Argh, I love how they introduced Lord of the Flies guy, Lord of the Flames, whatever his name is… — Michael Flatley — by announcing he’s grossed over $200 million between Feet of Flames, Lord of the whatever and Celtic Tiger, and is therefore “the most successful dancer in history.” Period. Not “financially, the most successful dancer in history.” Why is this country is so fixated on money? Haven’t we learned anything over the past several months?
Anyway, I just got back from my “representing the mentally ill client” continuing legal education seminar and am just now watching my tape. All I’ve seen is the last hip hop, which was excellent! I think Cloris did better in her solo (or side-by-side duet with Corky) than she’s ever done on the ballroom floor? Seriously — she had a real bad-ass bounce in her step I’ve never seen before. And she had those punches down! And I love Cody — he’s so cute — I love his opening … whatever those noises he made with his mouth close over the mike are called – -mouth noises. Lance blew me away too. Everyone did so well; I can’t believe it. Just shows how hard ballroom is that everyone can rock out with loose hips and bumping and grinding pelvises and then be all unbalanced on a traveling Cha Cha lockstep or side-stepping Samba voltas. Still, hip hop is so flipping hard for me.
Okay, watching the rest now, and blogging as I go…
Oh my gosh, Maurice and Cheryl’s Viennese Waltz was so beautiful! So smooth and dapper and gentlemanly, and fluid and precise footwork, and gorgeous gorgeous posture, and that quick turn, followed by the way he reached out for her. Ooh, Maurice, I’m in love with you this week! What? I can’t believe the judges — are they collectively on drugs?
Aw, Lance’s Jive was cute. Great jive kicks, great speed, cute slide, good precision in the footwork, excellent character. He sold it very well. I wasn’t in love with Lacey’s loud pink shoe bows though.
Wow, Susan’s Mambo really impressed me! It was a very pretty Mambo — maybe not hot sexy mama Mambo, but a pretty one; as Lord guy said, she’s the epitome of “elegance, grace, and beauty.” And he’s right; that’s Susan — she made it her own. Her dress was lovely and the red fire-y skirt really waved and flickered about well. Tony gave her some very fast fancy footwork and she pulled it off wonderfully. Her swivels were lovely and she completely twisted her whole body, which is hard. And really nice ronde de jambe en l’air (or air rondes, as I call them). Good job, Susan!
Well, Brooke’s rumba was lovely, but rumba is just the cruelest dance! It’s so slow and every movement, every hip movement so drawn out, that you can just see every flaw so clearly. Hers was a very lyrical rumba (meaning, straight, ballet-like posture, not a lot of organic hip movement), which is fine. Those were my specialty though I was nowhere good as she is! Her toes weren’t pointed enough though and didn’t trace the floor enough — your foot is never really supposed to leave the floor in a rumba – -and her knees were too bent. Her lines were a little off. I know she has a foot injury… Gorgeous dip though, and some lovely stretches. It wasn’t perfect but it was very nice to watch.
I know at least some of you guys are going to hate me for this, but I think Carrie Ann’s comment about Cloris was really unfair. I’m upset that Toni Braxton was kicked off last week too, as I think — and said many times — I thought she was one of the best on the show — but it’s unfair to criticize and basically blame Cloris for still being here when Toni’s off. As if it’s Cloris’s fault?… Cloris is sweet; her Cha Cha was cute — and I think she’s really starting to try now. She obviously has limitations, but at this point I don’t feel like she’s trying to screw up and be a goof; I feel like she’s really trying to do the best she can. And, I linked to that NYTimes article on her last week — I don’t think it’s any small thing that Corky Ballas was in the Times, picture, name and all. The fact that a ballroom legend is in one of the biggest newspapers around… Has ballroom ever been taken so seriously? I mean, this has been a subculture. I feel like Cloris, in her own way, perhaps inadvertently, has kind of done more than any other celebrity on this show to change that… She has to be credited for that at least?
Cody is just so cute. I’m starting to laugh throughout his entire routines now, in a good way! His Samba was nowhere near perfect, but it was really really really good. It wasn’t a typical Samba, but who needs typical all the time? It was a welcome change. He’s such a good partner, such a good support for her. You can tell she’s really comfortable with him, really trusts him the way she throws herself into his arms on those dips and takes him so fast on those pivots. Those pivots (fast turns with partner in close handhold) are hard; it’s very easy to trip all over your partner’s feet. His footwork wasn’t perfect and his hip and pelvic action wasn’t all there, but some of it certainly was. He needs more turnout with his feet. He tries so hard and has such energy, and he’s the biggest improvement on the show. I’m really rooting for him at this point. Poor Julianne; I hope she’s okay. Did she say endometriosis? That’s serious, and she’s young. I mean, not life-threateningly serious, but I’ve heard it’s very painful.
I loved Warren’s rumba too. (I seem to have loved everything this week) He is really very musical — he moved perfectly on the beat — and his footwork was quick and sharp. He did a sliding door, which is an advanced step that is really pretty hard, and his footwork was not only perfect, but really sharp. Amateurs are usually soft and tentative in all Latin dances — and it really shows in the rumba since it’s so slow — but with each step he put his foot down with such decisiveness. He had some checks (where one foot is directly in front of the other, the front leg is straight, the back one bent, and weight is equally distributed) — and they’re kind of hard for amateurs — you can lose your balance easily — and his were pretty smooth. And he was wonderfully in character — soulful, smooth, passionate, strong, virile. Who cares if the technique wasn’t all there? I love it!