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WSU Dance in the spotlight in Detroit Free Press article

September 2, 2013


Amy Yakima will be dancing live before several million TV viewers for the female title of America's Favorite Dancer on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" (SYTYCD). If she wins when results are announced on the Sept. 10 show, she'll be making Michigan dance history. No other Michigan-bred dancer has advanced so far in modern-day network reality talent contests. "It will be great. It will be marvelous. So many people out in the world of dance started here in Michigan," said Detroit-based dance historian Harriet Berg, a longtime dancer and founder of the Michigan Dance Archives at Wayne State University's Reuther Library. At Wayne State University, dance majors currently are taking classes with choreographer/dancer Dwight Rhoden, who has choreographed routines for the show. "The students are falling all over themselves because they see him on SYTYCD and now they see him in our studio," said WSU dance professor Eva Powers. "You have an elevated celebrity status if you're on that show." "Judging by the skill of our new freshmen this year, it's quite remarkable how much more talented they are in all areas of dance," said Powers. Wayne State has about 100 students majoring in dance, she said, and interest in classes for general students has grown.