Dancing with the Stars 8: WriterMarie426’s Recap

May 4, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Hey Everyone,

Tink here! I’m more than a bit under the weather, so Marie has been kind enough to write us another awesome recap. Don’t forget to vote!

Good evening ballroom dance lovers, and welcome to Week 9 of Dancing With The Stars. We are at the point in the competition where our five remaining couples each have two individual dances to perform – one Ballroom Style and one Latin Style. In addition, during the Latin round each of our celebrities will need to perform a 15 second solo in their routines.

We open tonight’s show with a group pro dance choreographed by Louis Van Amstel, which showcases three of the Ballroom dances. Tom announces that the group will be back later to show us the Latin dances.

All of our couples descend the staircase with smiles on their faces, especially Melissa and Tony, who are back after last week’s injury. After everyone makes it safely down the stairs, we see a segment featuring our three judges breaking down what they need to see from each couple in the Ballroom round.

Our first couple to dance are Shawn and Mark with the Quick Step. Shawn states that at this point 8’s are no longer enough, they need to go for 10’s. Mark concentrates on teaching her the quirky movements, while also getting her to make it graceful. Shawn stresses about this week, knowing it is make or break. Their Quick Step is done in a fun, quirky style, with great footwork and big movements.

Len likes that it was fun, joyful, and carefree, but says they broke a rule…the couple can be apart at the beginning or end of the dance, but they broke their hold in the middle of it. Bruno says Shawn came across like Sporty Spice, and agrees with Len but also calls it great fun. Carrie Ann believes it was their best dance ever, but has to take a point off for breaking the rule.

As they wait for their scores backstage, Mark says he takes the blame for the rule violation, he just wanted to put on a great show for the audience.

Score: 27 (9,9,9)

Ty and Chelsie are up next with the Argentine Tango. Ty says during rehearsal how much he loves a good challenge, and he likes that in the A-Tango he can be strong and serious…and do lifts. Chelsie tells him to think about the hard work and dedication he has put into this competition and incorporate it into the dance. Ty has some solo footwork at the beginning of the dance, which he performs well, and they stay in serious character throughout the performance. They show off their excellent footwork and strong lifts.

Bruno says Ty shows strength and determination like a Power Ranger and likes the dance but would like more subtlety. Carrie Ann commends Ty for coming so far in the competition, but says she saw a stumble and that he lacked breath in motion. Len believes they captured the flavor and essence of the dance, calling it their best dance ever.

Score: 25 (8,9,8)

Our next performance is a Waltz by Lil’Kim and Derek. Kim feels the pressure to stay on top, especially when everyone’s scores are so close together. Derek realizes that Kim struggles on the slow dances, because she’d rather be wild and just break out. He works on making her the complete ballroom package. Their waltz is full of beautiful spins and really nice extensions.

Carrie Ann thinks Kim needs to extend her hands more and saw some missteps. Len says he knows that the Waltz is hard for her to learn since it is such a pure ballroom dance. He also saw the missteps, but is shocked at the quality of their dance. Bruno says Kim is trying to be a lady, but she is more comfortable being a tramp. After boos and groans from the audience, he says of course he means that in the nicest way. He also believes Kim didn’t look as comfortable as she usually does.

Score: 25 (8,9,8)

Gilles and Cheryl are out next with the Foxtrot. Gilles knows that his scores have gone down a little in the last couple of weeks, and he wants to finish strong. Cheryl works on creating memorable dances to keep the audience happy. Gilles has some trouble keeping his head up the right way…he needs to come across as elegant, not arrogant. Cheryl takes him to the Emerald Ball so he can see what a perfect Foxtrot looks like. They perform a Foxtrot that is sexy yet remains elegant, complete with Gilles blowing a kiss to Carrie Ann.

Len says it was very musical and he enjoyed the interpretation, but Gilles needs to straighten his legs more often for the proper rise and fall of the dance. Bruno likes the great sense of theater, saying the dance is in a class of its own. Carrie Ann thinks Len is crazy, and that performances like this get you into the semifinals.

