Back to the Hollywood Classics

I  grew up on a steady diet of Hollywood classics and musicals, but getting older and wiser, I jettisoned the heavy portions of  happily-ever-after, love conquers all and pipe dreams.  I became more inclined toward pragmatic, no-nonsense entertainment–with the exception of the last two months.  I was willingly and pleasantly drawn into those same old guilty pleasurable moments of sweetness and light as I followed the 12th season of “Dancing with the Stars.”

I am also a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan who was raised in the former Steel City, obviously rooting for Hines Ward and his professional dance partner Kym Johnson to win it all.  But it became more than a dance contest after this week’s show because of Kym’s terrifying injury.  It put competition in greater perspective and thus pushed the show to another level.  They went on to dance the Argentine tango of a DWTS lifetime.

Watching this show turned a minor diversion into an almost obsession.  I signed on to the Hines Ward & Kym Johnson Dancing with the Stars Facebook fan page, and I couldn’t believe how deep the enthusiasm ran–wall-to-wall postings of photos, footage, interviews and even dance analyses by some rather clever observers.  It took my mind away from worrying about paying for dental work,  imagining once again the magic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers once created on Hollywood sets and soundstages.  With such ease and flow that belie endless hours of practice and rehearsals, they expressed the story of their romantic coupling in dance.  The fourth wall is torn down; in my opinion, it has the intimacy of a play.

While folks try to figure out Kym and Hines’ chemistry–will they or won’t they–I like to compare them to Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in “Roman Holiday.”  They were two appealing actors who had immense respect and admiration for one another, with the latter, who was a bigger star at the time, even admitting without hesitation that the then-starlet stole the 1953 movie from him, and she deserved top billing as much as he.  They embodied my ideal couple–reserved, smart, attractive and simply lovely together–just like Hines and Kym who are so complimentary toward one other it’s not clear who the star is.  The final dances almost seem moot.  Next week with them, though, there’s no shame in riding off into the sunset.

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About Rachelle Ayuyang
I am a writer feeding my soul by doing something I love, mining some of the deepest parts of me to dig up gems and sometimes diamonds in that rough.

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