Wishing you all an amazing 2013, and thanks for being part of Pilgrim’s Moon.
I start the year with a sordid confession: I LOVE the TV show Strictly Come Dancing. The latest series has just ended here in the UK (US version is Dancing with the Stars).
In this show, celebrities pair up with professional dancers to compete in a series of ballroom and latin dances.
There are two things about Strictly which I adore.
The first is the dancing. It’s fantastic to see the celebrities step (literally) way out of their comfort zones. Of course they get paid for taking part, but they are really brave, both physically and emotionally. To go from being a sports star, actor, TV presenter or whatever to moving and performing in a completely different way is exposing. People confident in their usual sphere turn into vulnerable, wobbling lumps of nervous jelly on the first show.
And then as the show continues, you watch some of the celebrities fall in love with dance. My internet friend Christine Claire Reed wrote about the saving magic of dance in her interview with me here, and you can see this dynamic at work in the show.
The other thing (person) about this show I absolutely love is the “mean” judge, Craig Revel Horwood. Craig is the judge who marks lower than everyone else. He is the judge who makes blistering comments when he feels someone isn’t trying: “dull, dull, dull”. He is the judge who picks up on the smallest detail: “your thumb placement was a disAHster, darling”. He shares my impatience with the “wild card” candidates the BBC often introduces – celebrities no-one expects to be able to dance but who add “entertainment” and ratings value.
Of course a lot of Craig’s behaviour is exaggeration and bitchy grandstanding. His catch-phrases are legendary. But his famously difficult-to-please stance means that when he is complimentary it really means something. He really cares about good dancing. He has really high standards. He gives fantastically constructive and specific criticism. When the other judges give good scores, the candidates are delighted, when Craig gives a good score, the candidates are ecstatic. And when he gives the top score of 10, it’s a complete frenzy of euphoria.
Why am I burbling on about this? Because I think it has lessons for us as we begin our journey through 2013:
- Dance is like life: a combination of steely discipline and emotional abandon
- The best performances have exceptional and unusual choreography
- In life we can become complacent with our efforts, and then we don’t deserve a high score
You know what? I don’t want a “happy” new year. I want an amazing new year, an intense new year, a transformational new year. I want to be as judgemental about myself as Craig would be, and I want to earn that elusive score of 10!
How about you?
Photo by Denvilles Duo