Archive for March, 2011


Whoo hoo! The first Results Show of the season. Let’s talk highlights!

Fun opening dance number from the pros AND new DWTS Troupe to a perfect song “On The Floor”. One of their best ones that I can remember in a long time.

Chris Brown was the guest performer for the evening and he did not disappoint!!! Actually, I was really blown away by all of his background dancers and amazing choreography. His second song “Forever” featured his dancers in super cool light up LED suits that I loved loved loved!!! But then again, I love anything shiny or sparkly. If you didn’t get a chance to see if, for sure YouTube it!

Not really sure why there is a DWTS Troupe for the results show?!? My guess is that the Pros are getting burned out with practicing hours and hours with their star, THEN trying to find time to put together a show number. I know it’s hard to wrangle up 6 dancers with 6 different schedules and then try to dance syncronized with each couple for a whole song. On the flip side, it gives an opportunity to newer dancers, rising in the ballroom world, for a foot in the door as a professional in the future.

Now the “main event”…….

It was a no brianer who were the worst ones. I was hopeful in thinking Mike would stay another week, but yes this Diva can be wrong once in awhile. (Just once in a while people.) Bottom line, I think it was:

1) Mike’s small fan base. Even though Loveline is a popular radio show, the number of fans can not compare to all the other stars’ fan base.

2) As horrible as Wendy Williams is, there is this deep secret I feel in Americans to keep the “train wreck” on the show for as long as possible.

I thought Wendy should of went home. But I feel this will come to reality soon enough.

Next weeks thoughts? These are the people who really need to put in some overtime on their practices to keep up with the front runners: Sugar Ray, Kendra and Petra. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Well there you have it!

