Thursday, October 21, 2010

What I learned from Alex Wong

I was at the live So You Think You Can Dance touring show the other night. Aside from enjoying the dancing, which was great, one thing really struck me.

If you're not a fan of the show, you may not know who Alex Wong is. He's a ballet dancer who was doing really well, clearly a favorite, who unfortunately suffered a major injury and was forced to leave the show. He was such a fan fav, however, that they (rightly) included a tape of one of his most popular dances from the show, a hip-hop number featuring Alex and another primarily hip-hop dancer who goes by the name of Twitch.

So here was this classically trained dancer doing something really foreign, and yet...he was absolutely fantastic.

And as I sat in the audience and watched the tape on the big screen, I realized why.

The man absolutely throws himself, body and soul, into what he's doing.

Alex Wong gets out of his own way.

There is no sense that he is thinking about anything other than the dance - not himself, not the audience, just the character and the dance.

As a writer, this is something I need to do, too. Silence the inner editor and especially the inner critic. Just throw myself into the writing and let myself go.

Or, to put it another way...get outta my mind!

1 comment:

ciarcullen said...

I don't know how I landed here, but you took the words right out of my mouth--sort of. I was at Radio City, am a rather big Alex Wong fan (a little old to gush the way I do on his Facebook page), and a romance writer. I find it absolutely paralyzing when I start thinking ABOUT writing as opposed to being IN the writing. Alex was in the zone that night--he said that it feels like a dream. I think it's because the zone is a dreamlike place (in addition to the unfortunate fast turn of events for him). I've learned a lot of other things from this young man. Grace, care (he is very smart and takes great care in sculpting his online persona), humility (despite I think probably loving the limelight), and politeness. "Hi Ciar, how are you?" He's not up for canonization, but this old gal has learned a lot from him. Thanks for your post.