People can vote for their favourite dancers in this year’s Dancing with the Shuswap Stars fundraiser on Nov. 19, 2021. (Dancing with the Shuswap Stars/Facebook)

People can vote for their favourite dancers in this year’s Dancing with the Shuswap Stars fundraiser on Nov. 19, 2021. (Dancing with the Shuswap Stars/Facebook)

OPINION: Looking to the Shuswap Stars while rocking out with the Robo Stones

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

I doubt I would ever participate in Dancing with the Shuswap Stars, though I have truly enjoyed attending the events.

They’re kinda swanky with lots of laughs and, of course, plenty of impressive dancing.

How can you not be impressed by anyone who is willing to put themselves in the spotlight on the dance floor for this fundraising event?

Heck, competitors could dance The Robot and I’d be blown away.

Mind you, given what robots can do nowadays, that dance may be in need of a serious upgrade.

I can’t recall ever dancing to the Rolling Stones hit, Start Me Up, from the band’s 1981 release Tattoo You. According to Musicstax.com, which offers technological analysis of millions of songs, Start Me Up, with its easily recognizable Keith Richards guitar intro, has a 63 per cent “danceability” rating. Watching Mick Jagger’s weird YMCA-inspired moves in the video for the song makes that somewhat difficult to believe. Yet it seemed to help inspire robotics company Boston Dynamics, which recently released a video with the Stones’ video playing to the left of the screen while, on the right, in sync with the Stones’ performance, are four of Boston Dynamics’ SPOT robots, copying the band’s moves while doing something that approximates lip syncing.

I don’t know if Boston Dynamics has plans on replacing the Stones with robotic counterparts, but with Keith Richards’ apparent immortality, they maybe in for a bit of a wait.

After seeing the Robot Stones, I checked out a couple more of Boston Dynamic’s vids, including one where a couple of bipedal robots (later joined by SPOT) dance to the song Do You Love Me by The Contours. While a little stiff, the pre-programmed dance-floor prowess of the featured automatons is so amazing I had to watch the video in full screen, twice, to be sure what I was seeing wasn’t a computer animation.

If, in the future, we find ourselves overthrown by sentient machines not opposed to breaking Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics, it is possible we will be remembered through robot dances. And Rolling Stones cover bands. It’s all about legacy.

What is close at hand is the return of Dancing with the Shuswap Stars. The event takes place on Friday, Nov. 19, with competing dancers raising funds for Shuswap Hospice. For more information, including how to vote for your favourite dancers, visit shuswapstars.ca.

Read more: Dancing with the Shuswap Stars event will go on in 2021

Read more: Young Dancing with the Shuswap Stars contestants seeking stars for hospice


lachlan@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Sign up for our newsletter to get Salmon Arm stories in your inbox every morning.

#Salmon ArmDance