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It's just a shame that people have to tear others down, instead of being happy for the nods the show did get - especially since the pros seem to be close friends.

 

I did some research and Emmy rules state that chorographers with "significant contribution" are to be credited, and since Witney was listed solo, then no else did anything significant. Mandy said on Afterbuzz (last fall, I think) that she is credited as  "performance producer" and that she helps in one way or the other with all pros.

Edited by fpbl83

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FWIW Witney thanked on Twitter someone named Alan Aalazar for assisting her with the Carlton dance/Jazz routine and the freestyle so she admits she had some help and gave credit..no clue if she had help beyond that. What I always loved about the jazz routine was that it could have ended up being very gimmicky but the end product was really terrific.  They did a perfect job of highlighting the Carlton but still making it all about the actual jazz.

 

I'm sorry to hear Sharna's work with Noah would have been eligible and she missed out. I never appreciated her as much as I did this past season.  Choreography for someone with the challenges Noah faced had to be very hard and Sharna did an amazing job.

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Here's where it gets down to, "What is dance?"

 

Is it the perfect execution of choreo?  Is it savvy choreo which mixes elements perfectly with theme/music?  Is it facial expression?  Body position?  

 

I believe it is the overall everything.  It is beyond the sum of parts.  It is about touching our core, however briefly.

 

This is why, for me, I would vote Alfonso's "Not Unusual" over everything.  It was a rare, rare, moment when a tremendous amount of variables, significantly some of which had nothing to do with actual dancing, came together and exploded like an A-Bomb.  It was, without question, the greatest moment anyone had ever experienced in that ballroom.   Ask Tom.  It was transcendent.  In other words, the purity of the joy, within and without the movement itself, hit the core like no other in the show ever has. 

 

Sure, there have been some super moments, mostly of the sad/touching variety.  Huge impacts to be sure.  But, it is far more rare for something based in joy to combust as that dance.  Beyond that, I thought the choreo leading up to the "Carlton" was, of itself, among the smartest of that season.

 

When something breaks beyond the typically understood parameters of a given realm it instantly rises to the very top of anything done in that realm.  Nothing else nominated broke the barriers of which I write.  

 

On the other side, I always believed Sharna's choreo was waaaaaaay overrated.  Cheryl, and to a lesser extent, Julianne, remain the champions of bringing some semblance of dance with partners who simply can't move.  Sharna's excellence was about how athletic she was and could therefore create some stunning lifts and holds.  But, to me, it was more gymnastics than art.  

Edited by Lonesome Rhodes
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It was, without question, the greatest moment anyone had ever experienced in that ballroom. Ask Tom. It was transcendent. In other words, the purity of the joy, within and without the movement itself, hit the core like no other in the show ever has.

And that's where art is subjective which is also why award shows like the Emmy's itself is subjective because it's ultimately the opinions of the voters. Because that said, I felt none of what you just described with regards to the It's Not Unusual number. For me it was a fun, cute number that paid nice homage to a classic television schtick but that was it.

 

Here's where it gets down to, "What is dance?"

Is it the perfect execution of choreo? Is it savvy choreo which mixes elements perfectly with theme/music? Is it facial expression? Body position?

I believe it is the overall everything. It is beyond the sum of parts. It is about touching our core, however briefly.

True, but the award is specifically for choreography. Which is where the notion of the SYTYCD choreographers having an advantage over the DWTS Pros comes from because they have a better avenue to showcase their choreography with individuals who are trained in or been dancing their whole life versus a DWTS Pro who could have gorgeous choreography but the execution is not as flawless because the celebrity is not as experienced.

Edited by truthaboutluv
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I figure I don't know what good choreography is since I have never seen a Travis Wall routine I liked and dislike 75% of what I see on SYTYCD, especially contemporary. I also disliked that Elastic Hearts dance. With that, I'm shocked Witney was nominated. I loved the Carlton dance and am glad she's getting recognition. It's probably my second favorite dance from the show after Meryl and Val's Argentine Tango.

For what it's worth, I don't really get Sharna's choreography either. I agree that she creates some beautiful pictures and lifts but I'm not completely sold on her choreography. I'd like to see what she could do with a capable partner after her lessons learned with Charlie.

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Too many things to quote here, so I'll just do it like this:

 

TruthAboutLove & Katha:

I agree with much of what you've said.  The problem is, we don't know which dances are submitted for any of the pros. I think the way it's handled is, the pros tell TPTB what they want to submit, but TPTB make the final decision and make the actual submission for the pros.  For example, Sharna might have wanted certain dances submitted but some producer wanted to show off Noah's amazing lift and submitted that figuring that if he (the producer) was impressed, then surely the nominating committee will also be impressed. As for Mark, he will always defend his partner to the moon and back.  But when it comes to Emmy noms being evaluated by professional choreographers, he knows the strengths and weaknesses as well as anyone on that committee and so he'll choose what he thinks will impress them - and then the producer will submit Mark's choices...or not. I adored Sadie (still do) and felt her dances were wonderfully performed to the best of her ability and were very entertaining, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if none of her dances were submitted, for timing issues and other things you mentioned.  Oddly, though Willow is so much younger than Sadie, somehow her dances came off more mature and for that, my guess is Mark might have requested submission of only Willow's dances. Whether producers went along with Mark, is anyone's guess.

