Dance Show Dance Off

The thumping rhythm begins. Is it the beating of my heart or a rousing bass line? Anticipation rises. I wait, impatiently, for satisfaction. This is love, right? Close enough.

Yes, friends, it's clearly a Wednesday night and I am once again waiting breathlessly for the last credit to roll past. Finally I'm rewarded with the sassy parade of contestants, some of whom will be dancing for their lives tomorrow on the results show. But I leap ahead. If only I could leap like these cools do! Instantly, I am mesmerized by the popping, locking, leaping bodies of my fabulous little dancer friends. Yes, mine. And yours too, if you're as addicted as I am to So You Think You Can Dance. Wait! You think I'm talking about Dancing With the Stars, but I'm so not. This is a different show! A better show! A hotter, younger, more amazing show! Seriously.

Fans of American Idol should be watching this. Fans of hard-bodied athletic types who are half-dressed most of the time should be watching this. Fans of porn who aren't allowed to watch it should be watching this. Not that this is porn. It's not. But did I mention the half-clad, hard-bodied dancers?

And if that isn't enough to entice you, there is another level of entertainment value that adds to the draw here. What makes this show a must-see is that these astonishingly talented movers are getting an opportunity to experience the entire spectrum of dance -- hip hop, crunk, jazz, ballroom, Broadway, modern and more. And to raise the ballet bar even farther, the show has attracted the likes of Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo and more. You may be scratching your heads because these names mean nothing to you. Believe me, they meant nothing to me either until I started watching last year, but now I understand that this show utilizes the talents of some of the most extraordinary choreographers in the nation. These are people whose work you would have to pay big money to see in New York. Mia Michaels has choreographed for Cirque du Soleil and Prince. All of the choreographers are gifted in their own right, and have an impressive roster of stars who regularly seek them out to choreograph their music videos and live shows. The hip factor is high, people.

Really, I gotta hand it to the creators of American Idol and their cohorts -- they are pretty frakkin' smart. So You Think You Can Dance has its funny moments, its tense moments and a double scoop of insane dancing. The only thing that'll cool you down from this sizzling summer show is the cold, hard truth the judges sometimes dish out to those who didn't make the grade. At least they're not generally snarky and mean like some judges we've grown accustomed to (cough Simon Cowell cough).

The dancers get a little something for their efforts as well. The lucky winner from this season's dance-off will get a one year contract for Celine Dion's Vegas show, a brand new car and $100,000. Okay, so you're not into Celine, but you've gotta admit, that's not a bad prize for someone trying to break into the biz.

This show is a little smarter than American Idol, because even though the audience gets to put their least faves into the bottom, the judges get to make the ultimate call each week on who gets sent home. So there's no chance that stupid America, swayed by someone's rack, ripped torso, or sob story, can send an extraordinary talent home.

What it comes down to is this: while I wouldn't dare put on a bikini even though its summer, I am happy to live vicariously and imagine that the firm fannys on those dancing fools are mine. And isn't that just like real love? Where you end up feeling better about yourself, no matter what your actual fanny looks like?