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Friday, July 1, 2011

Axis Dance Company Duo Gives Breathtaking Performance on So You Think You Can Dance

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM

We told you yesterday about Oakland's Axis Dance Company -- a group so dedicated to the art form that physical disabilities aren't a barrier to performing. And -- as we mentioned in advance -- it made an appearance on So You Think You Can Dance's weekly results show last night.

And, holy mama, the routine was nothing short of breathtaking. The always lovely Cat Deeley had introduced Axis as "one of the world's most acclaimed and innovative dance ensembles," but we were nonetheless ill-prepared for the gorgeousness involved in Sonsherée Giles and Rodney Bell's performance.

click to enlarge Sonsherée Giles and Rodney Bell
  • Sonsherée Giles and Rodney Bell

Rodney's wheelchair, rather than creating a hindrance to the performance -- as so many of us would wrongly presume -- was in many ways a catalyst for more movement, more fluidity, and, yes, more grace.

We've already praised So You Think You Can Dance for taking a variety of dance styles and throwing them into the nation's living rooms every week in the most accessible manner possible, but last night, it went one step farther by featuring this piece.

Previous seasons of the show have featured inspiring dancers, battling a variety of disabilities and physical hindrances, during the auditions rounds. They are always -- rightly -- held up as motivational examples to us all, dancers or not. But, of course, none of the physically impaired dancers who've auditioned have ever made it into the Top Twenty finalists because of the extreme physical rigors the competition requires.

But last night Axis proved to us all that there need not be walls in the dance community, blocking less able-bodied people from not just participating, but succeeding at the highest levels. A beautiful routine; a great deal of food for thought. Thank you, Axis.

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