Last weeks movie, Saturday Night Fever, was all about the controversy of the fast lifestyle that Tony and his friends led. It showed pros (like sex) and the cons (like when Bobby C. falls off of the bridge and drowns). On the dance floor, Tony was unstoppable; he was in his element and king of the turf. However, at home, his life was another story. He was stuck always being the second best compared to his older brother who was a priest. Tony never quite measured up to his parents’ expectations.
Dancing, gangs, and rough home lives— all of these things are seen in yet another, more modern film, Step Up. Tyler Gage is a punk from the streets involved in all sorts of questionable activities such as stealing cars and breaking into buildings. He was caught breaking into an art school, and his punishment was in the form of working for the sch
ool. There, he was able to seeanother side of the dance scene. Whereas he had simply been a street and club dancer before, at the school Tyler was introduced to a new form of dancing while still being able to incorporate what he had learned on the streets. He began dedicating a lot of his time to practicing with Nora, a girl he had met and was interested in. This encouraged him to pursue a scholarship to the Maryland School of Arts. All the while, his friends were becoming more and more agitated with his lack of free time. His best friend, Mac, ends up becoming so angry that he will not speak to Tyler until Mac’s brother dies in a tragic shooting.
Even though the situations were a bit different, I think Tony and Tyler are very similar. Both come from lower class backgrounds, both are fairly unmotivated until deaths of friends, and both use the dance floor as a relief from every day struggles. It seems as if dancing offered therapeutic benefits for both—a dose of confidence and a boosting of the ego.
Also, while watching Saturday Night Fever, I couldn’t help but think of a recent song that is currently being overplayed on Alice107.7: Just Dance, by Lady Gaga. The chorus in this song focuses on the words, “Just dance, it’ll be okay.” It reminded me of Tony’s mindset throughout most of the movie. Once he got out there and started dancing, that was all that mattered. No family problems or work problems got in the
way. When he was dancing, everything was okay. It was his relief from real life.