Dance Show Mecca

In case you haven’t noticed, it is a great time to watch tv shows about all things dance right now.

Of course there is Dancing With The Stars (DWTS).

And Dance Moms.

And now a spin off, Dance Moms, Miami.

Plus, America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC) just started this week.

The only one missing is So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), oh, and that one with Laurie Ann Gibson.  Maybe that one is on, but if it is, I’m not watching it.

I could probably write 10,000 words, easy, about all these shows, but for the sake of not making you read for an hour, I’ll focus my commentary.  I think I’ll just mention highlights for all these shows to get caught up (kinda), because if I took the time to write everything I actually have to say, I’d be here until next week, and you probably don’t want to rehash things already transpired.

That being said, here is my disclaimer:  you probably need to have been watching these shows to know what I’m talking about in the rest of this post.  I’m not going to explain everything that has been going on, the backstory, if you will.  Maybe I’m being lazy, but seriously, it would take too long than I’m willing to spend to explain everything!

I wrote about the premiere episode of DWTS and then let life get in the way and haven’t mentioned a word about it since then.  Yes, I’ve been watching, and yes I have thoughts.

Let’s see….First, I’m sad Sherri is gone!  Truth be told, I’d have preferred Roshon to have gotten the boot.  I felt for her so much as she sobbed and I loved how she expressed gratitude for the experience.  I am totally okay with Jack Wagner being kicked off (the dude danced to his own song, yo!) and though I thought Martina was adorable, I’m not surprised she was first to leave.  I’m sorry Melissa got injured, and hope that she has a full and speedy recovery.  And Catherine has been awesome.  She did great in the Latin dances and I thought she might be too soft in them with her ballet background (well, I’m assuming she had ballet – they haven’t disclosed that bit of information).  Maria, I’m on the fence about.  I can’t decide if she is awesome  (well, yes she is awesome) or foolhardy for pushing too hard.  I feel like she pushes, pushes, pushes, makes things work, and maybe, just maybe, her body is giving her a signal.  You know, broken ribs, stress fractures in the feet….it could be a sign to slow down.  I admire her positivity, her commitment, and perserverance.  She’s got character and she’s adorable.  Even her laugh is growing on me.  But I also feel like when a person pushes, and pushes, and pushes, eventually they push against something and it doesn’t work.  At that point it is time to change.  I wonder how long and how hard she has been pushing.  No one can be super-human.  I sincerely hope her injuries heal quickly, and completely, and that she is able to continue on….if that is the safe and sane course of action.  I’m sure they have doctors at the beck and call who can advise her as to the best path.  William is adorable, I hope he continues to grow.  I am a huge fan of Donald Driver at this point.  Only a true man can wear a “granny sweater” and I want to grow up to be Peta.  Jaleel, um, well, I’m lukewarm.  Let’s just leave it at that.

Now for Dance Moms.  What a dysfunctional show!

It is a mixed bag for me.

I can see my old instructor in Ms. Abby Lee, though Glenda was as thin as a rail and Abby is about as fat as I am!  What I mean to say is that I can see the pushing, the cajoling, the pulling from students.  I can see the perfectionism, the demanding of being flawness, the reminding of what it really takes to become a professional.

I can see that on some level, Abby must know what the hell she is doing in terms of technique but that doesn’t excuse her abhorrent behavior.

But, I have to say, as much as a taskmaster as my previous teachers Glenda (and her daughter Trisha) were, I am eternally grateful for her influence in my life.  She, who pushed the most, she who reminded me how far away I was from the ideal, and how unlikely I was to become a professional dancer, she was the one who made me into the best dancer I’ve ever been.

Now everything in this life has prices and benefits.

Would it have been possible for Glenda to mold me and many others into the dancers we became through different methods?  Most likely yes.  Would it be possible for Abby as well?  Of course. I feel for those little girls.  They are in the crossfire of all sorts of emotional bombs between Abby and their mothers and it seems to me like it could be very damaging.  How is this affecting their self-worth?  It’s like an emotional warfare battle zone.  There is so much drama, clearly some of it is scripted, but even so, that has to be very difficult to navigate, especially at such a young age.  And what is this pyramid business?  It is just a tool for control and a reinforcement of comparing oneself to others, rather than tracking one’s individual progress.  It’s a sort of madness.

Some of them are excellent dancers and Nia has really grown throughout the seasons.   I felt good for Chloe getting her moment to shine on the season finale both with winning the top solo routine and getting the Joffrey scholarship.  She is already a little Rockette and I’ve always felt bad for her as it seems she has been playing second fiddle to Maddie.  But poor Maddie blanked out on stage during her solo and caused something I never thought I’d see….Abby Lee Miller crying.  No one celebrated Chloe’s victories because they were all feeling bad about placing 10th in the group number and Maddie running off the stage.  And don’t get me started on how poorly those moms behave.  I was embarrassed for them as one of the instructors from the Joffrey ballet had to exit the class and chide them because of the ruckus they were making.  And that Candy Apple lady – what a piece of work!  I feel like there has to be a better way to produce excellent dancers.  Abby boarders on abusive, I think, and I can’t hardly believe those moms allow such treatment of their daughters.  I have yet to watch the premiere for the Miami spin off but hopefully it isn’t as awful for the kids as the original.

And lastly, ABDC.  I enjoy the dancing but can’t stand the judges, except for Deetrix.  I experience JC as snobby and I can barely understand Lil’ Mama.  I also question their level of dance expertise (except for Deetrix who is a b-boy).  The groups were pretty entertaining but I do think they got the right one in the bottom slot.  Right now I don’t have a favorite group but I really enjoyed the comic performance of Stepboys.  The opening number was fantastic with so much energy with all the dancers from five of the crews that it spilled out of my tv into my living room.  ABDC tends to be a high-energy show and I get more attached to the groups as time goes by.  It will be fun to see what creative and fun things happen as the season continues.

I guess that is it for now.  Happy watching!

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