Tag Archives: dance

Summer TV – Dance Dance!

In my search for new shows to have as background while I work away at the day job, I’ve stumbled upon two new shows for the summer that are based on dance/ballet. As someone who used to spend 4-5 days of her week in a ballet studio and competing on weekends, I was immediately interested in something that wasn’t the train wreck of Dance Moms. So yes, dance shows are another one of the many things that I am a big geek about, even though there isn’t any angst involved. 😉

Here are my initial thoughts on the shows so far!

Bunheads – ABC Family Mondays 9/8c

First, Bunheads isn’t a reality show. It’s a drama series about a woman who ends up teaching at a ballet school in the small town of Paradise. I say “ends up” because the events that lead to this job are unexpected for sure. There are four main students in the show, and the actors all have a background in dance. The main character is played by Sutton Foster, who has a big Broadway background. I am hoping that as the show progresses we will really get a chance to see the actors show off their dancing abilities.

The show’s very first episode just aired on June 11, and on June 15 it was picked up for another 20 episodes. Since all that’s out is the pilot, the first episode definitely left me curious and interested in the rest of the show.

The four girls seem to portray different character types. Boo is a character that I definitely appreciate the most – she isn’t entirely confident because of her body type in the world of ballet. Now, she isn’t in any way in a place where she would actually need to be concerned. But it shows the stigma that some girls can have when it comes to ballet. I’m hoping that they prove in the show that you don’t need to be sickly thin to be a ballet dancer.

Breaking Pointe – The CW Thursdays 8/7c

Breaking Pointe is a show that I was a few episodes behind on, but now I am caught up! It is a reality show, but it is nothing in the realm of Dance Moms [can you tell how much I dislike that show?].

The show follows the company Ballet West, which is in Salt Lake City, Utah. It follows mainly seven of the dancers within the company who are all at different places both in their personal lives and at the studio. It’s a really great behind-the-scenes look of a ballet company as they cast, rehearse, and prepare for their next show line up. There isn’t any crazy drama – it feels like I am watching a documentary most of the time. There are some small rivalries cropping up, but they are the kind you would expect in a studio like this, such as younger girls getting better parts than girls who have been there longer.

My favorite girl so far is Beckanne. She is the new girl, and at only 19, she is an amazing dancer. She is mesmerizing, and also super sweet. I really just want to see her excel and go places in the company.

The show also seems to be used to crush some of the stigmas of ballet dancers that have carried over throughout the years. The ballet dancers eat, and even comment on how no one in their studio could possibly survive if they had an eating disorder with the amount of dancing that they do in a day. There are also quite a few male dancers, and one of them has tattoos and rides a motorcycle.

So You Think You Can Dance – FOX Wednesday 8/7c

I haven’t forgotten of course of the other big dance show that I enjoy, which is So You Think You Can Dance. I enjoy this show *so much* because the talent that comes out of it is just phenomenal. However, I will not watch it until the top dancers are selected, because the auditions give me terrible second hand embarrassment like whoa. So until I can properly gush about the newest season, here are some of my favorite past dances.

Total Eclipse – Melanie & Neil – the big jump she does in this is just I can’t even.

Outta Your Mind – Alex & Twitch – Alex would have won if he hadn’t been injured, I’m pretty sure. He was just amazing. Though the winner of that season, Lauren, totally deserved it as well. For fun, Ellen decided to learn this dance and perform it in Alex’s place [seriously, could I love her any more?].

Hallelujah – Alex & Allison – Ugh Alex. Stop breaking my heart.

Fix You – Robert & Allison – I cried so hard when I first watched this.

Death of a Dance Legend: Hal Takier (1917-2012)

While I was visiting my boyfriend’s family over the holidays, I had the joy of meeting his 86-year-old grandmother. I always love meeting elderly folks such as her because there is always a small chance that in their youth they may have shared my passion of Lindy hop (swing dancing). When I asked her about the Jitterbug (another term for Lindy hop more commonly used by white dancers–I’ll spare you the details) she responded with, “You know, the thing is about the Jitterbug is that no one is around anymore who can tell you whether or not you’re doing it right so you don’t have to worry about messing it up.” However, the Lindy hop community is very lucky to have a large number of “old timers”–people who used to dance these dances when Lindy hop was in its infancy–who have taught people across the world how to dance well into their 80s and 90s. Hal Takier was one of these amazing people and he will be sorely missed.

While “swing dance” is a catch-all phrase for a whole family of dances (Lindy hop being the original of those), Hal was the most famous for something called balboa. Balboa is danced much more typically in closed position (the dancers are closer together, as the name implies) and consists of very fast footwork and is consequently danced to high tempo music. Despite being considered somewhat nerdy by dancers who already do a pretty nerd-tastic dance form (Lindy hop), balboa has been gaining in popularity recently and has seen an increase in the number of international events dedicated to it. While it is a sad time to lose Hal, the rising popularity of this dance stands as a testament to his dedication to teaching it to us youngins so that the dance might live on after him.

Come Do That Lindy Hop and You Will Never Stop

Lindy hop (commonly and inaccurately known to the masses as “swing dancing”) is a social, partnered dance form that came out of Harlem during the late 20s and thrived through the 30s and 40s. It went underground for nearly 40 years before being revived in the late 1980s.

More importantly: IT IS FREAKING AWESOME. OH MY CHRIST IT IS SO MUCH FUN. I love it and YOU SHOULD TOO.

I realize that many nerds are not into the whole dance thing, so in order to perhaps bridge the gap between standard nerd and dance nerd I present to you Lindy hop–SUPER MARIO BROTHERS STYLE!