Ballroom Dance

Dancing With The Stars: Week 6 Analysis

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

20April2015, Dancing With The Stars: Week 6 Analysis [To comment, click on the title of this week’s article or go directly to sign-in in the lower right-hand corner of the page.] It’s Spring Break week on Dancing With The Stars, and what a night of improvement it was for some of our dancers!  They’re still knocking our socks off and it’s only week 6.  Who excelled, who delivered my fave dance of the night, and who went home? Singer Patti LaBelle: Quickstep.                           Judges’ score 7.  My score 6-7. The positive: It was cute and fun. Artem upped the choreo but didn’t involve Patti in all of it. Still, once in the game Patti exhibited proper technique, elegance, and improvement. Her participation and performance were pretty good. She did the second half of the dance wearing only one shoe after a slight change of plans. What a gracious, fun, and wonderful lady! The negative: Artem wasted some time again, not involving Patti in actual dancing soon enough.   Gymnast Nastia Liukin: Tango.                                        Judges’ scores 8-9.  My score 9. The positive: Sharp, crisp, precise, accurate, beautiful form/hands/pointed toes, musicality/form. Very pretty. Excellent choreography from our award-winning Derek. My second-fave dance tonight. The negative: Hectic, like their weekly schedules. Too bad they can’t relax a little and just enjoy the dance, esp. in a way that we could see and feel.   Young Actress Willow Shields: Salsa.                               Judges’ score 8-9.  My score 8.5. The positive: Fast, rhythmic, athletic with lifts/cartwheels/splits. Lots of fun, complete with constant facial expressions to represent the fun of their dance. She’s cute and a good dancer. The negative: She still sometimes needs to focus on form and follow-through.   ‘Shark’ Robert Herjavec: Jive.                                         Judges’ score   7.  My score 7. The positive:  What an adorable pair! Their jive was cute, lively, and lots of fun for them and for us to watch. Very entertaining. As always, his winning attitude and effort reigned. The negative: Robert got just a tad out of sync at one point but recovered and did a pretty-good job of it.   Veteran Noah Galloway: Rhumba.                                    Judges’ score 7.25.  My score 7. The positive: What a beautiful pair they are! The dance was strong yet graceful, flowing and fluid, well connected in purpose and movement. A proper, spot-on rhumba that warmed my heart. Very pretty! The negative: Nothing notable or new to mention here.  We all know the challenges under which Noah strives.  If only he could somehow break out of the middle of the pack . . .   Actress Rumer Willis: Jazz.                                              Judges’ score 8.5.  My score 8.5. The positive:  Creative choreography, sharp, rhythmic, athletic, good form and timing; In sync with good musicality and technique. This girl is a fine dancer! Val and Rumer each has an admirable and respectful attitude. The negative:  Not sufficiently smooth and connected. Some might say it was a bit too suggestive. Val seemed to have focused a bit too much/too literally on the ‘booty’ theme instead of ensuring connectivity and flow via a choice of better content and movement.   “Bachelor” Chris Soules: Viennese Waltz.                         Judges’ score 8.  My score 7-8. The positive: Last week Julianne told him to improve his timing and musicality by clapping his...

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Dancing With The Stars Week 5 Analysis, Spring Season 2015

Posted by on Apr 13th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 3 comments

