Did I ever share with you that I was dancer? Okay, I was a semi-professional dancer. What, you need an explanation? Well, back in the day, long before the lacefront wig and just after fire was invented, I studied dance (i.e. took a lot of classes) at some well-known studios such as The Dance Theater of Harlem, Alvin Ailey, Steps and Broadway Dance Center.
After excelling in my craft (according to my own extremely low standards), I took to pounding the pavement in my hooker heels and butt skimming micro-minis to find work as a professional dancer (What did you think I was going to say?) Like anyone following his/her dream, I experienced my share rejection. (Interpretation: I never made it past the first cut) Finally, as luck would have it (“luck” = friend who was an assistant choreographer), I was cast as an dancing extra in the music video of an up and coming hip hop artist (no one you have ever heard of or seen).
It was a glorious experience never to be relived.
So, you are wondering, what’s the point? The point is that I have a great deal of respect and admiration for those who not only dare to dream but dare to live that dream. I know that it takes not only talent but relentless determination to make it in the arts. So, I am more than excited to see Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) students, showcased on MTV’s Taking the Stage (Thursdays, 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific), do their thing.
Unlike these highly talented students, I don’t stand a chance of ever having my dreams of becoming a professional dancer realized. Don’t cry for me Argentina; I’m doing just fine. But it would have been nice to have danced on Broadway, to have heard the thunderous applause, to have taken the customary bow.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, enough about me.
Here are some of the students you will meet on Taking the Stage:
Jasmine – She’s an “incredibly driven” ballet dancer who is preparing to audition for the world-renown Juilliard.
Tyler – New to SCPA, and a bit of an upstart, he is an “outstanding hip-hop dancer” with something to prove to the other students.
Mia – A singer/songwriter, she wants to have a recording contract by the time she is 18. She “takes every opportunity to perform, playing her original material in local coffee shops and anywhere she will be allowed on stage.” (Listen up American Idol wannabes, this is how you do it.)
Shaakira – She does both ballet and hip-hop with a some acting thrown in for good measure. A senior, Shaakira hopes to go to college on a dance scholarship and “views dance as her ticket out of Cincinnati.”
Malik – The dancer/choreographer and founder of the SCPA hip-hop dance group, The Definition, of which Shaakira and Jasmine are members, has big dreams of Broadway stardom.
And because I love the mess, I’m also going to be keeping my eye on supporting player, Aubrie (I guess there is something about that name; different spelling though), who is described “as the school gossip”. A FOM (Friend of Mia), she is a “talented actress” with “great comedic timing” who “hopes to audition for Chicago’s legendary Second City comedy troupe and one day end up as a player on Saturday Night Live.”
Cool Facts about Taking the Stage
Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson’s ex and member of now defunct boy band 98 Degrees, is the executive producer. He’s also a graduate of the school.
Other graduates include: Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City fame (FYI for those of you that have been living in a cave for the past decade), Carmen Electra (no comment), and Rocky Carroll (of NCIS).
The show “will feature songs and dance routines written and choreographed by the cast.” Nice.