Score: 29 (10,9,10)

After Gilles and Cheryl receive their scores, we are shown a preview of tomorrow night’s results show…the latest installment of DanceCenter with Kenny Mayne.

Our final dance of the Ballroom round is a Viennese Waltz from Melissa and Tony. Melissa was very disappointed that she couldn’t dance last week because of her rib injury. The new treatment is working well; she still feels pain but it is manageable. Tony takes it slow with her to start so she doesn’t make the injury worse, then works with her on footwork because he knows Len is watching that closely. Their Viennese Waltz is sweet and elegant, complete with wonderful leg extensions and smooth turns.

Bruno calls Melissa an ethereal vision, saying that her balletic moves are great for a waltz. Carrie Ann praises Melissa’s fluidity and natural grace, but says she needs to work on her upper body. Len likes the romance and musicality, but is still not crazy about her feet.

Score: 27 (9,9,9)

Backstage, Melissa says pain management is the key. Tony states that he knows how important it is to Melissa to dance well so she doesn’t let down the fans who are supporting her.

Before we get to the Latin round, Tom announces that the three remaining pros in the pro dancer competition for next season will dance tomorrow night with celebrity partners who are former DWTS contestants. We watch clips of their rehearsals with the celebrities: Cody Linley, Maurice Greene, and Lisa Rinna.

Our pro dance group led by Louis Van Amstel comes back out to perform a Latin dance medley before our couples start their Latin round. We also see another segment with the judges telling us what the couples need to do to score well in their Latin dances.

Shawn and Mark come back out for their Paso Doble. Shawn is worried about her solo, and Mark gets her to focus on being intense and aggressive by telling her to put on her Olympic face. Shawn does a great solo at the beginning of the routine, and keeps the character and intensity throughout the dance. Their Paso is filled with strong movements.

Carrie Ann says they had a difficult song to dance to, but they delivered the drama and nailed it. Len likes Shawn’s solo and the twist turns, but says the dance is not overly exciting. Bruno tells Shawn she had the killer instinct. Shawn comes over and kisses Bruno, then kisses Len and Carrie Ann as well.

Score: 29 (10,9,10) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 56

Ty and Chelsie are up next with the Rumba. Chelsie tells Ty to let his pride and hard work show through the dance. Ty says he has his work cut out for him, but they will prove that they belong in the semifinals. They do a pretty good job with the quick turns in their Rumba, but the song is kind of fast for this particular type of dance. Ty looks a little nervous this time. The dance finishes with his solo, which he performs in right in front of his wife Jewel.

Len says they are charming and sweet, but in the first dance Ty was like a peacock and now he’s more like a feather duster. Bruno states that Ty is one of the most likable celebrities that have ever been on the show, but he just doesn’t have enough ability to go further. Carrie Ann wishes she could score them on the amount of improvement since the first week, but to her their dance was a little wooden.

Score: 21 (7,7,7) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 46

Our third Latin dance comes from Lil’Kim and Derek with the Salsa. Derek says that normally he doesn’t go for putting too many tricks into a routine, but he feels that they really have to bring it with this dance. Kim says she will bring the heat and shake her bionic booty for Bruno. They perform a strong, sassy Salsa with a lot of passion. The tricks Derek put in the dance are great, and Kim does an amazing solo.

Bruno says that Kim is in her element and her booty can do no wrong, but he did see a little mistake. Carrie Ann states that she has never seen a booty shake like that before. She likes their energy, but thinks it got a little out of control. Len calls the dance delicious, but agrees with Bruno about the mistake.

Score: 27 (9,9,9) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 52

Gilles and Cheryl bring us our second Rumba of the evening. Gilles says that his ultimate goal when he entered this competition was to be able to do the Rumba. Cheryl tells him the Latin lover in him needs to come out. He has a little trouble working on his solo, but Cheryl has him use his acting experience to get it right. Their dance starts with Gilles’ solo, which is very sexy. The entire dance is as well, with beautiful extensions and romantic moves.

