Showing posts with label Guest Posts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guest Posts. Show all posts

Friday, 21 September 2012

Guest Appearance: The Genius of “So You Think You Can Dance”

I did not seriously become interested in “So You Think You Can Dance” until season 8. I know. I am a newcomer. I thought the show was silly, that it was just another “American Idol” riff off, but I was so wrong.

I remember, one day, when my mom and my sister were watching the show. They had previously recorded it and were trying to get caught up so they could actually watch the live show. They spent hours in the basement that day, and I could not help but be curious.

As I started watching the show, seeing both the fantastic dancers and the terrible auditions, seeing the unique choreography, costumes, hair, and make-up, I instantly knew that this was not an “American Idol” knock off.

In season 8, I fell in love with Melanie and Marko, just like the rest of the dedicated watchers of the show. In my opinion, they were, by far, the most phenomenal dancers. When they danced together, they constantly lit up the stage.

The first of their dances that truly amazed me was the statue dance. Anybody who even partially watched season 8 knows what I’m talking about. They danced to the song “Turn to Stone” by Ingrid Michaelson, and the whole thing was absolutely beautiful.

For starters, the white on Melanie’s and Marko’s face and body really made them look like statues, and it really added an amazing depth to the wonderful choreography. Because Melanie’s hair was so short, she looked just like one of those Greek statues, and the way the two of them pulled off “awakening” out of the stone and then turning back into stone was incredible. It was the best dance I ever saw on the show.

Another amazing dance with Melanie and Marko was the light bulb dance performed with the song “Skin and Bones” by David Roch. Though this one is not always counted among the greatest performances on the show, it will always be my very favorite.

The costumes and hairstyles were simple, even so far as to be called basic, but it provided for a more intense effect in the areas that mattered more: the choreography and the meaning of the dance. Their gray clothes signified their inner darkness, and, as Melanie was reaching for the light, Marko was pulling her back, keeping her from what she really wanted. And, in the end, they both remained in the darkness.

The piece was full of emotion and symbolism, and I was a little miffed that it did not receive more acclamation than I thought it deserved.

Anyway, now that season 9 is in full swing, you can expect to see more great dances, more great costumes, and more great hairstyles. Although the hype and excellence of season 8 will be a difficult shadow to come out of, I believe there are plenty of capable dancers and choreographers that can surely pull it off with finesse.

By Kassandra Konecny

Though Kassandra Konecny has only begun writing professionally about six months ago, she has been writing creatively for years. Recently, she has worked to become an expert at writing blogs for different beauty schools in Utah.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Guest Appearance: My Wife Doesn’t Even Like My Dancing

There was a time when I thought I was a great salsa dancer. I used to frequent dance clubs with my wife before we were married, and from my own perspective; I thought I was a great dancer. Nobody ever told me any different.

After I married my wife, we still went to clubs on occasion just to dance and have fun together. Still, I thought I was pretty good. Whenever I danced at dull weddings or parties, people generally followed and eventually everyone was dancing and having a good time. I thought I was rhythmically blessed.

Eventually, I got into a conversation with co-worker from the Dominican Republic, who just so happened to be into salsa dancing. She laughed when I said I was a pretty decent salsa dancer. I was too embarrassed to start a dance with no music, and all alone, so I challenged her to call my wife and ask her. She accepted the challenge.

I was pretty excited to make the phone call since I was almost 100% positive she would respond in my favor. When she answered the phone, I asked her, almost jokingly:

“Hi dear, this girl is here making fun of me and telling me that there is no way I am a good salsa dancer.”

I should probably add at this point that I have never been formally taught in the art of salsa dancing. I just watched a few videos, had pretty nimble feet, and tried to mimic what I thought was quality salsa.
Anyway, I’m not sure what I did to deserve it, but my wife’s response verbatim was:

“Well, I would have to say, you have your own………………style?”

Any passers-by may have thought my co-worker had just won the lottery with her response, minus the maniacal laughter. I, on the other hand, was absolutely dumbfounded. Still, I cannot believe my wife let me tippy-toe around the dance floor, utilizing my own salsa style.

Later, I asked my wife what she meant by her definition of my dancing, and she said she never wanted to hurt my feelings, or have her opinion make me stop dancing. I guess I should be flattered that she had so much fun dancing with me, but there is still that image in the back of my mind of her snickering whenever she envisioned me doing whatever it was I did when I thought I was dancing.

What I learned from this experience can easily be broken down to a few items:

  • Never assume you are a good salsa dancer without proper training and a trusted opinion.
  • If you aren’t facing certain humiliation, your wife cannot be considered a trusted opinion.
  • If you are facing certain humiliation, your wife will not only tell the truth, but launch into a myriad of embarrassing stories causing irreparable damage.
  • Lastly, you can’t stop a heart that pumps a salsa beat from attempting a salsa dance!

Bart Vale is a writer for Sports Mall who enjoys writing about personal experiences to enrich others’ lives. Most of his leisure time is spent at this Salt Lake Swim and Tennis Club to stay in shape. He leaves the salsa dancing for when he is home alone, but is still quite the dancer in his mind.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Guest Appearance: A Lid For Every Pot

Michelle loves dancing.  It’s fun and she loves being part of something that makes her feel so alive!  She always gets a thrill when she first walks in and sees the dance floor.  The only problem was she was starting to have a hard time getting anyone to dance with her.  Darryl wouldn’t dance with her anymore and she didn’t understand why, his face seemed to be healing nicely.  Sean won’t even look at her, as if a black eye is any reason to avoid eye contact.  It looks like Dale is still wearing the cast on his foot, guess she won’t be asking him to dance.  It’s hard to believe that he was hurt that badly, she only weighs about 100 pounds.  Felix is only limping a little; maybe he isn’t mad at her anymore.
Maybe she needs to be honest with herself and face the fact that she just isn’t a very good dancer.  It just doesn’t make sense to her.  Sure, when she dances she likes swinging her hand outwards for every turn that is lead, popping her elbow as a form of styling in close hold and when it comes to the shines she won't hesitate to kick her leg out to accentuate her height.  Is it her fault if someone ends up getting hurt?  Of course, people are a little put off when she hits them in the face, kicks them, or steps on their feet, but there is always a chance that someone is going to get hurt, right?  I mean, isn’t that part of the excitement?  Maybe not, since no one seemed to want to dance with her.
Although it was a little disheartening to see the injuries of her past partners, and yes, she had to admit, nearby dancers were sometimes injured when she tried a particularly bold move, she refused to stop dancing.  She just needed to find a new partner, someone who didn’t know her.  She hated to think about it, but maybe she needed to look for a new venue.  Taking a final look around before she left, she noticed someone that she didn’t recognize, standing alone.  She took a chance and went over to introduce herself. 
His name was Nicholas, and he said he usually went to a other places to dance but had decided it was time to move on.  She asked him how he liked it so far, and he said he felt comfortable here, it looked really familiar with all of the injured people.  Quickly changing the subject, Michelle asked him why he wasn’t dancing.  He said that he wasn’t sure if he even should be dancing and Michelle realized that she had been having the same thought.  After pressing him for a while, he finally admitted that he was clumsy and was always tripping his partners and injuring them.  The shocked look on his face when Michelle burst out laughing made her admit to him her similar problem.  After sharing a good laugh they looked at each other and then at the dance floor.  With a mutual shrug they got up and headed to battle, I mean, to dance.
How do you think their first dance went?

Jim Liston is a guest blogger whose interests include playing insane fast bluegrass on his mandolin, reliving his childhood by collecting Beatles memorabilia, and reading e-books on his Kindle.  Visit him at