Friday, February 18, 2011

Mark Kanemura and Lady Gaga -- Born This Way

A couple of years ago, while watching So You Think You Can Dance season 4, I absolutely fell in love with one of the dancers. His name was Mark Kanemura and he was the most gloriously weird dancer I had ever seen.

Mark's "Bohemian Rhapsody" solo during SYTYCD Vegas week season 4

After watching more of the season, it wasn't just his dancing that I loved. His stories about being the weird little kid that everyone picked on and his refusal to change who he was and is in order to "fit in" better touched my heart. Several of the show's choreographers saw the wonderful weirdness in Mark and celebrated it within their choreography.

Mark and Chelsie dancing to "Beautiful" choreographed by Mia Michaels

Mark(the ringmaster) and other SYTYCD dancers dancing to "The Dance" choreographed by Mia Michaels

Mark and Courtney dancing to "The Garden" choreographed by Sonya Tayeh

The Garden is still referred to as a benchmark for contemporary jazz dance.

Though "Bleeding Love" choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha does not celebrate Mark's weirdness, it was an amazing routine and was nominated for a Grammy.

After SYTYCD, Mark was asked to dance with Lady Gaga for her MTV VMA performance of "Paparazzi". He then continued to dance with her during her "Monster Ball" tour and in several of her music videos and award show appearances. He took a break from touring with Lady Gaga to appear as an All Star in season 7 of SYTYCD, but is now returning to the Lady Gaga fold. In his blog Left of Center, He talks about his experiences as a non-standard sentient being and his admiration for Lady Gaga.

The thing i love about Gaga is that she is not just an artist, she is a leader. She is the "mother monster" to the "little monsters", she is the light for people that are in the dark, she is the voice for people who feel afraid to speak.
--Mark Kanemura

I may not be gay or lesbian, but in my own way, I am a "little monster", a freak, someone who doesn't fit in with normal society. And it gives me hope and makes me feel just a little better about myself to see people like Mark Kanemura and Lady Gaga succeeding in the world from which so many of us have been rejected. I can appreciate, but not quite embrace Lady Gaga's anthem "Born This Way" because I am not proud that I was born this way. I am still ashamed of who I am. But maybe someday...someday...

--Lady Gaga

For more information about Mark Kanemura, go to

For more information about Lady Gaga, go to

No comments:

Post a Comment