I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Save the Last Dance

I watched Save the Last Dance for the first time this past weekend. After the movie was over, I watched the deleted scenes in the special features section of the DVD. One particular scene should have been left in the movie. I’ll talk more about that in a minute.

As you probably know, the movie is about a 17 year-old girl named Sara (played by Julia Stiles) who loses her mother in a car accident and ends up moving to another city to live with her dad—a guy she hardly knows. Her main goal in life has been to become a ballerina with the Julliard School. But since her mother was always so supportive, Sara has a hard time even returning to dancing after her mother dies. She feels guilty (for reasons I won’t go into) and she feels like dancing is part of who she used to be, not who she currently is.

The movie has many other interesting elements—including race relations, but I want to focus on a minor portion of the plot. Sara’s father, Roy, admits to making mistakes in the past and he knows he hasn’t been a good father. He’s just hoping that Sara will find a way to give him another chance now that she’s under his roof. Roy is a jazz musician who plays the horn in jazz clubs at night in order to pay the bills.

In one of the deleted scene that I referred to earlier, Sara, sneaks into a club that he’s playing in one night and she spots Roy on-stage—fully engaged in playing the horn with the rest of his band. His eyes are closed and people all around the club seem quite taken with his music. By seeing him in his “element,” Sara has the chance to see her father doing what he does best, and she seemed to understand him better after that. He became a real person, with real ambitions, and a real desire to create something great.

We can learn so much about people by viewing them in their element. People are more at ease there. They are more creative there. They feel free to be who they are, rather than who they are supposed to be. Everything seems to flow and it’s beautiful to watch.

Most of us don’t just allow anybody to waltz into our most prized, protected areas of life though. We reserve such places for people we want to go deeper with. But at the same time, it’s not hard to find a person’s element. Deep inside, we all have an innate desire to let others in. We continually send out signals to people we care about concerning the things that matter to us. The fun starts when somebody else grasps onto one of those signals and desires to find out more.

But we could all learn something from Sara. She wanted to know more about who her dad really was, so she grasped onto his signals. If all of us spent a little more time grasping, and a little less time sending, we’d feel considerably less lonely.


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