I’ve had literally twelve people e-mail me to ask me what I thought about Kirstie Alley’s fall on Dancing with the Stars (video at the end). So here it is:
She didn’t fall – he dropped her. Stated a different way, he fell when he suffered an injury and she went down with him. Based on my viewing it looked to me like he pulled a muscle as he shifted the weight to change direction and finish the move. His strength didn’t go out as if she were too heavy to hold- he clearly pulled or strained a muscle which could also have to do with how much he warmed up, how hydrated he was, previous injuries etc. In the interview after she kept saying “We did it a thousand times”. This move does require the lead to take on a lot of the follow’s weight but there is a lot of physics involved and I can’t imagine they would have risked it if it didn’t go well in practice. Injuries happen to dancers and leads drop their thin partners- I’ve seen it happen. Go to YouTube and search for ballroom dance bloopers and you can see thin woman after thin woman get dropped on her ass, her knees, her head, and her pride.
Still, I would be lying if I didn’t say that this sort of scenario terrifies me. My dance coach is incredibly strong and can absolutely hold me up but if one of the things that caused one of those thousands of YouTube blooper moments happen (the floor is too slick, he slips on an errant rhinestone, he gets a cramp etc.) I’m just a fat girl falling down.
And fat girls falling down are apparently more hilarious than other people falling down. They sell shirts that say “If a fat girl falls down in the woods, do the trees laugh?” (No, of course I’m not linking to it here so don’t ask!) And really the only response that I have to that is bite me.
I’m actually quite used to falling down. On the dance floor people often comment on my grace. Off the dance floor I can be a serious klutz. My ankles are double jointed so sometimes they just roll and I fall down out of no where. I’m frequently thinking of three or four things while walking around I just run into things. Big, stationary object things. It has nothing to do with my weight – I was like this at my lightest weight, I’m like this now. Today I fell UP some stairs. I’ve got skills in this area is what I’m saying.
It happened to me at the National Championships. I was waltzing and I don’t know what happened but my right ankle folded in half (the inside of my food touched the inside of my leg) and I landed hard on my left knee. When I got up the knee hurt only slightly more than the ankle which was in excruciating pain and I limped my way through two days of competition (there are parts of it I can’t even remember, but I do remember doing East Coast Swing – a really bouncy fast dance that uses a lot of knee and ankle – and thinking “Can you die from pain?…Shut up brain, we have to dance now.. come on Ragen, get it together and keep smiling”) But the trees didn’t laugh. Nobody laughed. Everybody cheered when I got up and kept dancing and I went on to win a Couple’s National Title. Kirstie got up as well and danced a kick ass routine under a lot of pressure – and that’s what I wish the story was. Not “fat girl falls down” but “Dancer Rises Up”
I guess my point in all this is to say that people who are laughing at her for “falling” are people who 1. don’t know anything about dancing and 2. would probably wear that shirt about fat girls in the woods. And who really cares what these people think? I hope Kirstie doesn’t.
So watch the video and see for yourself, but I think it’s a crime that people watched the fall over and over again instead of watching the trick at 1:00, because that’s bad ass, and her footwork throughout is beautiful.