8 writing takeaways from ‘Dancing with the Stars’

It’s not about turning sambas into similes, but more about deriving lessons from processes and presentation, as contestants up their game in a competitive field. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Writing tips from Dancing with the Stars

You probably don’t slip on your sequined ballroom dancing shoes before you start writing.

Still, writers can draw takeaways from “Dancing with the Stars,” one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

You might think the show is mostly about the women’s scanty costumes, or possibly B-list celebrities getting some visibility.

The real point is to take non-dancers, teach them specific dances and help them look as though they know what they’re doing. Bonus points if they look graceful, elegant and polished.

Here’s what writers can learn from the processes that are integral to the show (lime-green ruffled shirt optional):

1. Pay attention to structure. Contestants have to learn the steps for each specific dance, and they don’t receive good marks unless the basics are there. With writing, you don’t need to be a fanatic about lessons from your English teacher, except for spelling, but it’s always helpful to know the rules before you break them.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.