Ballroom Dance > Dancing on TV > Dancing With the Stars--Week 2

Discussion in 'Dancing on TV' started by TemptressToo, Jun 8, 2005.

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  1. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    Latest news on next weeks dances.

    Rachel - Tango (better for Rachel than a Jive imo)
    Kelly - Jive (harder for Kelly than a Tango would have been)

    John - Tango (better for John than a Jive)
    Joey - Jive (better for Joey than a Tango)
    Evander - Jive (I think Tango would have been easier)

    Did the other programs this is based on do this? Assign the dances individually rather than one for males one for females?

    It seems to me that John, Joey, and Rachel, the best dancers, are being given the dances that will play up their strengths best.

    Evander and Kelly, genuine beginners, are being given the dances that will highlight their weaknesses the most.

    I can't "hear" the different kinds of beat in the music being used. Some of you have mentioned that X music didn't have the right beat for a number.

    Recalling the music assigned to each pair, are some pairs getting better music than others from the perspective of beat to follow?
  2. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Some people have complained they don't like the music being used, but I think it's cool that they're using popular music that the general audience would like or at least recognize.
  3. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    Here's the Television Without Pity link again:

    This should link you in to page 19 (out of 36, last time I checked), which means you will be picking up the conversation starting a few hours before this week's episode.

    My favorite comment was last week, when someone suggested that if Holyfield won, they could have a join dance/box off with the winner from "The Contender" (a boxing based reality show). I laughed for about 5 minutes after reading that.

    Dancing Mommy--I'm going to have to disagree that it is surprising that the Dancing with the Stars people aren't further along after six weeks of intensive training. I just re-watched my studio's last showcase video, and there are people who have been dancing for years who, while they dance better than Evander, aren't anywhere near John's level. Admittedly, they've been taking one or two hours of lessons per week, but they've probably had a comparable total number of hours of lessons, or even more, than the celebrities.

    I do think that intense preparation allows you to learn faster, but I agree with the previous poster who suggested that there is a saturation point. Anyone than me ever taken one of those "Learn a foreign language in 6/8/10 weeks" kind of classes? I did a summer German program in between my junior and senior years of college, and while I came out in good enough shape after 10 weeks to jump into second year college German that fall, it wasn't like I sounded like a native speaker, or even really understood the use of the subjunctive in German. I could speak a passable tourist German.

    Similarly, I think these celebrity dancers are also passable "tourists" in our land.

    :) ChaChaMama
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I just headed over theree and read through about three pages. I have a feeling I know what I'm going to be doing the rest of this afternoon. :lol:

    The discussion is really interesting. Hilarious, in spots. But there's also some pretty insightful stuff being said. And the layman's perspective on ballroom is pretty enlightening. And the tone is not nearly as snarky as I expected. Pretty cool.
  5. Porfirio Landeros

    Porfirio Landeros New Member

    I wouldn't give dance training in other styles too much credit. My former dance partner had extensive ballet training, and is now a dancer on broadway, yet, I achieved greater success with my current partner early on because there were not as many things to "un-learn." It's true that there are somethings that carry over nicely, like how to make lines/poses and good posture, but hip hop training would not help in this case, and ballet dancers have a heck of a time with standard because they want to toe-dance it.

    Also, some people are just more naturally talented in certain things than others. John O'Hurley is CLEARLY more of a natural than Kelly when it comes to physical coordination, yet, for all we know, Kelly is much better at XBOX than John, so you see, the universe always evens itself out somehow.
  6. Stiletto One

    Stiletto One New Member


    I think John's a bit stiff in movement, but he's got the showmanship down pat. Probably comes with the Broadway experience, you get used to projecting yourself out so that the people in the back and still see body language despite the distance. Kelly's got movement down, she just needs to get balance and control. :p
  7. chachachacat

    chachachacat Well-Known Member

    welcome, lightspan! I adore your avatar!!
  8. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    I have to disagree. While it is true if someone has two left feet prior training in one dance form might not help them in another, but under most circumstances for the average person it will. Any form of dance trains you to listen and move to a beat, usually how to control your arms and legs at the same time, posture, memorizing choreography and holding your balance. If public performance is included you also learn to never freeze, no matter what, keep dancing, singing, acting, whatever else never stop dead. Any form of dance training also teachs you to control your expression while concentrating on steps. In general, in any dance form, one of the differences between beginners and pros is facial expression. Not always, but often, beginners look painfully serious when performing.

