So You Think You Can Dance: Where are the Black Women!!!


I am mad!!! There has been 5 total seasons of So you think you can dance, that's a total of 100 dancers in the top 20, I love this show, however I can count on 1 hand the number of black women that have made it to the top 20, throughout all five seasons!!! That is an outrage!!! Season 1 Destiny, Season 2 Donyell and Martha, Season 3 no one, Season 4 Comfort and Chealsea Traille, Season 5 no one!!! What the hell is going on here? Oh I know you are saying... well what about Sabra (Season 3 winner) and Snadra (Season 1) well sorry to say, but they don't count, they are a mixture of everything, barley passing for African American.... beautiful and talented women, however they were not black. I'm not pulling the race card, I enjoy all the dancers and different cultures, and styles, but if you're good, then you're good. For one, during audition week, and Vegas week, they rarley show any african americans, wether male or female, all of a sudden you have some black males make it to the top 20 and you're like "where did he come from?" That's because they don't show us!!! Are african Americans not interesting enough? Do we not have talent? PLEASE!!! We invented dance!!! I Love the show, auditioned twice and will audition again season 7, Season 6 auditions are this month. African American Females have to work extra hard to make it in this industry, and it’s not that we are not good, they just overlook us and Ostracize us for no apparent reason!!! If they don’t start putting more black females through to the top 20 then I am going to stop watching the show all together, sorry, I love it, but I can’t continue to support them, if they don’t support us!!!! Pictures of four of the black women on the show below, Sorry but I could not find a picture of Destiny, as they brushed poor Season 1 under the rug, which happens to be one of my favorite Seasons!!! Picture of Sabra (Season 3 Winner) at the very bottom.

Black female Contestants

Donyell Season 2
Donyell Season 2
Martha Season 2
Martha Season 2
Comfort Season 4
Comfort Season 4
Chelsea Traille Season 4
Chelsea Traille Season 4
Sabra Season 3 Winner... would not consider her black or african american   (Beautiful & Talented though)
Sabra Season 3 Winner... would not consider her black or african american (Beautiful & Talented though)

Comments 28 comments

Babygirl 7 years ago

I TOTALLY agree and there was absolutely no reason why the black tap dancer wasn't picked this year. She was better than a few of those girls, especially the one that was picked for being blonde -- that is the ONLY reason I can see why she was chosen. All they kept saying was how pretty she comments on her dancing ability.

You did miss one black girl, who was on there last year. She was a darker skinned girl w/ full lips -- very pretty. She was on with Comfort, who I really wasn't feeling by the way.

I googled to see if anyone else noticed this. I am extremely disappointed and am considering pulling the plug on this one.

Sabrina 6 years ago

I agree with you. I'm a fan of the show, and it makes me so frustrated that they never showcase black female dancers. I'm not sure what the reason couldn't possibly be that we're not talented enough. I guess we're just invisible to the judges?

Nadine 6 years ago

Yuppers... I guess if you don't fling your hair all over the place you're not considered a great dancer. Same with American seriously, America, now black women can't sing? The only time black women are featured on these shows are when they are making fools of themselves.

Karla K 6 years ago

@Nadine OMG!!! I was just talking about that...this disgust me...the only time they featured Black People in general was when they were talking about them growing up in the hood or saying they couldn't afford dance lessons so they momma had to clean the dance studio.....and then it's like we don't see any of them during auditions, vegas week, thing you know they pop up in the top 20 or to be judge for the top 20. They can be so blatant with their stuff sometimes!!!

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WordNLipsAffair 6 years ago

Interesting..that's why I don't watch television that much!

I understand the game 6 years ago

The women of color are always sent through choreography, even though they dance circles around others. When they get through that hurdle, they're either cut or are sent to Vegas. Once they're sent to Vegas, they're often not even given a chance to prove themselves.

It's ashame. It is blatant. I guess they're motto is "Don't hate the player, hate the game". That's why I've taken a stand and will never watch SYTYCD until they make their errors correct!

Denise 6 years ago

I stopped watching on season three when they went all across America and could not get one single black woman in the top twenty. What a farce. I don't feel bad about using the 'race' card especially when the judges say things like 'You're so beautiful' & 'the camera is going to love you' instead of sticking to the dance. Yes they like the flowing bleach blonds. Shame on you SYTYCD.

Karla  6 years ago

Thanks for commenting everyone, glad I'm not the only one who sees this mess!!!

LuvFades115 6 years ago

Hi, I just got an account here just so I could comment on this issue. It sucks that you have to ensure people that you aren't playing the race card, because whenever I try to bring this stuff up in other forms I get people throwing color doesn't matter and that im being oversensitive at me. Yeah color shouldn't matter but it does and therefore I should be allowed to say when something is wrong. However these people probably don't understand since their race is over represented in everything.

