An Ode to “So You Think You Can Dance”

You don’t expect to cry while watching reality TV.

This was the condition under which I was operating while watching “So You Think You Can Dance” this season, so I feel compelled to write about the Experience I had while doing so. I don’t watch much reality TV, but I just caught up with this season of “SYTYCD” and feel comfortable saying it’s the only reality show I’d consistently follow.

Let me explain:

The only other time I’ve cried while watching a TV show was during the series finale of “Six Feet Under.” That said, I’ve cried during almost half of the “SYTYCD” episodes this season. My brother doesn’t understand how I could get emotional while watching someone dance, and I’m sure he’s not alone in this feeling; not anyone who watches the show is going to connect with it.

I tried to explain my attachment, though, beginning by saying that dancing—like any art—is an incredibly personal thing, requiring the dancer to externalize the internal, to take emotional turmoil and filter it through the movement of the body. When someone is willing to do this in the public eye—in combination with incredible technique—the result can be something transcendent and beautiful. Magic, really.

So go watch this video and cry. It features Sasha, who I believe should’ve been this year’s winner. And if you feel nothing, you’re a robot, metaphorically speaking.

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