So you think you can dance

This was an American Idol type show for dance — after auditions, a number of dancers were selected to compete for votes. Each week, each one would draw for a partner and style of dance, including various ballroom styles, lyrical and jazz, hip-hop, and more. The lowest-scoring ones would get to do a short solo to try to win enough votes to stay in.

I like dance.

In high school art class, I remember sorting through the various magazines for ideas, and being moved by many of the pictures in dance magazines. Something about the poses, the costumes, the energy, the expression.

I took modern dance in college and loved it. Kinesthetic art! Each element — whether stretching on the floor, practicing footwork at the barre, or moving across the space — was wonderful. Something about being centered, being absolutely grounded in one’s body, and using one’s whole self to express beauty and energy. The connection and response to the music, too. We were fortunate to have an accompanist in our class, and he was excellent. He always chose music that was well-suited to the movement, and he played it well.

I haven’t danced or gone to dance concerts since then — except for some contra dancing, which is great fun but quite different.

So I really enjoyed this show.

I didn’t expect to like the hip-hop and ballroom stuff, but I did. In fact, I liked them sometimes more than the lyrical numbers, which in this context seemed too slow and arbitrary.

The other thing I liked about this show was that it had a nicer atmosphere than Idol. The judges were usually able to give constructive criticism in encouraging and supportive ways, and no one went out of his way to be insulting.


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