They Made It Through!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I honestly didn’t know if they would since no one would tell me (apparently they were sworn to secrecy until the show aired). Wasn’t Pasha the cutest when he found out :) :) :) And isn’t Anna (I know her as Anna, not Anya) just one of the most gorgeous dancers you have ever seen! I’m so happy for them! “The best ballroom dancers we have ever had on this show”!!!!!! Yay!

10 Comments

  1. Tonya how do you feel about the “costumes” in ballroom dancing?

    I occasssionally watch competitions on PBS and have mixed reactions to the costumes and even the dancing. The cosutmes sometimes are extremely tacky… and what is it with the females being almost naked?

    The dancing is very controlled and they are quite skilled… but it is often lacking fluidity and seems so stocatto (sp?)… why is balllroom so super fast and jerky looking? These dancers always look like they are on “speed”. Has BD always looked like this or is this a recent development?

    Jef

  2. tonya – have you seen any SYTYCD clips on youtube? i’d love to see p+a but can never watch the show when it’s airing…

  3. Hi SanderO — Well, I have mixed reactions to the costumes. They are often very revealing, and part of that I think is because in Latin the judges need to see precise body movements — ie: whether shoulders and “lat” (back) muscles are pushing down before the hip settles, etc. — if you’re wearing a big bulky costume you can’t see back muscles and hips at all. And same for all the pelvic contractions — back, forth, and side to side, that you need to show in Samba. The men’s costumes aren’t skimpy but tend to be very tight for the same reason. (tight shirts open in the front and form-fitting pants). Also, Latin dancing is supposed to be “sexy” so there’s that element as well — they’re trying to keep in character I guess. That’s what the owner of my old studio used to say anyway!

    The problem is that some people get the wrong idea about women in Latin Ballroom dance. You wouldn’t believe some of the personal emails I get — telling me I need to show more cleavage since I’m a Latin dancer, etc. (these emails are NOT from ballroom dancers but from people new to ballroom dancing just seeing it now on TV, or so they say). Really creeps me out to be honest. The point of Latin dancing to me is to show the judges at competitions and spectators at showcases that you can move your body well, with speed and agility and precision and fluidity, and to be a beautiful dancer and show your creativity and artistry through your interpretation of the music and through interesting choreography, not to be a sex object. I think if people go to these competitions, they will understand that that’s what it’s really about and won’t get the wrong idea and write a random ballroom blogger that they think if she’s a real Latin dancer she must show cleavage and wear sexier clothing.

    I mean, I also think there’s nothing wrong with the human body — male or female — and with showing it, but I just don’t want to see it be about sex and objectification (especially of women since they’re more often objectified) rather than about the beauty of the body, you know? Maybe sometimes it’s hard to draw the line… That, along with nudity in ballet and modern, etc., is actually a big topic to me and something I want to think about and research a lot more…

    It’s funny though because some people have emailed me asking me where they can get one of these costumes, not even for dancing but just for cocktail parties! I think some of the costumes can be a little on the garish side too, although I find some of them gorgeous, but I guess what is tacky to one person can be beautiful to another!

    As far as the speed: I attended a series of lectures at Blackpool and one of them was on how Latin ballroom dance has changed throughout the decades. It was really interesting and when I get a chance I’m going to blog more about it. But they showed some Latin dancers from the 50s and 60s (as far back as they have actual footage of the dance competitions) and the music was faster but the dancing was much slower. Just like with ice skating and other kinds of competitive sports, since so much of ballroom dancing right now still exists on the competition floor, more speed means better marks means you win the prize money and the title. So that’s why speed is so important. When I first started watchin Latin dancing I remember thinking too how “jerky” it sometimes looked, but I guess it grew on me. That’s also an element of competition though, because it’s so incredibly hard to make it look that way and have it be proper (ie: man is leading, woman following)- you have to be so in sync with your partner, which is one of the elements the judges look for. But on the other hand, in showcases, some of the most beautiful I’ve seen have been where they’re softer and not as much “man whipping the woman around the floor” – looking — like the YouTube I posted earlier of Slavik and Karina’s rhumba; that’s almost balletic to me.

    Anyway, I’m going to think more about this though — thanks for asking good questions!

  4. Oh hi, Michele — I replied before I saw your post. No, I haven’t seen them on YouTube — I didn’t see last week’s epidode either, so I just saw them getting told they’d made it without seeing their dancing. I’ll look around YouTube and see if it’s posted there.

  5. Oh, my. The promotional pix of Pasha are ridiculous. They’ve greased him up and stolen all his shirts. Not that Pasha isn’t handsome, but why must the Russian ballroom dancer always be seen more as beefcake than talent? I guess they’re trying to catch him up to Anna, a shot of whose ass has been used every week.

    http://terpsichoremusings.typepad.com/terpsichore_musings/2007/06/sytycd.html

  6. Really Parker! Ugh — that’s funny because another thing I was going to say in response to SanderO’s comment was that I think the system kind of does this to the dancers. I’ve heard that in competitions the judges can sometimes rank you lower because they don’t like your costume — meaning, not skimy enough or just not in the style that everyone else is wearing??… Some of the costumes I just love, but many are, as Sander says, kinda tacky to be honest, and I’ve honestly been told before that I may not do too well in competition because of my stylistic preferences…

  7. I just looked at your post that you linked to in your comment, Parker. Ewwww! You are so right — Pasha doesn’t even look comfortable; it looks totally out of character for him. He is such a little sweetie, such a cutie (not to mention awesome dancer of course); he is just so not a sexpot, you know! As I wrote on your blog, whatever the judges may force on dancers at the competitions, it’s nothing compared to what TV can come up with, right!

  8. Totally. They made the determination that Pasha and Anna were the “hot” couple and use every opportunity to remind us of this – “they’re hot, remember! Sexy, sexy, sexy! Look at Anna’s butt! Look at her chest!! Look at Pasha without a shirt!! Don’t show them doing anything else – don’t let them talk – just ogle, ogle, ogle!!” Well, I guess fulfilling the “hot” role is better than what they’re doing to poor Danny Tidwell – he gets the villian edit. I feel like – you have cameras rolling, right? Then please SHOW me that Danny is arrogant. Why should I believe you judges when you say it without showing me any evidence? Aaarrggh. It was easier to watch this show when it was all unknowns. Now that there are people on it whose reputations I actually care about, all the reality TV manipulations seem magnified.

  9. Here’s the youtube of Pasha and Anya’s audition link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK10vZ4AE1s. Found it over at dance-forums.com.

  10. Oh, thanks so much, Suzie!

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