    From the first moment I saw Rachel I knew she had a ballet background. Looking it up confirmed it. Nobody learns to do the splits like that in 5 weeks, nor the fabulous leg extensions she holds, nor the spins she did in the waltz number. Figure-skaters take ballet for a reason. There is a skills transfer that helps them be more graceful. Not all figure-skaters do, but you can usually see it if they don't. Less grace between moves, a more athletic than dance look to their number. More like a series of jumps between skating than a flow. Ballet teachs control for holding movements for a long time. Sometimes coordination with a partner if partner dancing is part of the training, which it usually is if you take it long enough, and Rachel did. Commentators are alluding to her "poses" as being connected to her modelling career but I think it is far more due to her classical ballet training. She most certainly didn't learn to balance on one leg and touch her nose with her knee with an extended leg in the past five weeks.

    Hip-hop doesn't do much for grace, but for coordination between arm and leg movements, quick foot-work, balance, and memorizing choreography it does. It does nothing for partner-work only dancing side by side. It does nothing for slow controlled movement. Joey's background helped him more with the cha cha than it did with the quickstep, but it helped him there too.

    Many public voters, including myself, thought Joey was better than Rachel and John technically, because to the untrained eye he performed far more complex footwork and danced faster. I was surprised to come here and see Joey not rated as second. By a large majority Joey and John are tied for first place, and Rachel third place. I discovered why here. Classical teaches more precision and control, nothing ever flops around no matter what the speed of movement. It teaches how to have elegant posture while not being stiff, fluidity of movement. Trained dancers are recognizing the superiority of her technique, the general public isn't. We see the fancy footwork, not how well it is executed. As long as Joey doesn't lose his balance or step on his partner or make any obvious mistakes he looks like the better dancer because the public eye is trained to appreciate hip hop moves not smoothness and leading.

    Trista's background helped her pretty much the same as hip hop helps Joey. I bet she would have done a respectable jive with Louis.

    Concerning your partners, did your current partner come to you with absolutely no dance training, not prior ballroom, not anything? Because that is what we are talking about. Teaching someone to dance with zero background or verses some background with progression measured over five weeks, not a year.

    Evander doesn't seem to have any musicality, and he is huge, so I think the other two men would do better than him regardless.

    Given a year instead of five weeks I think Kelly could overcome the advantages Trista and Rachel have. It would become equally easy for her to remember choreography, her balance would improve, she would be better at finishing arm movements, could possibly stretch her leg muscles to enable splits or close to it. She would be better at controlling her expression and her footwork would get more crisp, precise. There is a limit to how much you can learn in five weeks starting from scratch.

    Over a longer space of time prior training would have less and less impact.

    I don't think we will see much improvement in Rachel's dancing next week. She will still have gorgeous leg extensions, control, spins, etc. Johnathan will choreograph to her strengths. Her tango will look as good as her rumba which looked as good as her waltz (to me).

    I think prior training also means less progress over a short number of weeks because of starting somewhat farther ahead.

    Having started from nothing both the learning curve and rate of improvement is very steep if the person has potential. I think we would see more improvement had Kelly been given a tango but there is still a chance with the jive. With the tango Kelly would have the latin motion, the sultry look, and Alec could have put in some more basic steps. Tango has more room for pauses to regain one's composure. Nevertheless, jive or tango, I think we will see Kelly's ability to follow improve.

    Jive would have been much tougher for Rachel than a tango will be. Long slow leg extensions wouldn't help her in a jive, nor would graceful posing. Throw in some improved footwork and she will again be praised by the judges and given first or second place. Jive would also have been much tougher on John than the tango will be. He and Charlotte will do a beautiful tango. John will be able to execute the basic steps of the tango, look like he is leading, and support Charlotte. Both couples will be marked 24 and up, probably 26 and up.

    I also predict that Joey and Kelly, or John and Kelly, will be the last two standing, and not because of the "popularity vote". Dancers are voting based on who's ballroom technique is better, which puts John first and Joey second.

    The public is voting best on who they want to see dance again, who would be more interesting. Evander is getting votes because he is fun to watch and provides suspense. Will he fall? Will he step on little Edyta? Will he fling her a little too hard sending her into someones lap in the audience?

    Kelly, OMG she is sexy what will she wear next week! OMG she and Alec are HOT HOT HOT. I read one comment saying it was surprising the room didn't spontaneously combust. Her first dance and second dance were completely different, what will she do next? I never saw any problem with Kelly's footwork technique, never saw a misstep, because I am not a dancer. Therefore, a lot of voters won't see the mistakes either. Kelly doing the jive will look boppy and fun and fast and when the judges criticize her footwork and give her a terrible score the public will be convinced that the judges really do have it in for her.

