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Center Stage

Center Stage

Image credit: Center Stage, 2000

Ballet is having a moment. With recent books like Girl Through Glass and Astonish Me, as well as last year’s fabulous mini-series Flesh and Bone, this gorgeous art form is back in our consciousness. Sure, I could watch Black Swan and ooh and ah over the drama, the otherworldly bodies, and the sheer intensity of ballet. But what’s the fun in that? I’d rather watch Center Stage (DVD/Download), a campy teen-romance that doesn’t skimp on the shirtless guys in tights, or the so-bad-it’s-good acting. Ballet for the people, indeed.

Sure, there are some “serious issues” in Center Stage, such as eating disorders, body shaming, and disgusting feet. But all of this is balanced out by fabulous Erik O. Jones (O after Oprah), feisty, gum-chewing ballerina with attitude Eva Rodriguez (played by Zoe Saldana), and ballet badboy Cooper Nielson, who rides a motorcycle and dances with (gasp!) Broadway-types. And let’s not forget Maureen’s mom, part of that most frantic breed of stage moms, who utters the phrase “Why, why, WHY in God’s name WHY??!” with all the passion of a Douglas Sirk heroine. The dancing in this movie is actually quite good, as is the choreography. But what makes this a guilty pleasure for me is watching actual ballet dancers attempt serious acting. Oh, bless their hearts.

What do ballet dancers do when they want to cut loose? Head downtown for some margaritas and salsa dancing apparently. You would think since ballerinas are all of ninety pounds they would have some common sense when it comes to alcohol tolerance, but you would be wrong. Luckily, I personally don’t have this problem (something to be said for eating a cheeseburger once in awhile). While watching Center Stage, I recommend drinking a Skinny Margarita.

Skinny Margarita

1.5 oz Gold Tequila

2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

1.5 oz lite orange juice (I used Trop 50)

1/2 tablespoon agave nectar

Coarse sea salt

First, rim a glass with sea salt and fill with ice. Then add all liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into prepared glass.

Skinny Margarita

Like Jodi Sawyer, this drink is sweet and salty, and will help you maintain a ballerina’s physique. Okay, maybe that last part isn’t exactly true, but it’s not too bad on the calorie count. I will never actually be as skinny as a ballerina, but that’s okay. I prefer cocktails to turnouts. Cheers!