Diva Christina

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Ok peeps, it’s round 2 of DWTS.  Some improved, some stayed the same and some were…eh.  So let’s start with the men of the night.
Sugar Ray & Anna: JIVE score17
Rematch?  Yay, the Jive is more his style.  Much improvement from last week, but was very flat footed.  He needs to use his ankles the way he would while jumping rope, keeping his heels up and off the floor.  Anna should of used that to help inter-relate movement he is familiar with instead of the solo jabs and hooks in the middle of the routine. Overall, great entertainment.
Chris & Cheryl: QUICKSTEP score 23
WOW!  Good back locks and foot work resulting from strong ankles, but use them to help finish pointing your feet on kicks.  Very light on his feet.  It must have been all that “yelling” she did.  Sometimes us teachers need to put fear in the students and even yell at them a little bit.  But I don’t think my little 4’11 1/2 can scare anyone (or can it?).  He was my “Best of the Night”.
Mike & Lacey: JIVE score 17
Ha Hah! I knew it.  Really good job on his triple step action and swiveling his supportive foot during his toe swivels! Even his flicks and kicks had great retracting action. (Spoiler Alert: Mike’s were even better than Ralph’s!) Noticed that the triple steps were replaced with marching/mark timing towards the end of the routine.  Lacey should of pushed Mike to continue with the faster foot work because he has the ability to do so. Really happy with this routine.  Go Mike, most improved!
Romeo & Chelsie:QUICKSTEP score 23
Close…your…mouth!  He looked like a fish dancing with his open mouth.  So annoying.  Besides that, good job with the dancing.  Just watch the shoulders and be sure to close the feet completely.  I don’t agree about Len’s “best dance of the night”.  Unless you think fish are sexy, I wouldn’t haven’t gone that far.
Ralph & Karina: JIVE score 21
It’s always so much pressure starting off strong.  You will always question yourself, “will you be a one hit wonder OR can you deliver week to week?”  Ralph did well but his flicks and retracting actions need major help.  This was his only weak spot.  Sorry to say this but both Mike and Chris were better in this area.  Plus, this was not the first time Ralph has done the Jive.  True fans should remember that scene in Karate Kid 2 where there was a 50s’ theme party.  Remember Daniel-san “Dancing is here (heart), not here (head).
Hines & Kym: QUICKSTEP score 23
Loved his smooth touches of attitude that added to the character for this dance.  Loved his back rondés and his velvet jacket. Very Cool!  Kym needs to coach a little more on transitions from fallaway to closed dance position and using the muscles from under the arms vs. the top muscles to establish a better topline.  Other than that, great job from the football star.
Now the ladies…
Kendra & Louis: QUICKSTEP score 19
First off, she can never look like a boy! And she looked glamourous.  Frame was stiff, but with time will develop flexibility when needed.  One of my favorite coaches always said your frame should be like a paper clip, hold it’s shape and be flexible when called for.  She also needs to keep her left side lifted and not break during rotating actions.
Chelsea & Mark: JIVE score 18
Wait, ummm, I thought the freestyle was at the end of the season?  Booooo for Mark (again) with poor choice for not showing the true talent of this girl.  I agree with Carrie Ann, loved the routine but it was NOT a Jive.  Good for you Len for the score of 5 to teach him a lesson.  And Mark, oh please, stop trying to drop all the names of patterns that you only danced for maybe a total of 8 counts!  You are not fooling this dancer!!!
Petra & Dmitry: JIVE score 18
Very stiff at first but after her side-by-side work, started to loosen up.  Not bad all in all, even a little sassiness during her performance.  Her arms were a bit wild.  Not much to say about this girl.
Kristie & Maksim: QUICKSTEP score 20
Who doesn’t want to lose 5 pounds a week?  She will hit her 40 lbs. mark in no time!  Did you noticed all the stars huffing and puffing after they danced? Of course I feel for her, as she asked Maksim, “Do really skinny girls, you’re skinny partners; has it been hard for them too?”  His answer (and mine) “of course!” Being thrown into a group where you are alot curvier than the others, automaticly sets self doubt about your ability or lack of.  But I’m proud that she is finally trying to find her comfort zone and be happy, regardless of what the scale reads.  Back to her dancing: during her chasse, she needed to bring her feet together and have more bounce action from her supporting foot. And I’m the first to whip around my hair but I found it getting caught in her face or lip gloss which can distract you in the middle of a Promenade Run or even blur your vision.  Great job Kirstie.  Way to represent girls with curves!
Wendy & Tony: QUICKSTEP score 17
Ok Ok, I have to admit.  She was better this week!  But deep inside, I was hoping so badly for another “Freakin’ Hot Mess”!  That’s where I get my best matieral people!  Her foot placement was clean most of the time and you have to give it up to Tony.  What a great teacher to show her off in the best way possible.  Yes, the steps were simple, but like I always tell my students for any events or performances, “I can care less if you do a box step for a minute and half straight.  As long as you do it well, I will be proud.”  You can tell when she was starting to get winded and tired.  But I still think she will be going home and not Mike.
Now what happens?  That is all on you America.  You have to vote each and every week to keep your favorites in.  Don’t start crying after the Result Show, if you didn’t take the 30 seconds to vote.  Come on, in the time it took to read this blog, you could of used all your alloted votes online.  See you in 24 hours with my thoughts about the results.
DIVA CHRISTINA
Ok, let me start by saying, when watching DWTS I’m torn.  The teacher in me notices the true emotions and fears a student faces when having to perform in front of people for the first time (let alone, millions of people). As well as wanting to celebrate all of the little victories that happen during the performance: a smile, pointing your toes during a developé or hitting the ending pose with out blood being shed.  Yes, us teachers see the growth, as a dancer and mostly as a person during the journey of learning to dance.  We are your biggest cheerleaders, supporters and even shoulders to cry on. BUT, this is DWTS people!  So the professional judge in me has to come out, and trust me, she has tons to say.
 

Who did great and who bomb? Read on and see what our Diva consultant has to say.

