The Broadway Bodies class I took was fun–the first half was a warm-up to different Broadway songs, and the second half was learning a choreographed routine based on a Broadway show.
I kept up with the group even though almost everyone else was a regular in the class, and I got a good workout. But I couldn’t help but think the whole thing was pointless. We spent 25 minutes learning a dance, and then we went home. Next week, those who return will learn a different dance. And another one after that. They never actually put these dances to any use or perform them for anyone else.
To me, that doesn’t make sense. When I used to take dance lessons–in elementary school–my favorite part was the end-of-year recital. Without a culminating performance, why was I learning the steps? Without anyone to show my skills to, what good were they? Rationally, I understand that performing is not the only reason to dance, but it seems futile to spend so much time perfecting something that will never be showcased for the world to see.
Which, it turns out, is the same view I have toward most other artistic pursuits. I don’t consider myself an artist because the paintings I’ve created have only ever hung in my own apartment. I don’t sit down and write something without an express purpose. I do get enjoyment from the process itself–I like painting and I love writing–but the activity isn’t completed until someone else has enjoyed the result.
Still, I’m glad I took the Broadway class, and I’m happy the day I attended happened to be the day they did a dance from Bring it On! The Musical because I happen to have just watched the original Bring it On! over the weekend.