Pasha and Danny and … Mark: Everyone's a Star!

I just received my copy of Time Out NY in the mail and was flipping through while watching my favorite TV show (actually, the only one I watch, SYTYCD) and, in glancing at the “Dating Section” noticed a blurb recommending as the ideal date the weekly Friday night dance lesson and party hosted by my first studio, DanceSport. They included a photo of said party, which, on close inspection, I realized included my old Swing team partner, Mark!

He’s the guy in black all the way in the back left corner of the picture. Hi Mark!!

For corny old times’ sake, here we are swingin’ in Atlanta two years ago at the National Swing Championships — we’re the couple nearest the back screen. Hi again, Mark!

Benji Schwimmer (last year’s SYTYCD champ) was probably at that event. Don’t remember him though; that was before it all

Anyway, I was excited to watch the show tonight, after inadvertently missing it last week. Fun fun!

Pasha 🙂 I know I shouldn’t say anything because I’m UNOBJECTIVE but I’m just so proud — he was so out of his element tonight and he really nailed that jazz routine. I worried about him — as I do all ballroom dancers trying to do other dance styles — but, clearly, I had no need 🙂 Of course Pasha and Anya had loads of dance training back in Russia so that’s coming to their aid now.

I had to laugh though at Sara‘s hair comment. He DOES take forever with the damn hair! But it’s a Latin ballroom thing, I swear. They all wear their hair greased down, slicked back, blown-dry and hair sprayed firmly, stiffly into place, not a stray strand or else. It’s basically a rule of competition. It looks a bit kooky to me, to be honest, but no one challenges them rules… I’m thrilled they’re encouraging change with the hair thing here, but after all this time, it’s probably just one of those things that’s part of life for him. And the women’s makeup is another thing — so much of it at the comps, and just caked on! I’ve never seen so little makeup on Anya as here, and she looks gorgeous.

My second favorite: Danny, about which I guess I’m semi-unobjective (in that he’s dancing with Pasha’s partner, and of course he hails from the greatest dance company in the world). Okay, arguably, whatever 🙂 I missed his 10,000 pirouettes last week. Were they brilliant?! I got a quick glimpse of them tonight, but it was far too brief. And that grand jete with fully extended air splits across the entire floor at the beginning of his and Anya’s Foxtrot!!! And he was a natural ‘Foxtrotter’ too. Which, Standard is sometimes hard for ballet dancers because your feet have to be perfectly parallel, no turnout, and sometimes you can get a little knock-kneed, and it feels very weird. But he not only nailed it but gave it that little something undefinably special as well.

But personality-wise: I think he’s just shy, right? Don’t you think he’s shy? Or perhaps… maybe he is someone who’s taken some hard knocks in life and is just a bit too used to getting beaten down? He just seems a bit sad to me. In any event, I have NO idea how anyone could call him arrogant? Unless I’m missing something, he seems the antithesis of pompous ass. If anyone had that interpretation earlier, it might have been because sometimes people feel compelled to erect a protective facade and it came across as haughty… Who knows. Anyway I find him sympathetic and spectaular and stunning and all that and I really want him to make it to the finals please please!

Til tomorrow night…


  1. being a ballet dancer, i’m sure danny is used to harsh criticism…i missed the episode tonight, miss seeing him onstage at the met at abt!

  2. Yes, I also thought it was strange that the judges earlier on kept bringing up the “arrogance” thing with regard to Danny. The NY Times also had an article a while back suggesting that Danny communicated a sense of “detachment” because perhaps, being a former dancer with ABT, he felt superior to all the other dancers and was feeling somewhat embarrassed to even be there on the show (an attitude of “I’m better than all this – what am I even doing here?”). But whatever the case – whether it’s arrogance (which the judges suggested but which I doubt) or shyness (as you believe), the bottom line is that, in my opinion at least, Danny is the best dancer in the competition (and there are some very good ones still left, including your Pasha). I think that last night may have been a break-through evening for Danny – he clearly has now won over the judges; the question is – did he charm and captivate the TV audience as well? If he gets voted out, I am once again going to hate myself for watching this kind of show.

  3. I agree. I don’t think Danny is arrogant at all. In fact, I suspect he was falsely saddled with the “arrogant” label by the producers to generate controversy. This is still a reality TV show. Danny seems like a very polite and respectful young man. Anya said in many interviews that he is very kind, humble and talented. They make an excellent team.

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