Carrie Ann says that it was very hot, but the solo was a little odd for her and it looked like Gilles was trying too hard. Len calls the dance fantastic but agrees with Carrie Ann about the solo. Bruno likes the dance, saying it was very good but a bit uneven.

Score: 27 (9,9,9) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 56

Our last dance of the night is Melissa and Tony’s Samba. Melissa likes that it’s a fun, crazy party dance. Tony notices her struggling when switching from the V-Waltz to the Samba, and Melissa gets nervous about her solo. Their dance begins with Melissa’s solo, which she performs well with a lot of great hip action. There is a fun energy to their Samba, with a good bounce and beautiful Samba rolls. At the end of the dance, Melissa has to cover up her top with her hands because her costume begins to give way, but she handles it well.

Len states that Tony and Melissa should 100% be here next week. Bruno says their Samba is everything anyone would want and more, and he was happy to watch it. Carrie Ann says she is there to point out flaws…then states that it was flawless!

As they wait for their scores, Melissa gives a big shout out to their fans, thanking them for keeping her on. She was glad they danced well so they could prove how much they want to be there.

Score: 30 (10,10,10) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 57

Tony is excited, telling Samantha that he hasn’t seen scores like that since Season 2!

Our evening ends with a recap of all of the dances and a reminder to vote. No matter the scores, no one is safe…so please go vote for your favorites! Good night everybody!

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Dancing with the Stars 8: WriterMarie 426’s Recap

April 20, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Hello dance fans, and welcome to Dancing With The Stars – Week 7. Tonight our seven remaining couples will perform one of the dances they have not performed yet. It’s also the week for the group dance…60’s style.

The costumes look beautiful as the couples descend the stairs. These costumes the celebrities designed for this week are very impressive. Interestingly, Edyta is covered from her neck to her feet in fabric and fake fur.

Our first couple of the night is Melissa and Tony dancing the Argentine Tango. In practice, Tony focuses on Melissa being more aggressive. She gets nervous and wonders aloud why she questions everything so much, instead of just doing it. Tony takes Melissa to see where Desperate Housewives is filmed, and Teri Hatcher shows them around the set. Seeing where the sexy scenes of Desperate Housewives take place helps Melissa bring out her “inner man-eater”. Their tango is intense and sexy, with intricate leg movements and great lifts. They do a wonderful job of keeping in character throughout the dance.

Len says the dance is fantastic, and although he thought he saw a little blunder, he enjoyed the intricate steps and lifts, which are allowed in the Argentine Tango. Bruno disagrees about there being a mistake, saying that Melissa’s legs are like magic tools in the hands of a master. It was so hot for him that he thinks he needs a drink. Carrie Ann believes this is the best Argentine Tango she’s seen so far this season. She calls them the King and Queen of legal lifts.

Score: 29 (10,9,10)

After they receive their scores, Tony marvels at what a trouper Melissa has been this week while dealing with her badly bruised ribs.

Next up are Lawrence and Edyta with their Waltz. LT is nervous about needing to learn two dances this week, especially since he also is holding a golf tournament for his charity. He starts to teach Edyta some golf techniques, which makes her realize how hard it must be for him to learn dancing. She tries to get LT to look graceful and elegant, and she knows he will do his best because he is such a competitor. Their waltz is full of smooth movements, and Edyta casts off her long fur-trimmed coat to reveal a gorgeous blue evening gown. Some of the material from the gown gets caught around her face, causing the couple to make some mistakes.

Bruno says they got the romance right, comparing them to Dr. Zhivago. He thinks the dance was good but not brilliant. Carrie Ann notices more freedom in LT’s moves and likes that he was really enjoying himself. She also compliments him on his dress design for Edyta. Len says the dress might not have been that great, since it got wrapped around Edyta’s head. He appreciates the grace, elegance, and tenderness of their waltz, and is shocked at how well they danced.

