It’s been a while since I’ve written from a dancer’s/choreographer’s perspective on here, and I’ve missed it. Few things in my life bring me more joy than combining my two passions: dance and writing. I knew it was only a matter of time before this season of Dancing with the Stars made its way into one of these posts—it’s been a phenomenal season with one of the most talented and charismatic casts in recent memory. I just needed the perfect routine to inspire me.
And then two Disney Channel boys teamed up with a creative choreographer, and I had no doubt what I was going to write about this week.
I dare you to watch that without dancing in your seat and smiling from ear to ear. It’s impossible. The joy this combination of dancers—Corbin Bleu, Lindsay Arnold, and Jordan Fisher—radiates is infectious, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen people look like they’re having more fun on the Dancing with the Stars dance floor.
I know it’s a weird thing to say, but this routine made me cry the first time I watched it. There’s something moving and magical about watching people having so much fun doing what they love. The joy of performing is something I’ve never been able to accurately describe, so I love those rare moments when I can point to a performance and say, “That’s it. That’s what it feels like.” This was one of those moments. It brought me back to my days as a competitive dancer, stepping onstage to perform a routine you’re 100% confident in with people you love dancing with. Every so often as a dancer, you’re part of a routine you know is special from Day One, and when you know you’re performing it well on the biggest stage, everything about you radiates happiness: your body language, your facial expressions, the sharpness of your movements, your eye contact with your audience…You can tell when a dancer knows they’re on, and I’ve never seen three people on this show as on as these three were in this routine.
I could go on and on about the technical brilliance of this trio—the way Lindsay’s choreography flowed and seamlessly utilized everyone’s strengths, the tricks, the rhythms—but what made this dance were the smiles all three dancers had the whole time. Dancing has always made me happier than anything else—yes, even happier than writing—and it warms my heart whenever I get to see other people find joy in it, too, and project that joy for everyone watching.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?
First things first, that dance is amazing. It was so full of joy in addition to being technically impressive. I love what you said about performing a routine you feel 100% confident in. Mine were never for competitions, nerves always got the better of me and there usually were too many stunts and not enough dancing for me to feel too sure of myself so for me it was always our homecoming halftime routines. They tended to be heavier on the dancing and they are my happiest performing memories. No one cared because my school was terrible but it didn’t matter because it was exactly what I wanted to be doing and it was solely for me. I could listen to you talk about dance forever. It’s not exactly the same, but it always reminds me of my best cheerleading memories in such a vivid way.
I’m behind on most of my television so I expect I may be back later in the week to get out all the feelings Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is going to give me. But one of the episodes I did manage to watch was one of my favorite things I’ve seen all year. The 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy was a perfect look back at earlier days in the series without actually just being a clip show (which I probably would have been fine with too). You know I’m a sucker for characters accomplishing things that mean a lot to them, like Beckett arresting Bracken or Cristina’s move to Switzerland, and this week it was Meredith’s turn. Because she’s Meredith, when a trauma case came in with patients who looked and acted a lot like George and Cristina, she opted to stay and help out rather than attend the Harper Avery award ceremony where she was expected to win. She finished up her surgery on the Cristina lookalike and Webber and Bailey surprised her with a live stream of the ceremony and everyone she loved in the surgical gallery standing there to watch with her. She won and Jackson accepted the award on her behalf and talked about how amazing she was despite way too many losses and I was absolutely sobbing at that point. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate 300 episodes of the show than by honoring the central character. There’s no show without Meredith, no matter how many other cast members come and go. The last scene of the episode was her and Alex sitting on the gurneys in the hallway where they all used to hang out as interns and Cristina called to congratulate her and once again I started sobbing. I would have loved it if Sandra Oh could have somehow come back for the episode but I love that this friendship has never diminished or been forgotten. Of everyone, Cristina knew what this meant to her and the phone call was the perfect cap to an already emotional episode. It’s been awhile since an episode of TV has made me cry quite that much and it was exactly the emotional release I needed this week.