Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 by Travis Cody in
13

It's live from Hollywood!



Our 11 remaining couples dance either Lindyhop or Argentine Tango this week. Both dances are new to the competition.

Argentine Tango is a mix of styles, originating in Argentina before moving out to the rest of the world. The dance is characterized by dancing in hold, either close or open at arms length, with the Lady alternating her weight from foot to foot and the Gentleman leading through the patterns with silent communication. Argentine Tango lives and breathes, and should look as though the patterns have been made up on the spot. We turn once again to Strictly Come Dancing for our demonstration. These are the pros, with Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace.


Lindyhop is all about joy and exuberance. It is an African American dance based on the Charleston, infused with jazz and tap. Lindyhop is danced on the edge, with movements that look barely controlled such as the swing out. A great Lindyhop should look wild. This clip is over 7 minutes long, but if you take the time you'll see 5 couples rip it up. It's worth it. This is Lindyhop! The couples' names are on the video as they dance.


Well! Let's see if our pairs can measure up to that.

David and Kym dance Lindyhop. They had some tough tricks in that dance. David was very careful on the lifts, which he should have been. But the pauses to do the tricks kind of messed with the exuberance and character of the overall dance. The steps didn't flow into the tricks and the tricks didn't flow back into the steps. It didn't have the wild and chaotic feel to it. Still, they did a great job. The choreography was intricate and it was full of classic Lindyhop moves. Judges say 8,7,7 for a total of 22.

Lil Kim and Derek dance Argentine Tango. Kim is coming on strong. She's got a lot of talent, and Derek is channeling it into some really first rate performances. The footwork in this dance was most impressive. There were moments when she looked like a pro. She's still a bit lazy with her legs. We'd like to see more sharpness and extension. But other than that, there was nothing wrong with that Tango. Derek's choreography was amazing. It was enticing and sensual. Outstanding! Judges say 9,8,10 for a total of 27. We didn't think it was perfect, but good for Kim and Derek to get the first 10 of the season!

Chuck and Julianne dance Lindyhop. That was enjoyable. Although again the tricks didn't flow from the steps and to the tricks and then back to the steps. The choreography suited the two of them very well. But he's still missing just a bit on musicality, although he's doing well with steps and showing his personality. Whether he can step up remains to be seen. In the faster dances, he has to work on smoothly connecting the moves so everything is seamless. Judges say 8,7,7 for a total of 22.

LT and Edyta dance Argentine Tango. Alec Mazo helped out this week with character from a man's perspective. We're impressed each week with LT's frame and posture. He has learned to use his size very well. He is a strong lead. He used his power to control the dance. Although there were one or two clunky moments with footwork, and it wasn't as sensual or passionate as we would have liked. There was more power than there was passion. Still, overall that was a fine effort. Judges say 7,5,7 for a total of 19. Len is harsh.

Ty and Chelsie dance Lindyhop. Ty says only doing well at ballroom and not at Latin styles is like only expecting a bull to turn right and not left. HA! You have to be prepared for both. And oh my goodness! He's really come out of his shell. He had the quick kicks going and he was keeping up with the music and with Chelsie. Plus his strength on the lifts and tricks was terrific. We can't believe this is the same guy from the first week. Well done Sir! That ole cowboy was a'dancin'! And brava to Chelsie for incredible choreography and excellent teaching! Judges say 9,8,8 for a total of 25.

Steve and Karina dance Argentine Tango. Hearing Karina squeal during last week's results show was worth having Mr Geek Feet around for another week. And I got to see the bit of fabric Karina wrapped herself in and called a dress...YEOWZA! There was a bit too much with the chair to start with. The dance itself wasn't very good. The best we can say about him is that he tries and enjoys what he's doing. The choreography was classic Tango and he made an attempt to do the steps. Although the dance wasn't horrible, it helped to be able to look at Karina. Judges say 4's across for a total of 12.

Melissa and Tony dance Lindyhop. HA! Tony stuck toilet paper to her foot and told her to kick it off. Now that's how you teach a Lindyhop kick. Tony's choreography was brilliant. That was a professional level dance. That is how the steps flow to the tricks and back to the steps. It was danced seamlessly and performed as though it were on Broadway. It was fun and frolicsome and energetic from start to finish. And it was full of every classic Lindyhop move you could want. Wow! We had our first 10 earlier in the show, and we could see a couple more on this dance. Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29. There you go!

Holly and Dmitry dance Argentine Tango. Holly struggled with injured ribs this week. And then she got off to a rough start with the stool. But her awkwardness is less apparent when she's in close hold. And that trick they did toward the end was terrific. This was a decent performance. The slower dance and the close hold hid a lot of the problems she had. Dmitry made an excellent dance with plenty of classic Tango steps. Unfortunately, he also did the majority of the dancing. She's trying, but she's just not coordinated enough to improve as quickly as she needs to stay in the competition. Judges say 5,6,5 for a total of 16.

