Mark Kanemura as Lady Gaga’s leading male dancer

We were watching the 10th season finale of American Idol last week–which was really well done, by the way–and caught the live performance of The Edge of Glory, what seems like will be Lady Gaga’s next single. Lady Gaga was the musical guest a few nights earlier on Saturday Night Live and performed the same song but it was not as gripping.

With the towering set and a better headpiece that reminds me of a Chinese wedding with a bead curtain, I watched every minute. She powered through her vocals for the first bit and it was moving and then threw off her cape and headpiece to put her whole body into playing her synthesizer. Then you see one of her dancers, Mark Kanemura, creeping up the cliff and joining her. They have a sequence where he ravishes her and they act out a tryst, kiss passionately, and jump off the cliff together. Spectacular!

We followed every minute of Mark’s time on the fourth season of So You Think You Can Dance since he was such a special dancer–splendidly quirky and talented. One of the show’s best routines, that even got nominated for an Emmy for its choreography, was with his partner Chelsie Hightower, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon Dumas, a routine to Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Heart. It was a moving and perfectly executed.

Although Mark has been dancing with Lady Gaga since 2009 and he may have been at the two Monster Ball concerts we attended in 2010, we did not notice him as a back-up dancer until late. Perhaps it coincides with his growing role in the back-up team and we are kicking ourselves–he is so noticeable, usually. It’s really fun to make these connections from the reality dance competition to “real life” in the videos and performances. And by all standards, it’s a great step for him after his fifth place finish on So You Think You Can Dance!

Image from

One thought on “Mark Kanemura as Lady Gaga’s leading male dancer

  • February 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I watch SYTYCD every season and Mark was one of my favorties as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *