To Teddy Tedholm, wherever he may be

Damn it. Not again.

I am weeks behind in book reviews, hours behind on sleep, and barely coherent, and this is probably a very silly thing to do –  but it has been spinning around in my head, so here goes.

I’m crushed that you were sent home in the episode of So You Think You Can Dance that aired tonight. I was crushed to see you that angry. I was irritated by the promos which seemed to indicate just such a calamity, but in retrospect maybe it wasn’t a bad thing – my hopes didn’t rise too far.

Please try out again next season. From the first time I saw those ridiculous pants – I mean saw you dance in 2009, I was hooked. I think you’re marvelous. I have a terrible memory – but you I remember. I was going to say I love you – but that’s just kinda creepy from some random blogger person you’ve never met, so I will say I love to watch you dance. It means something to me – and thank you, by the way. You’re one of my favorite dancers who’s ever been on the show, despite never actually being on the show. Yes, happily, there’s your YouTube channel, but despite the stupid, stupid decisions that keep being made I still do adore SYTYCD, and I would love to see you on there week after week, and I would vote for you.

And of course by “vote” I do mean “wear out the redial button on my phone”.

Of course I’m ticked off beyond all words that barely a single step you took on stage was shown this season, but that’s between me and the producer people and that guy named Nunzio I hired to … speak with them. And you have far more reason to be put out than I do, of course – about that, and about being cut again.

I went to art school. I know what it’s like to rip off a piece of yourself and hold it up for people to crit. It’s one of the things that scares me about being a writer – do I really want to know what other people think of my writing, or would I be better off maintaining the bushel over whatever light there might be? I have that option – I am a writer, whether anyone else ever sets eyes on anything beyond this blog. A dancer doesn’t have the luxury of such cowardice. Dance, like theatre, requires an audience. You can write a play and never stage it, but even Shakespeare’s plays are a little hollow without the magic of the performance and the audience. You can dance all by yourself in an empty room, but that’s about as fulfilling and rewarding as talking to yourself: at its best, dance is exquisite communication between the performer and his audience. And – just like theatre, just like painting and writing, it’s worthless if it doesn’t reveal some part of who you are. So dance requires tremendous courage. For you and so many others to try out again and again is a particularly magnificent kind of courage. And so I think I can understand your bitterness and anger. What do they want from you that you’re not giving?

Dance, more than perhaps any other art, requires solid mentoring. My impression of the panel is that they are, by and large, very good mentors. Again, the show’s editing is almost entirely responsible for that impression, and given the tiny snippet they let us see tonight I could very easily be utterly wrong, but here goes. You’re good. You’re very good. I’m a fan. But it seemed as though there were notes given about the performance which might be useful. Again, I truly do empathize – but I hope that dancer’s crazy stubborn courage kicked in when the anger burned off and you remembered the dancers who have gone before, who tried out season after season until finally something clicked. And I can’t help hoping that you went to the studio the next day with a determination to work your butt off and take SYTYCD by storm next time.

If anyone can do it, you can. That’s a big assumption based on the few minutes’ screen time you’ve had, but – remember what I said about revelation communication. That’s what you said to me.

Thank you for it.

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2 Responses to To Teddy Tedholm, wherever he may be

  1. Teddy Tedholm says:

    thank you, i can’t think of anything better to say. Which is lame.

  2. stewartry says:

    Not lame – and much better than “I’ll be getting that restraining order now”. Whatever happens with the show in future, I wish you all the best.

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