I was pretty vocal about my adoration for the summer show, So You Think You Can Dance. Each season I get pretty sucked in, attached to certain dancers and follow it pretty closely. Sometimes the judges talk too long or don’t make sense, sometimes the choreography is weird or strange, the costumes are hideous…what I’m saying is that I don’t love every aspect. Mostly, I’ve just watched for the fun and fascinating dancing! The dancers are truly phenomenal, and totally captivating.
This last season, though, was the first time that watching a dance actually brought me to tears. I do NOT care for the personality of Mia Michaels, but her choreography is amazing. One of the main reasons I loved this dance was the song choice, which is “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. It is one of the most musically beautiful vocals I’ve heard in years–and I thought that before I saw the dance.
As you’ll see in this video, the “story” for this number is that the male dancer represents an addiction that the female character is trying to beat. As I’ve watched this video, now over a dozen times, I have broadened the interpretation in my mind. I think it easily provides an analogy for any “THING” that has hold over a person: addiction, grief, depression, sin, or [fill in the blank].
And my personality is one that likes to have everything wrapped up in a tidy box at the end of the story; I want a happy ending, especially to abstract philosophical or spirital topics like this, I’d like to see a dance about how Jesus is faithful and he forgives and loves and you can be healed. But this time, I find it important to give a moment to the horror of evil, or addiction, or grief or whatever kind of pain it is…and how that pain is real, life-changing and oppressive. I think the title of the song, “Gravity” is appropriate for how these issues truly can weigh us down until we manage to find a way out. But “the way out” is for another dance. This one captures the dark of night before the dawn breaks, and I think it is heart-breakingly gorgeous.
(If you want to skip the pre-dance stuff, you can try to start it around 1:01.)


  1. This dance got to me, too. Exquisite! (I wanted Kayla to win SYTYCD.) This season promises to have some jaw dropping talent, too. I’m ready for them to get past the audition!

  2. This was one of my favorites from last season! I plan on showing this dance to my students in Life Hurts God Heals…a 13 week program that works them through 8 steps towards healing from their hurts, hangups and addictions…thinking of that program and those students left me in tears as well when I first saw this dance…such a jarring picture of what so many of my students are experiencing first hand.

  3. Jen- this was my favorite dance from last season (yes….even more than the cancer dance…that was a close second) and for the same exact reasons you have shared.
    The vocals are so layered and so emotional and just listening to the song can bring me to my knees.

    But the story in the dance was so overwhelming. They embodied the oppressive pain that humanity experiences.

    I never get tired of watching it. Of remembering what can break me free from being pulled down.
    It reminds me that I have hope……

    and kudos to K&K. I don’t think anyone else could have captured it as well as they did.

  4. I literally had chills from moment one of this video…the hair-standing-on-the-back-of-your-neck kind…they captured the idea of (like you said) addiction/evil/pain/sin so well…especially his final expression. Truly chilling. Thanks for sharing (as I don’t watch this show anymore and would’ve missed it)!

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