Ballroom Dance

DWTS Val Chmerkovskiy, CBS & Photographer Being Sued for Millions

Posted by on Feb 2nd, 2016 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

NEWS: http://www.people.com/article/dancing-stars-val-chmerkovskiy-sued-posting-meme-mocking-girl “Val Chmerkovskiy Sued for Allegedly Posting Meme Mocking Girl with Down Syndrome Posted: 01 Feb 2016 09:46 PM PST People is reporting that a family is suing Dancing With The Stars pro Val Chmerkovskiy and CBS. Below is more detail from the People article… A family is suing Val Chmerkovskiy for allegedly sharing a meme that mocks their daughter, who has Down syndrome. According to the lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE, Chmerkovskiy shared a meme of the girl, which includes a photo of her drinking a soda along with the text, “Letting your kid become obese should be considered child abuse.” The lawsuit claims the photo was taken in June 2008 while the girl was at a baseball game without the family’s knowledge. The photographer allegedly posted the photo soon after on his Flickr account with the text, “Everything that’s wrong with America.” The photo eventually became a meme in 2014, and the lawsuit claims that the Dancing with the Stars pro, 29, helped it go viral when he allegedly shared it on his Facebook page in January. The lawsuit says the meme also appeared on cbsnews.com, and is naming CBS as a defendant, as well as the original photographer. “Although we have not yet been served a copy of the complaint, we have removed the photo in question from a gallery that was published in 2011,” a rep for CBS told PEOPLE in a statement. To read more, see People.”   VICKIE’S REACTION: Val merely attempted to promote good health and did not know that the girl has Down Syndrome. Of his own accord three days later he removed the comment.  He’s very much into good health for everyone, especially for children so that they’ll have a fair chance at a bright future. The girl’s family is suing the photographer, CBS, and Val for something like $6 million each, according to what I heard, and something was said about the possibility of settling out of court for at least a few hundred thousand dollars. Seriously? How ridiculous is all that?  If anyone could really be somewhat at fault here, it might be the photographer—but not to such an exaggerated degree.  This is just another frivolous lawsuit.  I suggest that the girl’s parents and their attorney(s) should step back and try to take an objective view of how their actions are representing them; the view from out here is that they are ridiculous, unreasonable, and disgustingly greedy—off the charts.  I also recommend that they should remember and invoke the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  ’Nuf...

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Dancing With The Stars Live! “Dance All Night Tour,” News, Rumors

Posted by on Feb 1st, 2016 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing With The Stars Live! “Dance All Night Tour” This posting covers news from mainly December and January. My Christmas gift from my family was two tickets and VIP passes to the Live! “Dance All Night” tour performance in Cincinnati for last Sunday, January 24. OMG! I was totally surprised. How wonderful! How exciting! How lucky I am!   On the tour: Pros: Val, Peta, Keo, Sharna, Lindsay, Emma. Troupe: Brittany Cherry, Jenna Johnson, Alan Bersten, Paul Barris, Julz Tocker Special Guest Star: Alek Skarlatos Dances Star and are Choreographed by: The Pros, Alan, Jenna, and Brittany Cherry   VIP ROOM, BEFORE THE SHOW: A repeating video ran of the dancers rehearsing, teaching certain dance moves to viewers, informing us of other tidbits, etc. On the video Emma says that with partners, whether young or much older, it’s all about retaining what she’s teaching and being willing to put yourself out there. To me, Emma and Sharna are always especially engaging. Jenna Johnson: Our first photo opp that day. VIPs’ photos, whether alone or with Jenna, were taken in front of a green wall and then superimposed onto a DWTS set. “I’m Jenna,” she said, offering her hand for a shake. I said, “We know who YOU are, sweetie. I’m Vickie and this is my husband, Bill.” Very sweet and cute. Live! dance captain. Comes across as being confident and strong. This is her second tour. Alan Bersten: Our second photo opp. Walked around the room in loose pants, tennis shoes, a baseball cap turned backwards, and a sleeveless shirt that revealed bulging biceps. Comfortable in any setting and genuinely sweet, like “the boy next door.” Spent two hours in the VIP room talking with fans, taking countless photos with fans (adults and children) and with Jenna in regular and dance-style poses. Was interested in my book, “Dancing in the Stars: Carroll Webster, International Dance Luminary of Vaudeville & Hollywood,” which I was autographing for the dancers, and said he wants to read it. He’s had two seasons in the pro troupe, and this is his second time on tour. For our third photo opp in the VIP area, we were told that photos would be available with four of the pros and that we could choose to have a photo with one or any number of them. My hubby and I agreed that we should be photo’d with all of them. When our turn came I left two copies of my book on the designated table just outside the large partitioned-off photo area. I stepped around the partition and there they were! Seeing Alek, Val, Emma and Keo (right to left), I kind of squealed and did a few jumpy steps toward them. Val stepped out of the group, put his arms around me and took me into a series of spins with him. Somehow I didn’t get dizzy, and then he and I took the few steps to join the group. I quickly hugged Alek, then Emma and finally Keo, greeting each by name, before Val placed me to his left between him and Alek, with Alek on the far right of the group. While that was going on, my hubby placed himself between Keo and Emma, on the left side of the group. I quickly told...

