DWTS Finale: From The Audience Seat

May 20, 2009 at 6:08 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Hey Everyone,

We have an amazing intern, Erin, that was lucky enough to attend Monday’s performance night finale of Dancing with the Stars, and lucky for us, she graciously agreed to recap her experience. Enjoy!

Hello BDC Socialites!

I recently won a trip a trip of a lifetime. Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from my local ABC station telling me that I was the winner of their Dancing With The Stars Sweepstakes and have won a trip for 2 to the finale (performance) taping! Over the next 20 minutes, a mix of emotions ran through my body. At first I was caught off guard and was somewhat confused by the phone call. Having entered the contest months ago and thinking “nobody really wins these contests,” I never gave my entry a second thought. However, as I learned more details and all the information started to sink in, those feelings changed. Needless to say, I was ecstatic! Though I live only a short 6 hour drive north of the LA area, I have never attended a DWTS taping, despite always desperately wanting to go. Never in my wildest dreams was I expecting anything like this to happen!

After we got the legal formalities out of the way, I received more specific details from the promotions rep in LA. I found out that ABC was going to wine & dine us! Our hotel accommodations were at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (http://www.fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire) in the heart of Beverly Hills adjacent to the infamous Rodeo Drive. We checked into our gorgeous hotel room around 3pm Sunday afternoon where we were given a welcome packet with more specific details such as dress code, what to bring to the studio, what not to bring, and Monday’s schedule including the possibility of a meet and greet with some of the dancers! Emotions started building up as reality was starting to set in. I honestly don’t know how I slept Sunday night!

Before getting ready for the show, my boyfriend (my guest) and I shopped around and explored Beverly Hills – but I know none of you care to hear about that! At 2:45pm the winners from all over the country met in the lobby in our best cocktail attire. There was a representative from ABC with us every step of the way taking pictures and videos as none of us would be allowed to bring our own cameras. After the “photo shoot,” we boarded a bus to the studio. We played trivia games along the way and were given DWTS memorabilia, including a copy of the new Ballas Hough Band CD autographed by Mark and Derek! We were a pretty enthused bunch and definitely didn’t need the help of the opening MC to get us pumped for the show!

We took our seats at the set about an hour before show time. We were seated on the floor level facing the stage. We took in the whole set, noting how much smaller it looked in person, and gawked at all the celebrities in attendance. Six chairs down from me was Genya Mazo, Alec Mazo’s brother. A few rows in front, sat Corky and Shirley Ballas, and just feet away were DWTS alumni such as Jane Seymour, Marissa Jaret-Winokur, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Vivica Fox, Emmett Smith, Warren Sapp, the Woz, and many more! Tom & Samantha opened the show just to the right of us, and from that moment forward, it was a non-stop thrill! As I’m sure you all saw on TV, the group Paso was amazing and the freestyles were full of energy and entertainment. But what came after the show made our trip even more memorable.

Our ABC rep met us at our seats once the taping concluded and informed us of a little surprise. Mark and Derek were going to come over and take a group picture with us to finalize our night. While we were waiting for Derek, Corky and Shirley Ballas came over to greet each of us and thank us for coming out to the show. They were both very cordial and chatted with us for a bit. Then Derek made his way over to say hi and take the group picture, but was then was kind enough to offer to take individual pictures with all of us winners. He was very nice and patient while we all took our turns to pose with him and the stage. Then it was time to play the waiting game while Mark and Shawn finished up in the Press line, but we didn’t let that bring down the mood!

