Robin Hawke

Las Vegas Week—So You Think You Can Dance
June 10, 2011, 3:36 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: , , ,

This week must be more grueling for the participants than I can even imagine. Each day there are cut-throat auditions and new material. And each dancer must notice the other 150+ contestants to see a huge quantity of quality. The stress is extraordinary. How do you measure your worth against so many excellent others?

As the versatility of the dancers is measured by the judges, the numbers of contestants dwindle. Dancers who thrill me are let go in favor of other dancers. I understand the reasoning. As soon as I see a bent arm by a ballroom dancer in contemporary, or a beat missed by a jazzer in hip-hop, I know their chances slim to nothing. My heart aches for all of those hours they have perfected their craft, the devotion that brought them to Las Vegas.

Value is placed on those most adaptable. This creates a difficulty for some truly great dancers. As artistry matures it often becomes less supple. These dancers should not question their musicality, their coordination or their ability. To cloak themselves in an entirely new style in the time it takes to learn choreography–that’s the skill of chameleons, no less wonderful, but perhaps more promiscuous with their time.

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