As LT and Edyta go backstage, Tom announces that on tomorrow night’s results show the contest will begin to pick a new pro dancer to be on the next season of DWTS.

Score: 21 (7,7,7)

After Edyta is teased backstage about being so covered in fabric tonight, Tom states that the skimpier costumes Edyta’s been wearing all along are really for her own safety.

Our third couple tonight, Lil’Kim and Derek, are performing the Rumba. Derek works hard during rehearsal to tone down Kim’s natural sexiness, so it won’t be too over the top for the Rumba. He wants to balance sexiness with sweetness, which leaves him questioning his choreography while trying to please everyone. They perform a sexy, smooth, and romantic Rumba, ending with a breathtaking fan extension.

Carrie Ann says it was understated but also underwhelming, and believes that Kim should just let it rip on the dance floor. Len likes parts of the dance, but warns Kim and Derek not to worry about pleasing one particular person (meaning himself) and to do what they do best. Bruno says it was a good Rumba, but that Kim trying to be not as sexy is like a margarita without tequila.

Score: 26 (9,8,9)

Our next couple to dance is Chuck and Julianne, who are performing the Samba. During this week’s rehearsal, Chuck has a concert in Alabama, where he thanks his fans for voting for him and keeping him on the show. In the studio, Julianne decides to focus on technique, while Chuck says he will not let his fans down. They dance a fast-paced Samba, which is beautiful overall but a little stiff on the Samba rolls.

Len likes it a lot, saying it is their best dance to date. Bruno comments that Chuck was really working his butt and hips, and it was well done. Carrie Ann stands up and dances at her seat, and says they did a great job.

Score: 27 (9,9,9)

Ty and Chelsie are up next with their Waltz. Ty says at practice that no matter what he will always keep trying. It’s hard for him to get into the romance of the Waltz, since Chelsie is more like his adopted daughter. Chelsie brings Ty’s wife Jewel into the studio to help him with his romantic side. Jewel says that Ty is sincere and genuine, which equals romantic and sexy to her. Ty dedicates this Waltz to Jewel. They perform a very sweet and smooth waltz, which is more than can be said for the camera filming them. The camera becomes extremely unsteady during the dance, while Ty begins to look a little nervous toward the end.

Bruno believes they’ve made a big comeback…they are back in the game. Carrie Ann compliments Ty on his beautiful frame, good hold and posture. Len also likes the hold and posture, along with the rise and fall of the dance.

Score: 24 (8,8,8)

Shawn and Mark come out to dance their Cha-Cha. Shawn feels that she grew as as person last week performing the Rumba. She has a very busy week as well, flying to New York to accept the prestigious Sullivan Award, then on to Des Moines to accept another award. She feels the pressure, trying to fit in practice and getting overtired. Due to her schedule, she is not able to attend the group dance rehearsal. Mark and Shawn’s Cha-Cha is sexy with some great Michael Jackson moves thrown in, as they dance to PYT (Pretty Young Thing). It’s obvious that Shawn has become more comfortable with her flirty side.

Carrie Ann loves it, saying their flawless technique just came to life. Len says the Cha-Cha is a difficult dance, but they did it exactly as it should be done. Bruno calls Shawn a cheeky little devil, also complimenting their perfect technique and vibrant quality.

Score: 28 (9,9,10)

Our last couple on the floor tonight are Gilles and Cheryl, performing the Viennese Waltz. After last week, Gilles is determined to get back to the top of the leaderboard. Cheryl tries to bring out the calm side of Gilles, getting him to be “less Latin” and focus on the softness. She takes him to see a synchronized swimming coach, in order to get more fluid movement out of him. Gilles dances with the swim coach under water, then takes the lesson back to the studio for the Viennese Waltz. Their V-waltz is very smooth and romantic, with an intense middle segment to match the music. There is plenty of drama in their dance.

