Friday, August 30, 2013

The life lessons of So You Think You Can Dance

So You Think You Can Dance is a dance competition where young and lithe dancers compete in all genres of dance,  starting with 20 dancers,  with 10 being the magic cut off (they go on the group tour afterwards) and the top 6 being the lucky memorable ones, culminating in one America’s most popular dancer...

We watch it every week. They are leaping and pirouetting and strutting, their strengths and weaknesses out there for everyone to see and critique. After their dance, soaking with sweat and not yet having caught their breath, the judges talk about the straightness of their lines and how high their shoulders were. 

And at the end of every show, they huddle together like puppies and watch as one of them is sent away.

And the life lesson I learn?  Be willing to risk it all.  They are so brave!  They really try so hard and they are talented, but most importantly they are out there.  They have, as the judges so often like to say, left everything out on the floor. They don’t hold back to protect themselves. Their vulnerability is sometimes hard to see, but their striving is so admirable.  I love watching them, and I do hate to see any of them go.  I know I was not as brave as them when I was their age.  I was too busy protecting myself, unwilling to risk that sort of public judgment/failure. But they haven’t failed.  They are lifting both themselves and their far less agile audience up.  I wish them all the best of luck, but I wish us all their courage.  If you want something, put it all out there, leave nothing on the floor.  You may not get it, but you will know that you truly tried, and you will absolutely learn the right life lessons on the way… 

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