In much the same way* that, for a short time in 1993, I devoted myself to learning the dance that an angsty Christian Bale does in Newsies, a young man named Shane Mercado has learned the “Single Ladies” dance move for move:
Which of course brings to mind the SNL spoof starring Justin Timberlake as a queeny and untalented backup dancer. When I first saw the SNL sketch, I laughed—Justin Timberlake has good comic timing (good lord, is there anything he cannot do?), but moreover, we’re culturally programmed to think guys in leotards are funny. Because it’s gay! And it makes us feel strange about gender! And when we’re nervous, we laugh!
The moves are femmey, which Shane Mercado fully embraces…but he kind of comes full circle, back around to masculine. Because Beyoncé has curves, she makes the steps look sensuous, playful and easy. Because he is all sinew, you see the choreography broken down into its individual parts, each bone and muscle with a tough, admiration-worthy job.
So kudos to Shane for putting on the world’s tiniest shred of a leotard and crushing laughter into a fine powder called awe. Even if they were not on display in that small black Speedo, I would say with certainty: Dude’s got balls.
*Um, not quite the same way, because Shane Mercado clearly has talent to rival Beyoncé’s, while I had taken a handful of jazz classes at Act III in Redondo Beach.