Thursday, September 22, 2011

The hard is what makes it great

I watched the first episode of season 13 Dancing With the Stars on the web while rocking Mae to sleep.  Nothing very memorable, but the first episode never really is.  Not sure I'll keep watching this season, though.  I'm not interested in any of the "stars" other than the professional dancers.

I love it when the stars complain that dancing is hard.  The show always films every single star having some kind of breakdown and confessing that dancing is a lot harder than they ever thought it would be.  I never get sick of these moments.  They are favorites for DH and me, both.  That is because we know what they are talking about.  Not that we ever had such a breakdown.  Dancing is fun.  Dancing in your living room is easy.  Dancing in a club is a little harder.  Dancing competitively is really hard.  But, to paraphrase Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own, the hard... is what makes it great.

It took me a year of consistent weekly lessons before I could dance without counting, before I could actually listen to the music and not think about my feet.

Then you need a good partner.  A really good partner.  You do not need chemistry with your dance partner in the way non-dancers tend to believe.  With a good partner you will have a good dance connection, but that partner can be your sibling or someone significantly older or younger or the sweaty ugly guy, it doesn't matter in dance, you just dance.  A good partner knows how to dance and lead or follow and is uninhibited.

Finally you need a good song.  I think this element is discounted on DWTS, but in my opinion you can have dance experience and a great partner, but if you don't connect to the song you will not have as much fun and the audience can tell.

But, if you do connect to the song and to your partner, if everything lines up right and you're in the zone -

There is a moment where your feet and your ears and your partner are so in synch that you don't even have to think about what you are doing.  And you look good.  And you know it, but you don't even care that you look good.  It's hard to describe the feeling.  I've never felt a runner's high, but to me I imagine it being similar, especially since I have heard runners describe being "in the zone" as well.  It doesn't happen with every dance.  But when it does, it is great, and you don't forget it.

And that is why inevitably every single star also confesses that being on the show is the best most fun thing they have ever done, ever.  I never get sick of those moments either.  Maybe I will keep watching this season, after all.

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