 

fpbl83 & tarotx:

The rumors about Witney bother me too.  She seems like a very sweet and honest girl and I don't get the impression that she would intentionally hide getting help with choreography. She did acknowledge a choreographer, Alan Salazar, for assisting with the freestyle.  It could be that she was told by the other pros "we're all here to help you" right from the start when she turned pro, so if she is getting help from Sharna, Mark, or Mandy, she may consider it the norm while getting outside help is what requires acknowledgement.  But I've been hearing those rumors for a while now, from numerous sources.  As for Mandy being a "performance producer" who helps all the pros, I think that's mainly for camera angles and whatever it takes going from the rehearsal floor to the show floor.  She may also assist with contemporary-type dances. She readily admits she doesn't know ballroom (or probably latin either).

 

Lonesome Rhodes:

I love your passion about Alfonso's dance and how his journey lead up to his great moment. But I'm pretty sure the nominating committee only sees the dance and would know nothing about what it took for Alfonso to get there.  Personally, I didn't feel any of your delight since I can't stand The Carlton which to me is really nothing more than arms flailing which for some reason brings back the warm fuzzies to whoever watched The Fresh Prince way back when (I didn't).  Thankfully Witney gave relief by keeping The Carlton part brief and switching it up with some tap and other stuff.

Edited by Uke
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Uke - "But I've been hearing those rumors for a while now, from numerous sources."

 

 From fans on Twitter? They don't work on the show, so how would they know anything? I'm harping on about this because I don't like seeing someone's character slandered based on made-up fiction. When a rumor gets repeated over and over again, people see it as fact.

 

I saw her shout-out to Alan Salazar too - I guess he didn't do enough work to receive a nod, whereas Tessandra Chavez obviously did do more for the Houghs.   

 

I've noticed this on another forum too - a little "reverse ageism" against Witney. Some people just can't seem to believe that she does most of her choro, simply because she's only 21.  If she were 30 like Sharna, I don't think people would question her.

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I think all those rumors got louder when Louis Van Amstel in one of his blogs this past season made some comment about some people not doing their own choreography and getting praised by the judges while those who do theirs all on their own don't. Of course that created a frenzy with some begging him to name names which according to him he could but wouldn't, which "then why even bring it up?" 

 

While I personally do believe the Pros get outside help at times and advice and help from each other, I really thought Louis just came across as a Bitter Betty, who's annoyed the show has moved away from him and some others to a new crop of Pros, so I didn't pay much attention to him. And for the record, neither of these things are actually that big of a secret. Anna T. said, in response to Louis' claims on Afterbuzz, that the Pros have been working with each other and consulting with each other at times, practically since the show's been on.

 

And in terms of outside help, I know Derek for example has always been upfront about working with others if he's given a style he's not trained in. It was in the package when he and Kelly had the Flamenco, he mentioned getting help for the stepping for Amber's freestyle, I know he and Amy talked about some guy helping with the aerial move she did in her freestyle, etc. As I said, when this whole thing started up again in response to Louis' comments, unless a Pro is flat out ripping off other people's choreography or basically getting help for the bulk of their dances while pretending it's all their work, then this is much ado about nothing.

Edited by truthaboutluv
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While I personally do believe the Pros get outside help at times and advice and help from each other, I really thought Louis just came across as a Bitter Betty, who's annoyed the show has moved away from him and some others to a new crop of Pros, so I didn't pay much attention to him.

I don't pay much attention to Louis anymore. He does seem very bitter that DWTS has moved on without him.  I don't know why he didn't move into a pro dances choreography role or something like what Mandy does.  Could be his bitterness and tendency to be snarky was a personality they didn't want to have around.   I think he hasn't really found his new niche yet. He got some attention for his LaBlast dvds.  Maybe a little for his clothing line.  Nothing that's really solidified for him. It's a shame - he's a talented guy.

Edited by Uke

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I think all those rumors got louder when Louis Van Amstel in one of his blogs this past season made some comment about some people not doing their own choreography and getting praised by the judges while those who do theirs all on their own don't. Of course that created a frenzy with some begging him to name names which according to him he could but wouldn't, which "then why even bring it up?" 

He is probably right but this is part of the "reality show" manipulation that even the more straight forward talent shows use.  Like, for instance, when they highlight one contestant's injuries but not someone else's.  Or when everyone might have a moment of tension but they only show one duo's tension yet show the laughter of another. 

 

It's why reality shows have their own Emmy award for writing.  But I think that's why I think the Emmy nominations are likely honest.  They can play it fast and loose when they credit choreography verbally on the show but the standards are likely higher when it comes to submitting for the Emmy. 

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Quite a while ago, Tony Dovolani said in an interview that he and Maks were the only pros who didn't get help with their choreography. This was after Derek and Mark started - in fact, I think he said it due to resentment of the new golden/propped ones. I'd also already heard that Julianne and then Mark and Derek got a lot of help from Shirley and Corky Ballas. And then there's Louis' comments. Where there's this much smoke, there has to be fire.

 

What I think is the show's producers decide who gets help and who doesn't - and when (whether the pro wants it that way or not). It's another way they can manipulate the results (though back when Tony said that, maybe it was different.) I think the producers, through the evolution of the show, have taken on more and more of the decision making and they get pretty much exactly what they want, down to the smallest detail.

 

Emma Slater said in a public interview on a DWTS cruise that she was told she'd have three vetoes of songs - and when she tried to use her first one on Cheeseburgers in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet they told her she had to use that song. The producers control as many of the details as they want, imo. And I don't think integrity is one of their priorities so I don't trust that the Emmy nominated songs are necessarily the work of who the show says they are - they've lied too much for me to believe much of anything I see on this show - well, saw on this show - because of their lies and manipulation I can't stand to watch it anymore. But then, reality shows have a lot of writers - they're probably all dishonest.

