The Beauty of Being Vulnerable

Today I am remembering dancers on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Every time I watch a dancer perform, I’m blown away and usually moved to tears by the skill and the craft and the, I don’t know how to say it, the transparency of the dancers.

I have an art form. I put words on paper and sometimes they come out meaning something to someone and moving a heart, or moving a soul, or just moving someone sitting in their chair listening to bounce a little with the beat of the words coming out of my heart.

But I can stand back from my art – I can put it on paper and walk away. I can let someone else read it at their leisure. I can be removed and detached from it. Even though it’s my soul on paper – and it hurts to think of criticism – it’s really, in reality, just some words. Here these people put their entire body on display. They tell a story with their arms, and legs, and with their faces, with the way they stand or the way they fall, the way they float or fly or spring across the stage or fall into another’s arms. It’s all so very immediate and every step could tangle them up with their partner into a debacle that could break a leg. And in front of a national audience, they stand ready to hear the judges critique.

It’s almost more than I can bear – every week. I cringe because I relate to their vulnerability – the way they’ve just laid it all out on the line, the way they’ve put their art, their heart, their story, their limbs and love and language of the soul all there for us to see – and they GET to me. Some of the dances have left me quivering, with goose bumps and a lump in my throat – or straight out tears streaming. The stories that have been told – in Three Minutes no less – are breathtaking.

Dancing is not something I have ever aspired to. I do not have the gifts or the need to move to a beat and tell a story in that way – but oh, do I love to watch these artists create right in front of me. That’s the other thing – they don’t go into a cave or a grotto for weeks and weeks and only come out when they feel that what they have to show is perfect… they’re on a timeline – and they go on when the curtain raises – and they put their all into it, whether they’re completely ready or not.

Amazing. Simply exquisite. So beautiful I can taste it. I can taste the hard work, the sweat, the tears. I love to hear the judging choreographers and their praise of their fellow artists, and how they will describe the dance as a dancer and a writer and a playwright and a musician and someone who wants to break through to the audience and make a connection. There is such passion all the way around. I love it.

Photo by David Hoffman on Unsplash

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