Monday, June 04, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance

I hope you've seen the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance". If you haven't, you're missing a real treat. While it doesn't focus exclusively on ballroom dancing, there's certainly enough included to entertain ballroom dancing fans, and I found a new appreciation for other styles of dancing, some I'd never even heard of before watching the show. (Anybody out there know how to 'crump'?)

It's currently in it's third season and I wouldn't be surprised to see it run for many years. The premise is much like 'Dancing With The Stars' and 'American Idol', people audition, there's a panel of three judges, and in the end, America votes for their favorite dancer.

Last season's favorite was a young man named Benji Schwimmer. He auditioned with his cousin Heidi Groskreutz and it was apparent even to the most untrained eye that these two were exceptionally talented dancers. As well they should be. Benji's dad is Buddy Schwimmer, known as the 'King of Swing', and according to Benji, everyone in his family dances.

This season, his sister Lacey is competing. Benji partnered with her for her audition. I find him to be not only an amazing dancer, but a genuinely likable young man. I expect Lacey will do well in the show. Their cousin Heidi remained in competition a long time last season, but it was Benji who won the most hearts of the voters.

I say all that to say this. The other day I was looking through some YouTube videos on a completely unrelated topic and ran across some videos of Benji that I just had to share. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did, and if you haven't seen 'So You Think You Can Dance', I hope now you'll make it a point to watch.

This is the earliest video I found of Benji and Heidi. It's from 1989.
Benji was 5 and Heidi was 8.

Sixteen years later, in 2005, at the US Open Swing Championship.
Not surprisingly, they took first place.

This should serve to prove two points:
1. It's never too early to introduce someone to ballroom dancing.
2. Practice does indeed make perfect.