I’ve been watching So You Think You Can Dance since the second season. I love the contemporary pieces and the jazz pieces. My favourite routines have been Kayla and Kupono’s dance to ‘Gravity’, Allison and Cole’s dance to ‘Possibly Maybe’, the group routine to ‘So Much Betta’ and Kathryn and Legacy’s dance to ‘So Deep.’ I’ve also found a lot of my favourite music through the show.
The first few episodes of each season focus on an audition tour through different American cities. Successful dancers are asked to attend callbacks in Las Vegas. Many of the dancers face challenges and have overcome adversities, and they share their stories before they audition. In the most recent episode that covered the Boston auditions, one of the dancers shared that she had overcome an eating disorder.
She was very open about her experience with her eating disorder – that she developed when she did ballet – and she shared how transitioning to studying jazz dance helped her heal herself emotionally, psychologically, and physically. Her audition was gorgeous and memorable; her ballet training came through in her jazz performance. She successfully earned herself a ticket to the Las Vegas callbacks. Her story made me consider how I might be portrayed if I ever auditioned for the show.
The producers could portray me in a ‘sob story’ light about the struggles I went through as a child and the challenges I still face every day. They could take the slant that I accept my disability and do the best I can, or they could focus on the fact that, despite having a physical impairment, I can dance. I might not dance well (and I know I would never successfully make it onto that show) but I can still dance. I could be shown as one of those ‘inspirational’ people who never gives up and who proves doubtful people wrong.
I could also be presented in the light of overcoming my disability. My disability would still be evident in my movement, but I could go into the audition with the message that my condition can be helped and overcome with commitment and hard work. I don’t think the story would be as moving to a television audience – particularly since they couldn’t see what my walk was like before I started my therapy – but it could possibly give hope to those who are unaware that treatment exists for people to not only manage cerebral palsy, but also get better.
I think I would wear my Lululemon pique groove pants and my Lululemon dewberry gathered top. I would pull my hair up into a bun and put on my black jazz shoes. I would dance to an Ellie Goulding song (Only You, Under the Sheets, or Animal) and combine contemporary with jazz (both of which I’ve been trained in). I imagine the criticism would concern the stiffness in my legs, the inarticulacy of my feet, the weakness in my jumps, and the limitedness of my movement. In the light, they would likely tell me I have strong musicality and passion, both of which are true. I understand that I wouldn’t make it past the first audition, but they would likely use my story in the ‘sad but hopeful’ category or the ‘inspirational’ category.
The producers have recently begun putting hashtags on the screen when some dancers talk to the judges. I think my hashtag might be #iwanttodancelikekaylaradomski or #imatinkerbelllikeaudreycase.