Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why I like “Dancing With the Stars”

By Fern Abbott
Sunday, January 13, 2007

As a rule, I don’t like reality shows. Watching people attempt to swallow something we’d normally step on or walk around, or vote a team-mate off an island (which under other circumstances might be tantamount to a death sentence), or yell at each other when one makes an error is, to me, plumbing the depths of humanity. It shows the worst of us in competition and sets a poor example for the impressionable.

Dancing with the Stars, on the other hand, encompasses, plays up and sends positive messages in ways that no amount of teaching/telling/preaching could get across.

1. If you want to succeed, you have to work, and work hard. Coasting or faking it won’t get you there. The finalists spent hours per day practicing, even with full time jobs (or other obligations) that they couldn’t take off from. Nothing - neither sickness, injuries or even deaths in the family stopped either the celebrities or the dancers.

2. You can’t break the rules and get away with it; there are consequences. Those celebrities who violated the rules were chastised by the judges and had points subtracted, even if the dance was popularly received or superbly entertaining. One celebrity, a few years ago, showed such a poor attitude and disregard of the rules that even his fans didn’t (or couldn’t or wouldn’t) keep him on the show.

3. Even though the stars were in competition, they showed professionalism and good sportsmanship at all times. They never bad-mouthed the competition, but praised them instead and acknowledged that the competition made them work even harder and more determined to succeed.
When their competitors were eliminated, although the staying stars were happy to stay, they were also sad to see their competitors leave. Those who were eliminated did not complain -not about the judging, personalities, the point system, how someone else was responsible for mistakes, the unfairness of life, etc.

4. Look at the female dancers - they’re in great shape and excellent physical condition, proving you don’t have to be anorexic to look good. In fact, one of the “stars” this season was a fashion model – thin, but woefully out of condition and didn’t have the muscle tone to compete. If this isn’t a very positive message for our daughters (sisters, nieces, granddaughters, etc.) I don’t know what is. And many, if not most of the celebrities commented that they’d lost weight as a result of the constant dance practice.

5. Just because you’re handicapped, or even older, doesn’t mean you can’t compete or be active. We’ve seen an amputee, someone who recently had hip replacement surgery, people with various conditions (stiff back, arthritis, etc), and of course, stars in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s and 70’s compete.

6. Men who dance are not sissies, less then manly, or homosexual – and there’s nothing unmanly about it. We’ve seen not only actors, but football players, fighters, boxers, and a race car driver compete, to name a few. The sports celebrities worked on their dancing footwork as much as they did their footwork in their sport.

My only complaint? The season is too short. I wouldn’t mind if ABC ran each season again as reruns. It sure bets some of the crap that’s on now.

1 comment:

TV said...

Excellent analysis, Fern. You made me a Fan!