Tag Archive: Dance


DANCE- The Man’s Choice

Only the COOLEST Men DANCE.

Part 1-  Learn. Friday morning. 7 a.m. Day 2 of Arthur Murray Dance Studios’ fabulous Superama. I’m preparing myself for a great day at work (not sure if you can call dancing for a living work, but it sure is a job that’s a lot of fun).  As I’m going through my daily routine and applying makeup to my lightly tanned face I take a look in the mirror and strike a pose (as most dancers do).  While in my waltz frame, I start to think about the world and dance.  And how the world and dance are both things that I love (as most dancers think about).  A thought strikes my mind, “How did I get so lucky to do this?”  Maybe it was just by chance, or by design.  And then it hit me.  2 things guided me to this industry (like most male instructors).  1-women and 2-men.

#1 Women-  The women got me interested in how dance could fit into my cleverly planned smooth moves and pick up lines at local hang outs.  I saw the movie Swing Kids and got hooked on how all the woman gravitated toward the guys that knew how to dance.  Sure it was the movies, but who hasn’t seen a movie and started to immediately take on that role the moment the movie was over?  Later that day I pretended I was a smooth Lindy Hopper trying to pick up on the ladies that ignored me once before.  Although I had the swagger, I did not however have the cool dance moves down.  That’s where Arthur Murray® fit in.  I immediately called and demanded that women hang all over me like in the movies and although my needs were not met, they were satisfied with the understanding that one day I would wield a power that only few men possessed.

#2 Men-  The men on the other hand were different.  After about 3 months of taking lessons, I gained the courage of entering a local dance competition where I got to showcase my talents, cleverly named “Showcase”.  I had mentioned to my instructor that maybe one day I’d like to be an instructor as well (after all, I was having a blast learning this stuff ) and was introduced to a couple of guys that she thought would be a good influence on me.  They were both latin with their hair slicked back (similar to my cousins, but they had more style).   One said “So you want to be a teacher, huh?”  That’s right!, I said.  “Well, maybe you just might fit in, IF, you have the right moves.  You see, guys like us are high in demand and there are only so many good ones to go around”  Sold!

The man that dances gets his chances

Wanna dance with these hot chicks? Call your local Arthur Murray®

That was all the influence I needed to make my decision.  They quickly left to the dance floor and danced like I’ve never seen before.  I looked around the room while everyone’s eyes were glued to their bodies moving to the rhythm.  “I want to be like that one day”, I said.  “I want to be the guy that all the people look at and admire”.  It was then that I made the decision to be a guy in high demand.  A man that can DANCE!

Over the many years of partner dancing there has been, in general, a shortage of men to dance with the lovely ladies that outnumber the male by at least 3 to 1.  You would think that given the numbers, a smart guy would take his chances at the risk of maybe being a bit embarrassed and take those odds.  A betting man would bet on himself to be the only one in a crowded room that dances with every woman that is either A) looking for someone to hold or B) wishing that the one they came with was more like you.  Hmmm.  Sounds like a Win-Win to me.

Meanwhile, Back at Superama.

Part 2-  F.E.A.R. After applying a light set of foundation (Revlon Spice #45 to be exact), I glue my hair to my head w/ an enormous amount of hair gel/glue and what seems to be hairspray (or maybe a wood lacquer of some sort), thought #2 runs into my mind about men and dance.  I mean, what guy wouldn’t want to do this?  I feel pretty manly right now with my make up and extra hair product.  I feel pretty manly right now as I slip on my latin shirt with the built in leotard that showcases the upper half of my bodacious chest accompanied by my latin pants that grip the bottom half of my torso which allows others to increase the way they see me from behind.  I am reminded that I am in Las Vegas and I could be mistaken for a Chippendale (then again, that wouldn’t be a bad thing).

O.K.  Maybe there’s the whole Perception vs. Reality thing going on (a False Evidence About Reality if you will).  Maybe, what most men are watching is Dancing With the Stars and their sports icons wearing outfits that they would never be caught in public with.  Maybe they’re seeing grown men on TV look like fools with their famous female “Dance Instructors” trying to move like a professional to choreography fit for the pros.  Maybe, just maybe, they’re seeing the wrong image of what dance really is and their reality of dance is not the REALITY of DANCE at all.

Real men dance with women like in this short clip posted here.  Real men rule the dance floor with their cool techniques and abilities to make the lady feel like a Real Woman.  Not sure if the male species has heard, but women love the man that can hold them and sway their bodies like nobody else can.  My wife.  Case in point.  If it wasn’t for my dancing, I would just be another skinny latin guy.

A friend and I once calculated the worth of our stock as potential suiters/boyfriend material before we were married.  Needless to say, it was very low.  In fact Enron has more value.  Our wives would agree that our sexiness rating increases exponentially when we became dancers (the skinniness factors dissipate immediately after the first box step).

Here’s what we know about the DNA of a man (REMEMBER: All facts are derived from my own experience and the experiences of one other friend.   So with that being said, I believe it should prove to you that I am now an expert in all men facts including behavioral patterns and social skills).

Every man wishes to be James Bond.  Why?  Because James Bond is the Ultimate Man (him and that latin guy from those Dos Equis commercials cleverly dubbed “The Most Interesting Man in the World”).  So if that is true, then our job as MAN is to increase our inner Bond-ness by any means possible.  The Ultimate guy, amongst other things, will have 3 main factors to him and one of them is the ability to Dance a lady into submission.  For the other two, you will have to buy my book when it comes out.

Are you as interesting as this guy? If you danced, you'd come close.

It is said that a Women can tell a Man…

by the way walks into a room,

by the way he touches her,

by the way he moves his hips,

by the way he treats a lady,

by the way he holds her,

by the way he Dances.

 

Part 3-  The Flip Side. I remember the first time I learned to dance.  My cousins and uncles would make fun of me (as most latin families do).  They would constantly sing Tina Turner’s “Private Dance”, dancer for money, do what you want me to do. One day I showed them a photo of who I danced with (my wife) and then the video that accompanied it.  They haven’t bothered me since.  Okay maybe they do, but not about the dancing.

I interviewed the lady clientele at every Arthur Murray I’ve been to and the answer is unanimous.  Women love a man that can dance.  One was even quoted as saying “the man that dances gets his chances.” However much dancing may increase the attractiveness of the female counterpart, Dancing, is not for every man.  It’s not for the man that wants to have coffee down the street by himself having people watch him wondering “Poor guy.  He has no friends.”  It’s not for the man who would rather live the life as an online stud muffin avatar named Joe Biceps.  Dancing is not for the man that prefers a good conversation about a mediocre book he read over an incredible social encounter with the person of his dreams.  Lastly, dancing is not for the man who would rather live through a text field from a phone and social media (like the one you’re reading from now) than meet a real person face to face.

Part 4- Results. I recently met with a Vietnam War veteran that piloted for the 82nd airborne division.  He recounted this story of his trip to China…

“I was on the Great Wall of China when I wanted to take a picture with a group of women I was with.  When the photographer was about to shoot, I lifted one girl up and started Fox Trotting.  We posed for the picture as we danced.  She squealed like a school girl.  I grabbed each one and with each one a different dance.  Cha Cha, Rumba, Waltz.  Each one screamed.  The babes loved it and they loved me.”

If that’s not a man, I don’t know what is.  A Vietnam vet (whom by the way had two lovely ladies on each arm while he told the story) testifying how dancing keeps him happy.

So if this is anything, it’s the role call to bring all the men that want to be THAT guy that the ladies search for.  To be THAT guy that ladies flock to in a distressed situation.  To be THAT guy that ladies dream about.   I wanted to be THAT and it got me THAT girl.

If you know someone that could use this as encouragement or if you’re a man still asking whether or not dancing is right for you, listen to the millions of screaming women who agree how a dancing man please them so, how a dancing man is the way to go.

But then again, it’s all up to you.  Your choice.  However, you know what they say about a man that can Dance…:)

*all studies and stats are pure fiction.  Results may vary depending on the Dancer and the move.  Each move has the ability to make each women feel and act differently.  Please use Dance and Dance affiliated venues with caution as it may cause heart related issues, including broken hearts (if not used properly) and excited partners.


20110503-021041.jpg

Honoring the great in Ballroom Dancing this week with guest judge the one, the only, Donnie Burns! And with Luca Baricchi and Shirley Ballas coaching the stars, it’s going to get crazy!!!

The first team of Romeo, Ralph and Chelsie, danced to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”. I mostly loved it with some rough spots due to lack of synconization. But very past paced and energized! They score a 30 for their Cha Cha formation.

Team Hines a.k.a “Shakin’ Your Butts Club” did a great job doing so. Dancing to a Ke$ha song, they did a good job bringing a club like energy to the floor. But they actauly tied with a 30 as well.

What an amazing surprise to have Yulia and Ricardo dance the fastest Jive I’ve ever seen!!! I’ve always loved her!!!
US and World Champions dancing a Tango was the %*&#!@ sickest thing I have ever seen! The stacatto action was beyond anything I ever knew and I had to rewind my DVR again and again and could not get enough of it!

Romeo & Chelsie: SAMBA score 29
I hated it, another hot mess. He was squating the whole time with his knees as if he was dancing a Tango. There was no bounce action and too much booty shakin’ could not cover the fact that he lacked all the skills to pull off this Samba.

Ralph & Karina: QUICKSTEP score 36
Super cute! Loved the story and speak easy theme. His footwork was surprising good for such a fast dance. Not much to say but he’ll be back next week.

Hines & Kym: TANGO score 36
All I can say is WOW! The best of the night for me. Some parts were a little too light on the feet during the run arounds and at times a little off balance, but all forgiveable.

Now the ladies….

Kendra & Louis: TANGO score 31
Luca was their coach for the Tango, and really like what he said, “A great dancer is not a dancer that doesn’t make mistakes. I make mistakes, Luis makes lots of mistakes when we dance, but we deal with them.” Well, I did not see any mistakes from this most improved dancer. And I give it up to her for surviving the pivot to promenade walks transitition which was super hard!

Chelsie & Mark: PASO DOBLE score 34
Loved her costume and the fact that the lace was a rhinestoned body suit…HOT!!! But the dance was Ok, nothing too special. And I hate it when Mark gets all bent out of shape and starts to, once again, name drop all the names of patterns. I’m soooo over him.

Kirstie & Maksim: JIVE score 30
I called it out America! I told you she was going to have a breakdown this week, ha! Now her dancing…..hot freakin’ mess! The side by side work was like she just ran out of steam and barely was able to lift her feet off the ground which is a must in this dance. And when your teacher is Maks, you know he does not hold back.

Well for the most part, it was not a good week for anyone. I think Romeo and Kirstie will be under the red light to see who will go home. If were up to me, I’d say it would be Kirstie going home. I think her fame is not enough to overcome the abundance of bad dancing this week. Then again, America may give in to the weight loss goal empathy voting and allow her one more week for redemption before ultimately ousting her from her dreams of a mirror ball trophy. But, you never know.
See you in 24 hours with my thoughts about the results.

20110503-020255.jpg

“Guilty Pleasures Week” on DTWS!  Can this be any more perfect for me to talk about?  I am all over this theme!  Yes, I’m guilty of singing in the shower and while driving to work (yes, I’m that girl on 280 Northbound). I have no shame letting it all out and thinking “What student can I get to dance to New Kids on The Block? Britney? *Nsync?” Mmmmm….And the show had the “pre-Jonas Brothers” band Hansen as the house band singing more guilty pleasures songs between commercials.
Chris & Cheryl: TANGO score 22
“Don’t Stop Believing”, can this night get any better?  Bruno and Carrie Ann are on drugs and Len was spot on! (Happy Birthday Len)  I was so impressed with Chris’s toned and relaxed shoulders throughout the routine.  He looked strong but yet was flexible when need be, which is a challenge for most guys that have alot of muscles.  He needed to have a way higher score, give me a paddle board!
Romeo & Chelsie: WALTZ score 28
Who doesn’t love a hopeless romantic? Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion would have been a great routine to pull off, but I felt it fell short. Don’t get me wrong, he totally pulled off the facial expressions and created a feel of the story, but his transitions, once again, is the small detail that would put him above Hines, in my eyes.  But Carrie Ann’s 10? I told you she was on drugs. She claimed that it was a magical night for Romeo, I think not!
Ralph & Karina: PASO DOBLE score 24
Ok, when Karina put in the famous “wax on, wax off” arm styling, I was thinking for the love of God, pleeeeease tell me they are dancing to “You’re the Best Around” from The Karate Kid. Oh but no, an even better song, “Everybody Dance Now” (ps. it’s one of our teachers’ favorite songs.  Don’t tell Dustin I told you America).  Now for the actual performance….. Loved the way it started with the high energy and even I was getting pumped up and wanted to start dancing around my house.  I know you all are wondering my thoughts on Karina’s fall.  The combination of tripping over Ralph’s foot (which was not mentioned) and landing on his coat which made her slip and fall, all I can say is poor thing! Once again kids, the professionals are humans too!  Even as frazzled as she was she knew she had to get back up and get back into it.  Once that was, the routine picked up from where it was left off. For those of you who think knee spins and that last run to dip was not a big deal, it was! Those elements are difficult and great job to Ralph for pulling them off.
Hines & Kym: VIENNESE WALTZ score 27
Oh, Boys II Men songs.  Taking me back to the good old days of high school and all things cheesy. But his routine was far from cheese, I loved everything about it.  The choreography was one of Kym’s best and amazing.  If I’m being super picky, I would say watch for the footwork during the pivots, no spinning on the heel.  Now, any ladies who want to volunteer to take the place of Hines’s pillow?
Now the ladies….
Kendra & Louis: SAMBA score 25
Some may agree, some of you may not, but that was by far her best dance ever!  Finally, we were able to see her shine and have fun and not march around like last week. Her voltas were a little weak, but you have to give it up to her letting loose on the dance floor.
Chelsea & Mark: QUICKSTEP score 28
OK, I love this one. Super cute and fun from beginning to end, I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. Yes, Mark, I have nothing but positive nice things to say tonight. This one was deserving of the score but was hoping for a 29. Go girl!!!

