3.02.2007

This Just In: Dancing is Hard

Vincent Pastore, gangsta actor of Sopranos fame, has pulled out of season four of Dancing With the Stars after just one week of training. His reason? It was too hard.

It's no secret that Dancing With the Stars is one of my favorite shows on television today, and the only reality-based show I will watch. As a dancer myself I am fascinated by watching really talented professionals turn non-dancers into dancers in just a few short weeks. Don't get me wrong - there are lots of problems with the program, from the inconsistent judging to the "fame factor" (which I deem completely unfair), and as the weeks go on the dancing rarely resembles "real" lead-and-follow partner dancing. Solid technique is often sacrificed for flashy moves. And don't get me started on some of the costumes, which have grown increasingly hoochie as the season number has increased. Of course I understand to make it flashy to appeal to the mass public, but really. And the constantly changing camera angles drive me crazy - I want to scrutinize the feet, the frame, the line! But this would likely bore the pants off of John Q Public, so I'll deal. Regardless, I think the show in general gives dancing a good name, puts it in people's consciousness, and gives me hope that perhaps ballroom dancing won't suffer the slow and painful decline that has plagued many of the more "classically based" pastimes (coughOPERAcough).

These days I do much more swing dancing than ballroom, but I take every opportunity I can to sate my appetite. It really really annoys me that people thing ballroom dancing is easy. Ballroom dancing is one of the most physically demanding activities I have ever done, not to mention the degree of precision required to actually look good (and feel good) doing it. You gain so much by learning to dance (and by learning I mean putting in real time and effort actually learning and practicing the art). It increases flexibility, strength, and endurance, sharpens reflexes, and quite possibly improves people skills (I know it did for me). It increases poise, improves posture, and, as a side benefit, just might aid and abet the loss of a few pounds. Have you seen the sexy bods of those professionals? They are athletes in every sense of the word. And the most wonderfully paradoxical (and sadly unrealized for many) aspect of dancing is this: with a little dedication anyone can do it. Any age. Any ability.

Pastore has been replaced by John Ratzenberger. Remember him? He was on a little show about a bar? Or people? People in a bar? Something like that. He's got just three weeks until the season premiere on March 19th (mark your calendars and check your local listings!) Best of luck to him - he's got some catching up to do.

Because dancing is hard (and we love it anyway).

1 Comments:

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Opal said...

I remember John Ratzenberger! He was great in Cheers. It should be interesting to see how he dances. Too bad that DWTS conflicts with my other programs.

 

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