Friday, August 20, 2010

Passion and Perseverance

I have had a passion for dance since the age of 11.  The beauty of it often moves me to tears.  Each movement is a word, a fluid expression of one's heart.  With SYTYCD Canada, I come close to tears with nearly every episode, especially last night's episode.

To give you a quick recap, our Canadian SYTYCD decided to broadcast all the auditions within one week, and start the finals as well.  Last night was day 1 and 2 of the finals (in Toronto).

A dancer, named Luka, suffers from a physical disability that leaves him needing crutches to assist him in walking.  First round is the hip hop (choreographed by Luther) and he does it, though with adapted movements he created himself.  Luther was impressed, as were the other judges that passed him on to the next round, theatre.

The theatre routine choreographed by Shaun, was more difficult, as it was further from his genre.  The song was "Defying Gravity" from the broadway musical "Wicked".  Most of the routine had to be reintrepreted to the extreme by Luka.

When it came time to dance with the group, dancers in the audience were anxiously awaiting his performance, chanting his name.  Judges, after the routine, were on their feet and crying.

Comments that were made by the judges include:

Jean-Marc:  "You are everything this song stands for.  Watching you perform it was an honour.  Luka, everyone has challenges.  Me, is English...My daughter is talking and walking and what you are is an artist.  I wish my daughter can see you...and she will be very proud of you..."

Trey:  "When you dropped your crutches and they looked like they flew away, for anybody who can't walk, you make them believe they can do it and it doesn't matter where you end up in life as long as you love to dance, you can dance"

Blake: "It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life-to make us react like this and bring out our most beautiful, deepest, insecure crying, anything moments to see how truly beautiful you are.  Thank you so much..."

Luther:  "...when I first saw you dance in Montreal, you amazed me then but you totally amazed me now.  And I think you're holding it down for all the b-boys and all the people of Montreal."

Mary:  " make me happy.  You are overcoming everything in your own life to inspire us.  Thank you so much..."

He was given a standing applause not only by the judges, but by his fellow dancers.  His group helped him back up and recovered his crutches for him.  Unfortunally, he had to be cut for the next round as it was ballroom, which required him to be able to pair up with a partner, something he was unable to do.  I truly don't believe this is the last we have seen of Luka.

The fact is, we are all crippled.  Some of us, it is seen on the outside while some of us, it's on the inside.  My struggle is on the inside.  I struggle on this road, determined to make something of myself and to be able to work with at-risk youth.  It's not easy, in fact, this has been the toughest couple of years of my life.  But just like Luka, I can't stop what's against me from keeping me from doing everything I can to persevere and rise against "my disability".  Giving up would be the easy thing to do-but I have never done anything easy, or looked for an easy way out.  So like Luka, I will pesevere.

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