BB Diary: The New Kid on the Block

Our advanced dancer, Shawn, in one of his first performances with Joanna

Shawn is new.

His story is the plot of every Hollywood dance movie. (I hope it will have the same predictable, feel-good ending.) Let me try to sum up his situation, movie-poster style:

Shawn is an electrician learning to salsa at the Baila Boogaloo Dance Co. when he is suddenly thrust into a world of glitter, feathers and performance. With weeks to go before the troupe performs at the Hawaii Salsa Festival and injuries afflicting the lead dancers, Shawn is asked to step in. Can he learn the right moves in time to shine on an international stage?

This is obviously overdramatic. But we can’t overstate the pressure on him. What we’ve learned in a decade — technique, showmanship, timing — he needs to grasp in weeks.

When he’s overwhelmed, he pulls at his hair so he looks like a mad scientist. But he never complains. Not even when he has seven people telling him to put his hand on his waist or to keep his coca-cola tighter. It’s why we have the confidence that he will pull it off. It’s his will. And his passion.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.


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