Sunday, 22 January 2012

Let the dancing begin

I love "Got to Dance". One of the things that I enjoy most about this programme is that it's all about the dancing! We don't watch a collection of battles between judges and contestants when the contestant thinks they have a god given right to be put through, or where the judge thinks it's ok to ridicule someone who has got up and given it a go. What you are then left to view is a melting pot of those with outrageous talent, those with a burning passion and those who simply have fun dancing. The girl who isn't perhaps the most precise mover is applauded by the judges for giving it her all and really letting go. Those who don't quite make it are given proper critiques about where it was great and where they can up their game. And then there are those that just take your breath away! And there are many.

The stories that go with these dancers are also not sugary coated sob stories aimed at getting your vote. No one gets though on a sob story, if they're not good enough to go through then they're not good enough to go through! The stories compliment the performance and help you understand the role that dance has had to play in that person's life.

There was the girl who loved ballet from her early years yet was told as a young teenager that she'd never make it due to the scoliosis in her back. She'd lost her place at a top ballet school and was left to pick up the pieces herself. Here she now was, unable to live without dance she'd found contemporary dance with its less stringent rules and freer form. One of the judges was gasping
from the sheer emotion exuding from her performance (I was crying!). At the grand old age of 15 she'd decided that dance WAS her career regardless of what she'd been told and that she WOULD make it happen. She was well on the way.

There was the young boy who'd not been put through last year, but given lots of positive reasons why he wasnt quite ready. A year later he was stronger, more determined and unbelievably good! Infact there were a few faces from the year before, all who'd been given encouragement rather than ridicule and all who had made the experience a positive driver for improvement - and all who made it through this year.

And there was the group of lads who openly admitted that they had all been bullies, had all been in trouble and that actually they hadn't really been very nice. Little toughies they were, all no more than 15. And there they were cheerleading! Throwing their pom poms up and down and doing high kicks as if to say 'come on then, say what you will. We don't care because what we do know is that we feel good when we do this!" They rocked!

I've been watching the programme each week now since it came back on and have been moved to tears by almost every contemporary dance performance. It's a form of dance that draws me in and evokes a myriad of emotions in me. Last year I started doing contemporary and the feeling it gave me was like nothing else I have tried. It felt so freeing, strong, elegant, graceful, expressive and rebellious all at the same time. Then I stopped. I know why and essentially it came down to me just not being fully ready to let the dancer in me out! And instead I've been harping on about missing it, making excuses and saying that I must get back to it at some point. Watching these amazing dancers has made me realise that it's only me missing out and when you really want to do something then it's quite simple - just do it! So I've signed back up and am going to be back in the dance studio on Friday. I cant wait! When you've got to dance then you've just got to dance!

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