    Kelly and Alec look hot and have oodles of chemistry. Rachel and Johnathan look nice together but there is no hint of romance in the air, and not even the tango is going to make them look like a hot couple.

    Bottom two next week, Rachel and Evander, either could go home. Rachel was ranked 5 by the judges this week, Evander 2, and yet Rachel was in the bottom two. This coming week (highest rank possible 5) Rachel will be four (second place) but Evander will be 1 instead of 2. Either one could go home, but probably Evander. If voters rally to save Rachel, it is possible that John will go home. Wouldn't that create a stir if Johnathan went home next week and Evander stayed! I think Evander will be the one to go, not John or Rachel, but you never know.

    Kelly and Joey will be the last two standing not because of blind popularity, but because the general public can't evaluate based on technique. Therefore, the "best" will be the ones who LOOK like they are doing the hardest dances with cool looking steps, not the ones who have the most control over technique.
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Background in a performance dance form is a mixed blessing for ballroom in the long run, though in the short run of the first few months the body awareness, flexibility, strength, and posture skills can be quite usefull. I don't know that DWTS will run long enough to get to the point where the need to unlearn habits incompatible with partner dancing would start to be an issue that could affect results - even amongst dedicated ballroom students awareness of the differences only shows up gradually, and the transitition may take years to complete.

    Experience with a social dance form that is not built around "old fashioned" posture is going to be of far, far less help in front of a knowledgeable audience - though apparently it does work on the general public. (Probably would not fool your grandparents though)
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I still remember one of my former teachers who studied ballet for about twenty years before starting ballroom. He said that it took him years to learn to bend his knees -- not literally, of course. But his point, I think, was that a lifetime of ballet training had developed in him some dance habits that worked against him, in his ballroom dancing. Of course, he also had some of the most beautiful arm styling I've ever seen on a man. So I agree, Chris. I think it can be a mixed blessing.

    Hmm. 8)
  11. Lightspan

    Lightspan New Member

    Thanks, chachachacat!! :D
  12. robin

    robin New Member

    I think it depends primarily on that person's attitude to ballroom. If they say "I'm a dancer, I know what I'm doing, don't tell me how to do it differently", then they might very quickly get to the point where it actually hinders them. But I've also met some amazing dancers who picked up ballroom in an instant, though I think most of these had done several other dance forms before, so maybe they appreaciated that they are all different!

    I think if a good dancer *wants* to learn ballroom, he/she has an advantage over non-dancers in practically every respect. It starts with being used to remember choreography quickly, having flexbile and strong bodies, a strong centre, etc.

    But I think even the performance aspect itself is a great bonus. So many new dancers look terrified on the dance-floor, or as though they are concentrating, maybe even counting, who knows...

    So unless they come with the "wrong" attitude, I think any background in dance helps, but then the same is true to a lesser degree for people who are sporty/flexible/coordinated due to other backgrounds (gymnastics, martial arts, whatever...)

    As to what someone else asked about the music: Yes, it is possible to dance a Tango to "toxic". Don't ask me how or why you'd want to... because it is not a tango, but they did in the UK series... that was the one thing I really disliked!!! They chose some terrible music. I *like* dancing to popular music, but please pick some music that fits the dance!!!! There's plenty around!
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with you, robin. Arrogance can be a huge impediment to learning, in non-dance or dance disciplines, for amateurs or pros, IMO. A know-it-all attitude rarely helps.

    But I have to wonder out loud whether a good attitude is enough to overcome years of muscle memory in a non-ballroom dance discipline. Sure, I think there are a lot of things to be gained, such as stage presence, poise in stressful situations, arm styling, even. But ...

    I'm just posing a question, since I don't know the answer. 8) I'm glad cccc started a thread to get more views. It'll be interesting to hear what people from a ballet background say. 8)
  14. Another Elizabeth

    Another Elizabeth Active Member

    For what it's worth, infosaturated, I used to teach a whole class (usually around 20 people) who had no dance training every year. I would say that at least half of them had progressed beyond where Kelly is in terms of technique by five weeks. However, I would never have tried to teach them choreography as complicated as any of the routines on the show. Of course, I had them for two hours a week, not the full-time training that the show attendees are getting. Still, I do think that Kelly is not demonstrating an exceptional improvement yet. I do think that she would have some potential with more training, but they are definitely going for short-term flash instead of long-term basics. That may be the correct decision for a show like this, but ballroom judges are generally trained to look for sound basics (especially British judges like Len Goodman). So I'm not sure how their decisions will play with the judges.