13April2015, Dancing With The Stars: Week 5 Analysis [To comment, click on the title of this week’s article or go directly to sign-in in the lower right-hand corner of the page.] It’s Disney week on Dancing With The Stars! We saw a night of many delights and a few disappointments, beauty and fun. The makeup and wardrobe departments outdid themselves.  Some of the performances were mesmerizing and stunning.  An occasional other was a bit off his/her usual mark due to an injury, a functional wardrobe issue, or something undefinable. Actress Suzanne Somers: Jazz.                                         Judges’ score 7.  My score 7. The positive:  She keeps improving!  To me, last week was her best, followed by this week.  This dance was pretty, sophisticated, elegant, graceful, and showed good lines. Like Patti, Suzanne has a lovely, gracious, and professional attitude. The negative: Unfortunately, her shoe got caught on the hem of her dress (which has happened to both pros and contestants over the years on this show). That threw her off sync/timing for several beats, but, as a seasoned pro, she handled it well until Tony took over and got her back on track.   ‘Shark’ Robert Herjavec: Quickstep.                               Judges’ score   6.  My score 6. The positive:  This quick-footed and challenging Mary Poppins production was cute, happy, fun, enthusiastic, endearing, and entertaining. Robert’s magnetic personality, attitude, and basic skills do not disappoint. However . . . The negative:  Near the beginning he got off timing; in this fast-paced tune he had a hard time getting back on track. It happened to be an off week for him, but I’m betting that he’ll be back to normal next week with perfect timing and fabulous form.   Singer Patti LaBelle: Waltz.                                              Judges’ score 7.  My score 6-7. The positive: Patti exhibited proper technique and elegance in much of the dance. It was pretty and quite an improvement. She has a hurt knee, which caused Artem to choreograph/limit accordingly, but she didn’t complain and instead showed her usual gracious and I-don’t-quit attitude. The negative: Artem didn’t waste as much time as usual this week, but he still wasted some. Len usually calls the pros out on time-wasters but hasn’t done so yet this season.   Young Actress Willow Shields: Foxtrot.                         Judges’ score 8-9.  My score 8. The positive: She’s amazing in general and was adorable as Alice. Creative and cute but challenging choreo. Very good! The negative: Needs to focus a bit more on follow-through and maintaining form.   “Bachelor” Chris Soules: Quickstep.                                 Judges’ score 7.  My score 7. The positive: His timing was pretty good despite his calf injury. Good attitude. Nice job to a very-fast song! The negative:  Needs to focus more on musicality, allowing the music to engulf and lead him. Yes, it’s all about the music and becoming one with it; makes a huge difference.   Veteran Noah Galloway: Foxtrot.                                     Judges’ score 7.  My score 6-7. The positive: Hard to top the winning attitude and inspiration he shows.  This dance, due to the nature of its rises and falls and other necessary movements, was a major challenge for him. He did everything that Sharna taught him to do and his best. The negative:  The challenges of the dance and of Noah’s physical limitations/capabilities forced Sharna...

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Dancing With The Stars: Week 4 Analysis

Posted by on Apr 6th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 2 comments

6April2015, Dancing With The Stars: Week 4 Analysis [Click on the title of this week’s article and you can comment.] This week on Dancing With The Stars, all of the dancers stepped up their games to showcase the most-memorable year in each of their lives—very impressive. The pros led their students into more steps and greater levels of performance. The performances made me feel good. The best night yet! Gymnast Nastia Liukin: Argentine Tango. Judges’ scores 9-8-9-10. My score 9-10. The positive: Fantastic, strong, sharp, passionate, athletic, gorgeous lines & lifts. Stellar choreography and fabulous execution. Stunning! Again, I couldn’t look away. The negative: What?   Football player Michael Sam: *Rhumba.               Judges’ score 7-8.  My score 8. The positive: Pretty, smooth, flowed properly, lovely story through dance. Well-done and much better!  What a genuinely sweet guy! The negative: He has to keep being careful to control his strength and how much the dance requires; impressive, caring control by a man with huge thighs who’s on the football field most of the day.   Musician Ryker Lynch: Tango.                                         Judges’ score 8-9.  My score 8-9. The positive: Tight, correct, passionate, well-done to fast music, good choreo., captivating. Very good! Didn’t want it to end. He’s a nice young man who works very hard and is very impressive. So, why was he in jeopardy of going home tonight? The negative: He needs to keep making small improvements to his technique and posture, and he can do it.   ‘Shark’ Robert Herjavec: Waltz.                          Judges’ score   8-9.  My score 9. The positive:  Dancing to “The Last Waltz with You,” his mom’s favorite song, Robert dedicated this to his mom, who died of ovarian cancer several years ago. He pulled me into his emotional story and took me with him on a beautiful, genuine, heartfelt journey. The dance flowed and thoroughly entertained me.  As usual, he had good rise and fall, placement, and pointed toes in his footwork, and his frame was very handsome. His hands were more graceful this time. What a pleasure he is to watch each week! He’s so sweet and nice, a good person, and a good dancer. His magnetic, endearing qualities keep me coming back to wish him well. The negative: Nothing to report.   “Bachelor” Chris Soules: *Rhumba.                                  Judges’ score 7.  My score 7. The positive: Another ultra-sweet and genuinely nice guy! What you see is what you get. Nice job! He keeps improving. A good, flowing, and pretty rhumba, but somehow not as good/enjoyable as those done by other contestants tonight. The negative:  Something about Witney’s choreography seemed to be a bit insufficient—a little off from her usual level of work.   Singer Patti LaBelle: Jazz.                                                Judges’ score 7-8.  My score 7. The positive: She really danced tonight, dedicating it to her son. Thank you, Patti and Artem! She did many steps and even shimmied. It was rhythmic, fun, good, and quite entertaining. Still love her attitude.  Big, entertaining improvement! The negative: Too much unnecessary wasting of time in the opening, which may have gobbled as much as 25 percent of their allotment for dancing. That isn’t necessary, Artem—get rid of the time-wasting elements and right into the dance of the week.   Actress Rumer Willis: Waltz.                                            Judges’ score 9.  My...

