Tuesday, May 27, 2008


SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE rebroadcast their audition show from last Thursday. I thought Monday p.m. was the premiere night, so my apologies. I feel I must apologize for the completely disgusting and unprofessional performances by Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Mia Micheals last night as well.

I'm apologizing only because I've raved about this show, and they demonstrated an uncommon talent for humiliating some of the people auditioning. The guy who calls himself SEX (David Stollar) comes to mind. Being the soap-box orator and disabilities advocate that I am, I went on SYTYCD's discussion boards yesterday and today, trying to educate the obviously uneducated public about SEX and his mother, as well as The Golden Helmet.

I know a bit of something about a lot of disabilities, and a lot about several. It's my belief (and I'm not a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist) that David Stollar may suffer from a disability called FRAGILE X SYNDROME. Women have two XX's and men have XY chromosomes. In FRAGILE X SYNDROME, the X chromosome is cut in half, or shows a "leaky" structure, hence the name. This causes mild to moderate mental delay (or retardation if you're not politically correct), and some differences in physical condition. These people have low muscle tone, coordination problems, speech problems, cognitive delay, and a hard time knowing what's "real" and what isn't.

When Nigel ripped into David about his performance, you could tell from the camera on David's face that he knew he was being mocked and humiliated. These people (like my own children who have Down Syndrome) aren't stupid, they're justslow. They know when someone's making fun of them, being mean, or ripping them apart. Yes, David and his mother are delusional in believing he's actually a dancer and deserves to be on the show. I strongly suspect, however, that he's been encouraged to dance all his life, by physio-therapists and support workers who've known that this is one way of exercising his whole body, building up tone, and helping him with his memory, coordination, and love of music.

The same is likely true of The Golden Helmet, although I suspect his problems are likely more mental/emotional. Perhaps he's got terrible burns on his face? Perhaps he is cognitively delayed and thinks of himself as a Superhero who dances? Who cares? Does he deserve to be laughed at, humiliated, and shrieked at? Obviously any person with common decency would say, "no".

I hope this doesn't taint anyone's ideas about the show. It usually is an excellent exhibition of amateur and professional dancers (they let pros in on season two). I'm still tuning in Wednesday for the two hour show to see if it can possibly live up to last years season. And I hope I've done a tiny amount to educate the public over at the SYTYCD forums. In fact, one blogger did thank me for bringing it up. So there are people out there with some compassion and human kindness.

1 comment:

Toni Anderson said...

I don't like the humiliation. I LOVE the dancing though. Incredible.