The Expressiveness of Dance


In February Southern Honey and I started taking ballroom dance lessons.  Since then, I’ve really gotten into watching TV dance shows and admiring good, expressive dancers.  A well-executed dance to the right music can make me smile, make me laugh, and I found tonight can make me cry.

Tonight, until the new episode of “America’s Got Talent,” Southern Honey and I are watching “So You Think You Can Dance.”  I tuned in a bit late, so we missed the story behind the first couple’s dance and preparation, but we saw their performance.  It was nice, but not the greatest dance I’ve ever seen.

The second dance, however, was so strong, so emotional, and so well-executed that I found myself sitting here on the couch in tears.  The theme of the choreography was addiction, done to Sara Bareilles’s “Gravity”.  The lyrics were so appropriate (I’ll just use the chorus here):

Set me free, leave me be. I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I’m supposed to be.
But you’re on to me and all over me.

The choreography was so powerful, with her struggling to escape him and him constantly being there to pull her back every time she got free.  He was all over her: wrapping his arms around her, using his hands over her face and body, grabbing her arm as she reached for freedom.  And their facial expressions!  She looked so desperate and so scared, while he had this … smirk that screamed “MINE!”

It put me in mind of an abusive relationship more than an addiction, but I think that’s because it’s easier for the mind to translate an abstract concept into something more concrete, particularly when there is a concrete concept staring you in the face.  But maybe it’s because to me, staying in an abusive relationship seems like an addiction of sorts.  It’s the only way I can comprehend staying with someone who didn’t treat me with respect and love.

I’ve seen people express love and joy and lust in dance, but I don’t think I have ever seen despair and possession laid out plain as day in expression and movement the way I did tonight.  I couldn’t help myself; I felt helpless for her and so sad.  It may have been the single most expressive dance routine I’ve been witness to.  I hope those two dancers go a long way in the competition.

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About SouthernSugar

A Southern girl who's used to small town life, I found myself moving to Washington, DC, in 2008 for a new job, and living there was an eye-o
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