inspiration: whitney houston

“but above all this i wish you love…”

I’m sure by now the world knows of the very sudden passing of music legend Whitney Houston. She was found dead earlier today in Beverly Hills, California and as soon as the news broke, the world was whipped into a frenzy. Quite similar to the death of Michael Jackson, news outlets and social media hubs exploded with tributes,condolences, videos, and, at times, crude jokes about her life and music career. She had some difficulties in life, but one cannot deny that her voice is *THE* voice of not only a generation, but the voice of an entire industry.

Even as many of her contemporaries look to Whitney as an inspiration, her music was a springboard to many dancer’s career as well. Countless dancers have grooved to her music catalog, myself included. Being candid for a second, her a capella arrangement of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is one of my favorite songs to put on when I dance by myself in my room and the power her voice encapsulated is the same power I try to portray in my own dancing, especially my jazz style and choreography. I can’t help but to smile when I hear some of her early catalog (“How Will I Know” and “Greatest Love of All“) and get chills when I listen to her mid-career and later tracks (“Shoop Shoop (Waiting to Exhale)” is a personal favorite.)  Spectators would be hard-pressed to go to a local (or sometimes even professional) dance showcase and not witness a performance with one of her many songs as the background to the choreographic sequences. Whitney Houston’s music was clean, classic, and timeless and that voice — ohhh, that VOICE — is one that will try to be imitated for years to come.

Hopefully, Whitney Houston’s legacy will be one of unabashed admiration and reverence for her voice. Leaving her drug and alcohol struggles behind, she was the barometer of which every musical balladress is judged. As more is released about her death, I’m sure her music will continue to reach larger audiences of adults as well as children. Just earlier this week I was having a conversation about the DIVA Miss Houston with one of my students and sharing with her how wonderful her music is. I know I said it in one of my earlier posts about Madonna, but I mean it truly and honestly now: YOUR. FAVES. COULD. NEVER. Few other females will have the effect on the music industry and the world like Whitney Houston did.

And wouldn’t you know, just last month I chose the Spring Showcase music for one of my studio classes; it just happens to be a remix of “Million Dollar Bill“. I’m throwing some extra fierceness in there for you Whitney. Hope it makes you smile.



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