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Click on My Article’s Headline to Leave Your Comment

Posted by on Mar 31st, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing With The Stars: My Weekly Analysis:  JUST CLICK ON MY ARTICLE’S HEADLINE TO LEAVE YOUR COMMENT EACH WEEK.  It’s easy and fast. Let’s get some great conversations going!

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Dancing With The Stars: Week 3 Analysis

Posted by on Mar 31st, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 2 comments

Posting 31March2015, Week 3 Analysis: What an interesting night of dance! Nearly everyone improved in some way over last week. Some celebs were on, some off. One judge was a bit off, too—and it wasn’t Len. Too many of the pros were stingy on traditional dance content tonight, which ended up being a disservice to their students’ ability to learn a proper dance and to follow through smoothly in their movements. Here’s what happened tonight, in the order in which the contestants appeared: Actress Rumer Willis: Salsa.                                            Judges’ score 8.  My score 8-9. The positive:  Gorgeous body, gorgeous dancer, advanced, athletic, sharp kicks, great lifts. This girl has it all, and she works very hard. The negative: Like too many other pros this week, the adorable Val did not include enough traditional dance content. Model Charlotte McKinney: Rumba*.                             Judges’ score 5-6.  My score 5-6. The positive:  The woman has gorgeous legs, she’s incredibly flexible from doing yoga every day, which showed repeatedly in last night’s dance, and she did some parts of her dance well and prettily. The negative: The dance did not flow; at times it was as disconnected as Charlotte’s lack of focus between her other jobs and her work for this dance. Again, Keo kept the choreography too thin, based on his impressions of what she could do well and on what made her look good and sexy. He’s actually a good choreographer (otherwise, the show wouldn’t have hired him); unfortunately, working with Charlotte didn’t allow us to see enough of what he can do. Bruno began his evaluation with a highly inappropriate and unrelated insult, something like, “Obviously you’ll never make it in quantum physics, but . . .” (Dude, think before you speak!)  Kudos to Charlotte for handling Bruno’s misstep with silent grace. Football player Michael Sam: Salsa.                                 Judges’ score 6.  My score 6. The positive: Athletic, fun. He tries hard and wants to improve. The negative: The dance lacked a sufficient amount of traditional salsa content; too many lifts instead of salsa. Michael’s timing often was off. He needs to work on hip movement, flow/smoothness, and musicality for the faster dances. Musician Ryker Lynch: Salsa.                                          Judges’ score 9.  My score 9. The positive: Had more traditional salsa content than the couples before them. Sharp, fun, fast, energetic, captivating. Very good!  Ryker’s in it to win it. The negative: It’s only week 3, so he needs to keep learning and improving techniques. Actress Suzanne Somers: Samba.                                     Judges’ score 6.  My score 6. The positive:  With a hat of fruit on her head, no less. Turns out that many years ago she did hundreds of live performances wearing it, including down flights of stairs, so she pulled it out for the occasion and did well. Energetic, enthusiastic, clearly fun. Good effort! The negative: She is 68, so Tony has to be careful to protect her bones in movements that are neither excessive nor ridiculous. Still, though, she’s a health guru and says she’s in great shape. I have to wonder whether she could do more if Tony would challenge her a bit more without causing injury or burnout too early in the season. “Bachelor” Chris Soules: Argentine Tango. Judges’ score 7.  My...

