After I worked out and cooked dinner, I channel surfed and stumbled upon “So You Think You Can Dance” (or SYTYCD – because that’s a lot to type each time I refer to the show title). For those of you who aren’t familiar with SYTYCD, it’s basically the dance version of American Idol but it’s so much more entertaining and passionate in my opinion. And personally, I think it’s harder to master a new dance with a partner in a genre that may or may not be your strength in a week than to learn a new song. (But I’m a very biased dancer so you can take that comment with a grain of salt if you want lol)
But back to my moment.
Now this is not my first time watching the show. I’ve been a fan for several years and several seasons but this is the first time I’ve watched the show this season. And almost every time I watch the show now, I remember how much I love dance (especially modern/contemporary) and how much I miss dance.
I danced all throughout high school and the love and passion for the art has stayed with me since then. It’s one of the few things that I enjoy doing and I enjoy watching — and every time I see dance….modern, contemporary, professional, college, whatever, I enjoy it. And for me, I was taught to see each dance as a story….a message…something that you are telling through movement and song. So with this mindset, engaged in my head, I appreciate seeing pieces like the ones on SYTYCD that have a story or message behind them. Those kinds of pieces are just so much more exciting, interesting, and they make you think — yes, you are the viewer, the customer so to speak, you get to think and ponder what is this message, how was it conveyed, what is executed well, etc. But this mindset works both ways. Even in my non-dancer shape, I still hear songs and see movement or think of concepts. It’s a habit that I feel like I’ll never break….and it’s the habit of thinking beyond the song, beyond the lyrics and beyond the obvious reaction/thought for the song.
When I was in high school, I remember wanting to be challenged by a dance piece — whether I was a dancer or a consumer — I wanted to be challenged. If the storyline for the piece is about a couple falling in love, I loved a piece that didn’t use an obviously sappy love song but a song that yes, touched on the matter of love, used the word love and it’s concepts, but wasn’t an obvious love song…now that made a good song for a good piece. The art of pairing a good storyline with a good song was and still is a major joy for me as a retired dancer. And it’s not easy…it takes time to find the right song or create the right movement for a piece but when you have the right two…Man…you’re in business!
And to this day, because I have this mindset, there are only a few dances from high school that I would get myself back into dancer shape (which is hard as heck!!) to dance again if I was asked to. For My Country, Changes and Furniture – and I’ll let you know right now, that none of these names make any sense unless you were in Dance Company or the Dance Department at Southeast Raleigh HS from 2003 – 2007 but I will do this. Below I’ll include links to each of the songs used for each piece and you tell me what you think the piece is about – I guarantee you that some of these concepts will blow you out of the water! (especially Furniture which was choreographed by yours truly — #justsaying)
For My Country (Two Steps Away) — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1BuplQ3Nfo
Changes — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbO2_077ixs
Furniture — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNUmO6ZCgdw
Ok…I’ll stop being nostalgic and traveling back to my dancer days of high school but I think you get my drift. Dance is so much more than a good song and some cool movement, it’s telling a story and thankfully SYTYCD gives me a taste of a new story every week.
Until next time,
** And for your enjoyment and proof of my short lived dancer career…I present to you a few pictures from SRHS Dance Company!