The Swing of Things: June 22

So You Think You Can Dance is back!


The dance season never ends. When Dancing with the Stars ended (congratulations to Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy), back in May, dance fans had to wait less than two weeks for dance competition to return to TV.


For those that just can’t get enough, Fox has posted videos on their YouTube channel, of performances from past seasons on the show. Watch all of your past favorites as you get excited for the upcoming season.

Elephants sway their trunks and dance to classical music


Elephants at Belgium’s zoo love to dance. When two violin players from Belgium’s Royal Chamber Orchestra serenaded elephant’s at the zoo, everyone was, “amazed at how the elephants were swinging their trunks in time with the music.” The elephants even moved their entire bodies in a sort of well-choreographed dance routine.


You can watch the amazing video by clicking the video below.

Can You Beat Cancer with Dance?


Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant, a Padma Shri Award recipient, and a leading bharatanatyam and kuchipudi dancer-choreographer, recently gave a speech at TEDx Gateway Women. Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant discussed her struggles with being diagnosed with breast cancer, and how dance helped her cope, heal, and overcome.


Paraphrasing cannot capture the power of her words, so they’ve been left in whole below:


“I used to feel that I had complete control of my life, but I realised that I only had control over three things: my thoughts, my mind and the images it created, and the action derived from them. I was wallowing in anger, fear, frustration, misery. The only way to escape was to focus on something that moved me, touched me.”

“My mind, body and spirit were occupied with dance. I told my tumour, ‘Hail fellow well met! But now be gone. I have no time for you.’”

“By shifting my focus, I changed the paradigm of my actions and reactions following cancer. Cancer is a mind game, like several of life’s setbacks. But how do you focus and stay on course, while the misery overpowers you? All I wanted to do was curl up and weep. But I told myself that my fear and tears were options I did not have. I’d drag myself to the studio every day, and practise as much as I could. Every time, cancer clutter invaded my mind, I’d rework my mental frequency. I focused on the mudras, on the imagery, poetry and metaphors of nritya.”

“I went into my first chemotherapy session in end July but was back to dancing mid-August, just before the second cycle. I danced weeks after surgery and between chemo cycles. Yes, losing my hair was difficult to handle, but only for a while. I soon had a couple of good hair pieces made and was fine. But when summer arrived in Hyderabad in March 2009, I found the wig too hot, so one day, I took it off and went out bald. Someone asked me, ;Hey, have you been to Tirupati?’ to which I said, ‘No, it’s chemotherapy.’”

“Don’t give cancer the importance it begs of you. Treat it, deal with it, but do not succumb to its emotional pulls.For the family of those dealing with cancer, my advice is not to mollycoddle. Allow them to continue with their normal lives. In our attempt to protect, we make the patient invalid. I like to use the word conqueror instead of survivor for myself.”