Anyways back to the subject. I completely agree. Black women are overlooked on this show. There are three seasons now with no black women in it at all, and Im not sure if im being paranoid by this or not but the girls seem to be judged on beauty and black girls are not the Eourpean standard of beauty and so they are even more over looked compared to other girls. The males seem to always be diversed, season 5 the top 5 guys, there was only one white guy because the judges don't care about looks when it comes to guys. And black girls are always judged in hollywood as not living up to the standard of beauty compared to white girls.

Amber Jackson was the national senior outstanding dancer in 2008 for the females, same with Jacob Karr for the males so why didn't she make it when she tried out for season 6 and 7? She's obviously just as good as Jacob and I dont by that no personality thing. Kayla from season 5 had no personality whatsoever and look how far she made it. But Kayla was the pretty blonde, and Amber got her faced mocked by Nigel as if that was an appropriate thing to do to her.Also season 6 the first two dancers cut were black women. I'll admit, I wasn't a big fan of Bianca, but Ariana Debose was a very strong dancer I don't understand why they didn't see the heart in her. They rarly showed Ariana during auditions and all of sudden she was in the top 20, and then she had a pretty good solo, better than Paulina and got cut for not having a personality? And what pisses me of even more is how in some forms how badly talked about Comfort is. Yes she not the best at other styles outside her own but look at philip from season 5 and ivan from season 2 who weren't that great outside their style and people didn't literally hate them. I've even seen comments about people saying they didn't like her attitude?! What attutide? Comfort had a great personality. People even said that Amber Jackson had an attitude for looking pissed when she didn't get picked for the top 20, I thought she handled it pretty well. Why are people already making comments on these black women as if they have attitudes? Nobody even remembers Martha who was very mature african american dance and is one of my favorite dancers. We are being overlooked in personality and dance wise.

I guess if we don't act like a stereotype or completely suck at dancing we arent noticed. Why can't black women be graceful without being told we have no personality. The show has always been diversed, but Hollywood has always held black women to a different standard when choosing them to be on television and movies and this kinda of judgement needs to change. Its very dissapointing in a show that is known for having diversity.

Karla K 6 years ago

they could have called Donyell back as an Allstar!

LuvFades115 6 years ago

They have to put one black women in every season for the allstar thing since their weren't that many on the show to began with. Sadly, that's probably why they didn't ask her and they need to save people who can do hip hop for other seasons as well since most people are contemporary.

naimia 5 years ago

I agree. It's really an outrage when the white girls that dance hip hop. They changed the the name of the show to the best dancer to the most popular dancer because there is no way whites are better dancers than all blacks. So, I will say that black women are not chosen because they don't want the white woman to be outdone. They don't want to show a sensual beautiful black woman being sexy and strong and alluring because then everyone will know what black women already know, that we are all of that!!!

JC 4 years ago

This is not a rant - No black woman in the top 24. Not because none tried out. Actually some pretty phenomenal ones tried out but they gave them 0 airtime. To give you the impression that there was no talented black women therefore none in the top 24. I'm not making a case for affirmative action here. Just for people to wake up and realize that this TV show is not about talent at ALL. Just google/Youtube Su Charles, eliminated end of Hollywood Week. Some of the comments put her in the top 12 from the start, so why wasn't she even aired, then cut? Think about it.

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Ericajean 3 years ago

Hi! I just came across your hub and even though its a few years old and it is 2013 I still see the disappearance of "fresh" faces more and more. Even on the covers of Sci-Fi/fantasy books the covers show one race. Now, could this be because there aren't enough protagonists of different hues? Or does anyone care? Who knows. It is hard to question this situation without looking at it from all angles, which is hard to do but I will try.

Same with SYTYCD: I believe there are black women auditioning, but in a nation that caters and appreciates one particular hue, it is no really big surprise that dark skin would not pass the attraction factor. It is not an opinion of mine, just something that is a terrible fact because of prejudice and bad cultural history in the U.S., but let's look at something else...

Black women need to become more open to more than just "booty" shaking routines and dramatic movies and just try out for something different. Be daring.

Those with the resources should come together and start their own dance show-another option. I read a book once "Don't Play in the Sun" and the author of the memoir spoke with a producer of a show and he withheld names but told her, "Dark skin is not in and does not have attraction factor for their viewers"

Hey, whatever. God made us all and He doesn't make junk. Sorry I rambled on. Good hub!

