I always love the last, “free form,” dance on DWTS because everyone gets so into the lifts. They’re so much fun to learn as an adult; you feel like you’re a ‘real dancer,’ a ‘big person’ once you master a few (of the easier ones for me). Or at least I do because they’re so balletic, my ultimate dance passion. It’s so fun to watch all these giggly adults on the show, and in the studio. I think that’s why Dance Times Square’s student showcases became so popular; concentrating so hard on ballroom technique, as is required for the competitions, can get really monotonous; lifts are exciting, new and performancy.
I was really amazed by the level of difficulty of all the free form routines tonight. Those continuous assisted cartwheels that Helio and Julianne did blew me away — that he did them properly, I mean (I know Pasha and … geez, who did he do that routine with, Lacey??? … well I know Pasha and someone did them on SYTYCD, as did Benji and Heidi the season before, but it doesn’t surprise me that they were all splendid perfection!) I tried it with my old teacher, Luis, he wanting to put them into my Latin combo showcase. No way I said; not a sight anyone should see, believe me!
I really really really wish, though, that DWTS would have had ballet dancers appear on the show to teach the lifts. I had to go outside of my regular ballroom studio and learn from someone with a substantial ballet background; ballroom dancers aren’t used to lifts and, though they can do them, they’re difficult for them to teach. When Helio did that turn with Julianne laid out over his shoulders, he didn’t spot at all and I was afraid he was going to get dizzy because he turned several times. Plus, spotting just makes it look more polished. Ugh, another missed opportunity to have the greatest dancers in the world on the show …
I was disappointed, though, with practically all of the ballroom routines tonight. I thought Mel and Maks’s was boring choreographic-wise, although Mel did well with the dancing … actually maybe that was a conscious decision on Maks’s part — to fill the choreography with basic after basic after basic (really, there was a lot of bronze-level stuff in that routine), and no tricks, so that she could just excel with the actual dancing. Still, I think for TV performance-quality, the pro needs to come up with something better than that. Marie and Helio’s routines I felt were choreographically more interesting, but Samba and Jive are their two hardest dances respectively. Marie did particularly unwell with Samba, and Helio’s Jive was fun because he put so much attitude into it, but, as Len said, he messed up the toe heel swivels and footwork in some places. I thought his Jive kicks were good though — those are hard. Well, Samba and Jive are my two hardest too so I sympathize…
Ugh, I dunno, I guess it’s anyone’s trophy really. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Anyway, here are some pictures of the Lincoln Center Christmas tree lighting tonight:
New York City Ballet performing teensy excerpts from Balanchine’s The Nutcracker on the balcony of the New York State Theater. Above is Megan Fairchild doing the Sugar Plum Fairy variation.
The tree is lit! There were SO many people there; I couldn’t believe it, especially since it was raining off and on, at times pouring even. There was a sea of umbrellas out on the plaza at one point. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ever find Kyle Froman since it was so packed out there. I’ll have to go to Barnes & Noble and check out his book this weekend. I looked for it at Books A Million in North Carolina, but they didn’t have it; had hardly any dance actually
Katy, from Burlington, says hello.