Just A Well-Dressed Mannequin

There are people at the studio, myself included, that don’t hold back (i.e. no filter).  I chatted with one of them recently, and he said something quite intriguing.  But, let’s back up first.  It’s story time.

I went to the “Dancing with the Stars” Perfect Ten Tour when it arrived in Vegas at the beginning of July.  It had two nights, Friday and Sunday.  Here’s the upshot: It sucked.  The family and I went Friday, but the two most prominently billed dancers, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd were both absent that show.  Then, Artem Chigvintsev was suddenly rushed for the hospital for an unknown injury and left mid-performance.  (Poor man!)  Minus three professionals, the blocking was undoubtedly off, and the dancing floundered.  Ick.  Oh, but here’s the kicker: Val and Peta were present for Sudnay’s show, when we had to leave for Houston.  Ugh.  The tour’s website sent a review, and they consistently looked something like this…

Friday’s show: By my great-grandmother Eliza’s beard, that showing was most unsatisfactory!  “Dancing with the Stars” mirror ball professionals, Val and Peta, were absent.  Absent!  This was completely unacceptable because I paid good money to see them.  As for a recommendation of excellence, it’s not blooming likely.  It would behoove potential customers to save hard-earned cash and get their terpsichorean fix from the television show.

Sunday’s show: Like OMG, that was the best show ever!  Val and Peta were totes¹ awesome!  Oh, and of course, the best part was when Val came down those steps with his shirt off.  I thought I was, like, going to go cray-cray² with all the sexiness!  Eeeee!!!

But, that wasn’t the worst part.  No, the worst part was when I found out that the sales’ team knew Val wasn’t going to be there on Friday because he was attending a wedding.  Yet, they still sold tickets billing his name.  I guess we didn’t need the slot machines to be cheated.


 Interrupting Footnote’s Dictionary for Modern Chat Speak

adverb, English (?)

1. an abbreviation of the long word totally

adjective, English (?)

2. an abbreviation of the long word crazy, the addition of a duplicate indicates heightened emotion


But, let’s look on the bright side.  I got a useful piece of merchandise.  It’s a bright yellow ten paddle with a plastic handle on the side.  I can use it to fan myself when I start to sweat from all my dancing.  It’s with this yellow paddle where the real story begins.

I intentionally took it from my dancing bag as a conversation starter, and my companion in bluntness soon took interest.  He asked me where I got it, and I told him everything you’ve hopefully just read.  This segued into light-hearted humor on my part: “You know, that reminds me of all the times people excitedly exclaim ‘You do ballroom dance?  You could definitely be on ‘Dancing with the Stars’.” [amused laugh from me]  “Um, no!  Do you know what kind of résumé the professionals on that show have?”  But my companion in bluntness interjected his own commentary.

Hey, I think you’re a better dancer than the celebrities on the show.  You actually know how to dance.  They don’t.

Really?  I’d never thought of that before.  It seemed plausible, but I was still stuck.  Luckily, he quickly explained.  “They really only memorize routines, which isn’t a bad thing.  They don’t retain them, though.  Haven’t you every noticed their final dance?  Whenever they get eliminated, they don’t do, say, a tango, foxtrot, or rumba.  They sway.”

I’d stopped watching “Dancing with the Stars” a long time ago because they added jazz and contemporary dancing.  It was ridiculous.  But I did remember enough of the celebrities’ final dances to affirm his point.  Having no filter, my companion added a final comment

You know; they’re really nothing more than well-dressed mannequins.

I couldn’t help, but think “ouch!”  Yet, there is truth in it.  Tell me, dear readers, what are the requirements of being a legitimate dancer?  I’d wager that constant learning and consistent retention for some sort of application make a dancer.  It doesn’t matter if you’re social or competitive.  As long as you keep up your training and have some love for it, you’re a dancer.  I know there are exceptions, but I think most celebrities left the art of dancing behind them after the show.  Of course, this isn’t a bad thing.  But a dancer it does not make.  I hope my fellow residents of Ballroom Village agree when I say that being a dancer isn’t even about the level of skill, though that certainly helps.  It’s about the love and effort you put into it.  Yes, it’s similar to a relationship with a person.  There are peaks and valleys, but dancing always has new ways of invigorating your life.


P.S.: Well, my friends, do you have any additional thoughts?  How’d you like my snarky side?  Do you think my companion in bluntness was too harsh?

3 thoughts on “Just A Well-Dressed Mannequin

  1. Not sure if you really wanted a comment or not. 😉 I think they’re dancers. They train, they love what they do, and, most important, they make others want to learn to dance. So many people have taken the jump to become dancers themselves because of the show. I don’t like how some have become more “star” themselves, but that’s another topic. They dance, they love it, their job description is dancer and teacher. End of story.

    • Oh, yes. Anytime I leave a question at the end of a post a comment would be very nice. 🙂

      I realize that my post is unclear as to whether I’m asking my readers whether they think the celebrities are dancers or the professionals, which was an error on my part. It is the former. There’s no question in my mind that the professionals are dancers, even if they gain celebrity status. I was talking about the celebrities on the show. Do you consider them dancers?

      My blunt friend definitely did not think so because they just memorize routines and don’t retain anything at the end of it all. Hence, the well-just mannequin remark.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Ah. Dumb moment on my part. I agree, then. There are few celebrities that are dancers. If they started before the show with dance or they continue after it finishes, then yes. But most are there for a career jump start, not to learn to dance.

The floor is yours now.

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