I’ve lived in the UK for over four years yet whenever Strictly Come Dancing would come up in conversation, I’d vaguely smile and nod, and keep my fingers crossed that no one would ask me a specific question and find me out. The horror! A choreographer who doesn’t watch the celebrity ballroom dancing competition that millions across Britain watch every Saturday AND Sunday night?!
I decided that this year would be the year I’d watch from start to finish.
In the past, when I’ve caught moments of entertainment shows such as this, I’ve found the dance routines distanced from how I connect to dance in the work I create. I saw the differences and couldn’t see the similarities. However, behind the impeccable technique of the professional dancers and the fierce competitiveness of the contests (a must for any tv contest) was a story that resonated closely to what dance means to me.
Watching these non-dancers discover their own connection to how their body moves, and through that connection, discovering the joy of dance is… well, incredible. It is with great joy that I hover on the sofa, relishing in every triumph and willing away every little mistake (often bringing to mind memories from my own childhood dance recitals).
How wonderful it is, that millions of viewers watch each week as non-dancers tap into the love and joy of moving and performing.
Perhaps my recent sharp increase of hairbrush singing and kitchen floor dancing is due to remembering that initial connection of WHY IT FEELS SO GOOD TO DANCE. Thanks BBC One!