I know, odd thought, right. But that is where the Ohio Star Ball is happening right now. Decided not to go this year to save money and vacation time at work, but now I’m so sad! Tonight they are filming America’s Ballroom Challenge there. I went last year when they filmed the show for PBS for the first time in many years, and it was so much fun being part of a studio audience. Making fun of Marilu Henner with her umpteenth costume changes and do-overs, cheering wildly for no reason at all simply because the announcer told us to, watching the camera-man operate his elephantine machinery to get the most interesting shot… such an experience.
Anyway, I peeked at their website to find out when it’s going to be broadcast on PBS, and they seem not to have set the date yet. But, they are now re-airing last year’s show. In New York, it’s going to be on Channel Thirteen this Wednesday, November 22nd from 8-10 p.m., and elsewhere in the country it’s set to air on December 25th. Check your local PBS listings for the exact times.
Everyone please watch it if you can! This is soooo much better than Dancing With the Stars — in my mind at least! These are the best Latin and ballroom dancers in the country, and this is what a real ballroom competition looks like. The first half is where the finalists are all on the floor at once, competing for the judges’ attention, which is the main part of an authentic ballroom comp. And the second half is where the top three from the finals round perform a solo exhibition showcase, which is flashier, and hence like the popular TV show, but is only a very small part of a real competition. Andrei Gavriline is my favorite Latin male — and he’s the current US champ, so someone agrees with me 🙂 He’s tall and thin and dances with such amazing speed, he really seems to fly across the floor. And his body is such a contrast with that of his tiny former-gymnast wife, Elena Kryuschkova. She appears just to fly up into his arms during their lifts. My favorite showdance couples are Max Kozhnevnikov and Yulia Zagoruychenko, who do the most amazing ballroom samba I’ve ever seen, and Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine and Joanna Zacharewicz, the current world Mambo champs, who do a super fun, encore Mambo. Also, in the first hour, please watch for couple number 310 (Pavel Kovalev and Anna Garnis). They didn’t make it to the solos, and it’s such a shame because they really know how to put on a show, more than many ballroom dancers I think. They have incredible rhythm, she is one of the most voluptuous female dancers, and they are so much fun to watch. All of this is apparent, though, in the first half 🙂 Go couple 310!
Okay, that is my happy ballroom reflection for the day. In world of ballet, look how gorgeous David Hallberg looks!!!! (Here with Winger woman Kristin Sloan, and Matthew Murphy, posted on Matt’s blog). His face is maturing and he is really starting to look like a man 🙂 He looks 10 years older than in his pic on the cover of Pointe magazine from earlier this year…