Dancing With the Stars: Insta Dance (and Classics)

Okay, I don’t want any of them to go home right now. I really like everyone who’s still on the show at this point and I want to them all to advance to the finals. I know, it’s impossible.

So, tonight was divided into two rounds: the classical standard round, then the new “instant dance” round, by which the couples are given their music minutes before they dance. Len explains that this is what an actual ballroom competition is like. Not in any competition I know of. True, they play generic music with the proper beat in the individual dance sections, but in those competitions you’re only competing in technique, not so much performance quality. I mean, those dances are not showdance – choreographed, cabaret-style performances set to certain music with certain lyrics – you know? They’re dances where you’re exhibiting your mastery of technique. So, I don’t know exactly what he’s talking about.

Anyway, on to the first round:

I thought Kyle and Lacey’s Viennese Waltz was really lovely. He is turning into a real ballroom dancer. His technique was excellent, his posture and carriage were elegant, he was graceful, and he really glided around the floor. I agree with Carrie Ann: “It was like a fairy tale come to life.”

They draw “Good Golly Miss Molly” for their “instant dance” which is a jive. So, now they have 45 minutes to prepare, and off they go to create their insta showdance.

Jennifer and Derek dance a Quickstep. Jennifer’s knee begins hurting in practice and the show’s doctor tells her she has severe tendinitis with serious inflammation. He tells her she needs to think about whether she wants to continue dancing or risk further injury to the tendon. Then her father, Joel Grey – awwww, so sweet – comes on and tells her simply, the show must go on. And on she goes.

And what a beautiful Quickstep! As perfect as perfect can be in my opinion. And I love her dress with the feathery pleats on the lower half of the skirt. And wow, Derek honestly looked like a real Fred Astaire. He did so well with that solo. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed watching him dance so much!

She draws “Waiting for a Girl Like You” by Foreigner for her instant dance. She’s never heard of it! Haha!

Kurt and Anna dance a waltz. Ooooh, THAT was like a fairy tale! So beautiful. I thought he looked really, really good. He is getting more and more polished with his shaping. He had perfect rise and fall with the footwork, perfect partnering. I loved that ending where he stood with one foot crossed behind the other while he supported her in a floor sweep. He had perfect form. The whole thing was so elegant. The judges are all saying he tries so hard and does everything Anna says and that’s what makes him so endearing (and Carrie Ann calls him a Ken doll that she’d like to dance with, which makes me think of male escorts on cruises), but I don’t actually think he was worse than the others. He was totally at their level – at least with the ballroom.

For their instant dance, they draw “Hella Good” by, I don’t know who. They’ve never heard of it and neither have I.

Bristol and Mark perform an Argentine tango, but not before Sarah Palin and her husband attend their practice and Sarah basically tells her daughter to be a dominatrix. “Just dominate; just take over!” she says in her accent. Will anyone ever forget that?

I loved their dance! Wow, she had the attitude down more than ever before. I agree with Carrie Ann that it was the most intense we’ve ever seen her. She is so endearing to me. She has no dance background, no performance background, and she looks so good, but in the way a regular person looks good. There’s nothing hyper-stylized about her dancing, like there is with so many ballroom dancers. And when you see that it can be very athletically stunning – the dancers moving so fast and with such precision – but it also looks phony. It doesn’t look natural. And you expect ballroom to look natural. But there’s nothing phony about her dancing. She’s so real. She’s like someone you’d see on the dance floor, while you’re dancing, and just want to watch.

They draw “Mas Que Nada” for their second dance, and not only has neither heard of it, but Mark can’t pronounce Spanish to save his life. And neither has ever heard of it, including Mark – INCLUDING MARK BALLAS, PROFESSIONAL LATIN BALLROOM DANCER, and I want to kill him. That’s a totally famous samba! I mean, seriously, that’s like saying you’ve never heard Bamboleo. Mark!!!

Brandy and Maks dance a very romantic waltz. Very lovely. I thought technique-wise, footwork-wise she was very very good. To me, she looked a slight bit stiff though, even though her acting was good. Her body was just a bit too rigid. But the judges don’t seem to agree with me. Oh wait, Carrie Ann’s saying she needs to relax her neck. I hate that song, by the way – they play it all the time in American Smooth competitions and it’s always so creepy-sounding to me.

They draw “Teenage Dream” which I’ve never heard of, and neither have they.

So, now the second round, the instant dances:

Kyle and Lacey’s jive to “Good Golly Miss Molly”: that was a lot of fun. And they did incredibly well with the time they had. Did they really create that whole routine in 45 minutes? I don’t think I could possibly have remembered the choreography; the dance was long to memorize that much in such a short time. His technique wasn’t always completely proper – he needed more height on the jive kicks, and he needs to spot better when he turns so he doesn’t lose control of his balance, etc. – but he did remarkably well given those crazy time constraints.

“My biggest fear with samba is getting off beat. Because once you’re off beat with samba, you’re … screwed,” says Bristol. And the last word, coming out of her mouth, for some reason cracks me up.

Jennifer and Derek’s rumba to the Foreigner song neither of them – including 50-year-old Jennifer – have never heard. How old am I?! Anyway, I thought it was very pretty. Not that sexy, but it was romantic. Her hip action wasn’t all there, but she had beautiful leg extensions, and they really used her flexibility to maximum effect. I didn’t think the dance always went with the lyrics, but what can you expect with so little time to prepare.

Kurt and Anna’s cha cha: How sweet, having his kids attend practice and give him “advice”! That was more of a disco than a cha cha! Fun, hehe. He was really fun to watch, and he really got into it. Okay, his technique was not so good; okay it was awful. Hip action was really just not right, no grounding, etc. etc. etc. But I didn’t really care. He had so much fun and I had so much fun watching it. I thought his musicality was fine; he’s not always on the beat, but you can tell he means to be on the beat, he’s not just bouncing around. Does that make sense? Anyway, his strong point is definitely standard, not Latin. So funny because all of these football players are doing so much better at standard than Latin. You’d expect it to be the opposite. Anyway, I definitely want him to stay on the show, even if his Latin technique is so-so.

Bristol and Mark’s “Mas Que Nada” samba: I thought she looked really cute. So, do you guys recognize the song? Maybe I’m weird for knowing it. I thought she did well with the fast swivels and the bota fogos, and the shoulder shimmies (which for some reason are hard for me). I thought she did incredibly well for the most difficult of Latin dances and put together so fast. I thought she was pretty musical – I disagree with Carrie Ann.

Brandy and Maks’s Cha Cha: Well, I thought that looked more hip hop than cha cha. Actually, it looked like just grooving. It was good; it just didn’t look like cha cha. I’m not sure I understand Carrie Ann and Len: I thought Brandy’s musicality was perfect, and I didn’t even notice they didn’t start dancing right on the first beat. Overall, though, I found that to be the least exciting dance. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it was more of what she usually does and not a proper cha cha. And this show is about ballroom dancing, about becoming a skilled ballroom dancer, not a skilled groover.

Anyway, as I said, I don’t want anyone to go home tomorrow night! Have no idea who it will be… I’m thinking Bristol or Kurt, both of whom I really really really do not want to see go.

One Comment

  1. 45 minutes to choreograph and prepare an entire routine? Are you kidding me?! How could anyone actually do that? I think they gave them extra time somewhere in there. Maybe the pros choreographed the steps first and only had 45 minutes to teach it?

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