Beyond a vague awareness of Rumer Willis being one of three creatively named daughters of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, I knew nothing about her, prior to her appearance as Val Chmerkovskiy’s celebrity partner on the current Season 20 of Dancing With the Stars. Which, for me, isn’t saying much as I am notoriously, dreadfully ill-informed regarding any celebrity news. At least I now know she’s an actress, with appearances in films and on stage, most recently in For The Record’s, FTR: Dear John Hughes, a singer, and now, dancer on #DWTS.
I’m so dreadfully ill-informed about celebrities and the entertainment industry, when playing Trivial Pursuit ages ago, I’d happily breeze through the other categories, placing wedges in a pie-shaped playing piece for correct answers in the areas of Geography, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports. To be accurate, the first three were my strongest suit. Sadly, correct Entertainment answers were always elusive. If not for being teamed up with my husband, that part of the pie would usually have remained empty!
Thus, my interest in this lovely woman is quite a departure from the norm.
Rumer’s supple dip by Val on the DWTS cast reveal and a photo Rumer posted on her Instagram account, made it clear from the beginning the multi-talented Val had a partner with excellent potential. However, her impressive flexibility, willowy frame, and natural grace, while admirable, aren’t what compelled me to write this post.
Early in the Season, it was clear Rumer has a laudable work ethic, worthy of respect. No short-cuts, no pandering sought. She seeks honest critique and is very willing to put in the repetition and effort to improve to the best of her ability within the time constraints on the show. Yes, she wants to win, but to do so by increasing her knowledge and ability to a level to realize a win AND retain her new skills.
The attributes noted above were highly important factors in the quality of Rumer and Val’s Week 1 Foxtrot to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.” An emotionally and visually stunning performance, it propelled the pair, named #TeamValenRue, to the top of the leaderboard, earning DWTS’ “tough” Judge Len Goodman’s praise as “the dance of the night.”
Thus, my admiration and respect for Rumer were cemented early on and continue to grow, but still didn’t prompt me to write.
Their dance is so lovely, it’s worth watching again…and again. Enjoy!
What, then, DID prompt me to write this blog post? Rumer’s intelligence, honestly, depth, insightful comments, passion, and humor visible in their DWTS All-Access rehearsals and several recent interviews. The most impressive of which was her appearance, which I viewed today, on “Larry King Now” which aired on March 16. The interview showed viewers Rumer’s admirable attributes to a fuller extent, than is otherwise visible in a sound bite world filled with ‘journalists,’ for many of whom I do not believe the title is warranted.
//www.ora.tv/embed/0_5jsq5lpkgb75 Watch Rumer Willis’ interview with Larry King on “Larry King Now”
Stand out Segments in a Great Interview:
- Love of family and great parents. While it’s the luck of the draw, it certainly shapes a person.
- Her comments about both her partner on DWTS, Val Chmerkovskiy and producer Linda Perry being “tough”, showed Rumer to understand, appreciate, and respect other professionals drive for quality work. As a self-described perfectionist herself, per the Week 1 DWTS “package,” she identifies with and respects their drive as a positive attribute.
- In discussing her sister Scout’s spontaneous support for the ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign, Rumer kept the emphasis on the nuanced reality of prohibition and/or criticism of public breast-feeding and censorship of images of women with mastectomies, which happens even on Instagram. Rumer’s remarks referenced the issue of woman’s value* being tied to her attractiveness and damage to a woman’s self-worth, if she doesn’t believe she measures up.
- Whether regarding Women’s issues or being the focus of paparazzi as the offspring of two famous actors, Rumer focused on individual strength. My perception is Rumer understands the one thing we all are in control of is ourselves: developing ones own inner strength and staying “true to oneself” is vital to an individuals well-being and part of the life lesson imparted from her mother.
Final Thoughts on a Great Interview:
In various interviews and candid time on DWTS, I find Rumer Willis interesting, informed, gracious, driven, and highly intelligent. I like her. My experience with people possessing the same attributes reveals common denominators, including; a passion for life, learning, and growth. Although most have specific goals they seek to achieve, they are secondary in a way, no matter how driven they are. To me, these attributes are very admirable, worthy of respect, and sadly, often lacking in some individuals lauded as “role models.” I believe Rumer is an excellent role model and advocate for people and things she cares about. I fully expect to see her continued growth, success, and increased visibility in the public eye, where I believe she will use her voice in a good way, for good things, about whatever she determines is worthy of her time and interest.
Help Rumer Achieve Her Current Goal:
On DWTS, the best dancer doesn’t always win. 50% of score is from the voting audience. Please VOTE for Rumer and professional partner, Val. #TeamValenRue FTW.
- Phone Voting for #TeamValenRue at 1-855-234-5610. Each week, the number of phone votes changes, make sure you call as many times as you’d like to vote for them, up to the limit. Note: Phone voting ends after 60 minutes after the show ends in your time zone. PS: if you have multiple phone numbers, use them all!
- Vote via Facebook link.
- Vote online at the DWTS link.
- Multiple people within the same household may vote for #TeamValenRue, they just need to sign into their accounts, if using the same devices, they need to clear their history and cache.
- Full DWTS Voting Rules and Regulations at link
Follow Rumer and Val:
Wait, the URL Says SWAYshow, Why the Post on Rumer?
SWAY: A Dance Trilogy is a brilliant theatrical dance production by Dance With Me USA. Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, and Valentin Chmerkovskiy are DWM partners. In fact, SWAY is returning to the stage in NYC in June. Read more here. I created this site as a place to host my SWAY: A Dance Trilogy reviews, I never thought I’d be posting anything but a couple reviews (where my word count wasn’t limited!) for the production, with news and reviews of subsequent runs. This site will now host posts related to dance, dancers, theater, etc. with some sort of connection to Dance With Me USA – via their partner on DWTS, in this case!
For Those Who Want More Reading Material:*
* NB: As the discussion was in context to women, this writer would like to note there are also image challenges effecting men. For example, short men, poor men, and those with poor employment prospects, in particular, are often treated differently, based on societal values based on the idea of advantaging future offspring. A real debate can ensue over whether these values are right, wrong, or somewhere in-between.
Further reading for those interested: Academic, social critic, author, and self-described “dissident feminist,” Camille Paglia (about) was the first openly gay grad student at Yale, back in the late 1960’s. Paglia laments what she calls “intolerance” from fourth wave feminists, argues against their demands for what she sees as paternalistic solutions to Women’s issues, and decries societal “neutering of males.” Interviews/articles on both are here and here, respectively. For those interested, here’s her most recent interview with Reason. If you’ve never read her work, you’ll likely either love her or hate her. Even if the latter, if honest, most would say she’s speaking with her own voice as a very independent thinker, with debate-worthy positions on issues.