|photo by THA J-SQUAD|
My friends think it's ironic, my fondness, because I am notoriously not a dancer. I cannot do Richard Simmons' "Sweatin' to the Oldies." I cannot do any kind of exercise that gets in the vicinity of dancing, and when it comes to full-blown dancing...? Forgetaboutit. The simplest of steps confound me.
(In fact, last year at our school we had an after-school dance/exercise class for our parents, kids, and staff. The dances we did were various slide/shuffle dances; we'd start out facing one direction but constantly were taking a step to the left, turn, etc. This really screwed me up, because normally when I get trapped into activities like this, I get as far to the back of the room as possible, so my gawkiness will not be
Back to the topic at hand...
I love So You Think You Can Dance? because it takes an assortment of young adults and forces them to dance out of their box week after week. Some of the kids are street dancers without any formal training, and one week they have to do a waltz and the next they have to do a Bollywood number. Some of them are classically trained ballet dancers, and they have to krump and hip hop and jive.
Their passion also appeals to me. When the dancers are able to wow the judges and audiences, these young men and the women cry. So committed they are to their art. So alive do they feel when they leap and lift and twirl. So thrilled they are to have moved someone.
Here it is, Hope: As writers, we have to think outside the box. We have to stretch our writing abilities. If we normally write personal essays, taking a foray into horror or romance (or Horrors! Romance!) might be a pleasant surprise.
And we have to be passionate about writing. We should be emotionally connected to our craft. We should get fired up about our work.
'Cause if that's not happening, we're not doing it right.