Edited by Morrigan
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Quite a while ago, Tony Dovolani said in an interview that he and Maks were the only pros who didn't get help with their choreography. This was after Derek and Mark started - in fact, I think he said it due to resentment of the new golden/propped ones. I'd also already heard that Julianne and then Mark and Derek got a lot of help from Shirley and Corky Ballas. And then there's Louis' comments. Where there's this much smoke, there has to be fire.

 

 

The fire, in my opinion, is the fact that Pros do work and consult with each other and some have gotten outside help with styles they're not trained in. However, neither of these are some big, dark secret. In my opinion, the whole not doing choreography or whatever comes down to whether someone is basically having a good chunk of their choreography done by someone else and taking all the credit or simply jacking someone else's choreography and taking credit for it. Unless I see proof of that, then I'm not jumping on what feels more like a tool to try to point fingers at Pros some don't like.  

 

As for stuff about Mark, Julianne and Derek - it is no secret that Shirley and Corky are a bit of helicopter type parents. And sure, when the three first started on the show and they were selling this Wonder Triplets stuff, I'm sure they were involved with all three but I haven't seen much evidence for years, in my opinion, that Corky and Shirley spend time with anyone but Mark and his celebrities during the season. And I've gotten no indication they they do his choreography for him or ever really did and more that they assist him in teaching technique to his celebrities.

 

I mean do people really think Corky and Shirley, great dancers without question, but of an older generation, came up with some of that choreography Derek, Mark and Julianne did and especially what Mark and Derek do now? Shirley pretty much made it clear on Afterbuzz she didn't even know who Alison was and had no idea of her skills and pretty much went, "Well the boys tell me she's amazing in contemporary and jazz or something." In other words this isn't some woman keeping up with all current styles and dance that she can come up with these dances these guys come up with, in my opinion.

 

And there has been talk for a few seasons now that Val gets assists from both Sharna and Maks during the season. I don't think that automatically means Val isn't doing his choreography but that he gets opinions and consults with two other Pros he is especially close to. I don't buy that the producers of the show can just lie and put people's names on the ballots who didn't actually choreograph the dances. Yes the producers can manipulate THEIR show but the Emmys have specific rules and guidelines for their ballots.  

 

If a choreographer knows they did most of a dance for a DWTS Pro, all they have to do is lodge an official complaint if no credit is given and their names aren't put on the ballots as someone did do when Cheryl's "Save A Horse..." freestyle was nominated. And as all we all know, Cheryl did not win that award.

 

As we were discussing earlier, the DWTS Pros barely get nominated in this category - it's usually one or two and a whole slew of SYTYCD choreographers who incidentally have dominated the category with wins. The only non-SYTYCD winner in that category is Derek, which I have a feeling plays into some of the attitudes about all this. Maybe I'm being naive but personally I believe all the Pros on this show work their asses off and as I've noted, unless there is irrefutable proof of a Pro full on stealing others' choreography or having huge chunks of their dances done by someone else, then this is much ado about nothing and more attempts to finger point at Pros some aren't a fan of.

Edited by truthaboutluv

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Alan's issue is not with DWTS.  Unless there is some dispute that DWTS refused to give him a credit to which he was entitled.  Did they consciously go against their custom of credits?  I can't speak to industry standards as to issuing credit in choreography.  My pure guess is that it is largely left to the lead choreographer to make such designations.  

 

I don't trust DWTS' PTB further than I can throw them.  However, this seems to be an EMMY issue.

 

I do have a question about this routine, though.  Who created the Carlton, which was included?  Whitney sure didn't.  Were this a song, Alfonso (or the creator of the Carlton) would be a named author.  Should he not receive that same consideration for choreography?

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The Carlton is really like one dance move. I don't know that you can really count that as being part of the choreography when it's really just like one dance step/move. I don't know, I'd guess it'd be like a PRO using the "dougie" or hell twerking in a freestyle and someone saying the creator of that move would have to get credit. Yes many referenced it in relation to the dance like that's all it was but it really was only a few seconds of what was a more intricate Jazz number.

Edited by truthaboutluv

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I think the DWTS producers are at least partly responsible for this mess. They create this narrative that the pros do it all themselves. When it's clear that they don't. They can't, it's a massive amount of work and stress, not everyone has the same strengths, not everyone's a specialist at every dance style. OTOH, I agree that accusing people of things without proof doesn't lead anywhere either. Particularly since it usually ends with "I'll believe the worst of the pro I don't like and the best of the pro I'm a fan of". Louis and Tony for all their  good qualities aren't exactly without self-interest here either with their insinuations (Louis is self-evident, Tony came out with that stuff in the fifth season when brand new young pros became his competition...).

 

I can believe that Witney didn't know how the Emmy ballot worked. And she's been quick to give him credit. But the DWTS producers with their decade of experience in Emmy submissions? They must have known that without contract, without crediting Alan officially it would be difficult to get him recognized. So I'm really side-eyeing the producers here. It appears he's also been helping out Sharna? I just wish DWTS was more upfront about that stuff. I don't blame the pros at all. They're at the mercy of the show, if they speak out of turn they might not be brought back. So I understand that they toe the line. But it's also obvious that choreography can be a collaborative effort and DWTS doesn't always want to admit to it because it doesn't suit their interests. When I watched the livestream for Noah's freestyle for example it was clear to me that Paul and Mark were pitching in ideas, it wasn't only Sharna. And there's nothing wrong with that. Same with Moore helping out. Or pros doing run-throughs with other dancers, looking for a second opinion, etc. As long as they don't take credit for things they didn't do, that seems fine with me.

