The competition dancing began tonight

on So You Think You Can Dance, and for the first time I was tempted to vote (for Iveta, the elegant ten-dance ballroom champion, and Nick, the tap dancer, for their super quick step), since it was announced we could vote on line.  Unfortunately I discovered that the online voting runs through Facebook.

I don’t Facebook.  (Has Facebook been accepted as an official verb yet?)  I’m rather proud of myself for getting this far with WordPress in the last two months.  Sooner or later I suppose I too will be sucked into Facebook, if only to “like” the author pages put up by my friends (I have only a vague idea of what that actually means) or to vote for my favorite dancer, but I’m really trying to avoid it.  The other morning I heard a news report that Facebook use is beginning to drop off in well-established markets like the US and the UK, although it’s still growing in newer markets.  (Whatever happened to My Space, by the way?)

But back to the dancing.  I love the show for the music, the costumes, and the amazing dancing, but I admire the young dancers (I believe Iveta, at 30, is the oldest contestant–some of them are still in high school) for their guts.  After years of experience in the relatively anonymous world of writing contests, I stand in awe of kids willing to do anything the choreographers throw at them in front of a national audience.  I know well how the thrill of being one of six finalists plucked from a field of fifty or sixty entries melts away when one comes in sixth in the final standings.  My heart hurts for the dancers who, after their moments of triumph as finalists, are eliminated in the early rounds.

And all of it in public!  My contest triumphs receive a degree of publicity within the community of romance writers, but I never have to mention the contests in which my manuscripts have not reached the finals.  Only my closest friends know when I bomb.  I may get savaged by an “East German judge” from time to time, but I never fall on my butt in public.  (Well, actually I once did that, in a park in Mexico City, and several Latin gentlemen came rushing to my rescue.  Any laughter was sympathetic.)

So here’s to all the contestants on this season of SYTYCD, especially the two who will be sent home tomorrow evening, because whoever they are, they are fantastic dancers. Maybe by next week I’ll figure out how to vote with my seldom-used cell phone.

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