PrinceAshanti 2 years ago from London, Ontario

Its sad but those who have the power to create a show like this do so in order to appeal to the majority. A black man or woman winning doesn't appeal to the majority and they will lose viewers. African Americans have to power to make their own shows and generate their own revenue so I see a shift. Ie best man holiday making $30M

Crystal Hale 2 years ago

I was sitting here watching So you think you can dance, and realized not one African American female! I am so sick of us being invisible ! In the media we are being portrayed as angry, lazy, fat, ignorant, loud, rude, aggressive and whores! I am flat out sick of it!!! There is a commercial for a Network and in it the celebrities, hosts and others are saying how diverse it is with statements like, this is for the black , white , Latinas , every kind of Ina's, for the girls who like girls, the boys who like boys. And so on.... Not one black woman!!!!! And the commercial is pretty long. Same thing with Saturday night live ... No black women until they got called out. And then they only hired one! Like "Here, now quit bitching' " To empower and uplift ourselves and show little black girls that they are special and wonderful we have to celebrate our own selves with our own "Black girls rock" what a damn shame!!!! I guess I won't be watching so you think you can dance either! You can't tell me out of all the damn auditions all over America .... You can't find 2? Not to mention one! Who the hell am I supposed to connect with??? No one... so why should I watch?

Karla K. profile image

Karla K. 2 years ago from California (Inland Empire) Author

@Ericajean Sorry I took so long to reply, but thank you for your input and thank you for reading my HUB!

Karla K. profile image

Karla K. 2 years ago from California (Inland Empire) Author

@PrinceAshanti You're right, however a black male in Hollywood, is way more appealing than a black female... and SYTYCD continues to push that agenda... its a shame.... and african american's either lack the funds, business knowledge/etiquette, and drive to produce their own versions... I mean other than Sunday's best...

@Crystal Hale MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY!!!! I am especially appalled at this season!!! This boring, discriminatory crap needs to be taken off the air already!!! I mean they put a lot of hip hop black boys on the show... because black guys that do hip hop are "Soooo Cool" but they act like the black woman doesn't exsist.... SMH!!!

mDot 2 years ago

True! Its ridiculous. I think we need to start social media stance #BlackGirlsDanceToo. If we do nothing, this will just continue. Hell, they've gotten away with it thus far. My 5 year old daughter even noticed "no one looks like her" on the show.

Karla K. profile image

Karla K. 2 years ago from California (Inland Empire) Author

@mdot definitely, start the movement! Its such a shame our little black girls have no one to look to on mainstream TV!

Valerie Jetter 2 years ago

This is exactly why I am not watching this year, I loved that black ballet dancer that had auditioned, I was sure she was going to make it.

Then when they were picking their top 20, I was thinking, ok any minute I will see a black girl being picked, maybe even a half black girl, I would have even settled for a girl that was 1/4 black!

Nope this year, not a one!

I just thought of the young black girls watching the show, personally, I never grew up thinking how I wanted to be a white girl.

kl 2 years ago

I completely agree with you! However, this season the winner will be in a broadway show about white sailors in the 1930's and 40's. If you notice there is only 1 real hiphop dancer and he is good in all styles. It sucks but it is the business.

kej 2 years ago

Noticed it too. The voters also quickly got rid of the two Black guys

Vic 2 years ago

It is sad that at this time these prejudices still. I am going to remove this show from my watch list.

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Susan Silber 2 years ago from Berkeley, California

Yeah I totally agree. I am a Caucasian woman watching the show right now and completely disgusted and appalled at the lack of ethnic diversity on this show this year. ALL on the top 8 are white. What is up with that? I love this show but it is just so not okay that there are no African American women - or any sort of ethnic diversity - on this show, in the top group. I am going to write to the show to complain - maybe all of you could do so as well?

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Karla K. 2 years ago from California (Inland Empire) Author

@Vic, yes I have done the same, the show has been removed from my DVR list of recordings, I am no longer at all intrested in the show... at all.... @Susan Sibler I agree, we should take action to write into the show, thanks for your input

John doe 2 years ago

I think we should riot,lewt and burn stuff up because there are no black women on so you think you can dance...

Taylor 13 months ago

Just found this article and don't know if anyone is still following this trend of No Black Females on SYTYCD but this season...season 12 they had 1 Ariana Crowder make it to top 20 but she may as well have not the way that production and judges treated her...I can't even begin. But they never showed her solo never showed her audition barely showed her in Vegas week and then on the live shows they gave her all backhanded compliments and insults even though she danced better than the non black girls there is definitely some discrimination going on and I for one will not watch the show again...If you get a chance review the entire season 12 and i gurarantee you will have plenty to write about

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