How limitless is the human body and spirit?

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laurenBy Irene Conlan –

I’m an avid fan of the TV show So You Think You Can Dance for so many reasons. I love beauty of all kinds and so many of the dances performed on this show are breathtakingly beautiful. I love seeing the young people as  they improve and grow over the course of the show. I love the wide range of talent that is represented and the variety of dances that they do.

This year was especially exciting to me because they paired the competitors with expert or “all star” dancers rather than each other which ratcheted up the complexity of the dance and the accomplishments of the performers. That, in my absolutely un-expert opinion, was a great change in their format.

What these young people can do with their bodies is absolutely amazing to me. I watched moves that put their center of gravity way off balance and no one fell.  Generally when you defy gravity you take a fall – they simply transitioned into another move. On the finale one of the guest groups had a male dancer who balanced on  his elbow with his body perpendicular to the floor.  I can’t even imagine doing that. Each dance had its own amazing moves.

What is it that makes these things possible?

I keep going back to the trite but very true saying of the motivational speakers – what the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.  It would have never entered my mind to balance my body on my elbow. Nor would I have imagined that I could fly through the air, land on my side and propel myself back up into the air without being hurt. But they did it. They did moves that according to all logic and understanding of body mechanics, are not possible to do. And they did them with beauty and grace.  Is the imagination of most of us so limited that we can’t stretch it to cover such never-done-before things? What could we do if our imagination could stretch?

Could passion be the difference? Kent, the farm-boy-runner-up, said  something to the effect that he didn’t care how hard he had to work he just wanted to dance. Dance was his life. He had passion and it showed in everything he did. Several times throughout the competition he and others were invested in the passion of the story, that they couldn’t come out of it when the dance had ended. A judge asked Kent once what he was experiencing when he was obviously overcome with emotion as he stood before the judges for their critique. and his reply reflected that he had become so one with the dance that he wasn’t aware of the steps or anything else going on. He had a passion for what he was doing as did the others.

The practice schedule must have been long and arduous. Based on the number of injuries during this year’s competition, it pushed them beyond some limits and bordered on being dangerous. Some said they didn’t notice the long hours because they were so excited to learn new routines and the adrenaline was pumping.

So how much are we capable of? I really don’t know.

How creative can the human mind be? What can it conceive?

How far will passion for what you are doing take you?

How much can you accomplish if you practice, practice, practice?

There is no answer to this question. We continue to imagine more, perform better, achieve the  unachievable, do the impossible. The magic ingredients seem to be imagination, dedication, passion, and practice. Is there something else?

Thank you, So You Think You Can Dance for reminding us that we are unlimited.

What do you think YOU can do?

Irene Conlan

Irene Conlan has a master's degree in nursing, She taught nursing at Arizona State University, served as Director of Nursing Administration at St. Luke's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix and served as Assistant Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services for the Division of Health Care Facilities and Emergency Medical Services. Now retired, she is an avid blogger and manages, and hosts the Self Improvement Radio Show on VoiceAmerica. Irene lives in Fountain Hills, AZ and has two sons and four grandsons. 

One thought on “How limitless is the human body and spirit?

  • August 17, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Great thoughts on a fascinating topic. I love pushing myself to things I didn’t believe was possible. recently I climbed hanging ropes, and swung through trees at an adventure park, and believe me, this was unthinkable by someone who was terrified of heights in years gone by.

    All I can say is that the feeling of achievement after completing this course was amazing. I thought swinging on ropes high above the ground was impossible for me, but I did it, and to tell you the truth, I loved every minute of it 🙂

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