I really need to find a way to stop starting these things with “I know it’s been a while,” or maybe just, you know, not make it a while before I post. Yes, good, way to keep up promises and resolutions. Way to go will power.
Anyways, this post is not going to be about any sort of deep emotional epiphany, I think there’s been enough of that two weeks prior to fill my quote for the next two years or so (not that that’s going to stop deep emotional posts away, what can I say? I’m a woman in my youth, over reactive, over dramatic, with too much time left to her own thoughts, emotional posts are going to happen). So this post is going to be a sort of review, a review of this Australian TV show I’ve been obsessing over for the past week or so, (dang has it only been a week? oops, maybe I should slow down).
Here’s the synopsis: Dance Academy, Fifteen-year-old Tara Webster’s dream of dancing comes true when she gets into a top dance academy. She soon realizes dancing is only half the battle.
Sounds totally cliche right? And it is. It’s typical teen drama. Country girl meets big city in an effort to pursue her dream. Along the way she encounters many boys (and dates pretty much all of them, oh wait, except for the one guy friend), and many trials. She begins as the underdog, from the country and ‘poorly trained’ in technique, but because of her natural talent she rises to the top of her class, attracting the envy and disdain of her classmates. It’s totally unrealistic, totally contrived and at times totally bland.
I told myself in the beginning that I was mainly watching this for the dancing, but, honestly, there isn’t a whole lot of dance in it. Then why am I watching this show? This show that I’m completely too old for (I think it’s supposed to be 13+, so tweeny). After watching basically 75% of what’s on netflix, I’ve discovered two and a half main reasons why I like it.
1) The characters are wonderfully flawed.
What I mean is that they’re all relate-able and human. Perhaps I’ve just been watching the wrong TV shows, but this is the first TV show in a while where I feel I can really empathize with the characters. Sure, they’re immature, but they’re supposed to be, they’re only fifteen and sixteen for goodness sake. And a lot of the times I’m sure they say and do things that are sort of, for lack of better word, unnatural in order to keep the plot moving forward, or to make it more dramatic or whatever. Despite all this, the show overall does what I feel is a good job of capturing human moments. Whether it be Sammy’s coping with the loss of his grandfather, the value of family, and the gratitude to his father, or Kat’s inability to control her eating, control her life and make good choices about dancing, or even Tara stupid Webster’s naivete, I feel for them because I see my own experiences in theirs. I even cried when they showed Grandfather Morrie’s funeral.
Okay, maybe it’s just me being a sap. Maybe it’s because it’s about the dance world in a non competition context (ABDC and SYTYCD and Dancing with the Stars or whatever). But I like it. I mean, this is why we watch television right? Yes, it’s for entertainment but weren’t dramas and romance shows created to give viewers some sort of sense of humanity? A feeling that it’s okay to act this way or do that because it’s what normal people do? Okay, yes, people could take that way to far and start doing crazy things, using TV as a justification for their actions. But with books too, I find I often like the books that I can empathize with and while I sound self centered, the books and TV shows that I feel like are sort of written about me.
So it’s all fiction and made up and pretend but who cares? When Saskia and Tara got injured while dancing I felt for them. I remembered when I had dislocated my knee. All the thoughts about not dancing again, about purposefully not dancing again for fear I wasn’t going to be good enough, for fear of injuring myself again, were all there on screen. And now (this is where I am in the series), when Tara gets injured again, but pushes on to keep dancing because it’s that important to her, yes, I get it! A couple of years ago that was me! Yet at the same time, there was also distance. The knowledge that everything was not only make believe but also the knowledge that I would never get that into the dance world, not the professional dance world, that my passion for dance was not as intense as theirs gives me enough buffer.
2) The dancing
I’ve always had an appreciation for ballet. It was never ever going to be the thing that I did and I had never really wanted it to be until now. Or maybe it’s just the complete romantic idea that if ballet was my thing and if I was that passionate about it, I could avoid the ‘real’ world and just dance and train all day (as if that’s easier. psh.) But, oh my, ballet is beautiful. And difficult. This show has taken my respect for ballet to a whole new level. So props to all the ballet dancers out there.
Besides just ballet though, I think it’s the general movement aspect of the show. It touches on some contemporary and dabbles in a little hip hop. All of these styles put together, when I’m watching it, as cheesy as it sounds, I sort of get inspired. What’s on screen is so different from the hip hop and contemporary that I’m used to seeing it’s refreshing and it pushes me to experiment with my own movement.
Also, dancing boys. ‘Nuff said.
2.25) everybody on the show is freaking fit and it’s motivation for me to lose weight.
2.5) Jordan Rodriguez.
That’s all 🙂
17 days until the alien arrives. 64 days until I get to see you.