Kirstie & Maksim: SAMBA score 26
Yes, welcome back to the competition Kirstie!  I mean come on, dancing to Britney’s first hit “Baby, Hit Me One More Time”?  Loved it and her dancing. She tends to look down, which shows a lack of confidence from time to time, but when she makes eye contact with Maks or the crowd, it’s hot! I would like to see her hold her feet to show off the “1 a 2″ rhythm better and more twist action during the stationary copas.  As for the famous Shadow Samba Rolls……..not bad.  Usually, I’m against these patterns because they are so hard to do correctly, but I am not hating them on her (Rachel, don’t pass out!).
All in all, I think every week needs to have this theme.  At least I was fully entertained. So who is going home America? I think with the combination of a low score (compared to everyone else) and a feeling that America has been trying to get her off the show.  We’ll send home Kendra.
But, then again…Who knows.  See you in 24 hours with my thoughts about the results.

Ok, here we go…..

Love that Chelsea and Mark got to do their routine again for the encore. In danger of going home? No, I think not!

Next week is paying tribute to the good ol’ USofA!  Oh boy, everyone get out your red, white and blue!!!

Swan Lake on DWTS? Principal dancer from the San Francisco Ballet (Bay Area represent, woot woot!!!) Nice to see ballet exposed to millions of fans.

Now the bottom 3….
I knew Chelsea and Mark were fine, I guess the producers just wanted to add more drama.  She’s a good dancer and has a lot of talent.  No worries there.

Petra and Dmitry deserved that scare of being in jeopardy.  She needs to step her game up and get down all of the details and technique needed to make her stronger.  Not sure if that will happen by next week, but look for her to be in the bottom three again if not voted off.

It was Sugar Ray to leave the show this time.   Not totally surprised as I called out 2 weeks ago, but still a little bummed out.   He was fun to watch and always put a smile on my face.  I guess this boxer went down in the fourth round.

As for next week, don’t be surprised to see Petra back in the bottom three along with Chelsea and new bottom three pal Kendra.  Unless they create great routines and show America something different by Monday, you’ll see no change here.  In the end, I think it will be Petra as the one going home.  But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Until then…Diva Christina

It’s the first ever “Classical Week” for DWTS. A 46 piece band! David Garret as “rock violinist”! And metro sroprano Katherine Jenkins to add to the dramatic flare! Wow, what a show! Now this all sounds fantastic, but I know in the back of all the teachers’ minds, they are thinking, “Yes! I get to to do choreography to a song that holds no clear beat or steady rhythm. I can just go by what I feel in that moment in time, this will be the greatest master piece I have ever created! Wait a minute, what? Oh, that’s right! I’m dancing with someone who forgets their left foot from their right foot and has no idea where to find the “1” beat. Oh Lord, help me survive this week please!”
Sugar Ray & Anna: VIENNESE WALTZ score21
When I heard they were dancing to “Waltz of the Flowers”, I felt like munching on a gingerbread cookie, washing it down with a cold glass of milk while sitting next to a Christmas tree. I love this performance! Was it technically correct, NO! But what a fun time I had watching this. And I love that Anna paid honor to ballet with some moves inserted through out the routine. His streamlines and run around were a little bouncy, but who cares!
Chris & Cheryl: PASO DOBLE score 23
Awesome job on choreography and accenting the music! So right on with every beat! Hated the mustashe but loved all the transformation and makeup to fit the mood of the night. I think he is the “Dark Horse” of the season, watch out!!!

Romeo & Chelsie: PASO DOBLE score 23
OK , I love this song! I have a special place in my heart for this one, since I had the pleasure performing with the awesome Juan de Dios Garcia for a friend’s wedding. So I thought to myself, “Romeo, don’t you dare mess this one up!” For the most part I liked it. The intensity was totally there and you feel like he put it all on the line (even more than last week’s performance). He just needs to fill out the music with more body movement rather than hit all his poses sharp. For example, when rolling up through the back, I want to see the devolpement of each and every muscle on his back work. And on a selfish note, I want Chelsie’s dress. So Designs by Randall, send it this way. Just add a couple of panels of fabric, I’m no size 2!!!
Ralph & Karina: WALTZ score 25
The beginning was a little over dramtic, but once they started dancing…wow! Ralph pulled it off. His hands were so much better and looked like they had life in them. Previously, his hands were called “creepy” and “spatulas”. Good job Karina for fixing those things. Now she needs to focus on the falling action of the “rise and fall” by having him control through his knees, feet and ankles. What completely blew me away was the side by side chanée turns in great synchronicity! Holy cow! And loved all his lines and the re-inactment of “dying with his love” at the ending pose. Romeo and Juliet. What a sucker I am for love.
Hines & Kym: PASO DOBLE score 25
Hines is 100% all man, sheoow!!! That was my cat call attempt to Hines to bring it over here to mama. How hot was that? The only thing I would say is watch the foot work during the lock steps. Oh, and the second thing I would say is…HOT!!! That’s all I can say now.
Now the ladies….

Kendra & Louis: VIENNESE WALTZ score 18
First off, good for Len to kindly remind us that they are beginner dancers. Trust me, I would never expect a first year student to do even half of what these stars do. But even then, here is what I think of my girl Kendra. I think the more you tighten your arms and shoulders, the harder it is to do all these tricks that were in the routine. Yes, you must have a sense of tone in the muscles, but if not, you will look as if you are scared to death (which she did). Plus, anytime she used her arms, she never bent her elbow which would of given her a softer overall feel. Mind you, I actually like Kendra, but just like the song said, “Time to Say Goodbye” girlfriend. Snap!
Chelsea & Mark: VIENNESE WALTZ score 26
I’m a little torn on this one. I loved the whole routine, I truly truly did. Come on, anything from the amazing John Williams would be a dream come true to dance to in front of millions of people. And being a Harry Potter fan didn’t hurt either. I just wish Mark would of put more actual “dance patterns” because it would of worked just as well, if not better. The shadow natural turns were OK, a bit rushed to me. Good for you Len for putting your foot down on Mark’s antics! I guess he’s trying to make his claim into the Broadway market. Choose another show Mark. It’s Ballroom!
Petra & Dmitry: PASO DOBLE score 23
Don’t start booing at me, but thumbs down for this one. I can not get over her clumsy walking steps and frantic skirt work. I mean, come on, how can you mess up walking? Isn’t that part of your job as a model? And having a hard time making a pissed off pouty face? Once again, isn’t that your job? You’re a model, that’s what they are known for. And was it really necessary disrobing her at the end? I completely disagree with the judges.
Kirstie & Maksim: WALTZ score 22
Pretty, but her wrists are way too bent. Looks like a broken chicken wing. And her feet need to stay connected on the floor during her twinkles and passes. Not bad, but would like to see more. And yes, I’ve had my shoe come off my foot at the most random time and I think it WAS during a performance. Hee hee!!! I feel you girl!
So now I’m motivated and want to dance to any one of these songs. So if you are one of my students, get ready to be dramatic for June’s Showcase (you don’t have a choice)!
See you in 24 hours with my thoughts about the results.

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

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

The Loss of an Icon

Arthur Murray was an icon in many ways.  He helped revolutionize the way people viewed dance and industrialized the way businesses marketed with his mail order foot prints.  He created the first dance studio to become a franchise.  Second oldest only to A&W.  He gave many people opportunities to help be successful like himself including yours truly.  But as many great icons often do, he created others that were just as iconic.