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Dancing With The Stars: Week 2 Analysis

Posted by on Mar 23rd, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing With The Stars: Week 2 Analysis: Is it really only week 2?!  Some of these contestants perform as though they’ve been out there for six weeks already!  Wow!  That makes sense for the ones who came in with dance experience, but it’s extremely impressive for the newcomers to the dance world.  Nearly everyone improved over last week.  Tonight, most of the judges’ scores were on target; a few overshot the mark or slightly shortchanged an impressive performance.  Here’s what happened tonight, in the order in which the contestants appeared: “Bachelor” Chris Soules: Cha-Cha.  Judges’ score 5.  My score 5-6. The negative: Lacked proper musicality, timing, sufficient rhythm, hip movement. The positive:  Not bad for someone who had only 4 days to work on it. With more time and practice, with his great attitude still in place, he would have done better; if he has these for next week, we’ll see a better dance. Actress Suzanne Somers: Jive.  Judges’ score 7.  My score 6-7. The negative:  Flicks/kicks should be sharper/more extended.  She needs to get rid of her few remaining jitters and be a little less dependent on Tony. The positive:  Energetic, enthusiastic; more confident, more fun, and much less nervous than last week.  A much-better, more-entertaining dance than last week.  She’ll probably keep improving. 3.  ‘Shark’ Robert Herjavec: Foxtrot. Judges’ score     7.  My score 7-8. The negative:  Needs to remember all technical details, esp. to have an open/lifted chest. The positive:  Nice frame, good rise and fall/footwork, good timing, smooth, graceful, clearly enjoyed himself, magnetic, entertaining. Very good for week 2. Model Charlotte McKinney: Cha-Cha.  Judges’ score 6-7.  My score 6. The negative: Choreography too thin/simple. The positive:  Peppy. Good timing & rhythm. Better than last week.  Again, beautiful, long legs. If she stays, as she goes along she’ll have to learn how to use those legs more effectively and how to position them, her feet, and her whole body better for dance.  I don’t envision her breaking out of the middle of the pack to become a real contender. Football player Michael Sam: Foxtrot.  Judges’ score 7.  My score 7. The negative:  Hard to transition from hours of football training/postures/movements into proper frameworks, straight posture (his “bum,” as Len calls it, really does stick out sometimes) and fluidity of dance, but . . . The positive:  He’s doing quite well. Good rhythm, arm extension, timing. Shows much promise for continued improvement.  Impressive and will keep moving up. Actress Rumer Willis: Cha-Cha.  Judges’ score 8.  My score 8-9. The negative:  They moved so fast and I was so impressed that I noticed nothing particularly negative. The positive:  Beautiful frame/movement/leg and arm extensions/hands/technique and footwork.  Way better than dances that scored 7’s.  A tad behind gymnast Nastia Liukin tonight. Entertainer RedFoo: Jive. Judges’ score 8.  My score 7. The negative:  Timing, technique, sharpness of kicks were a bit off at times. The positive:  Very fun, upbeat. A pretty good job. Judges’ scores were 1 point too high. Young Actress Willow Shields: Argentine Tango.  Judges’ score 8.  My score 8. The negative: Just a few times her posture was a tad off target. Needs a little more practice and refinement to earn scores of 9-10. The positive:  Pretty incredible and jaw-dropping for a 14-year-old who just entered week 2, esp....

