Flooding in the dressing rooms? Not so smooth, Michelle, not so smooth.
But, on the plus side, we finally get to see Michelle teach after Fanny extends her vacation. After episodes of building up to this, Michelle is awkward. She struggles to find her groove and keep up with old ladies. For such a talented dancer, this is difficult for viewers to watch. I just want Michelle to hop in and dance and teach everyone to be as brilliant as she is!
Aside from the dancing, Michelle struggles to deal with the technicalities. Let me clue you in: there’s a leak in the dressing room, and Michelle’s first thought is not to call a plumber. In fact, that’s what Truly suggests. So Michelle calls, on Truly’s suggestion, Truly’s ex-boyfriend (who she later makes out with in the studio at night) and although he comes and “fixes the leak,” its back again soon enough. Thanks for nothing, bud.
In terms of teaching, Michelle is really only capable of teaching Boo and her friends, sadly. Just by looking at the girls, she can tell them what they’re doing wrong: not breathing, a low leg…it’s the only natural moment while she teaches. She even does the super-cool teacher thing and takes them out for ice cream and chats with them.
But this episode gives us an insight into Michelle’s real struggle: trying to establish the boundary between being a friend or teacher for these girls. Is her advice supposed to stay in the bounds of the studio or is she supposed to take the girls out and give them life advice?
She’s got an excellent ability to make them better dancers, but when Sasha steals one of her shirts, she goes haywire (and rightfully so). Sasha, however, has proved that the girls are not friends with Michelle just yet.
Michelle also tells the girls that they shouldn’t get tied down to one person while they’re so young – something that changes Ginny’s life big time. She takes Michelle’s advice to heart (and why? She’s known her for very little time! Let’s be real here) and breaks up with her lifelong boyfriend. Pan on Ginny’s mother, who is furious with Michelle for telling her daughter to break up with what appears to be the perfect man.
But Ginny’s mom is right – these girls have known Michelle for not-so-long and they’re already listening to her advice. Michelle is supposed to be their teacher, not their best friend. The show, however, which is turning more towards a multi-age style, explores something I haven’t seen on television for a while – the boundaries between being a teacher and friend. She’s still their teacher, though, and if tonight’s episode gave us any insight into the rest of the season, there’s going to be a fine line between mentor and friend that Michelle will have to walk like a tightrope – or pick one side or the other.
(Photo by Adam Larkey/ABC Family) KAITLYN JENKINS, JULIA GOLDANI TELLES
Find Samantha on twitter- @samcurrently
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Bunheads (ABC Family) was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. It stars Sutton Foster, Kelly Bishop, Kaitlyn Jenkins, Emma Dumont, Bailey Buntain, Julia Goldani Telles and Stacey Oristano.
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