As Martha assured us, "every little movement has a meaning" and today we'll look at a few pieces of choreography that connect exclusively back to Shane and Oliver's relationship.
About To Blossom
It was the first real glimpse into just how hard Shane had fallen for Oliver---that From Paris With Love rooftop flashback to dancing after hours in The Masterpiece. In particular, she reflects on that piece of choreography which, for all intents and purposes, imitates the blossoming of a flower:
Of all the pieces of the dance Shane could have chosen to reflect on, it's this movement she chooses. In an unfortunate turn of events, it's also the same choreography Shane witnessedsiver sharing with Holly. Almost immediately Shane's tearful reaction signals the value she placed on their dance as a whole, symbolized by this single element, and how devastating it was to see Oliver using it with someone else.
So I found it intriguing that this particular moment made its way into the choreography of the dance in One In A Million, and that it was Shane and Oliver---not Michael and Sophia---that completed it. If we see the dance as a retrospective through movement, using this particular element encapsulates the content of an entire era in their relationship---from their dance lessons through Holly.
Even more brilliant is the movement into which this piece of choreography transitions.
If we connect it to the previous piece of choreography, it's almost like a continuation of the story. Since this touch of the face---not the shoulder---made it into the dance, it's a direct acknowledgement of the moment (and the demonstrated progress in their relationship) seen in Truth Be Told.
But before we even have a chance to process the event, Michael and Sophia reappear to continue the performance.
The Confidence To Fall
It is unequivocally the pinnacle of not only the dance, but perhaps the entire plot concerning Shane and Oliver in this film---that dip.
Their history with that move spans all the way back to the Pilot, prompted by Oliver's delight at Shane's use of the word "eschew." Whose heart wasn't stolen by that moment?
Perhaps a happy accident in the Pilot, the inclusion of the dip in The Masterpiece was an expected piece of choreography, that, in the moment, produced some unexpected results.
I discussed not too long ago the implications of one looking down while dancing---what it describes about the confidence of the dancer, and its impact on their partner. As I formulated this post, it occurred to me that the act of dipping one's partner requires unshakeable confidence to execute, and unconditional trust to participate in.
As we discover in The Treasure Box as they read aloud the love letters of Jonathan and Katherine, both Shane and Oliver have placed importance in that dance, as both seem to lament over the words, "Why did I let you go?," the words overlapped with their memories of that night.
We don't see the dip again until For Christmas, only its use in this context is meant to reaffirm that value placed on the steps of the dance more specifically. Oliver seems to use the dip in particular to correct Shane's nonchalant attitude towards sharing some of the steps with Jordan. It's only after this dip that Shane seems to understand that Oliver is, indeed, seriously perturbed at the incident. After, Oliver continues to confidently guide her across the dance floor.
What strikes me about the move in One In A Million is that it encompasses a bit of everything. It honors the history and meaning of the dip throughout the canon in its "will they or won't they" nature, particularly in that "almost kiss." At the same time, it hints at what it will look like for Shane and Oliver to "follow through" and find their rhythm in both their relationship, and on the dance floor---territory we will likely see traversed in Lost Without You.
Still Processing & Appreciating,