    I also have observed that ballet trained dancers do very well at some things, and very poorly at others. I also could immediately see that Rachel had ballet training. I don't think Tango will be a good dance for her, though, because it's particularly a killer to point your toes out, and you need to have your knees bent a lot. Both will be difficult for her.
  15. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    It is a mixed blessing. Or not a blessing at all depending on how you look at it. Most of the time, when you are working with someone who has "some" dance trainging, you have to throw most of what they've learned out the window as far as technique and begin from square (step) one. Sure, someone who took ballet for a few years when they were younger may have some better coordination than someone who has *never* danced, but I have yet to see someone who has "other" dance training take a few weeks of ballroom lessons and turn out "great". Usually it doesn't happen that way.

    And as for the 168 hours of intensive training, I *do* believe that 4 hours a day is a decent amount of time to get the *basics* down - that is of course assuming that the BASICS are even being covered.

    As for J Peterman most likely having a basic lead/follow down prior to this show, I think it's LESS likely he got that from his time on Broadway. Most "partner" dancing in a broadway setting is NOT lead/follow. It's strictly choreography. I'm putting money on the fact that due to his *age* he has some basic social dance knowledge. Folks my parents' age (55-65) do have SOME kind of partner dancing knowledge, even if it's just "stand and sway". My dad was the 1968 Cha Cha Champion from the Waldorf Astoria (or so he says) and he can't lead for BEANS. His cha cha looks like slop.
  16. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    "I do think that she would have some potential with more training, but they are definitely going for short-term flash instead of long-term basics. That may be the correct decision for a show like this, but ballroom judges are generally trained to look for sound basics (especially British judges like Len Goodman). So I'm not sure how their decisions will play with the judges. "

    The public's opinion is more important than the judges opinion, therefore it is better to "play to the crowd" so to speak. If there is a tie, the public vote decides who stays and who goes.

    Trista went home because she was boring. Rachel will likely leave next because she is not engaging the audience. She and Jonathan are playing to the judges.

    Dance is as much entertainment as it is a sport. Maybe in real competition the sport part is more important, the technique. In this competition it is more important that the couples please the public because the public will decide who comes and who goes.

    Rachel emphasised how scary some of the moves were and she and Jonathan seemed all business.

    Rachel does a good number, but there is no identifiable chemistry happening between her and Jonathan. He could be her brother. Len says he sees the romance, and Carrie said they had great chemistry, but I didn't see it.

    I saw more passion between Trista and Louis than I did between Rachel and Jonathan but Carrie didn't see it.

    Kelly's training clips showed her having fun and being spunky and she made Alec laugh out loud.

    Then Kelly does this sizzling hot dance number with Alec showing that they have chemistry out the wazoo.

    Carrie's assessment is that Kelly isn't dancing and was awkward. Len says she was "brittle" and didn't have enough "impact". Bruno is not so bad, he talks about working on extending her line and holding her posture. Kelly thanks him for his advice, and thanks everyone voting for her.

    There is no way that the public will agree that Kelly wasn't dancing, nor that she was awkward or brittle. I understand that trained dancers will interpret that differently than non-dancers. Nevertheless, what the public saw was a super sexy sinuous hot dance with fantasic chemistry and more impact than any other couple by far.

    The consensus will be that the judges still have it in for her and are still judging her on a different scale than anyone else because they don't like her.

    It has been suggested (on a message board) that the reason the judges don't like her is that they are stuck-up and prejudice against her because she is a soap-star and posed nude for Playboy so isn't good enough for "ballroom".

    It's going to drive up her votes like crazy because people do want to see more of Kelly dancing, no pun intended. People who otherwise don't vote will vote to save Kelly from the evil judges.

    As this program has shown in two other countries, I can't help but wonder if it isn't on purpose. Create controversy, get the buzz going, boost the ratings.
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I thought the voting and judges scores were being weighed fifty/fifty. Is that wrong? :? Just curious, because the relative weights of the two is going to become very important to my future voting strategy.

    Every vote counts, you know. :wink: :lol:
  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    As they used to say in Chicago: vote early, vote often! ;)
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That's my plan. :lol: :lol: Now I'm trying to figure out how to get access to more phone lines in the hour after next week's show. (I'm already using all four of my email addresses for online voting. :wink: :lol: )
  20. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Create more email addresses. They are free, lol. ;)
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