Power is defined in many ways, but any way you define it or look at it, Tristan MacManus has power. In the physical sense, he’s strong and agile and can do the lifts, tricks, and stunts required of a professional dancer, but it goes much further than that. He has the power to direct or influence people, and delving even deeper, he has the power to do all of that in a positive way. Let us explain.
The power of the storyteller: As a performer, Tristan has the ability to draw in a crowd, to sell a performance to an audience, to take on a role and a character, and to make sure his partner is 100% comfortable - whether she is a professional or amateur. The power comes from the simplicity of the plan. He makes sure the choreography fits his partner, and therefore he doesn’t have to overdance or dance around a less trained dancer. He makes it work, and he make it about himself. With other pros, he matches them step for step, but he projects a sincerity that the most well-trained actor might not pull off.
The power of the performer: This is easy. Almost too easy. If you have seen him on DWTS, his performance value is off the charts. He is engaging, personable, and believable – and he can own a dance without even trying. His chemistry with his partners is spot on and it only takes a few seconds for the MacManus Magic to take center stage. If you have had the good fortune to see him in Burn the Floor, Ballroom With A Twist, Holland America’s Dancing With the Stars: At Sea cruises or any other performance, then you most likely fell a little in love right on the spot. Whether he is spotlighted in a group performance, heating things up in a Rumba, or bringing sizzling passion to a Paso Doble, you will never forget his performances.
The power of the teacher: Ah, this is his passion, and he is brilliant. Look at the patience and technique he taught Nancy Grace, Gladys Knight, and Valerie Harper, for example. For those of us who witnessed his impromptu Cha Cha lesson at his Grassroot Soccer fundraiser in Princeton in 2013, we are still in awe. He took two novices and had them performing in front of a group in less than 30 minutes. Now THAT was impressive. Give him a few hours or days, and he could whip an entire production into shape. That’s how good he is.
The power of the philosopher: Let’s face it. After doing 20 plus interviews with Tristan and reading many other interviews and blogs about him and by him, we are still impressed with the depth of his answers and statements. For example: “Every day is the start of something special. Every action causes a reaction so you have two choices” or “Make your own path and follow your own head and live and die by your own sword” or “I love to dance but I love even more to entertain and all the well wishes and notes of support are what inspire me to do it” or “Don’t be afraid to try something new because it’s the people who aren’t afraid to try to get the rewards” or…. you get the picture. We could recite these all day because when Tristan becomes philosophical it’s genuine and not a bunch of 140 character or less tweets that have us scratching our head in confusion. Even when he is kidding around, his answers are well thought out and perceptive.
The power of the fans: The MacManiacs. Also now known as The MacLunatics, thanks to Tristan. Whether four years old or rocking away in the nursing home, Tristan’s fans cover all age ranges and all demographics, and the numbers are way larger than some of the doubters believe. Tristan himself describes us this way: Loyal, O-mazing, Vocal, Epic, and Devoted. Yep. That’s us. There are none better. His fans have built a huge network that runs the gamut: a wildly popular website with a forum that would put most other message boards to shame, a Facebook Fan Page that is constantly updated and has more than 10,500 likes, a fan Instagram, fan Pinterest, and a Twitter fan page along with at least a dozen satellite fan pages – all that work together to support Tristan. There there is a sub-network of MacManiacs who joined Twitter and/or set up additional Twitter pages for the sole purpose of supporting Tristan. There are dozens of those, and that doesn’t count everybody else who just loves the guy. Those numbers are likely in the millions.
The power of being one of the good guys: This one is self-explanatory, but we're explaining it anyway. He respects everyone, he is a gentleman, and he is non-controversial. There is something to be said for being a good guy.
The power of the appeal: He has universal appeal. People clamor to see him dance, and they make sure to find him in a city where he teaches so that they can learn from the best. And he is the best. Just ask the folks that found him in Ohio and Florida recently and happily parted with their “eating out” funds just to take a dance lesson. Just ask the fans who flew in from as far as Finland for his 2013 charity event in Princeton. We buy tickets to BWAT hoping that Tristan might be one of the pros, and we book cruises on Holland America just to see him teach and perform. Why? Because he has an incredible amount of magnetism, appeal, charm, charisma, and blinding good looks (shallow but true).
All that power? It’s the real deal. He provides so much electricity that power companies could probably use him as their primary energy source. Yet ABC let this gem slip away this season. Tsk. Tsk. We don’t know if ABC noticed, but when power flickers, the lights just may go out.