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Dancing With The Stars: Week 1Analysis

Posted by on Mar 17th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 5 comments

Week 1: March 16, 2015, Spring Season: What a fabulous opening night! Everyone obviously worked hard and looked good. My informed opinions of the performances–mostly in order of the contestants’ appearances–and of the judges’ scores follow. I still don’t like that the first contestant out of the gate always gets cheated on scores. This time it was 14-year-old actress Willow Shields, whose enthusiastic and skilled cha-cha was given only a 6 but deserved at least a 7. She promises to give Rumer Willis and Nastia Liukin a hard run for the number-one position. Second out in a cha-cha was Robert Herjavec, the dark-haired, nice and nice-looking Shark from Shark Tank. He showed good expression, fun, enthusiasm, a beautiful smile and great attitude, some rhythm, and correctly pointed toes. He needs to work a bit more on musicality and to increase his hip work, which the judges also mentioned. His score of a 7 was probably fair for him, but because his dance was no better than Willow’s I’m irked that she was cheated. I think he’ll keep improving. Young, blond singer Riker Lynch was third. If he isn’t still a teenager, he doesn’t appear to be much beyond. His exciting, all-out jive of sharp kicks, excellent moves, and good timing with Allison earned a fair 8.  He’s another one to watch. I’ll be curious to see how he performs in the slower dances. Model/actress Charlotte McKinney followed in a jive that lacked musicality and sharp kicks. To her credit, though, are very-long legs and a flexible frame. Her score of 5-6 was fair. Maybe she’ll keep improving—we’ll see. Fifth was singer Patti LaBelle in a smilingly graceful but careful foxtrot that revealed good musicality and accurate foot placement. She’s a gracious lady. A score of 6 was right for her. Next was “Bachelor” Chris Soules in a good jive with Witney. What a nice guy! He showed good musicality/rhythm, sharp kicks, fun, energy, charisma, and dedication. He needs to work on arm extension/placement and pointing his toes. A good job earned him a 6-7.  I’m okay with that. Seventh came football player Michael Sam doing a cha-cha. A nice guy and a hard worker who did a nice job, especially when foot placement in dancing is much different from that in playing football. He has good rhythm and good timing. He needs to improve his foot work, and I think he will keep getting better. His score was 6-7, which is okay. Then came gymnast Nastia Liukin with Derek in a lovely foxtrot. How is it that Derek often gets the gymnasts, who usually make the best dancers? Nastia showed beautiful, graceful work with her arms and hands. Unfortunately, Derek’s inclusion of a lift near the end caused lift-police Carrie Ann to deduct one point. Nastia’s final score was a 7-8. Ninth was the always-entertaining RedFoo. His fun, energetic, and expressive cha-cha earned only a 5-6 because he needs major improvement to his foot work. I think he’ll work hard. Former Army sergeant Noah Galloway followed in a cha-cha. For someone who has lost two limbs and overcome severe injuries elsewhere, he shows cheer, good adaptability, and good movement. He’s cute and sweet, and his determination will continue to represent him well. I’ll be eager to see how he’ll...

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Dancing With The Stars Judges on “Live With Kelly and Michael” Yesterday

Posted by on Mar 13th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Dancing With The Stars judges Bruno, Carrie Ann, and Julianne were guests yesterday on “Live with Kelly and Michael” on CBS in New York City to get fans revved up for the show’s spring season starting next Monday, March 16th. They said that lots of new and interesting things will go on this season. One will be the live streaming of teams’ practice sessions, which at least one judge thinks some of the team members may forget about while they’re hard at work. The word “pregnant” was mentioned early on, but then dropped; Bruno said it wasn’t he, and Carrie Ann didn’t pop up and claim the condition, so the reference seems to have been to Julianne, but we’ll have to watch the show to find out and then meet back here on Tuesday to talk about...