 

ETA: truthaboutluv, yeah, absolutely. But I guess for me it comes down to power differences. Perhaps he didn't feel he was in a position to make those demands. Because IMO it's pretty clear that DWTS as a show, at least when they don't do a storyline in the package about a pro having a creative crisis or something, don't want to really highlight if there's outside help.

Edited by katha

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DWTS producers with their decade of experience in Emmy submissions? They must have known that without contract, without crediting Alan officially it would be difficult to get him recognized. So I'm really side-eyeing the producers here.

 

 

But at the same time, wouldn't Alan and other choreographers also know this? The Emmy rules are not new (well some are since they did change a bunch of stuff this year but that had more to do what shows were eligible where) and on top of that, they're easy to access on the award's official website. It's an unfair situation but if he knew he was doing a lot in that dance and it was something he might want to be submitted for, he should have demanded his name be credited on the show in some capacity.

 

Because that's what he said were the two ways to get his name on the ballot - either he was a contract for hire for the show or he was credited onscreen. And latter is not so difficult or impossible. When Maks had that awful contemporary freestyle with Erin, the rehearsal package had him stating he asked Mandy Moore to come in and help, which automatically meant she was credited onscreen.  Again it sucks and to be clear I'm not blaming the guy and feel bad for him. I'm just saying I don't see this as some attempt to mislead necessarily because as you said, Witney to her credit has given him his props. 

Edited by truthaboutluv

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Does anyone want to engage with me about who they think should/will win? Here's links

 

Derek, Julianne, and Tessandra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvDji9Y1H84

 

Witney jive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU6jmHF8orA

Witney jazz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2ROkuG2mAo

Witney freestyle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dw_o7cD_4o

 

Travis Wall all dances https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb6Yxo_k0bE

 

Sonya Tayeh all dances https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UO4dLY3vBI

 

Spencer Liff all dances https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B_GWDQGm08

 

Those are all the nominations. Of my opinion of all those, I think Travis and Sonya should win. And Derek/Julianne/Tessandra, Witney, or maybe Travis will win. Anyone else?

Edited by ocelot

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Travis should win, hands down. His choreography is fresh and impactful. However, Derek/Julianne/Tessandra will win. The Hough bias, wherever it may be, is too strong to overcome. 

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Travis should win, hands down. His choreography is fresh and impactful. However, Derek/Julianne/Tessandra will win. The Hough bias, wherever it may be, is too strong to overcome. 

I agree! I'm not always the biggest fan of Travis but even I can't deny what a ridiculous year he had. He deserves it in my opinion, his work this past year was RIDICULOUS. Even the stuff that wasn't nominated (like how was Like Real People Do not nominated??).

Edited by ocelot

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Well my boyfriend Christopher Scott wasn't nominated so that already ruins the whole category for me. Of course being that I didn't watch all of SYTYCD last season, it's entirely possible he had nothing strong enough for this year because I noticed Nappy Tabs, perennial nominees also not nominated. Well the word around online seems to suggest that it may finally be Travis' year.

 

I have to say, watching all the nominees back to back to back, I can almost see how Witney could sneak in and pull out a win because her pieces are the only one that brought in some real fun and where the dances looked markedly different from each other. I felt like Spencer and Sonya (who was surprisingly a bit disappointing for me) both fell into a trap of the pieces sort of being repetitive.

 

That's the thing I've loved most about Christopher Scott's pieces. Because he straddles the line between hip hop and Jazz, his pieces tend to be more versatile and varied. And I think that's why Derek won the year he did as well - he had a Mambo and Quickstep with Shawn, two ballroom dances, one latin and the other ballroom and then a random contemporary piece thrown in. I feel like it showed the voters he could do more than one thing. 

 

Every single one of Spencer's pieces was really a guy and a girl in Jazzy sexy or flirty number. Sonya's pieces were so similar, there was even the same coloring with the lighting and costumes in two of them. And I'm surprised her pieces were all of the maudlin dramatic side because Sonya's schtick has been more her dark and twisted nature. And I didn't see that at all.

 

Finally, I liked Travis' Wave piece because I think he did somehow manage to capture a look and feel where the guys really did resemble a moving wave and the contemporary between the guy and girl was good - moody, a little sexy, a lot of athleticism and amazing movement. But that Wind Beneath My Wings was one of the of cheesiest things I've ever seen. As for Derek and Julianne and Tassandra - amazing piece but it was one dance. I guess it's not fair to penalize them in a way for having only one piece versus others having three but I just think that'll work against them in the voting.

 

So in conclusion, I don't know who will win, lol. If I had to put money on it, I'd say they'll go with Travis. He's fairly consistent and I do think there is a sense around that he's paid his dues. 

 

Travis should win, hands down. His choreography is fresh and impactful. However, Derek/Julianne/Tessandra will win. The Hough bias, wherever it may be, is too strong to overcome.

 

 

Derek lost last year to Nappy Tabs and Julianne lost the one and only time she was nominated while she was still competing on the show. And Derek only won after being nominated three other times. But since the Houghs apparently have the world in their pocket, I'm sure that includes every single member of the Emmy voting academy as well. 

Edited by truthaboutluv

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Christopher Scott only had one routine the entire last year. Nightshift.

 

I figured, which is why I noted that I missed most of the season. Because I know the choreographers get busy or the show likes to change things up and so they don't always use the same choreographers all the time, though there are some staples. 

