DWTS Choreography Copycats: U.S. Pros “Upset and Looking Into” Getting Rights — Report
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that’s not quite how all of the Dancing With the Stars pros feel about seeing their routines on other shows.
AfterBuzz TV’s Kristyn Burtt — who gave everyone that great DWTS scoop on the Season 18 couples that could’ve been — recently posted an Instagram video with her "15 second dance scoop" on the controversy about Bulgaria copying DWTS routines. This is not the first time U.S. routines have faced the copycat treatment from a sister show in the same DWTS/Strictly Come Dancing family, but Kristyn explained how and why it’s happening.
"BBC owns the rights,” she said, “nothing the DWTS pros can do about it right now. In fact, oftentimes the dancers [overseas] are told by producers 'copy this entire dance from wardrobe all the way down to camera blocking.' U.S. pros are upset and looking into it."
How frustrating for the U.S. pros, who put so much time, energy, and creativity into their choreography — in addition to working with wardrobe on costumes, and working with the crew on camera blocking. The pros create the routines from start to finish and that's part of why DWTS is such an all-consuming gig for 10 or 11 weeks. To not have any control over someone lifting all of your work? That's just not fair.
And you'd think the pros around the world, as a point of pride, would refuse to copy another pro’s routine, even if producers pushed them to do it, especially if the original choreographer did not give his or her permission. Then again, not all dancers are skilled choreographers, so maybe there are some pros out there who are grateful to have a set routine to execute on a weekly basis. But that's part of what makes DWTS so impressive, and why the U.S. pros have become the real stars of Dancing With the Stars — fans recognize the insane amount of creativity and talent it takes to craft routines, teach them to newbies, and pull them off on a live show. Every. Single. Week!
We're not exactly experts in entertainment and copyright law, but hopefully something can be done to respect the work of the original artists and not allow these start-to-finish dance Xeroxes. Maybe the U.S. pros could even go overseas to help train pros in other countries in how to create their own routines?