First and foremost, we need to talk about this show’s theme song. I can’t ignore the weird electric guitar riff over the classic piano music. It is just not okay. This is not Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It’s a reality show about ballet. And, okay, I understand that it’s fun to juxtapose non-classical music with ballet, but this theme music is not the song they should have chosen.
It. Is. So. Bad.
And I really wonder if there’s anyone out there who would disagree with me on that point. *looks around* I didn’t think so.
We should also note that this episode is clunkily titled “Second Cast is First Place for Losers.” Seriously. Between this title and the theme song, I really don’t know why I’m still watching this.
Except for that it’s about daaaaaance. And I love the dancing.
Anyway, in this episode, the cast list goes up for Paquita, a very demanding classic ballet originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier in 1846 for the Paris Opera Ballet, with additions from Marius Petipa for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg in 1847.
I’m glad my random knowledge of ballet is coming in handy recapping this, because I promise you, it’s useless in every other aspect of my life.
SO OMG ANYWAY, the cast list goes up and everyone is nervous because everyone wants to be “first cast,” which means that they perform opening night, which means that they will have a very good chance of being mentioned in a review.
Vying for principal roles in this ballet are: Ronnie and Katherine (who has INCREDIBLE calves and can do fouettes for days), and Rex and Christiana.
Maybe my favorite part of this episode was hearing Adam evaluate these dancers. He totally hit the nail on the head, talking about how Ronnie, while charismatic, is technically lazy (he has VERY lazy feet), and how Rex, though technically superior, is really insecure. And not as buff. Let’s be honest, that has something to do with this casting because, as it happens, Ronnie and Katherine are first cast.
You know who else is first cast? BECKANNE. She’s dancing a soloist role, beating out Allison and a bunch of other demi-soloists and I am all about this. And Allison is also dancing first cast, so she’s definitely not being overshadowed by little miss B.
So now that that drama is out of the way, let’s proceed to our CHARACTER BREAK-DOWNS. *thunderclap*
He’s less shirtless this week than he has been the past couple weeks.
He bitches and moans about not being a principal some more and I desperately want him to learn another tune. And if it’s about his motorcycle or his tattoos, I will beat him.
SHER’RON COMES TO VISIT! And you know what they do? Go to the tattoo parlor to get Ronnie’s behind-the-ear tattoo re-inked. I really hope they did other sibling things when she was in town, because all we saw was the tattoo stuff.
But apparently Sher’ron used to dance too and calls herself “semi-retired.” I’m really not sure what that is supposed to mean, but ok. While they’re at the tattoo parlor, the tattoo artist keeps calling Ronnie a ballerina, which is totally hilarious because Ronnie never once corrects him. And, actually, that wins Ronnie some brownie points from me. I like that he understands that his profession is not something that most people know about, and he isn’t touchy about it.
Even though he annoys me, he definitely knows who he is and what he’s about, and I like that he’s comfortable with all of those things. And you know what? Ronnie is really funny. The way he says shit is awesome, especially when he uses phrases like “fly” and “stroke it.” I really hope he was a wigga at some point in his life.
And also, I think he offered the tattoo artists tickets to come see a ballet. I’m pretty sure that happened. I hope dude man shows up. I hope they have a bromance.
Oh, Allison, you are such an onion of a lady. In this episode she revealed that her parents divorced when she was twelve and that she stopped dancing for five years.
FIVE YEARS. From the time she was 12 until she was 17 she DIDN’T DANCE. And you guys, those specific five years are MUCHO IMPORTANTO in a dancer’s life—that’s when you’re really learning and growing and entering competitions and going to ballet academies and summer intensives and auditioning for companies. So the fact that she is dancing as a professional despite the fact that she took a five year break is INSANE.
But now we know why she’s a 28-year-old who is
in the corps or whatever it is that she does [UPDATE!] a demi-soloist.
And also—Adam really likes her. In the three ballets the company is performing this season, she’s apparently dancing a corps role, a soloist role, and a principal role. That’s A LOT. And in this episode it kind of gets to her.