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Travis will win because of the Gay marriage dance. I think he's worthy this season because of Wave but my god his head is going to explode from the ego burst it'll give him. He's the one who who is full of egomania from years of having All of SYTYCD kissing his ass.

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I'm pulling for Travis this year. I have a strange soft spot for him even when his ego rears up, and he's been nominated the last 5 years in a row, I'd love to see it pay of for him finally. And his dances this year were gorgeous. (Unchained Melody is still my favorite, but the 3 this year were strong.) 

 

One thing I have wondered, is the Emmy weighted towards Best Choreography for TV at all, or is it just Best Choreography that happens to be on TV? What I mean by that is that I've found that Derek and Napoleon & Tabitha tend to have a real knack for knowing what's going to read well specifically in the constraints of TV, and choreographing towards that. Like especially the year Derek won, that rotating room dance could have only happened on film. And he was nominated last year for the Ameska dance that started out facing in one direction towards a set of cameras, and they turned around through that smoke and spilled out across the floor in another direction - that's something that's played to the cameras, and not necessarily the live audience. In contrast, Mark's dances for example tend to feel staged a bit more theater for me, you could throw them onto a Broadway stage without much edits to the choreography. I don't think one is necessarily better than the other, but the reason I get drawn into Derek's dances on the show is how planned out and occasionally innovative that all feels. He plays towards the camera angles and camera "tricks" that could feel gimicky but are occasionally brilliant. (And obviously, it gets into a collaboration with the directing as well.) But I thought Elastic Heart was great in that it started in that backwards rewind of what turned out to have been the end of the dance, a neat little bookend to from the beginning to the end that made you try and figure out what was happening. I don't think those little details would ever win you the nomination on their own, but I've been wondering if they factor in at all. 

Edited by kitcloudkicker

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One thing I have wondered, is the Emmy weighted towards Best Choreography for TV at all, or is it just Best Choreography that happens to be on TV?

 

 

Well being that the Emmy's celebrate achievement in television, I'm going to guess that how the performances look on the screen probably does play a factor and so in essence, it kind of is based on choreography for television. I agree with you with regards to Derek and how he does seem to choreograph with respect to how the performance will look on screen.

 

I thought his freestyle with Bethany played to that in that it may not have been the best dance ever but visually it looked stunning and I especially thought that for his freestyle with Amber. I remember Anna said on Afterbuzz after the episode that it looked like an actual performance, not just a number on the show but like something you'd see at an award show like the VMA's, etc.

 

And it's why I believe he always goes for synchronized look for the team dances and why, unpopular opinion, but I've always agreed with his team wins. Because the uniformity of the celebrities/Pros' looks and their movements play very well onscreen and is more effective visually. In my opinion of course.

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Travis will win because of the Gay marriage dance. I think he's worthy this season because of Wave but my god his head is going to explode from the ego burst it'll give him. He's the one who who is full of egomania from years of having All of SYTYCD kissing his ass.

so same situation as Derek? except with Travis he has a fraction of the viewers so also a fraction of the ego stroking?

Edited by ocelot
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Here is an article by Kristyn Burtt discussing the issue of choreographers getting help and Emmy nominations:

http://dwts360.com/2015/07/24/dwts-choreography-the-real-issue/

She includes Alan Salazar's Instagram but discusses it further. Both Witney and DWTS producers tried to add him to the credits but it was too late. He had to be credited at the time of the show's airing and he also had to be paid by DWTS. Witney paid Alan out of her own pocket. Evidently that is not illegal or unethical, but the paid choreographer cannot be awarded an Emmy according to Emmy Rules.

Also, according to Emmy Rules, choreographers submit their own entries although the show can submit another one in addition if they choose. To me the most interesting aspect of the choreography award is a rule change put in place for the 2015 awards season. Until 2013, a panel of nine experts was chosen to closely study every video entry of each dance nominated and they chose the final winner. In 2013, the Rules Committee allowed TV Academy members' votes to make up 50% of the total, giving the panel the other 50% of the vote. As of this year, the Emmy will be chosen based solely on the votes of the 18,500 member TV Academy. It will be interesting to see how this affects the outcome.

Here is an interesting article on this subject in Variety: http://variety.com/2015/TV/news/emmy-nominations-rule-changes-nominees-1201541967/

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Alan Salazar was previously the hip-hop director of The Vibe, the studio where Witney and Lindsay studied.  He also previously worked at CenterStage and The Dance Club.  That means Witney knew him for a long time.  Before Danseur's post, I was going to suggest that Witney probably paid him with her own money.  That's why there wasn't a contract.  She asked him as one of his former students and she knew his work.  Witney choreographs like the other Vibe directors even though she wasn't a Vibe director.  They are known for fusing ballroom, hip-hop, and jazz.  You can see some of their dances on youtube since they competed in Paula's Live To Dance.  So I do think that it was mostly Witney's choreography with Alan assisting.  I also think both of them didn't really know the Emmy rules.

Edited by realdancemom

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Here is an article by Kristyn Burtt discussing the issue of choreographers getting help and Emmy nominations:

http://dwts360.com/2015/07/24/dwts-choreography-the-real-issue/

She includes Alan Salazar's Instagram but discusses it further. Both Witney and DWTS producers tried to add him to the credits but it was too late. He had to be credited at the time of the show's airing and he also had to be paid by DWTS. Witney paid Alan out of her own pocket. Evidently that is not illegal or unethical, but the paid choreographer cannot be awarded an Emmy according to Emmy Rules.

