So You Think You Can Dance? Or Dream?

I love the show, So You Think You Can Dance (also known as SYTYCD, which is almost as long as the actual title, so really – why bother?) (And when you say the show’s title in your head, you have to say it with Cat Deeley’s charming English accent, with the emphasis on “think.”)

Last year I wrote about my love for the show, and not much has changed, except I’m a year older and still unemployed, and now I have to take blood pressure medication. And the economy is worse, and my husband’s business is slowly circling the drain, and I’m feeling lost and confused, and you know what people do at times like this?

They break out into song and dance. Dim the lights, and spotlight center stage, please:

Tara looks out into the darkness, arms outstretched and sings:
(Add appropriate Broadway-type melody)

“I still believe in dreaming,
I still believe in hope,
And even though I’m unemployed,
I don’t think I’m a dope …

(Okay, so I’m no Rodgers and Hammerstein. It’s still in the workshop phase.)

I like to think that I’m merely a woman of my times, and my times happen to feature massive unemployment, so I’m just keeping current, yo! I’m torn between two worlds – I’m simultaneously still going for my “dream” of supporting myself as a writer, and also looking for another “day job” that will pay the bills. I’ll leave the waitressing to the younger crowd (been there, done that, smelled like hamburger) and I don’t have enough piercings to work at Starbucks. I was at the top of my game in my previous “day job,” and so far it seems I’ll have to take a big pay cut to get back to a similar position with worse hours and less benefits. If I can find one. Which I can’t. Even if I wanted one. Which I do. (Sort of.) (But not really.) But I have definitely been looking, with no success.

Sure, I’m also trying to find a steady job that involves writing, but so far no luck there, either. When I got laid off I wondered if the “universe” was “tying to tell me something,” like I should go for the writing and not fall back on the security of a steady job I hate? I have a complicated relationship with the universe, and I always think if it wants to tell me something, it should just send an e-mail and not be so cryptic and mysterious because I’ve been leaping like mad and so far the net has been all, “Yeah, I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

Am I too damn old to keep dreaming? Is that why I love SYTYCD? Watching people with dreams and talent and so much still ahead of them? Or is just the sheer joy of the emotion and the passion and the expression of feelings? Watching Melissa and Ade dance the tribute to women with breast cancer was an amazing moment – such passion and art – on primetime TV. Melissa is the “old” one, at 29, and while she has many good years ahead of her as a dancer, I’m sure she feels the pressure to make the most of her moment. Is my moment still to come? What happens if I never get my moment? Will I still try? I hope so. So yeah, I think I can dance (without actually, you know, dancing) and I never want to lose that, no matter what happens.

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5 Comments on “So You Think You Can Dance? Or Dream?”

  1. K-Line says:

    Great post. I am totally addicted to that show because I am astonished by what people can do with their bodies. If bodies can do that, we can do anything! I love your line about the universe sending an email. Hilarious. And true!

  2. You convinced me to try this show. And, I don’t believe in being too old to dream. Some dreams do come with expiration dates: ballerina, professional athletes, etc. Writing dreams only die when we quit investing in them.
    Have I got a song for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwIddYGse9g

  3. Tara Zucker says:

    K-line – I know what you mean. I pull a muscle if I open the refrigerator too fast – those dancers are like aliens to me. Very nice, flexible aliens.

  4. Imogen says:

    I LOVE dance too – though we’re a week behind you guys so don’t spoil it for me OK!

    I think what I like about it is that there are dreams involved, lots of talent, music and bodily expression, and the judged aren’t bastards, but fair.

    I wish you could find your dream job! There is plenty of time left still. Many writers don’t succeed until well into their later life.

  5. Tara Zucker says:

    Imogen – no worry. I won’t tell you how Mary gets up on the judges’ table and does the Cha Cha, and then Cat sends the wrong person backstage for a dance solo. Great show!


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