Nothing is more upsetting than watching your favorite contender get eliminated from a competition television show. Even more so, nothing is more frustrating than watching someone who you don’t think deserves to win take home the prize. I had the misfortune of experiencing both emotions while watching Netflix’s newly-released miniseries “Dance 100.”
Hosted by beloved Peloton instructor Ally Love, the competition showcases eight choreographers fighting to demonstrate their best work in order to attain $100,000. Some competitors have work experience from choreographing for Cardi B’s backup dancers, while others have never had a choreography job prior to joining the show.
The name of the show comes from the dance group that performs with each choreographer in every round of the competition. The Dance 100 is a group of hand-picked professional dancers from all around the world. They have the chance to dance with one of the eight choreographers, but they also have the power to send them home through a voting system at the end of each performance. Each choreographer begins working with just seven out of the 100 dancers, and as the competition progresses, more and more members from the Dance 100 are added on until they reach the final two competitors, in which they will have to work with all 100 members of the Dance 100.
As a dancer and choreographer myself, I felt excited to watch this show. I wanted to gain inspiration from the choreography, but I also simply wanted to appreciate the creativity of others. Every single choreographer allowed me to feel both things wholly. However, as with any competition show, I found myself growing especially attached to certain choreographers that I felt I had to say goodbye to all too soon.
Each episode comprises a challenge the choreographers must meet, an inside look at how each individual rehearsal functions, at least one performance from each choreographer and at least one elimination. The voting process to determine which choreographer faces elimination had me on the edge of my seat.
Typically in these kinds of shows, the voting process is either anonymous or done behind closed doors from which the hosts come out to deliver the news. In this competition, every member of the Dance 100 must stand behind the person they believe deserves to continue on in the competition, and they are not required to stay loyal to their own choreographer. This overly public voting process, I felt, embarrasses the contestants. It makes the following weeks especially awkward because even the dancers that left their choreographers during the voting process are returned to that same competitor the next week if they make it.
While I managed to find a source of inspiration in every choreographer’s work, there were a few pieces that caught my eyes better than others. I felt certain that they would advance far into the competition just to have my judgment invalidated by the critiques of the Dance 100. It was one of those situations where it felt like the judges and I watched two entirely different performances. While I enjoyed the show overall and respect the work the winner presented, I still stand behind my personal favorites. You may agree with me, or you might think differently. Regardless, I think everyone, despite their experience in dance, can find something to appreciate in “Dance 100.”