When Dancing Becomes Mainstream: The Willis Clan

I don’t watch TV much, but I’ve been hearing about yet another reality show that features ballroom dance as one of the main focuses of the storytelling.

It’s a show called The Willis Family, and in some episodes you see the littlest of the 12 children stand in perfect formation, moving their feet to the beat of the music, presenting a dance partnership that many adults would find enviable.

Early expert dancing is just part of being a member of the Willis family. Theirs is a new show on the TLC network about this Tennessee family consisting of parents Brenda and Toby and 12 children between the ages of 4 and 23.

The homeschooled family sings and performs as The Willis Clan, a family band with Irish roots and a hefty dose of country for a completely unique sound.

They also dance, and incredibly well at that. Father Toby believes that proper etiquette and interaction between boys and girls, and later men and women, emanates from learning ballroom at a young age.

Learning to dance, he says on the show, eliminates the fear and the mystery of interacting with the opposite sex. Children learn manners and form and how to respect one another in a dignified manner.

It’s not just to make a great show. It’s to learn appropriate interaction with the opposite sex that will carry them throughout life.

The reality show is new on the network and somewhat enticing. The kids are incredibly talented and they seem to enjoy dancing, sharing their passion for art and performance.

What I love about this show is that it makes dance accessible – after all, if a 4-year-old sister and 5-year-old brother can flow around the dance floor, anyone can.

(Maybe it’s the Willis name…since Demi Moore and Bruce Willis’ daughter, Rumer Willis, took audiences by storm on Dancing with the Stars – photo above right from www.people.com.)