Archive | June, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Must Be The Foundation of My Summer

15 Jun

After last week’s joyous reunion of me, with So You Think You Can Dance, I immediately started to anticipate next week’s episode, and the one after that, and the one after that.  On Friday night as I was coming home around midnight, I ran into my neighbor K (otherwise known as my cohort in So You Think You Can Dance obsession) and her boyfriend, who were returning from his birthday dinner.  K and I got involved in a detailed recap conversation about this week’s SYTYCD, because it’s not enough to just watch it; part of the fun comes from endless dissecting and reliving the episodes.  This went on for some time when the conversation turned to Joshua, and K and I agreed that part of what is so inspiring about him is that he’s been through a lot; he was raised by a single mother, and their water was even turned off when he was growing up, as we learned in the video prior to his and Katee’s dance… “He’s been through a lot,” K said. “He’s been through a lot,” I echoed, and we nodded, gravely.  When I turned and realized that K’s boyfriend had been through a lot, too.  It was midnight on his birthday and he was been subjected to an endless SYTYCD recap, so K and I wrapped it up, and they went on their way.

The next morning I ran into K when I was coming out of the elevator, which gave us another opportunity to talk SYTYCD, because there is always, always, more to say on the subject, or at least, different ways to say the same things over and over again. We confirmed our plans to watch this week’s episode which was then only 4 days away, and she offered to order take-out in advance so it would be there already when the show started and we wouldn’t have to waste any time on ordering. She then suggested that she might work on putting together a Greatest Hits reel by taping our favorite dances off her DVR from last season (Neil & Sabra “The Plange,” Danny & Anya “Apologize”…) and this season (Katee & Joshu’s “No Air,” and more favorites TK…), to watch in a continuous loop.

As plans for this week’s episode fell into place, I suddenly realized with a start that there might come a time when I have a conflict and won’t be able to see an episode on the night that it airs.  I don’t have a huge problem with missing a results show because you can pretty much get up to speed quickly on all that goes down in a results show, and I’m OK with missing the group dance if it is anything like Nigel’s “kidnapping” from last week.  But to miss the actual episode, the actual event, well, it just wouldn’t be the same to watch that after the fact.  Information would leak out, one would already know stuff, and that magical electricity would not be there.

It became clear to me, in that moment, that I must make So You Think You Can Dance the foundation of my summer, around which everything else is planned.  That way, I can see every episode during it’s originally scheduled time.  That way, SYTYCD will be my anchor.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 4 Makes Me SO Happy!!!

13 Jun

Last summer I got hooked 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)  Sooooo…as the countdown to Season 4 began, my excitement intensified daily.  I half-heartedly sort of watched, sort of didn’t watch the auditions, but I what I was really waiting for was for THE COMPETITION to begin!  (and by the way, why is this phenomenal show only on once a year???)

The real show began this week.  So my friend K, who got me hooked on the show last summer, and I texted back and forth on Wednesday confirming our plans to watch it that night.  I remember the exact moment my So You Think You Can Dance obsession/addiction began last summer:  I had stopped by to visit K while she was watching SYTYCD, and sat, transfixed, breathless even, on her easy chair as as Danny & Anya danced Tyce DiOrio’s contemporary routine to “Apologize” by One Republic.  Transfixed.  Breathless.

Wednesday night, I sat on that same easy chair, giddy with anticipation for the new season to truly begin, and wondering, not for the first time, how I’ve made it all these months without Nigel, Mary and the Gang.  And then it was finally time:  Cat Deeley (unquestionably the best television host of all time) came on the screen and in her trademark British accent announced:  “And this is SoYouThinkYaCanDance!”  K and I spontaneously both broke into wild applause, as if we were in the studio audience, only we weren’t; we were in a studio apartment.

I’m not gonna lie – the first few moments were rough.  We missed our “friends” from last season, we were attached – me especially to Danny, and K to Neil.  The show kicked off with a montage of what turned out to be highlights from this season’s auditions, but what I had hoped would be highlights from last season’s show – I just couldn’t let go, I wasn’t ready to move on.