A beauty to say the least, Ms. Doris dances here for Ziefeld Follies.

On a sunny Saturday in April 2009, Cari and I had the pleasure of visiting the state of Florida at a convention that paralleled no other; Arthur Murray’s Franchisee convention.  The excitement of meeting with your peers is always exciting, but none came close to the special delight of our guest speaker.  Enter Doris Eaton Travis was her name and dancing was her game.  A one on one interview was held and we had the pleasure of being in her presence.

When looking around the room, I could see so much talent and wisdom.  Anything you ever wanted to know about Arthur Murray and about dancing was right at the tip of your fingers.  All it took was one question.  But all of our tongues were silent.  Silent with the spectacle on stage.  Not many of us can say we knew Arthur Murray personally, but we could come close with 6 degrees of separation.  Doris was 1 degree from knowing Arthur Murray, the man, herself.

Let me tell you a little about her accomplishments.  At the age of 14, Doris became a girl for the famed Ziegfeld Follies as the youngest girl ever to be in the show.  From there she never looked back.  She continued to perform on stage and in films throughout the 20’s and 30’s.  It wasn’t until 1936 when she started working for Arthur Murray himself as a tap dance instructor.  According to her, she bugged Arthur to teach her countless times.  Enough so that he decided to put her in an instructor training class just to keep her quiet.

Unfortunately that did just the opposite.  Her hunger for learning and ballroom dancing grew.  She learned step after step.  She did such a great job that Arthur noticed her one day and asked “Why isn’t she teaching?” and made her a teacher right on the spot.  From there she modeled herself after both Arthur and Kathryn as an entrepreneur and helped Arthur accomplish his dream of Franchising his studios so that the world could enjoy dance as much as he.

TIME OUT!  In case you don’t know, here’s a bit of history.  How many woman can you name that owned a legitimate business in 1941?  You could probably name only a few.  In fact Doris was the first woman in U.S. history to own her own business (talk about history maker).  In a time of MAN, she was the only WOMAN.  As if being the first wasn’t enough, it wasn’t for Doris.

TIME IN!  After creating the first business, she went on to own over 30 franchises.  And if the question is “Did she own them all at once?”  The answer is YES!  I would imagine at this point in time she sat down in one of the many offices she had in the midwest studios and asked the question “I think I should start something new with all of this time I have free now that I own over 20 schools?”.  Because what happened next could only come from a self chat such as that.

Arthur Murray was successful in the 50’s for having the Arthur Murray Party on TV.  It was a television show dedicated to teaching people dance and introducing them to new styles of music and dance around the globe.  It was so successful that Doris, having the Broadway Star roots run through her body, decided to have a Television spot of her own.  It was just as successful as it’s predecessor and another star was born.  Although it wasn’t anything like today with hit shows like Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, in my personal opinion it had much more class.  Watching such cool dancers do such cool social dance moves far outweighs the likes of plastered makeup on almost forgotten contestants trying to win a trophy.

Have you ever been dancing and see the old guy in the corner.  He doesn’t look like much, but he has a line of dancers waiting for him because when he busts out a move, it required the combination of no blinking, a video camera, a group of dancers in a half circle watching with their mouths wide open and 70 years experience.  I’ve had that pleasure.  I was the one who was caught in the middle of it all, not knowing what was going on and in a flash I turned around and there he was, challenging me.  Challenging me with the coolest move I’ve ever seen.  So cool that I asked him to show me and he resulted in pushing my hand away, backing up, opening his palms and asked with his body “What do you got?”  He turned away and with his back turned I scratched my head and thought as I looked to my Counterpart Bobby and stated “I think I just got smoked by the Old Guy in the club.”  I laid in the fetal position for the next five minutes.

How does that relate to this story?  It doesn’t.  Just kidding.  That old guy was everywhere on her show in the form of young instructors, men and women that adorned the studios for Ms. Doris in the midwest.  In fact I would imagine, her show was the first to have the phrase cool used to describe it as something other than the refrigerator.  Now that’s cool to be called cool for the first time!

3 of a Kind: Doris, Cari and Juan share in common the joy of a life changed by Arthur Murray

Flashback to the conference room of the famed Fontainebleu in Miami.  There we sat as Ms. Travis finished her interview.  She rose from her chair to a thunderous standing ovation, strutted a couple of dance moves to show us all that she still has it and proceeded to allow us the privilege of taking a photo with her one last time before her exit.  Over the years she accomplished much.  From joining Arthur Murray and owning her many studios to having her television and Broadway career.  From getting her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma graduating cum laude at age 88 to being presented with an honorary doctorate at 100.  This woman had done it all.