Chelsea Kane & Mark: FOXTROT score 21

Typical cute Disney kid. She has a willingness to learn and will do well, as long as Mark stops bouncing around like Tigger during the whole routine.  Hated the routine and all the side by side work.  I’m all about bringing a modern feel to any dance,  but it was just too much. Regardless of that, she danced what she was given well, just like a true Disney Princess.
Wendy Williams & Tony: CHA CHA score 14
OK, I’m going to use my favorite saying, “Hot Freakin’ Mess”!!! She danced like she was in a body cast. Do her knees even bend?  She needs to let loose, shake what she’s got, even a little hair-ography would of helped.  The song that was used could not have been more perfect for her, knowing her background and what a sassy thang she is, but ended up being a waste.  Let’s just say her performance made me cry (not the feel good Ashton Kutcher movie kind either).
Hines Ward & Kym: CHA CHA score 21
This Cowboys fan will never be a Steelers fan, but for sure a Hines Ward fan.  He definitely keeps the tradition of the past NFL dancers on the show; great presence and showmanship on the floor.  I agree with Glen, “I couldn’t stop looking at your bum!”  I can’t wait to see more of him week to week as he battles his biggest opponent: POSTURE.
Petra Nemcova & Dmitry: FOXTROT score 18
Loved her hair, make up and dress….oh wait, I’m having a “Paula Abdul moment” a la American Idol.  By far the best of any model that has been on the show, but that’s not saying much if you’ve followed them from the beginning.  She will pretty much stay in the middle of the pack, unless she works on her transitions from movement to movement and foot work.  She dances way too much on her toes.
Romeo & Chelsie: CHA CHA score 19
Young and talented, complete opposite of his dad Master P.  Just needs to get over his attitude that he can still be young, cool and hip by moving his hips.  Trust me, ask any guy student when that light bulb went off in their head, “Oh, girls dig a guy who can dance and move their body?!” DUH!!! It will change your life for the better, trust me, I see it happen all the time.  Romeo can go really far as long as he listens to Chelsie and all the feedback from the judges.  Must work on straightening his legs and building stronger ankles along with posture.  Overall, I liked it.  Good looking couple on the floor.
Sugar Ray Leonard & Anna: FOXTROT score 17
Can’t help but to love him.  So smooth and committed to the routine.  His biggest challenge? Posture in any dance hold.  Even though this is common among new dancers, because of his boxing, he has to totally reprogram his mind and body to a whole new stance in his new ring called the dance floor.  All his side-by-side work was amazing and made me smile.
Kendra Wilkinson & Louis: CHA CHA score 18
Go Kendra!  Go Kendra!  I’m a little bias because I love this girl.  She doesn’t pretend to be someone else and let’s it all out.  She has a good, fun attitude going into this, making it her own while still being challenged.  She started out strong but began to flatten out towards the end of the routine, which was tough choreography!  Needed to straighten her legs big time to show off her hip motion as well as control her arms.  They wiggled so much that it became distracting.  But she is well on her way of transforming to “classy hot”.
Ralph Macchio & Karina: FOXTROT score 24
What a way to start off his first performance on DWTS!  Completely surprised by him.  I mean, come on…he will always be Daniel-san in my eyes, but over the next weeks, I know that will change.  Overall, very smooth and made me giggle that he did so well (even doing a telemark).  The two spots in the routine where he was shaky and lost balance, were recovered well.  And claiming his “49 year old” body was going to be a problem? More like 29 year old body that will only get better with all the training from Karina, who wants that mirror ball trophy bad!
Chris Jericho & Cheryl: CHA CHA score 19
Wild in a bad way.  Not his fault, poor song choice that completely changes style and tempo.  It’s hard enough to learn one dance, let alone, changing in the middle of the routine to a salsa to fit the musciality.  Too many dips and poses, needed more cha cha to show off his talent.  But he had great presence on the floor.
Mike Catherwood & Lacey: FOXTROT score 13
Latino!!! Well, ok only half.  But this Irish-Mexican is very open about his lack of dance skill being embrassing.  But he tried and discovered it’s more about the journey and less about the dancing, so give him a chance.  This is where the teacher in me comes out!  I do have to say he was beyond stiff and ackward, which is the first stage of learning anything new (i.e. language, how to cook, golfing). I’m hoping the Jive next week will show his latin side and win him some votes.  Plus, he’s kind of cute!
Kristie Alley & Maksim: CHA CHA score 23
“size 0 and age 22” vs. 60 years old?  Three words, YOU…GO…GIRL!!!  By far, the best all around.  She’s the Kelly Osbourne of this season and we will see many a transformations, on many levels, through out the weeks to come.  Seemed very grounded in foot work and good leg action with swivels and latin crosses.
There you have it!  My thoughts on the dancing.  Until next week!
Diva Christina

Alright!  You got the scoop on how the men will do.  Here’s the scoop on the ladies.  By now you’ve probably already seen everyone dance.  I created this before watching them so we’ll see what happens tonight on the results show.  Here we go!

Can Kirstie be able to "Cheers" her way to the final?

Kirstie Alley is up first for the actress category.  She’s done great just staying in the media with her many wight loss plans.  I’m excited for her because according to my sources, they’ve approached her for every show and she finally agreed.  Even more so she’ll finally find a weight loss program that will work for good in Dancing.  I’m sure, much like Marie Osmond, she’ll start to lose the pounds and people will give her the “hey you’re doing a good job finding your figure again” sympathy vote.  I’m sure that will add to pro dancer Maxim Chmerkovsky’s “I like to take my shirt off” votes from the 13-16  year old girls that run the voting.  Going to restaurants wearing clothes like the rest of the world must have be hard.

Disney has a fine list of dancers. Does she have what it takes?

Disney girl Chelsea Kane seems to fit the “Hey let’s get someone young to get the young vote” card.  Disney viewers will be watching to show their support.  Chelsea better known for her work on Disney channel’s Bratz: The Movie, should be able to pull off the dance moves since Disney usually gets the talented all around singer/actor/dancer kids (just see Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears before she went Brtney Spears on everyone).  I would imagine that she would get a great vote not just from her fan base, but from Mark Ballas’ fan base as well.  He’s the young guy who’s the hot ticket on the show.

