can Dance! So, at the top of my holiday research wish list is the opportunity to work with SYTYCD to develop a segmentation model of their audience- not based on demographics, but based on viewers’ motivations for watching the show, what they get out of it, and whether they attend live dance or if they dance themselves.

Drawing from WolfBrown’s research for the National Endowment for the Arts published earlier this year 36% of people who say they are involved in dance do so only through recordings or broadcasts. This is a big bucket of activity that encompasses the dance competition shows (and which I hypothesize may be largely driven by them) that we know very little about. The challenge lies in finding the people who are only involved in dance through recordings or broadcasts. Data on SYTYCD audiences would give me access to this exact population (as well as to those who watch on TV in addition to attending live dance or dancing themselves).

SYTYCD appeals to me as a former dancer, because in a way it lets me relive some of the highs and lows of when I danced myself, but the day my husband (whose TV viewing is otherwise dominated by sci-fi) rewound the DVR to re-watch a performance on SYTYCD (because it “moved him”), I had some tangible evidence that these shows might be opening more people to the power of dance as a form of artistic expression.

I think a segmentation model for dance that incorporates the motivations and values of the dance-on-TV-only crowd, as well as those who attend live performance and dance themselves, would be an important tool for the dance field as a whole.

Happy Holidays!

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One Response to Dance, Dance Revolution

  1. Jerry Yoshitomi says:

    David Harrison, ED at Parsons Dance raised a similar question at last year’s NAMP Conference in San Jose.

    I wonder what the response might be if the Dance field approached SYTYCD with your rsearch proposal?

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