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Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 11, The Finals, Analysis:

Posted by on Nov 25th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 11, The Finals, Analysis:   NIGHT 1:  Monday, November 23 THE FINALS Night on Dancing with the Stars!  The 4 remaining celebs are Nick, Bindi, Carlos, and Alek.  Surely, fabulous routines are planned for us.  The show opened to Meghan Trainor singing, joined by some pros and troupe members in a peppy routine.  Tom and Erin hosted.  Great entertainment coming tonight by each celeb doing two dances, the second of which is the freestyle.  And we all know the freestyle can be important; some still say it’s the critical make-it-or-break-it factor while others say it isn’t as heavy an influence as it used to be.   FIRST, THE “TRADITIONAL” DANCE:   Carlos PeneVega: Foxtrot. Judges’ score 10. My score 9. His first foxtrot was in week 2 and earned 8’s.  Bruno coached Carlos to prep for this one.  It was nicely done–sexy, dramatic, his arms looked good, and his footwork was good, but it contained little traditional foxtrot, which, in my opinion, does not warrant a 10.   Alek Skarlatos: Rhumba. Judges’ score 9. My score 9. His first rhumba was in week 5 and earned mostly 7’s.  Carrie Ann rather sternly coached him to prepare and improve this time.  Alek’s arms and hands were very graceful, and his dancing was smooth.  He truly has come a long way!  For me, two disappointments, though.  First, he showed only the most-minimal hip movement, and we all know that the rhumba requires mucho sexy hip action.  Second, the content was surprisingly untraditional.  Hence, why he didn’t earn 10’s.  Still, though, it was a beautiful dance.   Meghan Trainor’s second song, at this point, was accompanied by Peta and Artem dancing.   Nick Carter: Jive. Judges’ scores 10. My score 10. His first jive was in week 2 and earned all 7’s.  Julianne coached him to improve for his final jive.  It was sexy, charismatic, sharp/crisp, fun, heart-pumping, exciting, and truly entertaining.  I wanted to see more.  The incredible chemistry continued between him and Sharna.   Bindi Irwin: Quickstep. Judges’ score 10. My score 10. Her first quickstep was in week 3 and earned all 8’s.  This time she was coached by Carrie Ann.  It was so fast and demanding, intricate and difficult and precise, but also graceful and even fun.  Wow!  Julianne called Bindi “the Energizer bunny.”   Bindi’s dance was followed by a song called “Boys Like You,” which was performed by Meghan Trainor, Ariana Grande, and a male whose name I couldn’t get (sorry).   THE FREESTYLE: I believe that the freestyle should incorporate dancing that the candidates have learned during the season. However, history has taught us to expect anything and everything.   Carlos:                          Judges’ score 10. My score 9. He and Witney chose a hip-hop/salsa combo, although I remember seeing little salsa.  It began with lights on their foreheads and in their hands (assisted by other dancers with same), which I liked.  It was demanding, intricate, and extremely physical, and it appeared to be liberating.  This creative party briefly included Paula, Hayes, and Alexa at one point.  They performed it well, but I did not care for it.   Alek: Judges’ score 10. My score 10. Alek and Lindsay, aided by several other dancers, did a military-related routine that contained...

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Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 10 Analysis:

Posted by on Nov 17th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 10 Analysis: Monday, November 16 Semifinals Night on Dancing with the Stars!  And then there were 4!  The show opened to the pros Val, Lindsay, Sharna, Derek, and Witney dancing in a simple routine.  Tom and Erin hosted.  The celebs’ individual dances concerned former personal struggles in their lives (Nick’s was drug addiction as a teenager resulting from troubles in his family, Bindi’s was about dealing with her father’s death, and I don’t remember Carlos’s except that he said, as he has before, that God gets him through everything).  Afterward, there was a dance-off and finally a trio round, all of which brought some great dancing.  Three dances this week–that’s a lot to learn and a lot of commitment to truly hard work!   Bindi Irwin: Salsa. Judges’ score 10?. My score 9. Of course, Bindi was all in.  Very exciting, happy, festive, and fun.  Her spotted turns were fab.  However, I saw too many well-done lifts when I should have seen more traditional salsa dancing.   Alek Skarlatos: Waltz. Judges’ score 10. My score 9.5. It was gorgeous, graceful, smooth, and very impressive.  Kudos to Lindsay on the choreography this week, except that, in my opinion, they should have spent more time in hold; hence, I’ve deducted a half point.  Alek really has become a good dancer, and they should show him off as such by consistently giving him plenty of dancing to do instead of sometimes mostly using him as a support while Lindsay dances around him (that really irks me!).  Fabulous job this week, but will the perfect-10 put a target on his back?   Carlos PeneVega: Contemporary. Judges’ score 10. My score 9. Very physical, dramatic (physically and facially).  Excellent moves, lifts, jumps/catches, etc.  I liked it, but it wasn’t as good as the one Alexa and Mark did last week, which was breathtaking and definitely memorable.   Nick Carter: Tango. Judges’ scores 8. My score 8. Nick made a few mistakes–nothing huge–but overcame them smoothly, for the most part.  Still incredible chemistry between him and Sharna.  Well done.   Jenna and Val did a full dance by themselves.  Steamy!  Loved it!   THE DANCE-OFF: 3 extra points to the winner(s).    Alek/Lindsay versus Carlos/Witney in a Cha-cha: Although Alex did well, he was clearly outdone by Carlos in stronger dancing that contained more/many excellent traditional cha-cha hip/foot movements.  But Alek is always so genuinely sweet, has a positive attitude, and gives his all, despite having had no former dance training–WYSIWYG.        Judges: Carlos. Me: Carlos.   Bindi/Derek versus Nick/Sharna in a Samba. Nick did pretty well, but it really was no contest; a no-brainer, considering Derek’s content and Bindi’s samba rolls.                   Judges: Bindi. Me: Bindi.   THE TRIO DANCE: Bindi/Derek with Derek’s longtime best-bud Mark in a Jazz(/Contemporary) that incorporated an open cube and a thick rope with a light on the end. Light of life!  Ingeniously choreoed and executed! Another possible Emmy nod.                                                                     Judges’ score 10. My score 10.   Alek/Lindsay with Emma in an Argentine Tango. Very well done, although I wanted to see, and it should have had, more 1-on-1 guy/girl face-time tango.                         Judges’ score 9. My score 9.   3.  Carlos/Witney with Karina in a Charleston. Cute, fun, mostly in sync; sharp, tight, correct....

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Dancing in the Stars Biography . . . and a Rhyming Picture Book, Too!

Posted by on Nov 12th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Children's Books | 0 comments

“The smile is the dance of the face.  Dance is the smile of the body.”  My father certainly embodied that motto during his dance career. 5 STARS on Amazon! My book, “Dancing in the Stars: Carroll Webster—International Dance Luminary of Vaudeville & Hollywood,” has received 5-star reviews on Amazon.  It’s the biographical story of my handsome father, Carroll Webster, as a professional ballroom dancer in the 1930s and 1940s.  You can travel with him from the dance marathons–where he started with comedian Red Skelton and singer Tony Martin–to Vaudeville and the Golden Age of Hollywood.  The book is a dance career, a love story, comedy and drama, history and mystery while revealing dancers’ struggles and successes both along the way and at the hills of Hollywood.  It also shows how dancing changes the lives of many people and shapes their history as they contribute to dance and history.  Available at www.createspace.com/5311269.   In addition, my rhyming picture book is out, for kids 0 to 101 but best targeted to ages 3-7.  “My Child, I’ll Still Be Loving You” shows in love and fun that the parent-child bond can overcome anything.  In the process it has teachable moments such as the real vs. the imaginary, animals, colors, counting, time, rhyme and alliteration, and more.  People wherever I go, including to classrooms in nearby schools, call the book “adorable” and educational.  Available at www.createspace.com/5714110.   Please consider buying either book as the perfect gift for a loved one or another on your shopping list.  If you want to buy in bulk, contact me and I’ll arrange an appreciable discount for you.  Thank you so...

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Dancing with the Stars News Flash! November, 12, 2015

Posted by on Nov 12th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing with the Stars News Flash!  November, 12, 2015   As you all know, despite doctors’ wishes that she stay at the hospital to treat her pneumonia, Tamar returned to the DWTS studio in the nick of time Monday evening and participated in her team’s dance to avoid elimination from the competition based on illness. Much has happened since then and immediately afterward, when Alexa was voted out.  It’s been said that Tamar went back to the hospital and was told not only that she does not actually have pneumonia but also that what she does have in her lungs is much worse.  She has blood clots in her lungs!  As you also may know, blood clots can break loose at any time from any location and cause a quick death.  The result:  Tamar has withdrawn from the competition and is making her health her priority.  Each morning she’s grateful to be alive!  Prayers that this strong, talented young woman will make it through this terrible obstacle! During the past two weeks, the frequent airing of her rehearsal-package claim that she was the best dancer on the floor brought negative reactions from others and put even more stress on her, which didn’t help matters, either.  She was already sick and didn’t deserve that, too; instead, she deserved consideration and better treatment across the board. Also as a direct result, rumors have surfaced that the show’s producers may find a way to reinstate Alexa as a contestant, even though America voted her off before she gave back-to-back perfect-10 performances this week.  Otherwise, maybe the producers will not eliminate any other celebs next Monday, or maybe they will eliminate one and then have the remaining four in the finale—even though I’d prefer the old way of having only two or three.  For all we know, they could come up with another scenario, too.   We’ll watch and find out, won’t...

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Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 9 Analysis:

Posted by on Nov 11th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 9 Analysis:   Monday, November 9 Showstopper Night on Dancing with the Stars! And then there were 6!  The show opened straight to the introduction of the couples.  Tom and Erin hosted.  The celebs danced about personal experiences (although the only topic I can recall was Alexa’s), devoting about 30 seconds to dancing without their respective pros.  Afterward, three sets of two couples competed in showstopper performances.  How they can master so much in one week or less is amazing.   Alek Skarlatos: Salsa. Judges’ score 8. My score 8. Does it seem to you as though the judges sometimes pick on him? They rarely score him as high as they should.  However, this week the scores are accurate.  The problem appeared to be with Lindsay’s choreography.  I can’t imagine that he would refuse to do the appropriate hip action, so I have to blame either Lindsay or the producers.  What was up with that?!  She gave him very little salsa hip work to do, so we saw him do little.  Instead, she or the producers mostly had him just physically supporting her while she danced and sort of posing with her and two other girls (Jenna and Brittany, if I recall correctly–sorry, I was so shocked by the lousy choreography) around him.  What was that about?  There was no real reason to have the other girls involved; traditionally that’s done only when a contestant has little dance skill.  But Alek is actually a good dancer, so get with the program and show him off consistently, DWTS! (And I don’t mean extensive footage of chest-waxing.) Alek is a sweet guy who has genuine dance skills–he deserves much better treatment than this! I’m ashamed of how he was treated this week.   Alexa PenaVega: Contemporary.     Judges’ score 10. My score 11! Mark produced an amazingly creative, breathtakingly ingenious, and absolutely stellar dance to represent Alexa’s former battle with bulimia, an eating disorder that resulted when she was a child actress after a director/producer told her she was fat (when she didn’t really appear to be). How terrible for her!  The dance was intense and dramatic and bold, to say the least.  An open window with sheer honesty to the level of pain she endured.  From the core to the core!  WOW!  Julianne said “Raw.”  Right on!  I held my breath for a second, then turned to my husband and said, “Look how Mark did that with her fighting off the bulimia!  OMG!  That was fabulous!”  I loved it and would love to see it again and again.  The dance of the night! Mark should be nominated to receive an Emmy for this one!   Carlos PeneVega: Argentine Tango. Judges’ score 9. My score 8.5. This dance was mostly traditional, with good posture, drama, and sharp flicks; often seemed to be more intense when they were apart than when together. A tad too busy at times (I prefer a traditional, smoother flow), but well done.  I liked I pretty well.   Bindi Irwin: Viennese Waltz. Judges’ score 10. My score 10. Beautifully and gracefully expressive. Daring moves with full trust. I couldn’t look away–it was gorgeous!  She’s adorable and so talented! I don’t understand, though, why producers decided to show Derek having trouble...

