As my husband is a ballroom dance teacher, it should be no surprise that I am hooked on "So You Think You Can Dance." This year's competition has been breathtakingly beautiful. What an amazing thing the cooperation of dancers and choreographers (not to mention costumers, musicians, etc) creates. Last night was the penultimate show, the last night of competition, with the four finalists: Lacey, Sabra, Danny and Neil; dancing their hearts out to win. One of the judges made the comment that it was great to see all the dancers getting along so well, even though they were competing to win. It doesn't surprise me, because dancing is a cooperative sport/art, where people have to work together to succeed, and being too competitive or demanding gets in a dancer's way. It's what game theory people call a non-zero game, where everyone works together to win.
According to the book Non-Zero by Robert Wright, cooperation always wins out over competition when you take the very long view of history. What persists are not the victors in war, but the culture of the people who cooperatively make it. Dancing, singing, meals, villages, families, communities, farms, factories and businesses all require people to cooperate to succeed.
Dance, and most forms of music and theater, are highly cooperative arts. Dr. Romance wonders if there's a Great Design that decrees we must all get along. Caring and sharing, not fighting and competing, are what move us along in life. Relating with love, creating an atmosphere of mutual caring and kindness are what get each of us farther toward what we want in life.