Many viewers of This Is Us were moved by the end of last fall’s episode “The Game Plan,” in which Kevin (Justin Hartley) explained to his nieces the cycle of life and death — and the interconnected nature of our lives and the lasting imprint that we leave behind — by showing them a Pollock-style painting he made as a reflection of his complicated feelings about his off-Broadway play.
Several fans of the NBC drama have embraced the concept of the painting one step further and added a few more reasons to cry. Dance teacher Gret Gulley, who works at the 360 Dance in Louisville, Kentucky, wrote a letter to Hartley explaining that a 360 Dance alum named Amanda passed away from brain cancer in December. As everyone at the studio was preparing for Amanda’s death, the show provided some element of comfort, and Gulley and a group of 11- to 14-year-old girls created a three-minute dance set to Kevin’s powerful, bigger-than-all-of-us monologue. “Our hopes are that you are moved by the performance and feel the passion of the piece,” wrote Gulley. “Thank you for helping these kids have a new outlook on life and death, and thank you for helping us survive the loss of our family member.”
While in Louisville attending the Kentucky Derby this weekend, Hartley made time to meet up with the 360 Dance group, tweeting the letter he received and writing, “Was thrilled to meet these young women of 360 Dance Studio in Louisville, KY! Lovely tribute to your friend.”
See “The Painting” dance for yourself right here.
This Is Us is expected to return for season 2 in the fall.