Saturday, December 24, 2011

Give a bad lead, get a bad follow

For a woman, a bad dance is as painful and awkward as bad sex. You go along with it, trying to hide your dissatisfaction, and wait for it to be over, all the while fantasizing about how much better it would be with someone else. Of course, just like bad sex, a bad dance seems to last forever. It's almost as if the DJ is playing a joke on you by selecting the longest possible song or making a long-running montage of songs that are so well blended together that five songs go by without anyone but you noticing. Worse yet, since the guy is bad at what he's doing, but no one has ever told him that, he thinks he's incredible and he's totally oblivious to every signal you have that tells him you'd really just like to get this over with. Naturally, if something goes wrong, he blames you.

It's time for this to be a thing of the past. As women, we put up enough with men's lack of game EVERYWHERE ELSE in life. We shouldn't have to put up with it on the dance floor! Unfortunately, if we don't put up with it, and we just bite our tongues, and avoid him at all costs, giving him some excuse like, "Oh, I'm taking a break," whenever he asks for a dance (which is the dance equivalent of, "I have a headache," by the way), then we're labeled as "bad follows."

If you had a lover that was that bad, there's no way you'd let him get away with it. You'd tell him, "I don't like that," or, "Try this," or, "Here, this is how I like it." Yet somehow, we let them get away with it on the floor for fear of getting a reputation as a, "bad follow."

That's BULLSHIT and everybody knows it.

Personally, if a guy gives me a bad lead, then I have no compunction about giving him a bad follow. I don't take direction from anyone who doesn't know where the hell he's going. If he won't properly lead me, I'll refuse to go where he thinks he's telling me to go. I'll nudge him away and style on my own. I'll go wherever I want. I'll even back-lead. If he's not going to confidently and authoritatively lead me, then I am not going to follow. This is considered "bad follow" technique, but why should it be? Why should you have to suffer through a bad dance just because of him? You don't have to be quite as blunt and hard-headed as I am, but if somebody doesn't let him know he's doing it wrong, he's never going to improve.

Yes, it's up to men to learn how to be better at what they do, but so many of them won't without a woman telling them. If you have a problem with it, blame their moms for always taking care of everything for them during childhood and their dads for being uninvolved in the process. Ladies, this is a responsibility for all of us! If only a handful of us do this, he won't improve and he'll just go on torturing the rest of us. Worse, he'll just think that handful is a bunch of bitches and he'll just go find some lame, passive woman who's afraid to tell him how she feels so his fragile little ego can be spared as he continues to cause excruciatingly awkward occurrences all over the dance floor.

Group classes are an excellent time to let them know. I usually say, with a cute little smile, "I'm not trying to be difficult, but I don't want to teach you a bad habit, so if you don't give me the right signal, (then I put on a slightly serious face) I'm not going." They usually smile and accept it. Not surprisingly, they actually learn this way. Some of them have actually thanked me later.

Unfortunately, you don't encounter most of them during classes. On the floor, it takes a little more will. Many a man has been taken aback by my refusal to just "go with it" when he's not really telling me where to go because every other women he's danced with has given him a false impression of his skills. I sometimes get irritated at him for it, but I really should be irritated with every other woman who has danced with him for letting him think he's The Dancing King when he's not even a very good court jester.

Ladies, this is true for both the bedroom and the dance floor: DON'T FAKE IT! Don't let him get away with thinking he's the king when he's awful. Don't smile and nod and just wait for him to finish. Not only are you giving him delusions of grandeur, but you're also ruining him for any women he encounters in the future. Don't pay the pain forward to all your sisters out there!

Let people call you a "bad follow." You wouldn't be a bad follow if he was a good lead and until women start to speak up, the floor will always be infiltrated by faulty leads blaming "bad" follows.

Women always tell me, "Go ahead and ask a guy to dance. Come on, it's the 21st century. Don't wait on him. Don't put your good time in other people's hands. If you want to have a good time, take control of the situation." Why should lead/follow be any different? I don't care if the entire dance world wants to say it's "wrong," you know it makes sense. Whenever any group is being treated unfairly, when they start to speak up, they're met with contention from people who prefer what's "traditional," over what's right. Fortunately, over time, people either realize the "traditional" way was wrong, and the ones who buy into "traditional" bullshit get old and die.

Eventually, lead and follow won't be dictated by gender. It might not even be in any of our lifetimes, but it's happening. Complain all you want about how "it used to be," or, "how it is." It won't be for long. You can either go with the flow, or sit in your shit. It's really up to you.

In the mean time, guys, look at your lives. ALL OF IT is really in women's control. The house, the job, the bills, the bank, the bedroom, EVERYTHING! The one and only place in the entire universe where you really have control is the dance floor. Don't fuck it up!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Drama with the Stars

Seeing people so concerned with the gossip behind DWTS kinda makes me wanna barf like I drank a whole bottle of tequila on my own. I'm not even going to specify which drama because it's always the same story.

Two people had a disagreement.
The media blows it out of proportion.
Everyone believes only what they've been shown.

Well, this ain't Clue, ok? Can you imagine what YOU would look like if someone followed you around your job all week and condensed everything you did down to about two minutes? Can you imagine what rivalries might be assumed? Can you imagine what an asshole it might make you look like?

If someone only has two minutes to show 40+ hours worth of work, what are they going to choose? DRAMA: Fights, insults, jokes taken out of context, emotional outbursts, and creative editing to make it look like all those things happened even if they didn't. No one would show you and your co-workers all hangin out in the break room having a good time, or the other 2998 minutes of the week you're all getting along and doing fine.