While we patiently waited on Mark, we took in the chaotic Press line and watched the couples move from interview to interview (where Maks and Karina were conducting interviews for their respected shows as well). A few of us eventually built up our courage and inched our way closer and closer to the end of the press line where, after some time, we were able to meet and get autographs from Gilles & Cheryl and Tony & Melissa. I even snagged a kiss on the cheek from Tony! (Thanks again Tony! 😉 )

Forty not-so-long minutes later, Mark made his way over to take the group picture. Corky was taking pictures for Mark as well, then started to record a video. He then said, “On the count of 3, everyone yell ‘VOTE FOR MARK AND SHAWN!’” We of course chanted back, but apparently it wasn’t loud enough for Corky! He had us do it even louder, which made Gilles stop what he was doing in the Press line and turn to us exclaiming “WHAT?!!!” Gilles threw his hands up in the air in protest then ran over to jump in our group picture. He then summoned Cheryl, then Shawn followed thereafter. Tony then looked up from what he was doing and, of course, had to jump into the fun as well. Melissa was the last to join us, leaving the reporters behind to give us one complete group picture with all of the Season 8 finalists! This crazy, hilarious moment gave us a climactic ending to one of the most perfect nights for all of us.

At the beginning of this trip, I was expecting nothing more than to witness a lively dancing spectacle, but the outcome of the trip far exceed those expectations. Our experience is one I will never forget thanks to all of the people at ABC, both the cast and staff behind the scenes. I will never wash my cheek again Tony, (just kidding!) nor do I hope to come down from this cloud for a LONG while!

(Pictures from the meet & greet are still to come!)

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Dancing with the Stars 8: Dancing with the Wounded Stars…

March 23, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Hey Everyone,

Welcome to the third week of Dancing with the Stars season 8, or as I’m coming to call it, Waltzing with the Wounded! This week’s dances are the foxtrot and the samba. If you’d like to give these dances a shot in the comfort of your own home, come visit us at Ballroom Dance Channel, where you can learn from pros like Tony Dovolani!

First up tonight are Denise and Maks with the samba. Their rehearsal footage is hysterical tonight, with Maks in hot pink samba queen drag. Unfortunately, it didn’t help Denise learn. She had no bounce, and her footwork was messy. In their defense, the music choice was awful, and they had no control over that. Judges scores: 5,6,5. Ouch!

Dancing the first foxtrot of the night are Chuck and Julianne. She’s channeling her inner drill sergeant this week. Now I remember why she irritates me sometimes. I do have to say she gets good results when she uses this method, I just don’t like to watch her teach when she gets this way. Gosh, Chuck is awfully cute, and very charming in the smooth dances. However, their foxtrot tonight wasn’t quite as light and fluffy as it should be, in my opinion. Judges scores: 8,7,8.

Next to attempt the samba are Holly and Dmitry. I really like their chemistry together, and I really, REALLY like Dmitry. Poor Holly, she is so frustrated in their practice footage. I like that they show us that she is struggling, I think it will help women relate to her and want to see her stay longer. There are parts of this she gets SO right, and then she loses it. I didn’t expect to like Holly, I had preconceived notions about her, but I really am enjoying her on the show. I hope she doesn’t go home just yet, for no other reason than I enjoy getting to see the handsome Dmitry Chaplin every week! Judges scores: 5,6,6.

Steve O and Lacey are dancing the foxtrot tonight. I’m glad that he’s back again this week, but hope he isn’t doing too much damage to himself by pushing. I really do like him, though, way more than I thought I would. He was the contestant that I was literally angry they had cast when I first heard the news, but he’s won me over with his work ethic and determination to be good enough to be a real partner to Lacey. He is in obvious pain tonight, but I think he did a pretty credible job. I love the connection he and Lacey have made, you could see her asking him as they sat on the stage at the end of the dance if he was okay. Judges scores: 5,5,5. Hang in there Steve, I think the fans are behind you!

Lawrence and Edyta have the samba tonight. I really like that we are hearing more from Edyta this year, I think she has a wonderful personality and has a lot to share with the audience. They have a great song for a samba, but I never would have thought of it! Edyta has such a talent for coming up with choreography that distracts from her partner’s flaws, highlights his strengths, and doesn’t look too flashy. Judges scores: 7,6,7.

Shawn and Mark are dancing the foxtrot tonight. Ooh look, Mark is all scruffy…I think I like that! I love that Shawn isn’t afraid to make fun of herself, and these two have nice chemistry. I love her lines! I think that is one of the best things she brings to the competition from her background as a gymnast, is the ability to make beautiful shapes with her body. Mark definitely knows how to show that off to full potential! Judges scores: 9,9,9.