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Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 8 Analysis:

Posted by on Nov 3rd, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 8 Analysis:   Monday, November 2 It was a fast opener featuring all pros in flashy footwork to blast off Week 8 of Dancing with the Stars. Then another fast tune introduced the celebs, accompanied by their pros, to present Tribute Week to the heroes who inspire them.  Erin returned to co-host after covering the World Series.  We were reminded that after the individual couples’ performances, one couple’s scores would earn them 3 extra points, as well as immunity from elimination and from the following dance-off that would be held between sets of two couples.   Carlos PeneVega: Salsa. Judges’ score 9. My score 9. His hero is singer Marc Anthony, whom he consulted for tips toward doing an appropriate salsa. It was continuous and rhythmic with good hip action and arm movements.  He lifted Witney at least three times, even high over his head and another midway with a well-done turn. I liked it a lot.   Alek Skarlatos: Contemporary. Judges’ scores 9-8-8. My score 8.5. These are the same scores that the judges and I gave him last week. Alek’s hero is Mr. Chris Kyle, the real “American Sniper.”  What an athletic dance with many well-done lifts!  Again, he was a strong leading man in a dance-story that was powerful yet graceful, heart-pulling, and truly lovely.  Again, he stayed in sync with Lindsay throughout.  A pleasure to watch!   Andy Grammer: Viennese Waltz. Judges’ scores 8-7-7. My score 7.5. Andy honored his hero, his deceased mom, through the music of Stevie Wonder, which has always brought him joy. And joyous the dance was, as he and Allison flowed continuously and gracefully through many connected and unconnected large, wide, open arm movements, waltzing in and out of the traditional hold.  As lovely and loving as the dance was, Andy’s posture and technique were off to some extent, which the judges discussed with him afterward, and I would have preferred more dancing in hold.   Alexa PenaVega: Argentine Tango.     Judges’ scores 9-8-8. My score 8. Talk about an untraditional tune for an argentine tango! Alexa’s hero is David, vs. Goliath, from the Bible.  It was intense, bold, and dramatic, a good representation of her faith.  Well done despite a few ‘hiccups.’   Nick Carter: Contemporary. Judges’ score 10! My score 10! Nick’s hero is his wife, Lauren, who is now 16 weeks pregnant after their years of trying to get pregnant and even losing one child. His contemporary dance with Sharna was beautiful, gracefully and emotionally expressive but controlled in a lovely, continuous story.  Even though the beauty, meaning, and vulnerability of it made me cry, I could have watched them for the rest of the evening.  For me, the dance of the night!   Bindi Irwin: Foxtrot. Judges’ scores 10-9-9. My score 9.5. Her hero is the long-departed actress and (later) princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly. Her dance was elegant, accurate, beautiful, and yet even fun.  She’s so happy and fun that she makes nearly everything around her fun.  As good as it was, some undefined element kept me from assigning a perfect 10.   Tamar Braxton: Paso Doble. Judges’ scores 9-9-10. My score 9.5. Tamar’s hero is her older sister, singer Toni Braxton. In this demonstrative dance, Tamar showed...

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Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 7 Analysis:

Posted by on Oct 27th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 7 Analysis: Monday, October 26 The pros and the celebs opened in their costumes for their first dance together to promote “Halloween Week” on Week 7 of Dancing With The Stars! Leah filled in again for Erin.  We were reminded that the second dance would be a competition between two evenly numbered teams and that Derek had yet to lose a team dance.  At some point, Tom mentioned the DWTS Live—Dance All Night Tour, which will run from December 15 through February 14. I checked out that tour online; in a few cities they’ll do both a matinee and an evening show—for age 19 and up, which seems to validate Val’s hint that the costumes are, shall we say, interesting.   Nick Carter: Arg. Tango. Judges’ scores 8. My score 8. He did a good, basic dance, mostly correct. I think he was in his head too much, though, thinking about what to do next.  The dance had too much spinning of Sharna in lifts, no sharp kicks, and not the level of drama that we expect in a tango.  His bum was out a bit at times, too.  He’s a really nice guy who works very hard.  Too bad this week wasn’t as good as last week.   Hayes Grier: Slow Waltz. Judges’ scores 8-9-9. My score 8.5. Dressed as a gent, Hayes correctly presented large/open upper-body and arm movements along with pretty lines and graceful, expressive hands. Nice job.   Alexa PenaVega: Paso Doble. Judges’ scores 9. My score 9. The paso is always exciting, especially when performed to Spanish music, as this one was. Alexa brought large, long, open movements; graceful hands; sharp and correct posture and movements.  I liked it a lot.   Tamar Braxton: Foxtrot. Judges’ scores 8. My score 8.5. Tamar revealed in the package her opinion that she’s the best dancer out there. She is really good and one of the most consistent, but speaking of herself in that way probably set her up for closer scrutiny by many who watched.  She showed large, open movements; good lines, arms/hands, foot placement, and musicality.  Good job!   Andy Grammer: Paso Doble. Judges’ scores 9-9-8. My score 9. Andy and Allison brought large, long/wide, sharp, dramatic, correct movements. I enjoyed their paso.   Bindi Irwin: Arg. Tango. Judges’ scores 10. My score 10. Dramatic! Great holds, lifts and turns; sharp flicks.  All proper and in sync.  Bindi was all in!   Alek Skarlatos: Viennese Waltz. Judges’ score 9-8-8. My score 8.5. Alek was a strong leading man, in character: dramatic, passionate, good holds/posture/lines/footwork. Great focus and improvement.  What I didn’t like were several seconds of the package/practice footage that included Alek adjusting his private parts in front; the editor should have deleted those several seconds of film that were inappropriate, esp. for children.   Carlos PeneVega: Paso Doble. Judges’ scores 9-10-9. My score 9. A perfect, powerful tune for the paso. Good, graceful, steady turns by Carlos.  Passionate, strong, in character. A proper paso.  I think he could have opened up his chest a bit more, though, and brought his chin up a tad.   TEAM DANCES: Team Nightmare: Judges’ scores 10. My score 10. Nick, Andy, Hayes, Tamar: Sharp/crisp, fun, cute, in sync. Liked it...