Besides, WHO THE FUCK CARES?! It doesn't relate to the actual DANCE aspect of the show. Still, if you google the names of anyone on the show, star, pro, or judge, your top hits are more likely to be about gossip and stupid crap than dancing.

I'm so tired of this. Aren't you tired of this? Isn't everyone tired of this? Don't you just want to sit back and watch the dancing? If you google Chipper Jones, you'll find mostly baseball info, his stats, his bio, video clips of good plays he's made.....and he cheated on his wife with a Hooters babe!

If you google "Derek Hough" or "Len Goodman" or "Cheryl Burke" you'll get the following:

over the top fan pages
video clips of everything BUT dancing

GUH! If you care more about that crap than the dancing, you need to put down the bonbons, your ass off the sofa, and start dancing. When you start dancing and then you see it on TV, you'll care about it more than you'll care if Maksim Chmerkovskiy scratched his balls.

I know, I shouldn't care at all about DWTS, but it's the best show around for promoting dance and I hate seeing the dance aspect constantly reduced and the bullshit aspect amplified. Don't you think there's enough bullshit in the world as it is?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Top 10 reasons dancing is better than sex

10: You can do it with people who are way hotter than you and not feel weird about it.
9: You can do it with people who are way uglier than you and not feel weird about it.
8: Age truly doesn't matter.
7: Size truly doesn't matter.
6: You can't get pregnant from it.
5: No one is hurt or disappointed if it only lasts five minutes.
4: People are open to trying all kinds of new things.
3: Your career won't be ruined if there are pictures of you doing it on the web.
2: You can do it with lots of different people and no one thinks you're a slut.

And the number one reason that dancing is better than sex...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So you think you CAN'T dance?

Full Radius Dance is an Atlanta based dance company that features dancers with major disabilities. Read a little bit about 'em:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Forget Dancing with the Stars. How about dancing with a PURPOSE?

I WISH I could say I was a Dancing with the Stars fan. I love watching the dances, I love seeing the costumes, I love watching people's talents blossom, I love the idea of the challenge, I have a huge amount of respect for all the contestants and pros. I know anybody who works on the show in any capacity works extremely hard at what they do, all the way from the dancers to the people who clean the studio floors. I don't want to diminish any of them. Sadly, I've come to HATE the actual show. I've talked about it a few times via video blog (here and here), and I've even told people to stop watching it because it's preventing them from getting up and actually dancing here.

I'm literally unable to watch this season because I have rehearsals for a show, but I'm kind of glad in a way. It's like trying to befriend an ex that dumped you. You WANT to be the "bigger person" and you WANT to forgive all the bad things and try to look at the good, but every attempt is awkward and insincere and just reopens those wounds you had hoped were cauterized. I keep TRYING to watch every season. The first few episodes, I'm stoked, but inevitably, over time, it makes me bitter. This year it took me four episodes (two dance shows, two results shows) to be angry (and no it's not because we had to say goodbye to a hot pro).

Anyone who watches sports can appreciate how much one bad call can ruin a game. Imagine seeing several bad calls every game and even after the replays, when everyone can see the ref is wrong, the call stands. To add insult to injury, even when the crowd could vote it down, they don't.

I'd love there to be a show that's actually about dancing. There have been a few attempts, but the same thing always happens. America's Ballroom Challenge was pretty good because there was no BS. Then again, it appeared on PBS and it never really went anywhere. Dance Your Ass Off is a great message, but its more about the message than dancing and it's also about the popularity and the stories and the drama and blablablaaaaaaa. Don't even get me started on the garbage that is So You Think You Can Dance, which SHOULD be awesome but sucks.

There is some buzz about a fan-created petition for two of the pros, Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, to get their own show...and as much as I love all the pros, and how in favor I am of more hot men being on TV, I can't support that either because I know it won't be about dancing. It will be, "Hey, let's follow the boys around with a camera and invade their personal space and get all up in their personal business and set up fake scenarios to create drama and maybe, if we're lucky, we'll catch 'em in their underpants. Check out it out! Val is eating a tater tot! OMG, look, Maks just scratched his balls!! Holy crap, look at that giant dump their dog just took!!!" Like every other "reality" show, it will have nothing to do with reality. Even if it's SUPPOSED to be about dancing, it won't be. DWTS was supposed to be about dancing and look how that turned out.

I hate to say it, but DWTS has long worn out its welcome. I LOVE all the pros and contestants and find them all incredibly inspiring. While I DESPISE the concept of having judges on shows about art, I respect the judges' talents and knowledge. I'm well aware everyone involved with DWTS to any capacity is beautiful, talented, hard working and admirable....but it's just been over-produced and tarted up like a cheap whore, ready to overdose and die with her head in the toilet at the first opportunity.

I know, I know, it's just a dumbass TV show, life isn't fair, a lot of people can't think for themselves, I could easily change the channel, and at the end of the day, who cares? Well, DWTS changed my life for the better. I can honestly say, if it weren't for dancing, I don't think I'd be alive, and even if I were, I'd just be inhabiting and operating a body, not truly living. It really does break my heart to see my inspiration reduced to what it is currently. It's been sold out, cheapened, and sluttified. It doesn't sell inspiration anymore. It sells gossip, popularity, celebrity, drama, judgment, sheepism, and worst of all, like all "reality" TV, it sells pure ego, which is wholly different from self-esteem and self worth.

What I'd give to see something on network TV that truly inspires people to dance.........