I don’t watch much reality TV. That said, I am absolutely addicted to Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). In my mind, DWTS is not really a reality TV show as much as it is a talent show. And what makes it really interesting is that it is a talent show with contestants who have talents in areas other than dancing. We have seen a wide array of stars, everything from Olympic athletes (Season 4 winner Apolo Anton Ohno and Season 6 winner Kristi Yamaguchi) to race car drivers (Season 5 winner Hélio Castroneves) to NFL football players to actors and actresses. Some stars seem to possess hidden natural talent for dancing that quickly bubbles up to the surface, while others seem to struggle a bit more in finding theirs.
Throughout the season, we see the more vulnerable, more personal side of the contestants, and by the end of the season it is hard not to sympathize with their wins and losses, their struggles, their injuries, and the friendships they develop with their partners. The professionals who are the contestants’ partners are unbelievably talented. Professionals like Julianne Hough are absolutely awe inspiring. One of the youngest dancers on the show, Julianne makes dancing the Cha Cha look more natural than walking your dog. And when it comes to the Judges, Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli are humorous, spicy, and full of witty moments, keeping even the judging entertaining. DWTS is truly a fun and entertaining show with little to no drama and lots of smiles.
So given all of this, is it really surprising that I secretly wish that I could be a contestant on DWTS? Probably not. As I watched Brooke Burke and Derek Hough win the trophy this past week, it dawned on me that this wish is completely legitimate: the dancing is amazing, the costumes are sexy, the music is beautiful, the athleticism is incredible, you name it. Every time I watch the show, I become completely enthralled and mesmerized. Moreover, if I ever had the chance to be a contestant, I can’t help but wonder whether I would actually be transformed into Ginger Rogers with Mark Balias or Tony Dovolani at the helm. Who wouldn’t?
Now, I understand I’m not technically a “star.” However, I may have a qualifying moment. At the ripe age of six years, I performed at the world renowned Carnegie Hall. And I’m proud to say, that as a “Tiger in a Tutu,” I gave a performance worthy of a standing ovation. I spent most of my time on stage, much like a dog, chasing my ever elusive tail. When I had finally found it, I grabbed a hold of it, stared it down for a few seconds, and quietly scolded it as if to let it know who was boss. For the rest of the performance, I clenched that tail as determined as ever to not let it go. Needless to say, a standing ovation ensued. I don’t know that I had the where with all to understand that the audience’s enthusiasm was due more to my tail than to my true talent, but nonetheless, I still enjoyed the moment of stardom. What’s important, however, is that this story illustrates great potential in a contestant: determination, personality, and comfort with costume malfunctions. What else would I need?
“Tiger in a tutu” moment aside, I do believe I have talent and that deep down I am a star. I mean, honestly, don’t we all? (Ahh yes, I’m having flashbacks of Molly Shannon in Superstar at this very moment.) So, to the producers of Dancing with the Stars, if you ever need a rising star, by all means, I’m up for the challenge and would be happy to step in any time. Tail and all …