Gilles and Cheryl are dancing the samba. Cheryl is being really hard on him in practice this week, telling him that certain movements are horrible. We got to meet his mother this week, and she seems like such a sweet lady, who really loves her son and is proud of him. Um, hey…isn’t Gilles supposed to have less clothing on this week? Cheryl promised, I read it! Oh who cares, he’s hot even with his clothes on, and this man can BRING IT! I don’t think it matters that he isn’t as famous as the other contestants, he is clearly the top of the field for the guys. Judges scores: 9,9,9.

David and Kym have the foxtrot this evening. I am coming to like David, and think he has enormous potential. He was very endearing tonight during their practice footage, and really seems like he wants to impress the judges and do right by Kym. It was a beautiful foxtrot, and he has finall,y earned some praise from the judges. Its about time, because he’s been a good, solid dancer the first two weeks. Judges scores: 8,8,8.

Steve W and Karina are up, dancing a samba. I admire this man so much, he is so brave to dance with all these injuries he is sustaining. I love the attitude he brings to each and every dance. Unfortunately, he pulled a hamstring during practice, but is somehow pushing through the pain. You know, he’s never going to win this thing, but I just love him to pieces anyway, and want him to be on the show a bit longer. He makes me smile! Judges scores: 4,3,3. Ouch. That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think? And yet he still has a positive attitude. What a gentleman!

Melissa and Tony are dancing the foxtrot this week. She has amazed me so far with how naturally she is taking to all this. Melissa has such an amazing spirit, and is so willing to learn. I predict she’ll go far both in this competition and with whatever she chooses to do next. For those that say she has too much training, I’d like to point out that this is so different from any other form of dance she knows, she may be at a disadvantage, having to unlearn all she knew to be successful as a cheerleader. Once again, she does beautifully tonight, both during the dance and during the comments after the dance. You can see that she is really listening to the critiques and wanting to use them to improve. Judges scores: 9,9,9. Way to go, boss! It is so nice to see you calm and confident again.

Lil Kim and Derek are dancing the samba tonight. Now, since this is a party dance, I should think that this party girl will have a lot to bring to the dance. Kim certainly can work that fringe! I just wish she wouldn’t make that raunchy face while she’s dancing, it takes away from her dance to me. It wasn’t perfect, but I think she did a pretty good job tonight. Judges scores: 8,8,9. Good job! Kim, sweetie, watch the costuming, one of your pasties was showing.

Last, but not least, are Ty and Chelsie, dancing the foxtrot. Wow, Chelsie is just stunning in that dress. She is such a beautiful young lady, and I am very happy that they asked her to join the show. She is a definite asset, as is Dmitry. Come on, Ty! You can do this! There has to have been something on the floor, because they stumbled twice in what looked like the same spot. In spite of that, Ty was a calm and confident lead, with a beautiful strong frame. Carrie Ann, thanks for praising him for how he handled Chelsie’s stumble. Judges scores: 8,8,7. Way to go Ty! See, you CAN do this!!!!!!

Well, that’s it for tonight. Make sure you join us tomorrow for what should be a fun filled results show, right up until we have to send someone home. Am I alone in not really wanting to vote anyone off yet?

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

DWTS The Results!

March 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Good evening Dancing With The Stars fans and welcome to the first results show of the season. The eliminated team will be determined by a dance off. so without further ado, here we are–LIVE!

MUSICAL GUEST AND PRO DANCE 1

The show opens with the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies perform with Lacey, Cheryl, Julianne, Derek, Mark and Tony dancing. The dancing is fun and the music is just fun and catchy. I love it!

UPDATE ON STEVE-O

Steve-O gives an update about his injury. He says nothing is broken and he plans on staying in the competition to make it up to Lacey–and this time listen to her!

RESULTS PART 1

After a recap of scores and dances, we get to some results. The first four couples who are safe are Lawrence and Edyta, Shawn and Mark, Chuck and Julianne and David and Kym.