She can talk the talk, but can she Dance the Dance?

Talk show host Wendy Williams will be great for the show.  She’s done her fair share of talking trash about everyone else that it’s her turn to get trashed on.  I’m most excited about how she’ll react to the judges as she could bring some much needed banter to keep the contreversy of the show going.  I’m sure she’ll bring some dancing skills to bad boy pro partner Tony Dovolani.  He’ll show her off quite well.  We should also see some good behind the scenes “Fighting” that are always good for ratings.  Look for her to not go far, but be entertaining.

Models have a great walk, but do they have a great Dance?

In the Model category we have Petra Nemcova.  She’s done some work in Sports Illustrated as a Swimsuit model.   I never heard of such a thing.  I guess I’ve been spending too much attention to my wife.  Points for me!  Not a lot on this end about her, just the fact that she will probably have ot stick with moves that show off her assets and not her dancing skills.  I haven’t seen her dance, but it’s a hunch of mine that modeling and coordination don’t go hand in hand.  Ouch!  I know.  But she should provide the pretty flavor ABC is looking for and get some votes from that.

This Playboy bunny looks to heat up the competition.

Next up is Kendra Wilkinson, not known for her acting skills, but better known for her work in Playboy as a Playmate (not that I’ve seen her work or anything either).  She brings the “hot chick on the show” quality of reality T.V.  I’m not sure if she will do much just like Petra, but look for her to get somewhat better on a week to week basis.  Her votes will come from a small reality fan base as well as the “husband vote” from husband Hank Baskett who’s being bounced around in the NFL.  If there was such a category on this show, I predict that she would get the Most Improved Dancer award at the end of this season.  More so because Louis Van Amstel will have to do the brunt of the work (and he knows how to make a star look good right out of the gate).  I just hope he doesn’t go too “I’m a dancing genius” on her and create a routine far beyond her ability.  What am I talking about?  He’s Louis Van Amstel!  You can’t turn off Genius like that with a flip of any switch.

SPOILER ALERT!!

The first to go for the women will be Wendy Williams.  As exciting as her personality is, I’m not sure if she’ll have the dancing to back it up.  However she’ll get the votes from her fan base as well as Tony’s, people won’t respond to the quick quips she has about dance.  Comedians haven’t done well historically in this contest.  The WINNER…Kirsty Alley.  Kirstie gets the same voting like Marie.  Although she doesn’t have the fan base, she’s going to surprise a bunch of people and win them over with her moves and changing physique.  Plus she’s got Maks who’s overdue for a win as one of the favorite Pro dancers on the show.  They’ll win America over with her personality and his non compliance to the “No Shirt, No Shoes” policy.

As for me, I’ll watch from the sidelines checking out the action and do my coaching from my couch.  If you’re asking whether or not I would better, the answer is YES I WOULD!  The only difference would be that I would actually teach someone something and my routines would be more on the basic side because I would go more for the benefit of the student actually gaining some knowledge from their experience like knowing how to dance at the next function they go to.  I probably wouldn’t be the fan favorite as a result, but my case for a good instructor would be made.  And if ABC wants to try a rebel teacher who will forego looks for substance then give me a call.  You can reach me at sjarthurmurray@yahoo.com.

JG

Dancing With The Stars is a Dance crazed outlet for mediocre celebrities trying to get back the status of what once was.  If that’s the case, then this is a cast that I can live with.  Mainly because these stars are actually people that I remember and others that are actually still relevant.  How exciting!  I think ABC got it right this time by at least getting the good combination of Stars that still have a name regardless of where they came from.

Since the Star studded cast is quite big, this will be my first of two blogs giving a professional take on how the stars will do.  Let’s start with the guys first.

Will Ralph need Mr. Miyagi's hot hands to DANCE?

First up is the Actor category.  When you go into the casting call and find an actor that used to sit next to Mr. Miyagi on the same set of Karate Kid, I mean that’s pretty impressive by itself, but more importantly I think that having Ralph Macchio on the show is quite good.  I’m sure he’ll bring a little bit of old heart throb-ness from the 80’s to stir up some voting for him on this new season.  He’ll have to do a little sand the floor and paint the fence exercises to keep up with the rest, but a long overdue workout needed I’m sure. He should be an early crowd favorite.

Float like a butterfly, think I can SWING?