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Dancing With The Stars Spring 2015 Cast

Posted by on Mar 9th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

Some weeks ago a rumor was out that Derek Hough would not be a member of the Dancing With The Stars spring 2015 cast to kick off the show’s anticipated and celebratory Tenth-Anniversary Year–that he would be away in other dance-related activities. Now that the producers have announced the cast of celebrities and pros, we know that either the rumor was false or Derek’s plans changed. Gymnast NASTIA LIUKIN has been partnered with pro Derek Hough.  According to the Web site, http://abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/cast-announcement , the other celebrity-pro pairs are as follow: Disabled Sergeant/Athlete/Personal Trainer NOAH GALLOWAY with pro Sharna Burgess “Nice” Shark Tank Cybersecurity Expert/Athlete ROBERT HERJAVEC with pro Kym Johnson Musical Icon/Singer/Multiple Award-Winner PATTI LABELLE with pro Artem Chigvintsev Actor/Musician/Songwriter RIKER LYNCH with pro Allison Holker Model/Actress CHARLOTTE MCKINNEY with pro Keo Motsepe Performer/Producer/Actor/Host/Judge/Innovator/Fashionista REDFOO with pro Emma Slater NFL Football Star MICHAEL SAM with pro Peta Murgatroyd Actress/Fashionista/Role Model/Advocate WILLOW SHIELDS with pro Mark Ballas Actress/Bestselling Author/Trusted Health Advocate/Talk-Show Host/Singing & Dancing Las Vegas Headliner SUZANNE SOMERS with pro Tony Dovolani Actress/Singer RUMER WILLIS (daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore) with pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy The 12th and final couple will be announced in the coming weeks, so check back for the scoop. The DWTS Web site also says: “This season of Dancing with the Stars will be filled with surprises as we celebrate the last 10 years. The show will bring back fan favorite theme nights including Disney and Latin night, and also introduce new themes, including Spring Break Night. Viewers will also have more access to the show than ever before with #DWTSAllAccess offering viewers a behind the scenes look with six live stream videos from key positions in the ballroom. Additionally, viewers will have access to the DWTS rehearsal studio like never before, with live streaming videos available throughout the week on ABC.com. Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews return with judges Len Goodman, Julianne Hough, Bruno Tonioli, and Carrie Ann...

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Let’s Get Ready for Dancing With The Stars, Coming March 16th!

Posted by on Feb 19th, 2015 in Ballroom Dance, Dancing With The Stars | 0 comments

“The smile is the dance of the face.  Dance is the smile of the body.”   I learned that maxim years ago in dance class.  It’s a beautiful truth!  Watch a smile form on someone’s face and you’ll recognize that beauty.  Watch a body dance and you’ll see the smile of the person’s spirit.  Dance as the smile of the body is innate, primal.  Expressive and joyful!  Healthful and even sexy! And who gives us sexier dancing than the pros on “Dancing With The Stars”?  Cheryl, Karina, Peta, Witney, and the other fit females will get your hearts pumping, guys!  And, ladies, let’s get ready to feast our eyes on the tan-sprayed buff bodies of Tony, Max, Val, Artem, and the other testosterone-heaving hunks.  No matter which dancers you choose, dance as the smile of their bodies is sure to bring a smile as the dance of your face!  At the least, you’ll be tapping your toes.  At the most, who knows what else you’ll be moving?  Woohoo! Join me in anticipating the return of Dancing With The Stars on March 16th!  Get ready to celebrate its big TENTH ANNIVERSARY season!  Let’s make it extra fab by getting together here to talk about all of it, week by week, starting on March 9th!  Adding to the joy will be my book hitting the shelves, Amazon, Kindle and more!  “Dancing in the Stars” (DITS) is 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 to Vaudeville and the Golden Age of Hollywood, when dance was extra-beautiful in tailed tuxes and gorgeous gowns.  While DWTS shows you the glamour of pro dancing when they make it big, DITS shows you the struggles and successes both along the way and at the hills of Hollywood.  I’ll tell you the minute it’s ready for purchase! Let’s get our dance shoes clicking and our smiles ready!  With DITS in hand, we’ll be celebrating DWTS here and at the screen!  See you soon! Yours in dancing,...

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