After a segment about the new set and some commercials, we learn that Denise and Maks, Melissa and Tony, Lil’ Kim and Derek and Gilles and Cheryl will also be dancing another week.

Cameron Mathison gives us a segment about surviving the show. He says not to trip, always make friends in the red room (he tries to psych Shawn out there) make sure to cry in the elimination room, and always kiss up to the judges. Spray tanning is also on his list to survive. Also to avoid injury, don’t do the show.

MACY’S STARS OF DANCE

Macy’s Stars of Dance features some very showy and fun dancers. What I like about the performance is that it not only features people we don’t normally see, but also introduces us to some new styles of dance.

MUSICAL GUEST JEWEL

Jewel sings her cover of Somewhere Over The Rainbow from her new album Lullaby. Dmitry Chaplin and Chelsie Hightower dance a sensual rumba and for some reason Chelsie has no shoes on. I love the lifts they do and they seem to have good chemistry.

Tom reveals that the quickstep was picked for design a dance.

WHAT THE COMPETITORS SAY

The contestants talk about their competition and actually have nothing but good things to say about each other. I love Shawn’s reaction about Gilles (HOT!) Belinda thinks its funny she is competing against Shawn, who is the same age as her son. It is so nice to see everyone be so positive toward each other without giving up their competitive edge. Steve W. says he turned down the Naked Man role! HA!

MORE RESULTS

Holly and Dmitry, Ty and Chelsie and Steve-O and Lacey are safe, leaving Belinda and Jonathan and Steve and Karina in the dance off.

DANCE OFF
Each couple will re-dance their favorite dance and be judged on it. Their scores will be combined with their original scores to give them each a new total.

Belinda and Jonathan re-do their salsa. I love how she always sings along as she dances. She does a pretty good job, but still seems a bit nervous out there. However, she seems like she is having SO much fun.

Len tells her she has more hip action, but there are still some mistakes.

Bruno agrees, saying she lost a lot of her footwork.

Carrie Ann thinks her performance level was much better but she lost it in the middle of the routine.

Score: 17 (5,6,6)

Steve and Karina reprise their quickstep. I have to admire him for trying so hard. He seems to do a better job tonight and his spirit is contagious!

Bruno says he admires him.

Carrie Ann thinks he improved but lost it in the middle.

Len thinks he improved as well but not a lot.

Score: 17 (6,5,6) Hahaha, Bruno had his paddle backwards!

AND THE COUPLE WITH THE LOWEST COMBINED SCORES AND THEREFORE GOING HOME RIGHT NOW……

Belinda and Jonathan are going home. She says she had a lot of fun and Jonathan is a great teacher. Jonathan is going to miss her fun attitude and hopes to see more hip action at her next concert.

As they take the floor for their last dance, everyone comes out to give them hugs and kisses.

Join us next week for our couples to take the stage with either a samba or foxtrot. Goodnight everybody!

Dancing with the Stars 8: Oh No, Steve O!

March 16, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Hey Everyone,

Welcome to week 2 of Dancing with the Stars, season 8. This week, our couples have either the quickstep or the salsa. Remember that if you’d like to learn the spicy salsa, we have lessons for that dance and many others at Ballroom Dance Channel. If you’d like to take your dance on the go, you can visit us at the ITunes App store. For the month of March only, all four of our dances at the App store are FREE!

We have 13 couples to get through in two hours, so let’s get started! As I told you earlier, Steve O has been injured earlier today, and will not be dancing this evening. Our first couple on the floor tonight is Holly Madison and Dmitry Chaplin. They will be dancing the quickstep. We got our first chance to really get to know both Holly and Dmitry tonight, and they are a very likable couple. Holly is a pretty quick study, because she is moving through this quickstep with grace and ease, and she’s still only had just over a week of training! Holly has plenty of work ahead of her, but this week, I see the potential. Judges scores: 6,6,6. Two week total: 36/60.

David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson will be the first couple to dance the salsa this week. WOW! David was funny in the practice piece making fun of Bruno, but I’ll tell you what, this man can dance. I’m very impressed, and I hope that he is around for a while so we can see him grow as he gets more comfortable. Is it just me, or does Kym’s dress look like a shorter version of her foxtrot one from last season with Warren Sapp? Judges scores: 6,5,6. Two week total: 36/60.

Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are up next, dancing a quickstep. Denise is having a bit of difficultly with the posture in the quickstep practice. Okay, I like Grease as much as the next person, but I really don’t think this is good quickstep music. Denise is doing quite well given the music choice, I think, and she certainly looked more confident on the floor. Judges scores: 7,7,7. Two week total: 39/60.

Next on the floor are Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts. They will dance the salsa tonight. I think I’d like to give my vote to this couple for most improved in a week, okay? The change in her is amazing, maybe the trouble was just with those spins in the Viennese Waltz. Judges scores: 6,6,6. Two week total: 35/60.

Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower are dancing the quickstep tonight. Ty is one of those people you really want to root for, because he’s trying so hard to do this well, but he’s so out of his element. I want him to succeed, and I don’t want him to go home tomorrow night! Ty, Chelsie, if you see this, know that you did AWESOME tonight! I think smooth is Ty’s strength, and Chelsie has figured out how to show him off to his full potential. Judges scores: 7,6,7. Two week total: 34/60.

Shawn Johnston and Mark Ballas are dancing the salsa tonight. LOL! Their practice footage is so funny tonight, Shawn is having a hard time loosening up for the salsa. Mark dancing the woman’s part so Shawn could see it was cute. It is a good thing he isn’t afraid to look silly to help her learn, because this team is turning in one hot salsa tonight. Mark also does a great job of using every bit of Shawn’s flexibility to their advantage, and they have great chemistry! Judges scores: 8,8,8. Two week total: 47/60.

Steve Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff have the quickstep tonight, and Steve is dancing on a fractured foot. I like this man so much, and I really want to see him have some more time here to learn. He’s not the best dancer, but like Rocco DiSpirito last season, he has the pure love of ballroom in his heart, and I love to watch him try. Judges scores: 6,5,6. Two week total: 30/60.

Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough are dancing the salsa tonight. I’m not going to hit you over the head with the fact that I don’t like that this real life couple is dancing together. This is hard for me, because I like Chuck a lot, but I think Julianne sold out in coming back this season. Ooh, Chuck is stiff, not a good thing in the salsa. Julianne just isn’t the most skilled at hiding her partner’s flaws, she always looks like she is just trying to show herself off, it doesn’t look like a partnership, and this is a problem I’ve noticed with her since her winning season with Helio Castroneves. Judges scores: 6,7,7. Two week total: 40/60.

Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska are dancing the quickstep tonight. I sure hope that LT has stepped it up, because Edyta deserves more out of her partner. I’m glad to hear in the practice footage that he is willing to keep trying. Unfortunately, he doesn’t look particularly light on his feet to me, although this is definitely a step up performance wise from last week. Judges scores: 7,6,7. Two week total: 36/60.

Poor Steve O! He has been struggling with back and neck problems all week, and up until dress rehearsal, was planning on dancing tonight. Unfortunately, he fell today during rehearsal, and is not competing tonight. Instead, we will be viewing, and the judges will comment and score on the dress rehearsal. I really hope this isn’t what takes him out of the competition, because he is the contestant this season that I didn’t think I would like, and ended up loving. He looked a little stiff, and in pain, but I really liked the routine, even if it was just practice. It appears his injury tonight stems from the landing at the end of the routine, when he landed on his mic pack. Judges scores: 5,4,5. Two week total: 31/60.

Lil Kim and Derek Hough are dancing the quickstep tonight. They have done a great job dressing Kim up like a lady, but can she back the looks up with the correct posture and carriage for this smooth, elegant dance? I have to admit she is floating across the floor with more ease than I thought she would, but she hits some of the moves much harder than she should have. Judges scores: 8,7,8. Two week total: 44/60.

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani are up next with a salsa. I wonder if Tony showed Melissa our salsa lessons as part of her training? There has been a lot of fuss made in the media this last week about Melissa’s dance training in ballet and as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, but she hasn’t had any more training than any of the other past contestants, and ballroom is such a different form. It was clear that she is just putting the work in like the rest of the contestants from the practice footage. Judges scores: 9,8,9. Let me quote Drew Lachey here….”WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Two week total: 49/60. Hey boss, if you hoist the trophy, do I get to hold it? Pretty please?

Our final couple of the night is Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke, dancing the quickstep. Listening to Cheryl during the practice footage, I kept waiting for her to tell him he had spaghetti arms! I didn’t think Gilles would be as adept at the smooth dances, but he’s doing a great job with this number! I never would have thought of this song for a quickstep, but it really worked, and I loved the Clark Kent/Superman turn. Judges scores: 9,9,9. Two week total: 51/60.

That’s it for tonight, we’ll see you back here tomorrow for the results recap.

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

“Exclusive: Holly Madison on DWTS, Vegas and being in ‘a good state of mind’ ” by Robin Leach: Luxe Life | Vegas Deluxe

March 16, 2009 at 10:40 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance | Leave a comment
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What a great interview with Holly Madison!  You can’t help but like her, and admire her for stepping in at the last minute.  Enjoy!

“Exclusive: Holly Madison on DWTS, Vegas and being in ‘a good state of mind’ ” by Robin Leach: Luxe Life | Vegas Deluxe.

Keep Dancing,

Ballroom Dance Channel

Dancing with the Stars 8: Has Holly Madison had prior ballroom training?

March 11, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Hmmmm….according to the following article I found at Trans World News, it appears that Holly Madison has had some prior ballroom training, although there are no real details given about what type. Normally I would be screaming that prior training of this type is an unfair advantage, but I think the serious deficit in training time more than makes up for any advantage a prior class would give her! Stay tuned to Ballroom Dance Channel for all the best news on Dancing with the Stars!

Atlanta, GA 3/11/2009 02:58 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

Hugh Hefner and Holly Madison might have ended their relationship, but the Playboy mogul is still rooting for his former girlfriend as she competes on Dancing with the Stars.

Hefner says he is the one who revealed to Madison that she had been chosen to replace country singer Jewel, who had to drop out of the competition because of an injury. “I called her and gave her the news on Monday. She had a week to prepare, less than a week,” he tells People magazine.

Hefner says he thinks Madison did a “spectacular job” with her performance on Monday’s premiere. “I’m very, very proud of her,” he added.

Also rooting for Madison is her Girls Next Door co-stars Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson.

“I think that fact that she’s had ballroom dancing classes before and was a cheerleader in high school, I think that will bring a lot to the table. I know she has tenacity. I know she’ll stick with it and give it her all,” says Marquardt.

“I think people get on her and think she doesn’t know how to dance – but hip hop dances she needs to work on, but ballroom dancing she’s great at, she has great feet,” Wilkinson added.

Well, what do you think? Tell us in the comments below!

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

Dancing with the Stars 8: Who will join the first to go home club?

March 11, 2009 at 7:26 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Thanks to Condrun.us for picking up our blog!

Dancing with the Stars 8: Season Premiere

March 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Hi everyone,

Welcome to the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars! If you want to cha cha and waltz like the stars you’ve seen tonight, please visit us at Ballroom Dance Channel. With our All Access Pass, you can learn as many dances as you’d like at your own pace, for under $10 a month! If you want to take our lessons on the go, please visit us at the ITunes App Store . Now, on with the show!

Wow! The makeover for the ballroom is simply stunning! The new staircases are so pretty, and I hear that they added about 200 more seats. Hopefully this will mean more of the fans of the show that wait for hours to see if they will get in will be able to attend the show tapings!

Our first couple tonight is Lil Kim and Derek Hough. They are dancing the cha cha this evening, and next week will dance the quickstep. Kim looks like she can move quite well, but when they are doing their dance, she seems choppy to me, moving from segment to segment with no fluidity and grace. Maybe I’m just spoiled from seeing Derek with last season’s champion, Brooke Burke, who had a natural, flowing grace from week one! Judges Scores: 7,7,7.

Dancing second tonight are Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts. I missed Jonathan last season much more than I thought I would, but I am very happy for him that he went back and competed and won a title with new partner Valentina! Belinda has a hard time with spins the same way that Kelly Monaco did in season 1, but she seems to be powering through it nicely in the beginning of their Viennese waltz. She needs to relax and let Jonathan lead her, she is far too stiff and choppy, she really needs to finish her extensions. Maybe next week’s salsa will be more her style! Judges Scores: 6,6,5.

Our third couple is Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska. He’s dressed like Emmitt Smith, but I don’t get the same warmth or sincerity from him that Emmitt gives. I also wasn’t real fond of his trash talking Jason Taylor, who I still have a soft spot for! He does a credible job tonight, but needs more finesse and polish to break out from the crowd. Edyta carried him throughout the dance, showing him off as only she knows how! Judges scores: 6,5,5. Step it up, LT, Edyta deserves a better partner!

Next up is the duo of Steve O and Lacey Schwimmer. This pairing initially troubled me greatly. Lacey is one of my favorite pros, and Steve O didn’t have the world’s best reputation, so I was worried. Since the couples have been announced, I’ve been reading about their practices, and Steve’s work ethic impresses me. They are dancing the waltz tonight. I love Lacey’s costume! Steve is a bit too stiff, like he is overly concerned with his frame, but he does a very credible job, and I have to say he actually has very nice lines. I don’t know that he’s headed for the finals, but I have no objection to him being on the dance floor for the next several weeks. Judges scores: 6,5,6.

Ooh, is it hot in here? Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke are dancing next, a cha cha tonight, if you please. WOW! Gilles has some really nice lines tonight. I’m impressed, and he seems to be funny and charming, as well. Cheryl looks beautiful, her hair is beautiful at that length. I think this couple is going to be in it for quite some time, they have all the right elements! Judges scores: 8,8,8.

Sigh. Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough are up. Oh, and they are dressed like they belong on the top of a wedding cake. I’m not thrilled about this pairing, and haven’t been since they announced it. I don’t think it is right to allow a real life pairing to compete together on this show, because if nothing else, they have a built in chemistry that the other couples cannot draw from. I’ll try and focus just on their dancing, I promise. Chuck seems to be a very capable lead, and Julianne has choreographed a routine that clearly plays to that strength, but I have seen a couple of missteps, and there was a very obvious lift at the end of the number. Let’s see if the lift police bust them for it! Judges Scores: 6,7,7.

Holly Madison is stepping in to replace Jewel with Dmitry Chaplin. Right off the bat, I have to give Holly props and stepping up on such short notice. Holly has had 5 days of training, and really put her all into the routine. It really is a testament to what a good teacher Dmitry is that Holly did so well with so little training. Next week they will have the quickstep, and she will have had some more time to learn what she needs to continue in the competition. Judges scores: 6,6,6.

After Holly and Dmitry dance, we learn that Ballroom Dance Channel’s own Tony Dovolani will be paired with Melissa Rycroft, who has stepped in on 48 hours notice! Following this announcement, we meet our next couple, Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower. Ty is a rodeo champion, and Chelsie will look very familiar to fans of So You Think You Can Dance. They have the cha cha tonight. Ty’s a real cutie, and he tried very hard, but he isn’t a natural dancer, and it showed. I think he’ll be more comfortable in the smooth quickstep next week. Chelsie gave it her all, and I hope America remembers why they loved her so much last summer and supports this couple with their votes. Judges scores: 5,4,5. Ty, stop being so hard on yourself, and I hope America stands behind you!

Shawn Johnston and Mark Ballas are up next, and they also have the Viennese Waltz this week. Wow, Mark looks so TALL! I’ve read a lot of places where Shawn is picked to be the winner this year. I think technically she will be superb, but she will struggle with her emotion just like Kristi Yamaguchi did. She said it in their practice footage, that in sport, emotion is weakness. Shawn and Mark are a stunning couple on the floor, and she is doing a lovely job of showing emotion tonight, and with such a romantic dance, they played it well without going over the top. Judges scores: 8,8,7.