Her final curtain call came on the day of May 11, 2010.  Fresh off the celebration of her 106th birthday.  She will forever be missed and remembered the world over.  This column was created to share with others that which she has shared with us.  Created to share her wonderful life that touched so many.  And as for this person, she couldn’t have made a bigger impression as an icon.

I guess now she gets to bug Arthur once more to figure out how she can get a franchise in the sky.

It was a cold and rainy evening on the eve of Dance O Rama.  Those coming in on wednesday were surprised to see the sight of their fantastic weekend, become so gloomy.  It was what they saw back home on the east coast or a normal April day in England.  Even those from California were wondering if they had arrived in California.  But that’s what’s expected.

On the eve of a Dance O Rama all is grey, even the minds of those who will participate.  Grey with thoughts of performing to the their own expectations or those expectations of others.  It’s expected to fail the eve of any event, just ask any veteran, that’s how you know you’re ready.  And ready we were in San Jose.  So much in fact that we willed the grey to end.  We willed the light to shine and the sun to rise and on the day of Dance O Rama, a bright Thursday appeared with the sun on everyone’s faces and the smiles of everyone around.  It was here.  San Francisco Dance O Rama has arrived.

Love, Chaos and Dinner at the Famous Teatro Zinzanni

We were fortunate enough to spend a fantastic evening at the fabulous Teatro Zinzanni for a glorious evening of Love, Chaos and Dinner (their slogan).  Arthur Murray packed the house with more than 2/3 of the crowd.  Enough so that the actors had to mention us in their act and boy did they receive a thunderous applause every time they did.  Food was enjoyed, dancing was had by all and fools were made fun of as they were picked from their seats and into the jester isle.  A fabulous time indeed.

When Friday morning crept around, it was early, but not early enough to steal the hunger of a dance competitor.  We were hungry for the art of dance at 8 am.  Who does that?  San Jose Arthur Murray does!  From 8 am to 1am we danced.  We left it out all on the floor. The day began with Solo Routines.  We rocked it.  Country Western, did that with a hat!  Smooth freestyles, did that!  Rhythm Freestyles, did that!  Bachata?  Did that too!.  There was no limit to the dances we were capable of.

We even had time to take a break for a little Country Western party where a legendary duo of Arthur Murray antics choreographed an award winning formation where the gentlemen and their lady counterparts entered in a duel of dancing to the death.  It was close, but by unanimous decision the Gentlemen won.  Yes it’s true, even the judges said so and should you question or would like to challenge the decision they can be reached by pager.

Saturday brought much excitement to the table.  Open freestyles allowed the students to do their fantastic routines and Scholarships showed off their  dancing to the next level.  The evening was a huge success.  Talk about dressing to the nines.  I think Arthur Murray Dance Studios invented it.  Everyone was decked out in their best to celebrate a wonderful culmination of dance events and camaraderie.  When asked what they thought about the whole weekend, a San Jose student replied “The weekend?  It was…Sexy.”  I couldn’t have agreed more.  Sexy was San Jose Arthur Murray’s middle name.  Sexy were the jackets we wore all weekend, it was our cheering and demeanor.  Sexy was the way a certain San Jose Franchisee walked when escorting her fellow Franchisee and husband as he received a Top Instructor award.  Sexy?  We were brimming with it.

All in all, San Francisco Dance O Rama was a huge hit.  It was the success that we had all hoped for it to be.  And when Sunday rolled around, we could only reminisce of the great time we had the nights before.  We remembered the laughs we had, the good times (we tried to remember the bad times but there weren’t any) and the hardware we came home with.  We knew the next week was awaiting.  6 a.m was around the corner and our daily routine of shower and a coffee were whispering in our ears.  We knew work was calling and regular life would be exactly where we left it, on the front door step next to the mail we hadn’t collected in 4 days.  But for this one weekend, we all had the experience that can only be matched by another.  Until the next one my friends.  We want to thank everyone for participating and hanging out with us crazy people all weekend long.  We had a blast and would do it again in a heart beat.

But this is something that we will always have in our hearts.  As cliche as this may sound, we truly left our Dancing Hearts in San Francisco.