The choreography for Paquita does not come easily to her, and the Russian technician Ballet West brought in to stage the ballet is tough. Because, in general, Russian technicians are tough.
FOR EXAMPLE, I once went to a ballet intensive I had no business being in since I’m teeny-tiny and have terrible feet, but there I was. The Czech instructor for our technique class SCREAMED AT ME and then when I wasn’t improving because it was physically impossible for my hips to do what he wanted them to do because of the way my genetics work, he SMACKED ME WITH A YARD STICK UNTIL THE BACKS OF MY LEGS WERE BLEEDING. Not lying.
Anyway. Russian-trained dancers are tough, exacting, and demanding. And Allison is struggling, and actually, Elena the Russian Lady is being very nice to her.
Even so, Allison sort of has a breakdown in the middle of rehearsal. She’s over-thinking the choreography and psyching herself out, which happens. It’s all mental, when it comes down to it. But even so, she breaks down in class and cries and tells everyone that she’s falling apart.
And then she and Christiana go to get pedicures together, and the truth comes out—Allison is concerned that she’s too old and that she’s expecting her body to do too much. And though 28 is NOT old, and I’m sure that her issues have more to do with her confidence than her body, the problem is that she *thinks* she’s too old to be able to do it.
AND ALSO. She’s still reeling from her break-up and feeling guilty about Rex, whom she really just wants for emotional support. So, I mean, Homegirl has a lot going on.
I really hope for her sake that she doesn’t have a full on nervous breakdown. But then again, I really hope that for the show’s sake, she does.
I don’t have much to say about her. But I do want to talk about her husband Chris.
I LOVE how much he adores her. He only had a little bit of screen time, but part of it was in their home one morning and they were talking about the stress of waiting to find out about casting and he asked her how she slept and it made me “awe” out loud.
It’s possible this is because I’m VERY Boyfriend deprived and therefore anytime a guy does something thoughtful it makes me a) jealous and b) a person who says “awe” out loud.
Anyway, he really does adore her. And I adore that he adores her. So yay Chris!
Also, I want to know what the hell he is dancing if Rex and Ronnie are up for principal roles.
Speaking of Rex, we finally got to see him do some dancey-dancey, and y’all—he is really good. Like. REALLY good. He has incredibly smooth transitions and the height he gets when he leaps is, just, unreal. He’s easy to watch, too. Where Ronnie kind of makes it look like work, Rex is just a natural. If his entire family dances like he does, then JESUS CHRIST is that not fair.
Alright, so I ended up sort of identifying with Rex in this episode, which really freaked me out. But he was talking about how he’s sort of introverted and is really hard on himself, which then causes an outward appearance of self-doubt, and I so totally get that.
What I still don’t get is his Stage 5 Clinger status. And maybe I’m judging too harshly on that. Maybe he’s just a good guy and really cares about Allison and knows she’s going through a hard time and wants to be there for her.
Wait, no. He told her he loves her. That’s right. So, still a clinger.
Ronald of the Cullen Hair
He was MIA this week. *shrugs*
I just love her. She sort of reminds me of Taylor Swift, (NOTE: I like T-Swizzle. Shut up.) both physically and in personality. I like that she’s humble, but at the same time owning her talent and the opportunities she’s given.
And I love love love her Buddha earrings.
I also love that she thinks Paquita is easy to dance compared to everything else they are doing. This ballet is EFFING HARD to dance. It’s so technically demanding and Petipa was a FREAK about choreographing really fast footwork. It’s weird, because his ballets aren’t showy in that there are lots of fouettes and lifts and leaping, but the footwork is so intricate that it’s really, really, REALLY hard to perform his stuff well. So the fact that she finds it easy is just…aggravating and awesome.
Which is why the other soloists in the company resent her. Even though she’s invited out to dinner, it seems really awkward (probably due to editing, but I do think she felt out of place) because the other girls are talking about things together and drinking, which Beckanne can’t legally do because she’s 19, and straight up ignore her when she makes a comment. (Again, could be editing.)
