The Kind of Witchcraft Dancers Would Really Do
If they had time to practice witchcraft
Inspired by a recent viewing of Suspiria (2018 version).
I don’t typically enjoy violent horror movies (if I do watch them, it’s with my hands over my ears and my eyes closed), but Suspiria is a dance movie, so I HAD to see it. From my comfy spot hiding beneath the theater seat, I watched as the witches got up to all kinds of crazy nonsense.
Suspiria was terrifying, grotesque and a pretty good dance movie.
But it got me thinking. I know a lot of dancers and, given the time to practice the supernatural arts, they’d probably prioritize a little differently than the witches in the movie. What do I mean? Well:
- Upon walking into a cold dance studio, with a puff of their breath, they’d immediately bring the thermostat up to 72°.
- They’d be able to snap their fingers and adjust the elastic band on their dance tights to the perfect circumference. No more bands that dig deep into their side flesh, stamping a red line into their waists and creating unflattering twin donuts above and below. No more saggy, worn out elastic bands gradually traveling downward until, in the middle of a petite allegro combination, the crotch gusset ends up chilling out around the knee region.
- They’d cast a spell on their teachers so “one more time” always meant one more time, not two more times or three more times or ten more times or eight million more times.
- All the mirrors would be skinny mirrors.
- No more farts during stretching.
- They’d whisper charmed words so point shoes lasted for months and months at a time. They’d also come pre-broken in with ribbons presewn in the perfect location. The interior of the shoes would feel like that fluffy stuff they put in UGG boots. Every time a dancer slammed their point shoe into the floor, somewhere a politician threatening to cut arts funding would get a weird tickle in their throat and it wouldn’t go away for twenty four hours.
- Every time someone said “show me a dance move!”, $50 would automatically be deposited into a dancer’s bank account.
- Costume changes would be a breeze. Witch dancers would let out a whistle and the needed costumes would immediately appear on their bodies. The old costumes would be clean and folded in their dressing rooms. Only twenty seconds to change? NO PROBLEM!
- Witch dancers would be hangover free. They’d be able to relax at bars all night long, gossiping about company politics and cheese (what? doesn’t everyone gossip about cheese?) and the next morning at class they wouldn’t feel even the faintest pang of a headache. Nope, they’d be out there in the center of the classroom shoving their port de bras in everyone’s faces.
- They’d darn well make sure every human being on the planet was familiar with the work of Martha Graham and Vaslav Nijinsky and Bob Fosse and Alvin Ailey and Twyla Tharp and The Nicholas Brothers and George Balanchine and Katherine Dunham and Timothy Freedburg (I made up that last one).
- Toenails would not fall off and heels would not split.
- Their familiars would all be accompanists, so they wouldn’t have to fiddle around with iPods.
- They would get paid!
So, as good as the movie was, it just wasn’t realistic enough for me to give it five stars. Hopefully one day someone will make a film that more accurately reflects what fictional dancer witches would really want.