January 06, 2012
Dance-spiration Friday: Kaitlyn Conley/Belief
Before you watch this week's Dance-spiration Friday video, I feel I must explain something for all of you non dancer types out there. There are two camps of dance education - conservatory style dance training and competition schools. Most, but not all, dancers grow up in one setting or another. I grew up in a conservatory setting, and that has strongly influenced my opinions on dance education. Frankly, I feel that conservatories train for athletic excellence, while honoring dance as a form of artistic expression. Competition schools train their dancers to be machines. The best of them turn out students that can do sick-nasty tricks/unbelievable stuff with their bodies, which is entertaining. However, I usually find that the art piece of it is often lost underneath a solid coat of spray glitter and a bunch of sequins.
Of course, this preference does not stop me from getting into "YouTube spirals" and watching hours upon hours of competition videos. One day, after wading through link after link of talented, but trashily dressed/over made-up girls, I was pleasantly surprised to come across this video of a young dancer named Kaitlyn Conley dancing to Belief by Gavin DeGraw. There are so many things I love about this:
1. She is simply dressed. No razzle dazzle here - just booty shorts, a tank and a messy ponytail.
2. This girl doesn't have the stereotypical rail thin dancer body. She has a bum, and legs. This is similar to my body type when I was at my peak dancer shape, (and I wish I had appreciated myself a little more). It is awesome to see an atypical body rocking the shit out of a solo.
3. She is FEELIN' it. Oftentimes, I find competition solos to be filled with lots of canned emotion. Lots of mugging going on. I'm sad! (Makes a sad face). I'm jilted! (Makes the same sad, constipated face). I hate that - and there is none of that here.
4. The choreography is fierce. If you watch closely, the closing sequence of moves is an exact rewind of the opening sequence. This appeals to my nerdy brain. Love it.
I've watched this more times than I care to admit, but it just makes me uber happy. Enjoy.