Len likes the way they worked the changes in their music, praising the rotation while advising them to work on the footwork. Bruno compares them to the movie Gigi, calling them glamorous yet still sexy. Carrie Ann calls Gilles the most graceful male dancer she’s ever seen, but tells him to still work a little bit on his posture.

Gilles and Cheryl head backstage to await their scores while Tom announces that there will be performances by Natasha Bedingfield and Celtic Woman on tomorrow night’s results show.

Score: 27 (9,9,9)

It is finally time for the group dance. First we are taken through rehearsal footage, where Mark uses a cardboard cutout of Shawn since she cannot be there. This group dance is choreographed by Christian Perry, who makes it a fun, mod 60’s experience. We even see Ty mess around with some hippie attire. Lil’Kim loves dancing on the go-go boxes, and everyone has a great time putting this dance together.

For this live performance, the judges will comment but they will not give scores. This dance will only be voted on by the audience at home. All of the ladies start out dancing on the stairs and go-go boxes, followed by the guys coming out and dancing in a geeky, silly way. There are great go-go moves and hand jives, and the couples all have their own signature moves which are performed well. Shawn does very well, especially considering that she wasn’t able to be at the rehearsal.

Bruno calls it fantastic fun. Carrie Ann says the boys were silly but the girls nailed it. Len likes the fun and energy, saying it reminds him of when he was twenty years old and went clubbing in London.

The evening ends with the dance recap and reminder to vote, and also a reminder of tomorrow night’s results show and pro dancer competition, where the home audience gets to decide which new pro will dance next season. Good night everybody!

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

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!

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Ballroom Dance Channel

Exclusive Interview: Randall Christensen, Costume Designer for ‘Dancing with the Stars’

March 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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You are going to LOVE this behind the scenes look at the costume department!

Exclusive Interview: Randall Christensen, Costume Designer for ‘Dancing with the Stars’.

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Ballroom Dance Channel

Dancing with the Stars 8: Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough

February 23, 2009 at 6:00 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hey Everyone,

We hope your weekend treated you well. Today’s profiled pairing is Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough. Don’t forget that you can learn like the stars at Ballroom Dance Channel. For under $10 a month, you can access all of our dances at the pace that works for you with our new All Access Pass. If you’d prefer to take your lessons on the go, try our apps in the ITunes Store.

Lil’ Kim was born July 11th, 1975. Her real name is Kimberly Denise Jones. She is perhaps best known for being one of the singers features in the 2001 version of Lady Marmalade for the movie Moulin Rouge, along with Christina Aguilera, Pink and Mya. She is also known for her wild fashion sense, particularly at awards shows.

DID YOU KNOW?

• Notorious BIG helped Lil’ Kim get her start.
• Former member of junior MAFIA
• Worked with Puff Daddy, Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat and Left Eye from TLC
• Modeled for Candies, Versace, Iceberg and Baby Phat
• Her album Norotious KIM was certified platinum
• Recorded an entrance theme for World Wrestling Entertainment Women’s Champion Trish Stratus
• Won two Source awards for her album La Bella Mafia
• Sang Can’t Hold Us Down with Christina Aguilera for her (Aguilera) album Stripped
• Other albums include The Naked Truth and The Dance Remixes

Derek Hough has been a fan favorite on Dancing With The Stars since he joined the show in season five. The May 17th 1985 born dancer attended and taught at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, something that helped build his career. He was also trained by Corky and Shirley Ballas in London, along with his sister Julianne.

DID YOU KNOW?

• Derek is also an actor, having appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and several theatrical performances, including Footloose, Chitty, Chitty Band Bang and Jesus Christ Superstar
• Is a part of the Ballas Hough Band (formerly known as Almost Amy) with fellow dancer Mark Ballas and is one of the lead vocalists and guitarists
• Was a panelist for Bruno Tonioli’s show Dance X
• Was partnered with Jennie Garth in season five and came in fourth
• Was Shannon Elizabeth’s partner in season six. They came in sixth place.
• Won with Brooke Burke in season seven.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE DANCE WORLD

• IDSF World Youth Latin Champion (2002) for Poland with Aneta Piotrowska.
• LA Outstanding Dancer of the Year
• New York Dance Alliance Outstanding Dance awards.