On the athlete’s side, you have a former boxer who was arguably one of the best in his time.  Mostly I’m worried about how he will do.  I don’t like the fact that they chose Sugar Ray Leonard to be the token old person.  Sugar Ray knocked out Floyd Mayweather!  He was the king of the ring.  He was the man and now you’re going to try to con him into being the old guy?  Sugar Ray don’t take no mess from no one!  You better hope he doesn’t look bad ABC because if he does, he may just sucker punch some innocent victim getting him some water offstage.  On the flip side, he was a great fighter and has the moves and quick feet of a boxer.  Good job ABC with picking him up.  He should surprise a lot of people.  You’re off the hook this time.

So You Think I Can DANCE? I'll pile drive you if you don't!

Wrestler Chris Jericho will make everyone think twice about whether or not big buff guys can dance.  He seems to have pretty slick moves in the ring, but I’d be most impressed to see him do a number where he jumps off the top ropes and gives someone a pile drive center stage as a finale.  I already have a routine picked out for him where his hype man from the WWE comes out and calls him out as a wimp and maybe disses his girlfriend, maybe his dance skills.  Chris Jericho comes out to AC/DC with smoke from the top of the stage.  Chants start to raise from each side of the crowd and he walks out in his wrestling attire.  Just his wrestling pants and boots with a bandanna.  He walks up to the guy and they get face to face like all wrestling matches.  The guy gets pissed off and tries to throw a punch.  Chris Jericho knocks him out with his signature move.  Puts a jacket on that he got from off stage and out comes his pro partner and they dance a cha cha.  Not sure how it will go, but I’m just saying.

One way ticket to Redemption City please.

I’m most excited of the athlete group about Hines Ward.  Fresh off a Superbowl loss (sorry Rosalinda and the city of Pittsburgh), I think he’ll bring with him a fire like no other.  He needs some redemption points for the lack of his teammates inabilities to produce a victory at this year’s Superbowl.  Not to say his professional partner won’t do a good job, BUT, I’d hate to see him get shot down because he decided to try to pull an “Emmitt Smith”.  Great for other jock guys to see that dancing could be done by jocks, but here’s my warning to Hines Ward of my image of him as an icon.  “Don’t mess up!  Work your butt off and learn how to do it right!  The city of Pittsburgh is counting on you especially since you lost your last Superbowl!”  Just kidding.   In all seriousness though, don’t mess up.

 

Can LOVELINE cure this Dancer's ailments?

“Psycho” Mike Catherwood is a radio personality on the hit show Loveline with Dr. Drew.  He’s got a good listener base and a great voice for the radio.  I listen toLoveline every so often and get my fix of the pair (whom btw are a great combination).  I have to say Mike, I was a little skeptical about you when you took over for Adam Carolla.  You had some pretty big shoes to fill with his comedic genius, but nonetheless, you did a great job filling in and are coming into your own.  Because of that I think you will do good dancing in front of your home crowd in Los Angeles.  You should get an early fan vote, but I have to wait to see your skills on the dance floor to see whether or not you deserve to be in the top of the scales.  All we know is the voice.  Can the dance back it up?

Rapper/Basketball Scholar/Mogul/DANCER?

Lastly is the Music group featuring Lil’ Romeo (who now wants to be called Romeo).  I guess he grew up and wants to change his name.  You should’ve thought about this when you were 10 and just save yourself the “don’t call me lil’ anymore because I’m not lil’” drama and stick with Percy.  He’s back from last season when he hurt himself and his pops “Master P” had to step in and get sympathy votes.  Like most young rappers, I would imagine he’s got some moves and can dance already.  He should be a good “Dance“ favorite with the judges and maybe a crowd favorite.  But look to see some good dancing come out from this rapper/USC Basketball Scholar/ Mogul.

SPOILER ALERT!!

Here’s my predictions.  First to go from the guys will be “Psycho” Mike Catherwood.  I’m sorry Mike, but it seems the others will probably do some better dancing and your fan base won’t be able to match with that of the others unfortunately.  I’ll vote for you, but let’s hope it’s not you.The WINNER?  Hines Ward.  Lil’ Romeo will probably take the third spot in the top 3.  Why?  Hines Ward is Hines Ward.  I can’t leave him out of it and neither can the state of Pennsylvania.  Have you seen Pittsburgh fans?  They are crazy people and they will be following him with many votes.  Lil’ Romeo gets the final spot as the guy that can actually dance.  He will be the token “I’m the best dancer but no one votes for the best dancer on the show” Dancer.

If I’m wrong, well then i guess I didn’t do all of my homework.  Maybe this article I wrote on a plane ride from Chicago to San Jose proved to be a stab in the dark as if this was someone’s life to read every article about what will happen with DWTS.  And if you are, join your local Arthur Murray Dance Studio and get out more.  Stop reading and start dancing like a star.

JG