Originally from Charleston, SC, Veronica Jiao currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and is a graduate from the Florida State University. While pursuing her Bachelor's of Fine Arts, she was also a company member of The Tallahassee Ballet. Prior to her studies at FSU, Veronica attended the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities. Most recently, she has been a Teaching Artist at Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center in Bronx, NY and a marketing assistant at Dancewave, located in Brooklyn.
Last week for "So You Think You Can Dance," Travis Wall choreographed a routine to Nina Simone's "Strange Fruit." It had beautiful dancers, liquid movement and subtle lighting. The concept no doubt had good intentions. But the execution was troublesome.
My complicated relationship with "So You Think You Can Dance" will never cease. I was in the second row when the "SYTYCD" Season 2 tour hit my city; I've taken class from Season 1 winner Nick Lazzarini; I saved Melanie and Marco's duets to my "Favorites" on YouTube.
The show creates opportunities for dancers and choreographers, yet consistently holds the artistic integrity of dance to such a low standard. The nature of this competitive dance show is quick-paced, where choreographers set several dances on performers in one week or less. The repercussions of this learn-dance-eliminate cycle are such that the process, research and discussion of the dance—namely the work in spotlight—are condensed into a week.