Also, according to Emmy Rules, choreographers submit their own entries although the show can submit another one in addition if they choose. To me the most interesting aspect of the choreography award is a rule change put in place for the 2015 awards season. Until 2013, a panel of nine experts was chosen to closely study every video entry of each dance nominated and they chose the final winner. In 2013, the Rules Committee allowed TV Academy members' votes to make up 50% of the total, giving the panel the other 50% of the vote. As of this year, the Emmy will be chosen based solely on the votes of the 18,500 member TV Academy. It will be interesting to see how this affects the outcome.

Here is an interesting article on this subject in Variety: http://variety.com/2015/TV/news/emmy-nominations-rule-changes-nominees-1201541967/

That's interesting! Not surprising then that Derek won in 2013, Napptytabs in 2014. Even more than before I think Derek or Witney will win now, with this info.

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She includes Alan Salazar's Instagram but discusses it further. Both Witney and DWTS producers tried to add him to the credits but it was too late. He had to be credited at the time of the show's airing and he also had to be paid by DWTS. Witney paid Alan out of her own pocket. Evidently that is not illegal or unethical, but the paid choreographer cannot be awarded an Emmy according to Emmy Rules.

 

Hypothetical, technical question:  The tweets suggest that Alan helped with two of the three nominated dances.  If he could be added to the credits, and the solo nomination then become a co-nomination, would the nomination still be three dances, or just the two he worked on?  Before learning of contracts and screen credits, I had figured that maybe the producers had chosen the dances, and that Witney was the only choreographer eligible for all three.

 

Stories of pros getting outside help date back to Season 2.  I always figured it was pros making their own arrangements.  A more interesting story might be the inside help of troupe and fellow pros.  Technically, they don't have screen credits, and their contracts--if they have one--may not cover such choreography assistance to the satisfaction of Emmy rules.  It appears very technical to me, and probably not limited to just choreographers.  I can imagine any contributor to any TV production--from writer to editor to costume designer etc.--sometimes needing help from an assistant, or consulting with an outsider.  It may or may not be more pronounced with choreographers, but I doubt it's limited to them.  Are Emmy requirements for contracts or screen credits industry-wide?

 

As for Alan, Witney was quick to acknowledge him online, and appears to have been quick in trying to have him added to the credits.  Besides not knowing how Emmy nominations work, perhaps Witney wasn't very involved in the submissions.  Perhaps TPTB weren't fully aware of Alan's contribution.  (Possible, if he and Witney didn't limit their collaboration space to the DWTS rehearsal studio.  Even midnight skyping could count.)  And really, did either Witney or Alan even consider the possibility of Emmy nominations when they choreographed the dances in the first place?  It's unfortunate, but Witney has handled the situation as best she can, imho.

 

A thought on choreography help and collaborations in general:  It's true that sometimes pros may be praised for choreo that isn't all theirs, but the opposite is also true.  They sometimes may be criticized for choreo that isn't all theirs.  Neither is fair.

 

ETA:  Spencer Liff has very interesting things to say about the matter at the top of this week's SYTYCD Afterbuzz TV aftershow.  Turns out, he himself has "ghosted" on DWTS.

Edited by RomanKat

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If anyone cares enough to take the time to read it, here is a copy of Emmy Rules and Procedures that answers the questions asked in our discussion:

http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/2015-rules-procedures-v2.pdf

It's long but you can search through contents and find the segments on Submissions, requirements for nominations and voting procedures.

An interesting note: I've always been under the impression that Derek's and Kellie's Freestyle was never submitted for consideration because it did not meet deadline requirements.

A friend pointed out to me that the Rules and Procedures clarify the time parameters for submissions of nominations under a provision entitled "hanging episodes". The Freestyle was performed within the appropriate time limits because it was performed on a hanging episode. Derek had two separate nominations (5 dances) in 2013 and one nomination (3 dances) in 2014, but the dance that probably gave him the 4th MBT was not nominated. I do not understand why that dance was not submitted/nominated.

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For me the Derek Kellie freestyle is very impressive, I just went back to re-watch it. But I don't think it is anything special in terms of choreography? I look at the nominees for this year and while the three SYTYCD nominees have a lot in common in terms of the type of choreography, the two DWTS are very different, so I agree it seems odd it wasn't included in his nomination package for that year. That was the year he won right?

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Derek had two separate nominations (5 dances) in 2013 and one nomination (3 dances) in 2014, but the dance that probably gave him the 4th MBT was not nominated. I do not understand why that dance was not submitted/nominated.

 

 

If the contemporary dance with Kellie was eligible the year he won, then I actually see why he didn't submit it. Strategically it made sense. While the dance is beautiful and he and Kellie did a beautiful job with it, against a slew of SYTYCD choreographers, most of which are trained contemporary dancers/choreographers, it would not be as wow. The dance wowed for the DWTS finale because it was the best of its kind at the time on the show.

 

Yes I know Melissa and Tony did a contemporary type number the season before for their freestyle but I barely remember a thing about that dance while I explicitly remember Kellie and Derek's, especially that amazing almost death drop move. That said, again while it was beautiful to watch, choreography wise, I felt like it was a series of impressive poses and extensions. Kellie's strength was her physical strength and flexibility and Derek utilized it brilliantly in that freestyle but as a piece of contemporary choreography, it was merely okay, in my opinion. 

 

However, the spinning room contemporary piece with Jaimie Goodwin that he did submit, had the cool factor of the...well, spinning room. So it had that hook to make it really stand out. And with so few DWTS Pros nominated, and frankly he was the only one that year, the ballroom pieces also would stand out more against a slew of Travis, Sonya Tayeh and Mandy Moore who was also nominated that year and who all had Jazz and Contemporary pieces. Again, ymmv but I can see the strategy behind why that dance wasn't chosen and it clearly didn't hurt him in the end. 

