Profile Spotlight: Mark Kanemura

Mark Kanemura has worked masterfully to make his way to the top 6 of “So You Think You Can Dance”, and his prowess and talent cannot be denied. Mark is from a place most of us associate with the dream vacation. Honolulu, Hawaii. Wow, imagine growing up in paradise!! Well, Mark gets to bring a bit of paradise to us all with his talent.

Often, you get the impression from the reality shows that the talents are new and have no experience, but there is no such requirement. Mark has dance experience. He was trained with 24-VII Dance Force, danced with Tokyo Disney and choreographed performances on Norwegian Cruise Lines! He is far from an amateur.

While Mark’s specialty is contemporary dance, it is obvious from his performances that he is as diverse as dancers come. He has touched on every possible variation of dance in this competition, and this man is still standing, surprising many with his accomplishments.

This week, though, it looked like Mark was destined to be voted out of the competition. As Nigel stated, and Mary agreed, “I think Lady Luck walked in the room when you got your hip-hop routine, I think Lady Luck walked out of the room when you got your Fox Trot .”  Mary chimed in, “I’m sorry, it’s not going to get any better here, I have to agree with Nigel. It was tough. Nothing was melding together. The transitions were all rough. That was one of the worst close holds I have to say I’ve ever seen.”

We listened to these criticisms and had to believe that the judges were watching a different dance than we did. It was sad how bad the criticism was. Watching the dance repeatedly, we could see no reason for the negative input, and the result may actually have hurt the other dancers by drawing America to Mark’s defense.

Mark danced this beautifully, and even if Comfort contributed a bit to some of the negativity being so far out of her style, the judges totally ignored Mark’s effort and art. Interestingly enough, we have seen other sites criticizing this Fox Trot without any explanation. It is easy to blindly follow the judges’ words, and thus you will see those words echoed on many sites, but the fact is, the judges blew it.

So, what happened? The audience struck out and voted for Mark, demonstrating his strong talent and appeal. The audience came to his defense, seeing right through all the bad luck that had befallen the performer, such as drawing Comfort as his dance partner and being forced to do a Fox Trot while other performers were given contemporary or styles that were more suited to their strengths.

Mark has a very unique style, and it shows through his solos and performances. He does not allow it to diminish his technique in specific dance styles, but he does bring it to augment his performances.

Mark, in an interview earlier in the season said, “From what I’ve heard, the people in Hawaii have been really supportive and I’m really grateful for the support and love I’ve been getting. And I hope I’m representing Hawaii well.”

Mark is also incredibly loveable. One of his students Chanel Dragomanovich says “I think he’s the type that America will fall in love with. I think he really has that likable quality.” Does he ever!!

So Mark is in the final 6. And his personality, as well as his talent, could be the reason!

Mark’s solo performances…

Tribute video: Mark Goes Home, July 31, 2008.

Get to know Mark some more at Fox TV.