Dancing away as Star
01 May, 2014
Dancing away as Star
I am getting seriously tired of being earnest about my life and work although I am well aware of “the importance of being earnest”(Thank you, Oscar!), especially when it comes to political journalism, which I am so much into at the moment. And guess what! As a result of my noisome fatigue, I have found myself in the much-talked about-and-watched television show DANCING WITH THE STARS. Who would say No to being rich and famous! Not me anyway! Some chances
are coming once in a lifetime. Some of them are always there but you don’t even want to pick them up for X-number of stupid and wise reasons. For instance, I would never kill myself over using a chance to be on the go in big politics.
I even hate writing about politics, but I am still doing it, detesting it as much as I do. Am I now correctly understood why I wanted to dance in the capacity of a Star? By the way, do I have to remind anybody of my age? Look at my picture – it is on the first page right where my editorial starts! You might think that I am well advanced in years. No way! I am just 72 – a youthful septuagenarian of exuberating vigor and enough zest for life to be competing with the kids between 20 and 30. Yes, I am in dancing competition with my ‘grandchildren’, who know that I am their “grandpa,” but honestly and openly take me as their rival. How about that! OK, so much for boast and swagger, and let’s get down to where the gist of the matter is. When I was offered to participate in the show, I didn’t even wink – the decision was made in a twinkle of an eye, and there you go! I am pushed into a three-hour everyday hard training in every possible Latino and European standard dance, which I am finally dancing on the lavishly decorated parquet floor together with other contending couples. The challenge is huge! And the sense of picking up the gauntlet is humongous! And the desire to win the prize is enormous! And the readiness not to fail the young dancing partner is tremendous! I am half a century older to my partner. Just imagine! She is teaching me to dance like you are helping a toddler to get up and walk. I am being told that dancing is nothing but a stylishly performed walk. I might believe that with pleasure if the sweat I am using to learn how to move in the approved manner was not as hot and abundant as it happens to be. The unaware outsider, sitting in front of a TV set and enjoying the show, might think that it is not a big brainer to learn how to move around properly, but trust me, the job is tricky and complex, and risky too, because accidents on dancing floors happen, and one of them might very well be looming somewhere in the propinquity for me too. But I am not afraid of accidents. I am dancing away as if this is what I do in life. Leaving all my joke-cracking industry aside, the fact of tireless and energetic introduction of Latin and European dances in Georgia is extremely welcome here. Their popularity is growing not by days but by hours, and the public excitement about it is reaching its acme. After all, Georgia is a dancing and singing country and our people are used to those fiery movements and life-giving music that Latin-American dancers are using, but I have to note at the same time that the subtleties and nuances of those Latino steps and the body-language is very difficult to perceive and master. To make them look natural and genuinely Latin with the help of your own body parts will probably take years of nonstop training. Georgia has a minor tradition of ball-room dancing and our experience leaves a lot to desire, but we still have something to be proud of. Suffice it to mention that we are lucky to have that famous Gachechiladze Family – the founders of the celebrated TELA Ensemble of group ballroom dance. Tengiz and Larisa Gachechiladze have given to the ballroom dance world their well-known daughter Shorena, now dancing and teaching in the United States, and their two wonderful sons – Giorgi and Rati. They are both active on the floor, both are choreographing, both are teaching and are aggressively involved in the process of establishing this wonderful new tradition in Georgia. The ballroom dancing classes are popping up ubiquitously in Georgia and all of them are the ramifications of the Gachechiladze Class – the forefather and predecessor of all those classes. My partner in the Stars Show, for example, the 23 year-old dancing beauty Lika Gugunishvili is their own creation. She grew up in their caring hands and is now dancing in their renowned TELA. I am so lucky to have been partnered up with this particular teacher. She truly is a perfectly operating child who herself has a little child of her own, and a very carrying husband who is helpful all the way that Lika and I get through this hardest of all competitions and contests of my long life. Lika is teaching a “grandpa” and dancing with a “grandpa,” and she thinks I am doing it tolerably well. I cannot believe how well she is handling my age, my inaptitude and my failing bones, but not without the patient professional instructions of our super coaches Aliona, Dima, and Sasha from Ukraine. We probably have a clear feeling in the bones – her young and my old – that a victory is possible. Theoretically! So we are not giving up. No drooping spirits once you are on the dancing floor! Courage, zeal and pep – that’s all we need to have. Nothing else! And doing it as vigorously as this dancing togetherness would allow! To get more serious about the whole deal, this is one of the greatest social examples to follow for those who had thought that I should not have gotten involved because of my age, shmage, etc. I did, and I do not regret, even if I get kicked out in the next tour. Would this matter to me? Yes and No!
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