So…You Think You Can Dance? Why Not SHINE?

13 Jul


Danny & Anya’s radiance on this week’s So You Think You Can Dance


I often tell my students that they can find inspiration for writing topics everywhere – in the lyrics of a pop song, on a walk through a park, in a snippet of an overheard conversation (side note: I frequently overhear interesting conversations at Starbucks that could potentially serve as jumping off points for stories and/or characters. I once heard a woman declare (actually quite loudly so I didn’t really even have to eavesdrop) to her friend, about a freshly-ended relationship: “I JUST MISS THE SEX!”, and more recently I caught a conversation that involved smeared fecal matter). So as you can see, inspiration abounds all around. This week, I took my own advice, and found inspiration in…So You Think You Can Dance.

I used to be a Dancing With The Stars snob, and I’d only ever watched So You Think You Can Dance one time last summer, primarily because Natasha Beddingfield was the musical guest and I loved that song “Unwritten.” But this season, my friend KB has shown me the error of my ways in disregarding So You Think You Can Dance in seasons past, and I have come to the realization that I have room for two dance-based reality shows in my life. (As a recent convert, I have already spread this Dance gospel to my Mom, to whom I emailed the below SYTYCD YouTube links, and then, while on the phone, I forced her to press play at the exact same time as I did so that we could simultaneously watch and enjoy my favorite dance numbers together.)

This week, in my attempt to live a more balanced life, I took time out of my workaholic schedule for both the Wednesday performance show and the Thursday results show (OK, I only caught the end of the results show, but that is when all the crucial who-is-cut-who-is-coming-back information is imparted anyway, and besides, I was late tuning in because I was coming from a yoga class, which also contributes to a balanced life, and not because of any work-related reason).

Watching this show, I feel exhilarated, inspired, and invigorated, much like I have felt watching all those somewhat-cheesy dance-themed movies in years past – such as Center Stage in 2000, featuring dancer/actress Amanda Schull, and Ethan Stiefel of the American Ballet Theatre, and culminating in an exuberant, edgy, and ground-breaking dance number to that Jamiroquai song “Canned Heat”- which is to say, like I want to swing by Broadway Dance Center, pick up a schedule, and DANCE like my life depended on it!

Back to reality: this week on So You Think You Can Dance, my favorite number was Anya & Danny’s contemporary routine. I was watching the dance, mesmerized, and then it was over, and I realized I had not bothered to breathe in the past 3 or so minutes, and I felt like the dance itself had punched me in the stomach, and taken my breath away, in the best possible sense. Ohmygoodness, the heat, the passion, the longing and raw desire. Um, WOW. Anya and Danny are both phenomenal dancers in their own right, and as a couple, they have the kind of chemistry that jumps out at you and punches you in the stomach, which is to say, breathtaking.

I was however, disappointed with the critique they received. First of all, Danny was criticized for “disconnecting” from Anya in moments, but hello, this was a timeless love story of coming together and then ripping apart, only to, unable to deny the intense magnetic attraction any longer, come back together again, much like, well, life. Haven’t you ever had any relationships like that? (Only they usually don’t include such elaborate leaps and partner tricks…or maybe they do…)

But even more upsetting was how Danny was lambasted for his arrogance. This was after being referred to by one of the judges as “unquestionably one of the most beautiful male dancers I have ever seen, uh, ever,” and being told by another, “when you leap, nobody leaps as high and with such power and explosive…” So I’m asking you judges, what’s wrong with a little arrogance? I mean personally, he doesn’t come off as arrogant to me, but what if he did? He is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. He is doing seriously freakin’ hard things, like leaping through the air in a single bound, and contorting his (gorgeous) body in the name of art!!! Clearly, he is passionate about dancing and works hard, so what’s wrong with knowing he is talented and exceptional and wonderful and fabulous, and further radiating and celebrating that? He is great, so why not rock his greatness, and SHINE like the light that he is? Sure, he could fake humility, but how annoying and obnoxious is that? He was told: “With the kind of technique you have, you dance like you think you know you already won the competition.” Well, why not imagine a positive outcome? Why is it better to imagine and anticipate the worst, that you will lose, fail, that things will not work out for you, that nothing will go your way? Why is that “humble” stance more revered?

And in conclusion I say, rock on with yo’ talented hot self, Danny! Most of us could use a lot more unabashed appreciation of our own fine, talented, exceptional, wonderful, fabulous selves. We can stop playing so small – JUST STOP IT RIGHT HERE & NOW – and play instead to our big, bold, beautiful juicy talents that we ALL have – regardless of whether or not we can “backbend and then grande off the floor.” So this week, don’t be afraid to boldly, unapologetically, rock YOUR best, biggest, brightest talents, whatever they may be! Perhaps you can even sneak them into play more than once. Why not? GO FOR IT!!! And don’t even try to be humble about it…

For your viewing pleasure, here are some of my other favs from this week’s show. Post a comment and let me know what you think! Should Danny pretend to be humble? Who is your favorite? It can be like a book club, except with dance reality!

  • Lauren & Neil’s jazz routine (choreographed by Wade Robson – ‘member his (short-lived) dance reality show The Wade Robson Project (aired from August 18, 2003 – October 13, 2003) – a great example of a successful guy having a “Failure” Chapter in his Success Story (see: “The Glorious Success of Failure,” May 4, 2007)
  • Sabra & Dominic’s hip hop routine – sooooooooooooo steamy! Hip hot + heart! (“Hip hop just had a nice breakthough tonight,” Adam Shankman, SYTYCD Guest Judge.) By the way, Sabra has only been dancing for 4 years! We can all live the dream!

Have a ROCKIN’ weekend and I will see you at Broadway Dance!!!



Copyright © 2007 by Jennifer Garam. All rights reserved.

3 Responses to “So…You Think You Can Dance? Why Not SHINE?”

  1. John July 13, 2007 at 5:23 pm #

    I would call myself a So You Think…? snob who’s never watched Dancing With The Stars. I’ll check it out in the future.

    I think that Nigel is on to something, though. Danny is a fabulous technical dancer, and his technique is beautiful to watch. But I don’t think we see as much of Danny as one might want. My post on this week’s episode focused on just this question.

    That said, his skill makes him the “best” dancer on the show. Does that make him the “favorite” dancer? Not so sure.

    Either way, I hope he stays. The show would be so lacking without him!

  2. blabby August 8, 2007 at 6:54 pm #

    I am always thinking that when I watch Sabra…”it’s not too late for me!” Sadly, I think it actually is too late for me, but like you say, I’m still living the dream 🙂


  1. So You Think You Can Dance Season 4 Makes Me SO Happy!!! « One Writeous Chick - June 13, 2008

    […] on So You Think You Dance, and back in July of 2007 it was one of my favorite blog topics (see:  So…You Think You Can Dance?  Why Not SHINE? and Arrogance Vs. Confidence & How This Relates to So You Think You Can Dance & YOU)  […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: