Dancing with the Stars 8: Tink’s Recap

April 13, 2009 at 8:33 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,

Here’s your West Coast review of the week 6 proceedings. We’ve got 8 couples to get through in 90 minutes, so let’s get to it! Remember if you’d like to learn the rumba like Melissa Rycroft, you can give it a shot at Ballroom Dance Channel. If you’d like to learn on the go, please visit us at the Itunes App Store.

Our first couple tonight is Ty and Chelsie, dancing the jive. I really like these two together, and think they definitely need to bring Chelsie back in the fall. She brings a light and bubbly feel to the show, and seems to be an exceptional teacher. I loved their practice footage tonight, Ty is so cute when he’s playful! I thought their jive was very good, and that Ty had clean and precise footwork throughout, and had a nice bounce in his step. The judges didn’t agree, giving them 6,6,6 for the night. I can’t believe I’m already at the point in the season that I don’t want anyone to go home!

The first rumba of the night is danced by Shawn and Mark. I worry a bit about Shawn pulling off the character of this dance at her age. She has to look at Mark very romantically for it to work, which I’m sure isn’t hard, but he is older than she is, and has a significant other, so I can see where that could be uncomfortable. Mark is so sweet, he recreated the prom for her to feel more comfortable with the character of the dance. Mark is such an amazing choreographer, he really knows how to use Shawn’s strengths to create a memorable rumba here. It was sensual and sexy without being too over the top, and she makes such beautiful shapes with her body! Judges scores: 8,9,9.

Next to dance the jive are Lawrence and Edyta. YAY! They brought Warren Sapp in. I loved Warren last year, and it is really nice to see him tonight. He’s looking great! Hopefully LT will loosen up after some play time with his old friend. Oh, this is distressing. This is one of the few times I can ever remember being able to see Edyta dance down to her partner’s level. She’s clearly holding back to not out dance him. Lawrence is very stiff throughout, and I can almost see him counting. The music choice is also really odd, in my opinion. It sounds closer to a West Coast swing than a jive, and yet he still didn’t seem able to keep up. Judges scores: 7,7,8.

Melissa and Tony are dancing the rumba tonight. They work really hard during the practice footage on getting the character of the dance, but it is hard for them given their very playful relationship. Oh, what beautiful costumes, good job Tony and Randall for bringing them to life! What a beautiful rumba, Melissa, you nailed it, all the way through. You make such beautiful lines, and amazing shapes, with your body. Tony, the choreography was stunning, as usual. I won\’t lie, I teared up! Judges scores: 9,9,9. I would have given 10s, but I’m biased!

Lil’ Kim and Derek have the jive tonight. Dang, I want one of those BHB shirts Derek keeps wearing. Have you all heard their CD? If not, you’re missing out! Its the only one we listen to in the car now, because the whole family loves it. Oops, sorry, you guys are here for a dance review, not music review. The practice footage for Kim and Derek is really cute tonight, with him taking her to a 50s type diner with all sorts of classic cars to get her a feel for the period the jive was created in. WOW! That was off the hook! I love the costuming, love the choreography, and I love that Derek wasn’t afraid to play up that they were given a song like Jailhouse Rock. Have I mentioned that Kim has won me over? Judges scores: 10,8,10. WHAT? Someone get Len some help, or glasses, or something. I don’t think we’re watching the same show.

Steve O and Lacey are dancing the rumba. Their practice footage is hands down one of the funniest packages I’ve ever seen. Okay, even I have to admit that Steve O is not a natural dancer, but there is something so endearing about him, and he always is so careful to hit his lines and follow through on his extensions, that I have to give him props for effort, even when he’s not the best of the bunch. The judges are all over the map with these scores tonight: 7,4,5. Seriously, what IS Len’s deal? Did he not get his nap? Forget to take his fiber pill? Break up with a lady friend? Bruno, well, he’s just being Bruno, but he needs to tone down the rude remarks. Steve knows he’s not the best, why do you need to beat him up about it as well? Even Simon Cowell doesn’t unleash the beast until a contestant gets delusional!

Gilles and Cheryl are dancing the jive this week. Gilles is doing such a wonderful job week after week, can you imagine the pressure he deals with, both that he puts on himself and what he feels from others, to keep setting the bar so high? I like their practice footage tonight, and I am glad they are showing us that he struggled with this dance. There is a real danger when someone shows so much natural ability from the beginning of the show, where do you go when you are getting 29s and 30s early on? WOW! They won the sucky song lottery tonight! I like this song, but no WAY is it a jive. DANG! Did you see his height in the jump off the steps? The way he finishes his lines is just incredible, and Cheryl did a beautiful job with the choreography, made even more amazing by the poor song they were given for this difficult dance. Judges scores: 9,8,9.

Our last couple of the night is Chuck and Julianne. Their practice footage is very telling tonight, I am amazed it has taken this long for him to call her out on her drill sergeant tactics as a teacher. He’s right to tell her that it ticks him off when she is that way. It isn’t helpful, its mean! Good heavens, what a costume on her. The thigh highs are taking it a bit far for me, but I can see where some can find it sexy and in the character of the dance. Forgive me, but this seems a little mechanical in some places, and a bit like a lap dance in others. I know the rumba is meant to be sexy, but I was left wondering if I was watching late night Cinemax! Judges scores: 8,7,8.

Well, that’s it from the left coast tonight. Don’t forget to join us tomorrow for the results!

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

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Dancing with the Stars 8: A look at the Lindy Hop and Argentine Tango

March 30, 2009 at 8:51 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Hey Everyone,

We thought it might be helpful for you to see what these two new dances for the show look like when danced “in the wild” before they are performed on the show tonight!

Lindy Hop:


Argentine Tango:


Don’t forget that we have all our dance on the go apps in the Itunes app store FREE for a limited time!

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

Friday Funnies….

March 27, 2009 at 9:25 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’ve never seen Tony Dovolani having quite this much fun. It is SO nice to hear him laugh like he does in this clip from Extra:

Remember that if you need a dance fix, or would like to learn from that Albanian jokester, you can find lessons at Ballroom Dance Channel. Also, don’t forget this is your last weekend to try our mobile lessons for FREE at the ITunes App Store!

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

Learn the Tango – Now Available to go!

March 24, 2009 at 10:32 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Hey Everyone,

We have some great news we’d like to share with you. Our tango basic step is now in the ITunes App Store. Here’s a preview of the dance, as taught by our world class instructors, Nick & Lena Kosovich.

Learn to dance like the professionals! The Ballroom Dance Channel has assembled some of the world’s best dancers to teach you the Tango! Learn from the comfort of your home! Take a private lesson from professional dancers Nick and Lena Kosovich!Enjoy this teaser trailer and then visit ballroomdancechannel.com for a full lesson!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Did you know we’re on Facebook?

March 19, 2009 at 11:31 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hey everyone,

Did you know we have a fan page on Facebook? Here’s a link, we hope you’ll connect with us!

Ballroom Dance Channel

Of course, we’d also love it if you would visit our All Access Pass and give our lessons a try, or take your lessons on the go with your IPhone/Ipod touch.

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: Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts

March 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Hi Everyone,

Sorry the posting is so late today, I fell a bit behind! Today we’re featuring the duo of Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts. I can’t believe we are less than a week from the new season’s start. For a dance fix, please visit us at Ballroom Dance Channel, or to take your lessons on the go, visit us at the ITunes App Store.

Belinda Carlisle is best known as the lead vocalist for the rock & roll band The Go-Gos. She has also had several solo hits.

Did you know?

-Belinda has modeled for Almay cosmetics.
-In 1997, she released a cover of “I Won’t Say (I’m in Love)” from Disney’s Hercules as part of that movie’s distribution in Europe. The single was only released in France and Germany.
-Her husband, Morgan Mason, is the son of James Mason.
-Belinda was a cheerleader at Newbury Park High School in Thousand Oaks, California.

Jonathan Roberts is a professional dancer married to former partner Anna Trebunskya. He has been on seasons 1,2,4,5,6, and the upcoming season 8 of Dancing with the Stars. He sat out season 7 to return to his competitive roots, dancing with new partner Valentina Kostenko and winning the 2008 Professional Smooth Championship.

Jonathan’s competitive accomplishments include:

• 2008 US National Professional Smooth Champion, with Valentina Kostenko
• 2004 US National Professional Rising Star Latin Champion, with Anna Trebunskaya
• 2003 Blackpool Professional Rising Star Latin Champion, with Anna Trebunskaya
• 1997 US National Professional Rising Star Ballroom Champion, with Roberta Sun
• USA pro-am 10 dance champion
• USA pro-am Latin champion
• USA pro-am American Ballroom champion

Video footage of Woz practicing for “Dancing with the Stars” | Edible Apple

March 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Video footage of Woz practicing for “Dancing with the Stars” | Edible Apple.

Dancing with the Stars 8: Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough

March 2, 2009 at 6:50 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Hey Everyone,

Well, we’re a week from the beginning of season 8, and today we are profiling one of the most controversial pairs that the show has this year. It doesn’t have anything to do with either of the team members separately, but many long time fans of the show are up in arms over this real life couple being paired together on the dance floor. What do you think? Is it a distinct advantage, or will it split them up in the long run? Feel free to weigh in with your opinion in our comments section. Without further ado, here is a look at Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough. Remember to get your dance fix this week at Ballroom Dance Channel

Chuck Wicks is a country singer who came onto the scene with his smash single Stealing Cinderella. He got his start writing songs and working with people on Music Row. He credits them for giving him his start, saying that without them, he would not be where he is today.

DID YOU KNOW?
• Signed on with RCA
• Once wanted to be a professional baseball player
• Took him several years to get his big break, but he was willing to work hard to get there.
• Girlfriend is DWTS pro Julianne Hough
• Parked cars for a living while trying to break into the music business

Julianne Hough was born July 20, 1988 to a family of dancers. She began training with Josh Murillo in Latin Ballroom and was competing by the time she was nine years old. A year later, she moved to London with her brother Derek to train with ballroom legends Corky and Shirley Ballas. She was enrolled in the Italia Conti Academy and trained in music, theatre, dance and gymnastics.

DID YOU KNOW?
• Julianne was in a band with Derek and Mark Ballas called 2B1G (2 Boys 1 Girl)
• She was a dancer on Show Me The Money, a game show hosted by William Shatner
• Won season four of DWTS with Olympic skater Apolo Anton Ohno
• Won season five of DWTS with racecar driver Helio Castroneves
• Placed ninth with comedian Adam Carolla in season six of DWTS
• Placed fourth in season seven of DWTS with Cody Linley—although she was replaced for two weeks by Edyta Sliwinska. (She underwent surgery)
• Posed for TV Guide, Shape and Maxim
• Is also a country music singer

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