Ah, wasn’t he brilliant tonight on Dancing With the Stars! That, ladies and gentlemen, is the greatest Latin ballroom dancer in the world! Excepting Slavik Actually, not though – Louis is the best; really years after his retirement from competitive ballroom dancing he is still the world’s greatest I strongly declare. And damn was that a fast cha cha he and Cheryl Burke did to that Barry Manilow song! Kind of a funny thing with this show: they hire a certain singer to perform, the song their choice, and then tell the dancers to dance something to it. Sometimes there really isn’t a ballroom dance that perfectly fits the beat of that particular song, so the dancers really have to be creative. I think Louis and Cheryl could have gone with a Hustle, but they chose to do a crazy fast Cha Cha instead, and wow! That standing ovation was so deserved. Oh, I love him so!
And I thought Jonathan Roberts and his wife Anna Trebunskaya did a beautiful waltz to “Oh Mandy!” What an adorably sweet couple! And, am I a dork for loving that song?
I loved the group Swing number and am glad they showed it again tonight. Christian Perry, the choreographer, actually used to teach at my old studio, Paul Pellicoro’s DanceSport. Every Friday night they’d have a social dance party, and beforehand they’d have an all-levels group class. All levels can mean either hideously over your head or ridiculously easy. In his case, it was always the latter, which I appreciated because it became more of an occasion for fun, or to work on improving technique since you weren’t worried about getting the simple steps down. This group number was really sophisticated though, for a bunch of amateurs. I would think that would be so hard, to choreograph a routine that had sufficient amounts of fun, performance-worthy showiness with some good lifts and fast dancing for a group of amateurs of varying abilities. Of course these are all extremely hard-working amateurs. He pulled it off well. Good for Christian!
I also enjoyed their little footage of the amateurs talking about how great it was to connect with each other over ballroom and yet how competitive they were as well. I feel what they all said is so true: you do really bond with each other, especially when you do a performance showcase, and you do really compete with each other when doing a competition. I think that’s why I grew to prefer the former so much more over the latter. Competition makes me so uneasy.
But what a shocker are the results?! Hip hop Cheeta Girl dancer extraordinaire Sabrina Bryan, whom I think everyone fully expected to make it to the finals, was axed tonight unexpectedly, to make a ginormous understatement.
Now I feel badly for criticizing her pro partner, Mark Ballas, earlier… it could have been that people were displeased with him either for the reasons I stated — that he was spending too much time showing off and not properly framing Sabrina (although I thought he did much better on that front with their foxtrot last night — hard to show off in standard ballroom though), or perhaps because people might have felt Sabrina had an unfair advantage getting to work with Mark’s mother, ballroom dame Shirley Ballas. Or, perhaps they thought it was unfair that she already had a good deal of dance experience and the scales were unfairly tipped to begin with? I think the show’s producers do that on purpose though — try to get people of varying levels of ability. I think they want to make sure the audience doesn’t get too bored with too many “bad” people. But they also want to have enough low-level beginners who can grow and improve during the show so the audience can have an underdog to root for. I think here their thinking might have backfired a bit, unfortunately for Sabrina.