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Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 6 Analysis

Posted by on Oct 20th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 6 Analysis:   Monday, October 19 A fabulous opening of all pros dancing promoted “Famous Dance Roles” night on Week 6 of Dancing With The Stars! The celebs and the pros were challenged with the intimidating task of attempting to re-enact iconic dance performances from songs in movies and videos.  Learning the dances is hard enough, but stepping up to such a demand must have been nerve-wracking, especially for certain celebs.  Olivia Newton-John served as a guest-judge, sitting next to Bruno as judge #3.  Hosts and judges reminded teams that they’re halfway through the competition, which is slated to conclude during Thanksgiving week.   Hayes Grier: Jazz. Judges’ scores 8. My score 8. The negative: Hayes needs to keep/flow the rhythm instead of sort of going in and out of it.  He may have been in his head a bit much and/or slowing down or even almost stopping momentarily at times, depending on what he was supposed to do next with Emma. The positive: Still, he is only a 15-year-old kid who’s learning to dance and doing well despite the demands and challenges.  He acted the part well, went all in, and did a nice job with a great attitude.   Andy Grammer: Jazz. Judges’ scores 10. My score 10. Andy and Allison performed to the “Good Morning” song from “Singin’ in the Rain,” which starred Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor. This is a complex, physically demanding number.  Andy stayed right with Allison the whole way, not missing a beat or anything else.  They did everything just as the threesome had in the 1952 film (without the second guy)–correctly, timely, enthusiastically.  His arms were graceful, too.  The whole thing warmed my heart and made me feel good.  It was knock-your-socks-off impressive across the board.  I’m happy for Andy!  For me, the dance of the night, tied with Nick’s.   Alexa PenaVega: Cha-Cha. Judges’ scores 8-7-7-8. My score 8. The re-enactment of a Britney Spears performance with a snake was brave, sexy, musical, and nicely done. She seemed to hold back a tad, though; somehow we know that she has more to give.  Good job, Alexa!   Bindi Irwin: Rhumba. Judges’ scores 10. My score 10. Re-enacting the last, big number from “Dirty Dancing,” between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray, was a big assignment. The rhythm, timing, steps, hip action, details, lifts, etc. were all perfect.  This girl is a force!   Paula Deen: Jazz. Judges’ scores 6. My score 6. The negative and the positive: Paula was really in character for this one. She showed correct arm movements and graceful hands.  She had a lot of fun while entertaining us.  Unfortunately, the tempo of this Madonna song limited movement, so Paula basically just walked, did the arm/hand gestures, and played the role well; it wasn’t really “dancing.”   Carlos PeneVega: Rhumba. Judges’ scores 10-9-9-10. My score 9. Carlos and Witney resurrected the chair/strip scene from “Magic Mike.” Great choreo, Witney.  And, yes, ladies, it was sexy, in the understated way that Carlos insisted on.  Carlos was all in and right on!   Nick Carter: Samba. Judges’ scores 9-10-10-10. My score 10. Nick and Sharna danced to “Saturday Night Fever.” Nothing negative!  Again, his bum had to be thrust forward much of...

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