DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25, FALL 2017, WEEK 7

DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25, FALL 2017, WEEK 7 Dear DWTS Fans:  Thank you for enjoying our blog!   Welcome to Week 7 of Season 25–Monday, October 30, 2017! Tom and Erin hosted. Carrie Ann Inaba (CAI), Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli judged.  It’s Halloween Night!   THE CURRENT CAST:  “Property Brothers” Drew Scott & pro Emma Slater (1-800-868-3404) Retired NFL Receiver Terrell Owens & pro Cheryl Burke* (1-800-868-3411) Vanessa Lachey & pro Maks Chmerkovskiy (1-800-868-3412) WWE Wrestler Nikki Bella & pro Artem Chigvintsev (1-800-868-3409) Actor/Singer/Dancer Jordan Fisher & pro Lindsay Arnold (1-800-868-3406) Former Paralympic Swimmer Victoria Arlen & pro Val Chmerkovskiy (1-800-868-3413) Actor Frankie Muniz (formerly “Malcolm”) & pro Witney Carson (1-800-868-3405) Electronic Violinist Lindsey Stirling & pro Mark Ballas* (1-800-868-3407) *(2-Time MBT winner) The Possible Ballroom & Latin Dances: Foxtrot, Quickstep, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Argentine Tango, Jive, Jazz, Charleston, Contemporary; Cha-Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Paso Doble.    “Learn the dance, learn the steps, then learn the character of it.” — Len Goodman Mon., Oct. 30, 2017:   Pros and troupe opened, dancing in scary getup. FIRST DANCE Victoria + Val: Viennese Waltz (“The Night We Met,” Lord Huron)      Judges: 9.  Me: 9.  Graceful, smooth, flowing, very pretty in beautiful attire; great hold/close connection and finished/graceful arms/hands.  She’s due for:  Waltz, Arg. Tango, Jive, Jazz, Contemporary; Samba, Salsa, Rumba.   2.  Jordan + Lindsay: Paso Doblé (“Animals,” Martin Garrix)             Judges: 10. Me: 10. An untraditional but creatively cool and impressive Paso that contained all expected aggressive, large, rounded movements.   Outstanding choreo, Lindsay! Loved it! In the pre-dance package, Lindsay said that Mark Ballas taught her to dance when she was a little girl. He’s due for:  Quickstep, Waltz, Arg. Tango, Jive, Jazz; Cha-Cha, Samba, Salsa.   Nikki + Artem: Jive (“I Put a Spell on You,” Bette Midler [“Hocus Pocus”]). Judges: 8.  Me: 8. A cute coffee-shop routine that was pretty good. Not quite as energetic, exciting, and musically connected (Nikki) as it could have been; kicks/flicks could have been even sharper, and they should have included traditional sideways and backwards kicks. She’s due for:  Foxtrot, Quickstep, Charleston, Cha-Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Paso Doble.   Vanessa + Maks: Paso Doblé (“Game of Survival,” Ruelle)               Judges: 8  Me: 8.5. Maks moved marvelously, and Vanessa did pretty well while being mauled by zombies (including Maks). They had fun, but Vanessa’s Paso lacked sufficient expected large and rounded movements (it was aggressive, though). She’s due for:  Vien. Waltz, Tango, Arg. Tango, Jive, Charleston, Contemp.; Samba, Salsa. Terrell + Cheryl: Tango...

WRITING: DANGLING MODIFIERS October 24, 2017

WRITING:  DANGLING MODIFIERS                  October 24, 2017 Another common problem in writing and grammar concerns modifiers that don’t modify clearly or at all. Dangling and misplaced modifiers can leave your reader confused and calling you for clarifications. This week, we’ll discuss dangling modifiers and use an example so that we can learn to put these modifiers in their place. (Another time, we’ll supply a similar treatment about misplaced modifiers–with explanations, examples, and fixes included.) A dangling modifier usually appears at the beginning of a sentence. At first glance it may seem to modify the word/words that follow it; a thorough read, though, will prove otherwise. Unlike some transitions, dangling modifiers can’t be “fixed” by moving them elsewhere in the sentence because no matter where they’re located they can’t adequately modify anything in the sentence. The fix: Either eliminate the modifier or rewrite the sentence. The problematic sentence: Tarnished beyond repair, I threw away my favorite vase. The problem: (Who or what was tarnished, the narrator, or the vase?) Fix #1 eliminates the modifier: I threw away my favorite vase. Fix #2 rewrites the sentence: I threw away my favorite vase; it was tarnished beyond repair. I threw away my favorite vase because it was tarnished beyond repair. Because my favorite vase was tarnished beyond repair, I threw it away. I threw away my favorite vase, tarnished beyond repair. As you can tell, modifiers play a key role in writing for reader comprehension.  To communicate clearly, first construct the sentence logically in your mind; then, write it down. Later, proofread your piece objectively to be sure that your message is clear for your reader to understand. If you follow these steps faithfully, you’ll never leave your readers “dangling” again. Many lessons and bits of advice in this writing/grammar series have been taken from Writestyle’s online campus of courses covering Grammar, Punctuation, Proofreading, and Editing.  If you need help, we’re here for you.      ...

DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25, FALL 2017, WEEK 6

DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25, FALL 2017, WEEK 6 Dear DWTS Fans:  Thank you for enjoying our blog and referring others! Welcome to Week 6 of Season 25–Monday, October 23, 2017! Tom and Erin hosted. Carrie Ann Inaba (CAI), Len Goodman, guest judge singer Shania Twain, and Bruno Tonioli judged.  It’s Movie Night!  Let’s see how many we recognize/remember and how well they do in their dancing.   THE CURRENT CAST:  “Property Brothers” Drew Scott & pro Emma Slater (1-800-868-3404) Retired NFL Receiver Terrell Owens & pro Cheryl Burke* (1-800-868-3411) Vanessa Lachey & pro Maks Chmerkovskiy (1-800-868-3412) WWE Wrestler Nikki Bella & pro Artem Chigvintsev (1-800-868-3409) Actor/Singer/Dancer Jordan Fisher & pro Lindsay Arnold (1-800-868-3406) Former Paralympic Swimmer Victoria Arlen & pro Val Chmerkovskiy (1-800-868-3413) Actor Frankie Muniz (formerly “Malcolm”) & pro Witney Carson (1-800-868-3405) Electronic Violinist Lindsey Stirling & pro Mark Ballas* (1-800-868-3407) Singer/Actor Nick Lachey & pro Peta Murgatroyd (1-800-868-3408) *(2-Time MBT winner) The Possible Ballroom & Latin Dances: Foxtrot, Quickstep, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Argentine Tango, Jive, Jazz, Charleston, Contemporary; Cha-Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Paso Doble.    “Learn the dance, learn the steps, then learn the character of it.” — Len Goodman   Mon., Oct. 23, 2017:  Val opened as a rookie screenwriter finishing, offering, and getting his screenplay accepted and produced.  “Hooray for Hollywood!” had the whole team dancing. Nikki + Artem: Arg. Tango (“Derniere Danse,”  Indila [Foreign]).    Judges:  9,9,9,9.  Me 9. Proper, intense, sharp but also flowing and smooth and elegant dancing; excellent arm/handwork, legwork, lifts/spins.  Very-good choreo, Artem! She’s due for:  Foxtrot, Quickstep, Jive, Charleston, Cha-Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Paso Doble.   Drew + Emma: Paso Doble (“Legend,” The Score [Action]).             Judges:  7,7,9.7.  Me 8. They incorporated Drew’s years as an expert in karate into a highly physical and explosive dance. Intense/dramatic and exciting, but a bit awkward at times and lacked certain traditional Paso movements sufficiently. He’s due for:  Waltz, Tango, Jazz, Charleston, Contemporary; Cha-Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba.   Nick + Peta: Samba (“Wild Wild West,” Hill/Smith/Dee [Western]). Judges:  7,6,7,6.  Me 7. He worked hard and gave a pretty-good performance, with his solo moves being better than some of those with Peta. He’s done as much as he can folks; it won’t get any better for him. Still work on technique, exact footwork, and overall looseness, esp. in the hips. He’s due for:  Waltz, Vien. Waltz, Tango, Arg. Tango, Jive, Charleston; Salsa, Rumba, Paso Doble.   Victoria + Val: Paso Doble (“We Will Rock You,”  Queen [Sports]).    Judges: 8,8,7,8.  Me 8. A...

DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25, FALL 2017, WEEK 5

DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25, FALL 2017, WEEK 5 Dear DWTS Fans:  Thank you for enjoying our blog and for your patience while we enter another large round of signups into the database.  Welcome to Week 5 of Season 25–Monday, October 16, 2017! Tom and Erin hosted. Carrie Ann Inaba (CAI), Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli judged, assisted at times by Kermit the Frog.  It’s Disney Week–Magical and Fun!  Historically speaking, we expect to be treated to some high-quality dancing on such a night, and we hope for matching, deserving scores.   THE CURRENT CAST:  “Property Brothers’” real-estate expert Drew Scott & pro Emma Slater Retired NFL Receiver Terrell Owens & pro Cheryl Burke (2-Time MBT winner) Vanessa (Minillo) Lachey (Nick’s wife) & pro Maks Chmerkovskiy WWE Wrestler Nikki Bella & pro Artem Chigvintsev Actor/Singer/Dancer Jordan Fisher (Disney, “Hamilton”) & pro Lindsay Arnold Former Paralympic Swimmer Victoria Arlen & pro Val Chmerkovskiy Actor Frankie Muniz (formerly “Malcolm in the Middle”) & pro Witney Carson Electronic Violinist Lindsey Stirling & pro Mark Ballas (2-Time MBT winner) Actress Sasha Pieterse (“Pretty Little Liars”) & pro Gleb Savchenko Singer/Actor/“98 Degrees” boy-band member Nick Lachey & pro Peta Murgatroyd   The Ballroom & Latin Dances: Foxtrot, Quickstep, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Argentine Tango, Jive, Jazz, Charleston, Contemporary; Cha-Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Paso Doble. “Learn the dance, learn the steps, then learn the character of it.” — Len Goodman Mon., Oct. 16, 2017: Jenna and Artem opened an elegant dance, then were joined by all other pros, to “It’s a Small, Small World.”  The tempo was then upped majorly and gowns were ripped off, down to short costumes, as the  dance continued, with celebs joining their pro partners.  We were told that Mickey Mouse debuted in a movie in 1928, and the Victoria/Val duo opened the competition by showing it in their dance.   Victoria Arlen and Val                         (1-800-868-3413) Charleston (“Steamboat Willie,” from “Steamboat Willie”).                Judges: 9-9-9.  Me 9. Very cute with them as cats, fun, celebratory, in true Disney style and showing Disney history for all children, even the ones who are now grown.  Excellent and very enjoyable! She’s due for:  Waltz, Argentine Tango, Viennese Waltz, Jive, Jazz, Contemporary; Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Paso Doble.   Vanessa Lachey and Maks (1-800-868-3412) Waltz (“Un Jour Mon Prince Viendra,” from “Snow White”).                Judges 8-8-8.  Me 9. The dwarfs are adorable!  Loved Maks’s period suit!  Their dance was captivating, elegant, smooth, beautiful, touching, understated, and soothing. She must perfect balance in...

WRITING: THE 5 W’s October 13, 2017

WRITING:  THE 5 W’s                                                                   October 13, 2017 We’re constantly reading and writing, aren’t we?  Even if we aren’t, someone else is, and we want all necessary key elements to be included in the story.  You’ve probably noticed that in writing, nearly every newspaper story tells who did the what, as well as when, where, why and how he/she did it (unless some details are not yet available to law-enforcement personnel or they cannot be released to the public until after next of kin have been notified).  Those “W” key elements are known as the 5 W’s of journalism, with “how” sometimes included, too.  The same basics hold true for other story forms, too, whether nonfiction (true) or fiction (not true).  The game of “Clue” is a good example. Who:  especially the protagonist/main character.  Miss Plum? What:  a key part of the story’s plot.  What happened? When:  daytime? Nighttime? Between 4 and 6 a.m.? Where:  the setting for a story or a scene in a story/an article, a short story, a poem, a book.  In the drawing room? Why:  motive.  Because his partner had embezzled all of their joint funds? How:  With a gun? A knife? A candlestick? If you don’t have the 5 W’s in your story, you don’t have a complete story.   Not having a complete story gives a bad impression of your writing of that particular piece and can cause readers to question your credibility as a writer across the board.  It also causes inconvenience and extra use of time for readers who need the rest of the facts right now and for you if you’re going back in to fix/finish the story.  Always double-check that you have answered these questions fully and clearly for readers.   Many lessons and bits of advice in this writing/grammar series have been taken from Writestyle’s online campus of courses covering Grammar, Punctuation, Proofreading, and Editing.  If you need help, we’re here for you.      ...

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