Dancing with the Stars 8: Female Celebs

February 21, 2009 at 11:28 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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More bonus pictures for you! We’ve been lucky enough to find the pictures of the pros and celebs in their costumes separately and thought we’d share the wealth! One of our wonderful members at Ballroom Dance Channel Social found these for us. Please join us for some great discussion about the show, we’d love to have you as a member!

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Belinda
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Denise
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Jewel
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Lil Kim
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Nancy
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Shawn
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Dancing with the Stars 8-Our Guesses at the Likely Pairings

February 10, 2009 at 8:41 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hey Everyone,

I don’t know anything official about the pairings other than what we shared with you yesterday, but I’ve taken a look at some past trends, and would like to offer some speculation where I can on who is likely to be paired together. Feel free to leave your guesses in the comments!

Our own Tony Dovolani is likely to have either Belinda C. or Nancy O’ Dell, as they are the two oldest contestants, and both match him well physically.

We know that Maksim Chemerkovskiy is paired with Denise Richards. Here is the video clip of their meeting yesterday on Good Morning America:

My guess is that Jewel will be paired with Alec Mazo, and her husband, Ty Murray, will be paired with Alec’s wife, Edyta Sliwinska. This creates the maximum drama for that head to head competition.

I think Derek Hough will be paired with Lil’ Kim, and his bandmate Mark Ballas will partner with Shawn Johnson.

As I told you yesterday, strong rumors indicate that Chuck Wicks will be paired with his real life lady love, Julianne Hough.

I think Karina Smirnoff will have Gilles Marini, and Kym Johnson will have Steve ”the Woz” Wozniak. Lacey Schwimmer could be paired with either David Alan Grier or Lawrence Taylor.

I know I have left a few couples out, but Cheryl Burke confirmed last week that there are two new pros. What we don’t know is who they are, or if it is one male and one female. The only real buzz I have heard about the whole thing other than Cheryl’s statement is that Chelsie Hightower from season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance is said to be one of those pros. Of course, we’ll carry the full list here on the Ballroom Dance Channel’s blog on Thursday as soon as the information is made public.

If you’d like to see how much you can learn from our pros in the same amount of time as these new dancing stars have, please swing by and see us at Ballroom Dance Channel. To take your lessons on the go, visit us at the Itunes App Store!

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Okay, first four celebs for real…

February 8, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars | Leave a comment
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Well, we are only into the first hour of this, and I already don’t like the way we’re being played. I just cannot stand these types of games, and my guess is that America will tire of it quickly too. I can’t wait to see the numbers for tonight’s shows, and I honestly hope that the Grammys on CBS trounces this stunt from ABC. Give your viewers some more credit than this, for Pete’s sake! Anyway, here are your first four contestants, with some brief information:

Nancy O’ Dell-Nancy O’Dell is a entertainment show hostess, currently on Access Hollywood. Nancy had a baby on June 11th, 2008. For more information and pictures, please visit her official website.

Lil’ Kim- Lil’ Kim is a rapper/entertainer, primarily known for a stint in jail, unfortunately. You can find information on Lil’ Kim, although not recent info, on her website.

Lawrence Taylor-Looks like the rumor is true. Ashton Kutcher revealed this one last week on Twitter. Lawrence Taylor is a former NFL player, most known for playing with the New York Giants. LT does not appear to have an official website, but you can find some information on him at ESPN.

The last of the first set of contestants is Steve-O, formerly of MTV’s Jackass. For more information on Steve-O, please visit his website, but be aware that it may not be family friendly.

I’ll be back with the next batch as soon as the information is released!

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Ballroom Dance Channel

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