Edited by truthaboutluv

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Both of these arguments make good sense. Since the only wins in the past several years have been SYTYCD contemporary pieces, I was thinking the FS would be competitive with those, and I also don't think a ballroom number has ever won the Emmy for anyone. I still think the clincher for his win was the Tribute to Fred Astaire "Walking on Air". It is definitely different.

I think you're right that while the Freestyle wowed the DWTS audience, it may not have been choreographically as impressive to the expert panelists compared to all the SYTYCD numbers nominated that year. Your critique of that number is outstanding. I'm the last person to know when it comes to contemporary.

Does anyone else think the Rules Change eliminating Blue Ribbon panelists might give DWTS nominations a better chance?If TV Academy members haven't bothered to watch all the submission videos, will they vote for the choreographer they know best? If there is no panel of experts closely scrutinizing and critiquing the dances as Truth just did here, will members be as knowledgeable about choreography? I'm just musing aloud.

By both arguments, I am referring to Ocelot and Truth about Luv. By the way, I am very impressed with your boyfriend's work, Truth. I love the Macy's tribute to old movie sets (can't remember the name) which I think he co-choreographed with Derek.

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By the way, I am very impressed with your boyfriend's work, Truth. I love the Macy's tribute to old movie sets (can't remember the name) which I think he co-choreographed with Derek.

 

 

I probably should have put boyfriend in air quotes as in "I'm just kidding when I say that..." Just to be very clear, I don't even know Christopher Scott - I just really love his work and think he's adorable. 

 

I love the Macy's tribute to old movie sets (can't remember the name) which I think he co-choreographed with Derek.

 

 

You're probably referring to this one:

 

Edited by truthaboutluv

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Does anyone else think the Rules Change eliminating Blue Ribbon panelists might give DWTS nominations a better chance?If TV Academy members haven't bothered to watch all the submission videos, will they vote for the choreographer they know best? If there is no panel of experts closely scrutinizing and critiquing the dances as Truth just did here, will members be as knowledgeable about choreography? I'm just musing aloud.

By both arguments, I am referring to Ocelot and Truth about Luv. By the way, I am very impressed with your boyfriend's work, Truth. I love the Macy's tribute to old movie sets (can't remember the name) which I think he co-choreographed with Derek.

I do actually, with that rule change I can't see anyone but Derek and MAYBE Witney winning.

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Does the rule change apply to the nomination process because if so, it still didn't stop SYTYCD from dominating the category. And I hesitate to go down any road that seems to be leading to the "the universe is biased and in Derek Hough's pocket" conspiracy theory but if I'm understanding correctly, is the assumption he's guaranteed to win because he's more known than the other nominees?

 

That the Academy voters who are not dance experts will be more likely to recognize his name before others because if so, while I can maybe see that for Spencer Liff, I think Travis is quite well known. He was enough to have his own reality show on E! Okay so it eventually got cancelled but I think Travis Wall is a name that casual voters would recognize as much as Derek Hough and definitely more so than Witney. 

Edited by truthaboutluv

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Truth, I actually thought you were CScotts's girlfriend. :))) And that's the dance I meant.

The Rule Change does not apply to the nomination choices. Until 2013, the panel decided the winner. As of 2015, the TV Academy members decide the winner.

I don't have enough knowledge to have an educated opinion as to whether TV Academy members would be familiar with SYTYCD choreographers. I'm not as familiar with them because I don't watch the show. I do, however, watch all the videos of nominated dances. It would surprise me, however, if all 18,500 members are interested enough to sit down and watch videos of all the dances. For years, I've read about how many MPAA members don't watch all the movies they vote for.

When I read the Rule Change, I did wonder if it would have an affect and wanted to throw it out for opinions.

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Does the rule change apply to the nomination process because if so, it still didn't stop SYTYCD from dominating the category. And I hesitate to go down any road that seems to be leading to the "the universe is biased and in Derek Hough's pocket" conspiracy theory but if I'm understanding correctly, is the assumption he's guaranteed to win because he's more known than the other nominees?

 

That the Academy voters who are not dance experts will be more likely to recognize his name before others because if so, while I can maybe see that for Spencer Liff, I think Travis is quite well known. He was enough to have his own reality show on E! Okay so it eventually got cancelled but I think Travis Wall is a name that casual voters would recognize as much as Derek Hough and definitely more so than Witney. 

Derek is actually a celebrity unlike the other nominees that's why I think that. I do think name recognition is important. The others are well known and respected in various dance communities (Travis in commercial, Spencer in broadway, company--Sonya is with Martha Graham company now) but are not anywhere near his level of general fame. I actually disagree with you about Spencer because he is very well known on broadway (Spring Awakening, Hairspray) and I think the emmy voters have a strong bias towards broadway actually, looking at past winners and nominees.

And the reason I said maybe Witney is because her jazz with Alfonso went viral, so there is recognition there as well.

Edited by ocelot

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I don't question any of these choreographers being well regarded in the dance world and so when I said the comment about Spencer, I wasn't suggesting he isn't well regarded or well respected but instead, I was thinking along the lines you just stated, that Derek may be regarded as more of a celebrity than the others and thus, more known. And I will concede that ratings wise,  DWTS has always far surpassed SYTYCD and especially with all the romance and by that token, tabloid rumors, some of the Pros, particularly Derek and Julianne and probably Maks, have become celebrities on some level.