And this leads Beckanne to chat with Katie about how lonely she’s going to feel when Katie has to leave and she has basically no one that she feels close to. And Katie handles the whole thing pretty well. She understands why the other dancers are wary of Beckanne, but she also wants the best for her friend. So she tells Beckanne to not sweat it and know that sometimes work realtionships are just work relationships, and that’s ok.
And then they have a very adorable, girly conversation about how Beckanne should date Raymond, the Level-Headed Tilton who dances with San Francisco.
Katie: “It would be kinda cool if you two started dating. If they don’t get sick of us and they end up liking us a lot, then we’ll all get married and live next door and be friends forever.”
And then Beckanne quips about how they should plan to have kids at the same time and it devolves into a situation where they just want to marry brothers so they can live near each other all the time.
It’s sort of an immature conversation, but it was so cute and silly and fun and such a thing that two friends would say to each other that I loved it. I like them. A lot.
I’m really looking forward to this episode wherein Beckanne and Ray hang out. It will add to the drama when Beckanne and Ronald the Cullen-Haired inevitably hook up.
And also, I found THIS PHOTO of Katie and Beckanne, and HOLY BAZOO is it gorgeous.
Also in this episode, Beckanne gets an email from a reporter at Dance Magazine about being featured in their On the Rise issue. This is not a small thing to happen. So obviously she’s excited, but because she’s (at least pretending to be) humble and a little leery of making the other dancers jealous, she doesn’t really want to tell anyone. But she does, and she tells this to Gay Tom.
He’s the only (openly) gay dancer at Ballet West, apparently. I do not believe he’s the only one.
Gay Tom is a good guy and he’s very supportive of Beckanne. He recognizes that she is hella-talented and is happy for her.
But additionally, Gay Tom is gay and lonely and wants a piece of man-candy. So Katie C. and Allison take him out to a gay bar. And I love that when the girls take him out, they’re wearing these crazy, glittery mini-dresses, and he has on a tank top and jeans. #Typical
Anyway, Gay Tom meets Alex, who is super cute. They end up doing the touching the small of back thing, but we don’t see any other action between those two, which is really just too bad. And because Allison spotted Alex and Katie C. didn’t, Allison feels like she won. Jesus, she really makes everything a competition. Ugh.
- Syaka (sp?) is effing adorable. [NOTE: She's the cute Asian girl with bangs. And I think she's technically the dancer who invited Beckanne to dinner. I hope she's not malicious.]
- I actually appreciate the emphasis the show is putting on showing them eat, and having them chat about food and weight and being healthy. Yes, ballet dancers are thin, and sure, some of them have eating disorders—or if nothing else, disordered eating—but they do have to consume a shocking amount of calories a day because they burn so many when they’re at work. Anyway. I like that they’re making a point to have food and health be something they work into the show.
- When the older dancers (read: NOT Beckanne and Katie) go to the gorgeous gorgeous hot spring, the chick wearing snow boots and a bikini looks stupid. Like, Urban Outfitters catalog stupid. Also, I *own* those snow boots. No lie.
- After watching this show and the SYTYCD auditions in SLC, I really want to go to Utah now. It’s effing gorgeous.
“When I was a little baby kid dancin’ around, I got taught by older women.”—Ronnie
“He’s not my favorite person and I’ve told him before I don’t want to be his friend.”—Ronnie, about Rex.
So that’s the episode! I really liked this one. I mean, I’m sick of hearing Ronnie talk about himself and how he really wants to be a principal, but I guess I’ll get over that.
And I’m so glad there was more Beckanne. Obvs.
Next week I’m hoping for some more Chris time, and definitely looking forward to the Beckanne/Ray/Katie/Ronald adventures. Hell, maybe Allison and Rex will come along and Ray will yell at Allison for being a selfish bitch who needs to figure her shit out before leading his brother on. And then Allison will yell at Raymond and then Beckanne will slap Allison and it’ll just become a big brawl.
Yes. That’s what shall happen.
UNTIL NEXT TIME. <3