When in full bloom, talent is a beautiful thing to behold. When squandered or lost, the tragedy feels almost insurmountable. Despite this, we don’t know much about how or why it occurs, which is probably why talent is one of those quirks of human nature that makes me think there might be some kind of higher power.
One of my favorite things to watch on TV is So You Think You Can Dance (and, before anyone asks, no. I do not watch Dancing With The Stars). SYTYCD is one of the most incredible things to ever appear on national television because it not only showcases some incredible dancers–some honed by years of training and some raw–it helps nurture new talents it discovers. For example, Travis Wall was a contestant on season two. He didn’t win (though he came mighty close), but now he’s an Emmy nominated choreographer because the producers at SYTYCD saw a spark of talent in him and gave him a chance to show what he could do.
What’s tragic about talent is that it’s not always discovered. How is a child going to know they can play piano by ear if their fingers never touch a keyboard? Will they go through life feeling worthless because they never found that one thing that made them special and allowed them to shine? It’s a heartbreaking prospect and one that, as current or future parents, my generation should be aware of.
In celebration of talent, I’m sharing here two YouTube videos featuring some extraordinary people. The first is a recomposition of IZ’s ukelele version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Simple Gifts written and performed by The Piano Guys. These two have a whole series of videos and you can support their efforts to bring classical music to mainstream ears by buying something from their store. The second video is clippings from the previous season of SYTYCD, specifically the solo of the season’s winner Melanie. Even if you know nothing about dance, watching her perform is like watching grace in motion. She is incredibly gifted.