The sad truth is I simply cannot consistently move parts of my body in a rhythmic (or even remotely eye-pleasing) fashion when music begins to play. Put on old Aretha Franklin song or a new Lady Gaga tune when I have been drinking and you will see a valiant effort at something – that still falls far short of being classified as “dancing”– along with the most severe case of WMB (white man’s overbite) ever known to mankind. With dance having only been a source of intense personal discomfort and public shame for me, I would never have expected to fall in love with a dance reality show on television, and yet, that is exactly what has happened. So You Think You Can Dance has made a dance believer out of me.
My primary exposure to watching organized dance prior to SYTYCD (that’s what we groupies call the show) was theme park dance reviews of cartoon movie songs. With that exhaustive background, I never imagined that dancing could captivate me, much less stir me, of all non-dancing people, to tears. So You Think You Can Dance proved me wrong. If you watch the show, you already know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t watch the show, well, the season finale was last night so you’ll have to wait a few months. But it will be worth the wait.
I’m linking a clip below to my favorite performance of the season – one of the routines that made me weepy. The routine is a contemporary piece set to the song Fool of Me sung by Me ‘Shell Ndegeocello, and performed by two of the shows best dancers (Sasha and Kent). If you've ever had your heart broken, you’ll probably think about that as you watch the clip – even if you don’t want to. One viewing tip: you might want to click on the title bar at the top of the clip to open it in a larger YouTube window.
What I learned from SYTYCD is that dance, when done with artistry and soul, is as striking, as gut-wrenching, and often as emancipating as any other art form, and that even a guy whose primary dance move is synchronized finger-pointing on the steering wheel when an Adele song plays on the iPod, can be moved to tears by dance.