But then, about 4 numbers into the show and I was like, “Danny, who?” and K was like, “Neil, what?”  These new peeps were good.  Having watched obsessively last season, I have gained, by osmosis, my own dance critique vocabulary, and I often know what the “jidges” will say before they even say it.  For instance, I knew that the first couple, Rayven & Jamie, didn’t hit their hip hop routine hard enough, and that they needed to “get down” into it more, but overall, this season had a strong beginning and the dancers were poised and confident right out of the gate.  There were a lot of good, solid performances and my attachment to the Season 3 cast was starting to loosen, but still, I wasn’t totally blown away by anyone, the way I was last summer on that fateful hot, July evening, by Danny/Anya/One Republic.

Until.  Katee.  Joshua.  “No Air.”  Jordin Sparks f. Chris Brown.  I got that same, breathless, punched in the stomach (in a good way) feeling from their dance about a couple the night before the boyfriend has to go to Iraq.  First of all, the choreography was, well, breath-taking.  (side note:  Tabitha & Napoleon are officially my favorite choreographers, and also, such an adorable little hip-hop couple!  And K pointed out, and then paused and rewound her DVR to illustrate her point, that whenever Tabitha talks, her husband Napoleon gazes at her with that perfect mixture of awe, love, and admiration.)  And then, this dance required Joshua and Katee to act, which had the potential to go in a way cheesy direction, but they totally nailed it and it went in a way moving one instead.  Their emotion was genuine, like they felt their way through every second of their performance, and on top of that even, their chemistry together was incredible.  And most of all, the dance was so phenomenal, that I didn’t even notice the individual steps or technique, I just got completely swept away in their love story.  Transfixed.  Breathless.  And also endearing:  Joshua, who looks like this tough, badass hip hop guy, is so humble, and cried every time he advanced to the next round throughout the auditions, and last night on the results show.  Katee and Joshua infused hip hop with heart, and to quote Adam Shankman re: last season’s Sabra & Dominic dance to “Make It Work” by Neyo, “Hip hop just had a nice breakthrough tonight.”

Watching the results show last night, I was overjoyed that Katee and Joshua made it through and I will get to see them dance again next week.  On the flip side, seeing Will in the bottom 3 couples brought back my feelings of outrage and helplessness when Danny kept getting in the bottom 3, week after week.  But that is par for the course when you love SYTYCD as much as I do – with the intense highs, come the devastating lows.

Season 3 will always hold a special place in my heart, but I am ready to move on, and so excited to get to know my new “friends” of Summer ’08, Season 4.  And I wait here, breathless, as if there is “No Air,” for next week’s episode and what it will bring.  According to the ticking countdown clock on the FOX website, there are only 5 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes, and 29 seconds until Week 2….

Smiling Is Contagious So Spread It Around!

8 Jun

The other day I was walking along, smiling to myself.  Now, there are some people who might think that I’m a total Susie Sunshine, and that this is a regular occurrence – me, grinning away, skipping through the streets.  But I can assure you, it doesn’t happen all the time.  Sometimes, I am walking along, grimacing or scowling to myself.  One might find me in this state, say, on a packed subway during rush hour commute.

But the other day, I was not on a rush hour-packed subway, and I was feeling particularly optimistic about the state of well, things, and contented, and I was smiling away, sort of unaware about it all.  When I passed a business-y woman who smiled back at me.  That’s when I realized what I was doing, so I made eye contact with the next person I passed, who happened to have been a serious-looking sort of fellow, and I deliberately aimed my smile in his direction and zapped him with it and…he smiled back!  I smiled even wider, giddy at how contagious the whole thing was, and the next person I passed smiled back at me, too!

I’ve noticed this in the past but quickly then forgotten it.  It is so simple it’s ridiculous, yet incredibly, magically, so powerful.  Smiling is contagious.  Even in this isolated, isolating, disconnected city of New York, where everyone seems to be wrapped up in their own worlds and ever-rushing to their next destinations, it is possible to share a moment of connection with each other, when you just take a milli-second out to s-m-i-l-e.  And then you get the benefit of being zapped back by someone else’s smile, and energized by it.

This shit really works.  For sure.  Try it.  Maybe today.  And for those Advanced Placement students, perhaps you can give it a go during rush hour commute…