Next are Steve “IWoz” Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff. I’m looking forward to seeing how IWoz can do. He seems like such a big teddy bear of a man who really wants to learn and do this well. I’ve developed a soft spot for him the more I have read about him, and I hope he has some ability to go with that infectious smile. I can imagine that this must be very hard for an analytical mind like his! I think he did a credible job, but he has some work to do in order to stay in the competition. Judges scores: 5,4,4. Like Ty, I think the Woz will have strength in the smooth dances.

David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson is our next couple to dance the Viennese Waltz. David seems to be one of those people that everyone is going to assume is just a big goof, but will be very good. He’s taking this very seriously, as are all the competitors this season. David has beautiful extensions, and naturally flows from movement to movement with grace and style. Judges scores: 6,7,6.

Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are dancing the cha cha tonight. Denise is coming into the competition with no formal dance training. I wasn’t sure what to make of her when she called Maks “Maksipoo” on Good Morning America, but she’s growing on me, because she isn’t afraid to be real. WOW! Denise has some real potential, but Maks is right, she’s got to stop apologizing, and just start learning. I think she’ll get there, she just has to trust herself a little more. It is clear she trusts Maks, she just needs to believe in herself a little more. Judges scores: 6,6,6. Not bad!

Last, but not least, are Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani. Come on, boss, show us what you’ve got! This is a real test to who Tony is as an instructor, but at least they have found a capable woman to step in at the very last minute. Melissa has trained in ballet and is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. I’m thinking that means she’ll have the grace to pull off the smooth dances, and the cheekiness needed for the Latins. One thing is for sure, this couple looks beautiful together! They are a good physical match with the height and coloring. 2 DAYS! 2 DAYS, and that was hands down the performance of the night! She was all teary at the end, and so am I. Melissa has beautiful lines, amazing extensions, and unlimited potential. Judges scores: 8,7,8. Good job, you two, and Melissa, thank you so much for stepping in!

Well, that’s it for tonight. We will see you back here next Monday for the second round of competition, and a week from tomorrow for our first results show, which will feature Jewel as our guest singer. Thanks for reading!

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

Dancing with the Stars 8 Update: Dmitry and Holly Madison CONFIRMED; Tony and Melissa Rycroft CONFIRMED…

March 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hey Everyone,

Just a quick note to let you all know that it is now official, and Dmitry Chaplin and Holly Madison are dancing their first dance now. Come back later for a full review of all tonight’s action!

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

BREAKING: Ballroom Dance Channel’s Tony Dovolani is dancing with Melissa Rycroft, as was rumored over the weekend. Stay tuned!

Dancing with the Stars 8: Voting Numbers-UPDATED!

March 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Here are tonight’s voting numbers, with the exception of Tony Dovolani & his partner, and Dmitry Chaplin and his partner, who have not been formally announced or confirmed. It is rumored that Melissa Rycroft is partnering Tony, and Holly Madison is partnering Dmitry Chaplin. From the list below, it appears that these couples are dancing in the 7th and 13th slots. Hope this list helps! Remember to stick with Ballroom Dance Channel for all your ballroom news!

UPDATE! To vote for Holly and Dmitry, the number is 1-800-868-3407. The number for Melissa and Tony is 1-800-868-3413.

PHONE/SMS NUMBERS:

COUPLE NAME PHONE NUMBER TEXT-IN CODE
Lil’ Kim & Derek Hough 800-86834-01
800-VOTE4-01 3401
Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts 800-86834-02
800-VOTE4-02 3402
Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska 800-86834-03
800-VOTE4-03 3403
Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer 800-86834-04
800-VOTE4-04 3404
Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke 800-86834-05
800-VOTE4-05 3405
Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough 800-86834-06
800-VOTE4-06 3406
Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower 800-86834-08
800-VOTE4-08 3408
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas 800-86834-09
800-VOTE4-09 3409
Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff 800-86834-10
800-VOTE4-10 3410
David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson 800-86834-11
800-VOTE4-11 3411
Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy 800-86834-12
800-VOTE4-12 3412

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