 

That said, SYTYCD has A LOT of famous fans, most of them television actors - Christina Applegate, Katie Holmes, Ellen Degeneres, Jesse Tyler Ferguson have all shown up to judge the show and are avid fans. The point, while the SYTYCD choreographers may not be seen as much as "celebrities" as Derek for example, it doesn't mean in the Television Academy world, they aren't known and have their fans. Not to mention that many of these choreographers have done other work with non-dancing television shows - Travis for example choreographed Carrie Underwood's "Something In The Water" video. 

 

Finally, isn't the Academy vote just 50 percent of the final vote and the panel of experts still exist, whose vote will count for the other 50 percent?

Edited by truthaboutluv

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Oh no sorry I wasn't trying to accuse you of questioning his credentials I was more trying to make a point about my opinion that the emmy board has a bias toward broadway.

 

I think that DWTS has a far greater audience but SYTYCD is far more respected in terms of the dance community. That's why when it was the board deciding they pick SYTYCD, and when the vote is opened up I think that gives more of a chance to DWTS nominees.

 

I don't actually know how the voting goes, I'm just going by what somebody posted upthread. They said that until 2013 it was just the panel decision, in 2013 and 2014 it was 50/50 and this year is the first year that the vote is 100 percent open.

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Ocelot, you are correct about what I wrote about the voting. Before 2013, the winner was chosen by a panel. In 2013 the rule changed so that the winner was chosen by 50% panel votes and 50% Academy members. In 2015, for the first time, there is no panel and the winner is decided entirely by the 18,500 members of the TV Academy.

I had the same thought you had--with the panel excluded it might tilt the voting toward the most well-known choreographers, especially if voters don't watch the dances. I watched all the nominees moments ago and noticed Elastic Heart has almost 1 million views. Since the original Elastic Heart dance had close to 1 billion views, it occurred to me that Sia herself and the song might also have a subtle influence on voting.

It's all speculation but I love speculating about things like this. I do agree with those who think it would be great for Travis to win since he has been consistently nominated for many remarkable dances without a win. Two of his dances this time are breathtaking--the Wave is a stunner. I think he will win actually, but I think the rule change might have given Tessandra, Derek and Julianne a better chance than they would have had without it.

Here is the press release announcing changes for 2015. It states on page 1 "All references in the Academy rules to 'Mini-Series' will be changed to 'Limited Series" - but continues to call them miniseries on page 3.

See page 6 for changes to choreography rules: http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/2015-whats-new-v1.pdf

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I think that DWTS has a far greater audience but SYTYCD is far more respected in terms of the dance community.[\quote]

Really? I don't remember where I read this, but someone had posted that most dancers considered SYTYCD little better than a glorified game show and didn't respect it at all. But that might have been aimed more at ballet and ballroom dancers who have companies they work for or more competitive trophies to win.

To get this back on topic, I think anymore SYTYCD is just a fancier job application for DWTS.

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Nigel often refers to DWTS as the "other dance show", he likes to think it's superior to DWTS, and maybe some of comes from trained dancers doing choreo, but honestly, SYTYCD has turned into a glorified 2 hour Jazz/Contemporary show with a little Hip Hop and maybe 1 ballroom piece.

 

He doesn't realize that he messed with the format too much and it's on it's last leg, where as I can easily see DWTS on for many years.

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I think that DWTS has a far greater audience but SYTYCD is far more respected in terms of the dance community.[\quote]

Really? I don't remember where I read this, but someone had posted that most dancers considered SYTYCD little better than a glorified game show and didn't respect it at all. But that might have been aimed more at ballet and ballroom dancers who have companies they work for or more competitive trophies to win.

To get this back on topic, I think anymore SYTYCD is just a fancier job application for DWTS.

Yeah, it is much more respected. It is still looked down on by ballet companies, though. Because it is still COMMERCIAL dance after all. And all types of dancers have more competitive trophies to win, not just ballet and ballroom dancers. I mentioned Martha Graham upthread^^

 

It is a game show. So is DWTS. It's not revered or anything, and is certainly looked down on by some, but it does hold a little bit of clout whereas DWTS holds zero.

 

SYTYCD is a job application for DWTS for the ballroom dancers, certainly. But I don't think the rest of the dancers on the show have any interest in DWTS.

Edited by ocelot

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Nigel "Dizzyfeet" Lythgoe has done more for The Dance than any single individual in this world the past two decades.  

 

Having said that, I hate that he more and more veered from traditional forms in producing his show.  But, interest in dance, generally, drastically increased the moment SYTYCD was born.  It was his vision.  He is owed a great debt by many, many dancers of all stripes.

 

The man deserves a "Contribution" Emmy.  He really does.

 

YMMV.

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SYTYCD has kind of always been just a fancier job application for anything in the commercial side of the dance industry - it's filled with 18 year olds who have actually seemed to go on and work pretty consistently; in DWTS yes, but also Broadway, music videos, movies, backup dancing for major music acts, etc. Not being in the industry I can't really give a definitive read on exactly how it's viewed, but it definitely doesn't seem to have the sort of stigma of say, America's Next Top Model. It feels a bit like dancer grad school* - you go in to come out of it with a really great network with which to use in your later career. 

 

*I do know you can actually go to grad school for dance. Dancer MBA? One of those programs where your tuition is mostly paying for getting a network to be able to cash in later. 

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Sytycd is more like a great commerical dance internship. It's a sumner dance camp working with important people in the commerical dance world.

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