Updated to add:
All of the videos I had as part of this post are "no longer available" (which really sucks) so I've removed them. But they were super cool dances!
back, some of y'all (not mentioning any names *coughMcGone
cough*) expressed surprise at the fact that I was admitting to watching So You Think You Can Dance
Seeing as I feel no need to defend my love of this awesome display of talent, I thought, instead, I'd do my best to explain a little bit about what it is that makes this show so damn good.
I should preface this essay (read: rant) by giving a little bit of history; I grew up dancing. I started as a little girl and grew to love it. I danced for close to fourteen years, was part of a professional touring company, and if it hadn't been for an injury, I would probably have kept on doing it. I was never the very best, but I loved to move and I loved expressing what the music and choreography was trying to say. That being said, I have an appreciation for the skill, talent, work, ability, and fitness level that dancers need. Dance is a beautiful, challenging art form and takes a crapload of hard work to boot.
Dance, is also under-appreciated.
A couple of years ago, my Mom told me to come watch this tv show she'd heard about. It was called So You Think You Can Dance and I imagined some kind of Star Search talent show with embarrassing consequences. I skipped over half a season before her enthusiasm won me over and I watched an episode.
I was blown away.
This show auditioned thousands of dancers and chose those they felt were the best. They chose ballet dancers, modern, jazz, hip-hop, ballroom, you name it. They didn't pigeon hole or limit the idea of "good dancer" to the classical, traditional forms. Then they partnered them up and gave them to some of the most talented choreographers in America. Sure, there's voting and elimination like in most reality tv shows, but that's not really the point.
The point is; they take these artists and they give them the best choreographers and they ask them to perform outside of their comfort zone and you just get to watch these kids do amazing things. It's like taking Steve Nash
and asking him to play a hockey game on an NHL team, or getting an MLB pitcher to play midfield with Real Madrid. It's completely amazing and mesmerizing.
I don't think you have to love dance to enjoy the show, but in case you're not a big fan of ballet and tu-tus, don't worry; there's all kinds of dance performed. Plus, the girls wear skimpy outfits if that helps at all!
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the ballroom numbers or the hip-hop kind of stuff, but I am a huge sucker for what they call lyrical or contemporary. The easy way to think about lyrical/contemporary is that the dance is supposed to use the music to tell a story, to make the watcher feel something. And, if you let yourself, you'll see and feel and hear and learn.
Last season, I had some favourite dancers and some favourite dances. The company that "owns" the clips doesn't much like sharing, (so watch them soon, they get removed real quick like) but I've managed to scrape together some clips of some of my last season's favourites.(Updated to add: Actually, in the week since I first started this post, they've all been "removed" so now all I can find is video of someone videoing their tv. Go figure) They may not convince you to watch the show, especially if you don't enjoy the same style as I do but maybe they'll show you a little bit of why I enjoy this show.
Remember, these kids are learning new routines every week, while trying to work with a partner and understand and interpret what the choreographer gives them, often never having danced in that style before. It's seriously cool.
(Cool dance videos used to go here! Here, here's two I've managed to figure out I had up via the comments... Ramalama Bang Bang, Calling You
At the very least, it's a fun show and, really, what else is on tv these days, right? Now, I'm done, and if you don't want to take my word for it? Perhaps you shall take hers
P.S. It's about damn time dance got some recognition. Woot!
P.P.S. I'm going to have to return this loaner computer soon so I may disappear again, although, perhaps you won't even notice. If I'm not back before the weekend, Happy Canada Day!!!!!
P.P.P.S. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to write posts on a different computer and on a different browser? Yikes. Please excuse typos, etc. And all. And stuff.
P.P.P.P.S. I just saw a grey squirrel with a yellow tail. Punk rock squirrel?