Steve and Lacey dance Lindyhop. This is a tough dance to do healthy, so I can't imagine doing it with a bad back and a tweaked ankle. It wasn't great, but it wasn't the worst we've seen. He managed the steps pretty well, but it was more clumsy than it was controlled chaos. He was having fun, but he wasn't feeling the music, his timing was off, and he wasn't well synchronized with Lacey. Lacey's choreography was right on, but the performance was just off. Judges say 5's across for a total of 15.

Gilles and Cheryl dance Argentine Tango. And Pam's wish has come true. She says the Lindyhop would have been fun, but she wanted another week of sexy. And she got it. That dance was HAWT y'all. Smooth but with fire, sizzling and sensual, powerful and precise. Another professional level effort. The choreography was excellent and the performance was so dramatic. Gilles was fiercely in control of that dance. He took Cheryl's choreography to an amazing level for a celebrity dancer. Brava to Cheryl and bravissimo to Gilles. We bow. We stand. We cheer. Judges say 10's across for the first perfect 30 of the season. Well deserved!

Shawn and Mark dance Lindyhop. She should do well with this. Lindyhop incorporates so much of her gymnastics training. She can be all silly and wacky and just let loose. Woooooooooooo! She throws a little tumbling run at the top of the dance. But while the tricks were great, there were a couple of spots where she seemed to loose her steps and her footwork was just a bit heavy. The performance was tremendous, but to make maximimum use of her strengths, Mark's choreography left out some dancing. Judges say 8,8,9 for a total of 25.

Now let's have a big hurrah for the music! There are usually a couple of questionable choices, but this time every music selection was completely appropriate to the dance styles and choreography.

Here's our leader board.

30 Gilles and Cheryl
29 Melissa and Tony
27 Lil Kim and Derek
25 Shawn and Mark
25 Ty and Chelsie
22 David and Kym
22 Chuck and Julianne
19 LT and Edyta
16 Holly and Dmitry
15 Steve and Lacey
12 Steve and Karina

I'm going to have to choose soon, but not yet. It's still a 3-way split for me between Melissa, Shawn, and Gilles. Pam actually split between Gilles and Melissa. Although her favorite is Mr Sexy, she said she had to throw votes to Melissa because she and Tony should have had a perfect score as well for their Lindyhop.

In preparation for tonight's skeery double elimination, the following gratuitous cuteness is brought to you by the LOLCats.



I'll have encores and results tomorrow. Boys to Men are in the ballroom.

Later babies!

13 comments:

  1. DrillerAA says:

    I missed the last two dances last night due to the local station breaking in for severe weather updates. Oh well. I think with the double elimination tonight, we will definitely say goodbye to the Woz. The judges have run out of kind things to say. Haley and Steve-O will be the other two in trouble tonight.

  1. Marsha says:

    I should have know you check out LOLcat too....hehe

    Gilles......HAWT....man, that was a great dance!

    And I'm so glad to finally see Tony with a good partner too.

  1. Anndi says:

    First, you got a "awwwwwwww soooo cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute" about the kitty from Chicklet LOL

    I walked out of the room when The Geek danced. I can't watch him anymore. I want to see good dancing, not someone having fun.

    Tony is a genious! That performance was wonderful! Yay!

    There was a puddle of drool on the floor after Gilles did his thing.. oh my!

    I think it's time for both he and Holly to bid us a fond farewell.

  1. Cute video!

    Undecided still. I think they are all good.

  1. Dianne says:

    I'd like to see Steve (the Geek not O) go and Holly

    I really enjoyed Kim's dance and Gilles is wonderful

    I think Mark made a mistake by making Shawn's dance into a gymnastic exhibition

  1. Well, at least it sounds like Shawn Johnson has not been affected by all of this stalker business.

  1. Julie says:

    Good show followed by a great review! I'm figuring Holly and Woz will hang up the dancing shoes.

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    Awww the kitty is just too cute! I'm sending her some cookies right now :o)
    I think it's time for Steve W. & Holly to go...

  1. I think the odds on faves for the final two have to be Gilles and Melissa.

    I wouldn't put any money on Woz being gone just yet. If it were just about the dancing ability and not the fan base...he would be LONG gone. I mean obviously the DWTS producers didn't put him on the show for any real dance reason. They did it for his popularity with a very specific demographic that probably wouldn't be paying attention otherwise.

    Lil Kim is a surprising pleasure to watch. Shawn's stalker episode was pretty frightening. I wonder if the choreography was altered to give her confidence...or to make practice easier on the 17 year old.

    David is a real performer....I wouldn't be surprised to see his Broadway theater career take off. Ty! Who knew? I'm liking Ty a whole bunch...but Cowboys Are My Weakness....smile.

    Personally...I'd like to see Steve-O and Holly go.

    Double elim...yikes!

  1. Jamie says:

    The Gilles Tango WAS great but I would have thrown a nine in there somewhere. Maybe it was me, but I thought I saw a couple of heavy footsteps. Still they were the best of the evening.

  1. Bond says:

    The choreography last night from the Pros was spot on.

    As you mentioned the music was consistent with the dances across the board and that hardly ever happens.

    I hate the way they trash Woz and give little Miss giggles better scores (I hate that all she does is giggle while the judges speak)- I think he tries harder than her or Steve O

    I hope Holly & Steve O go home this week and then next week The Woz can go home.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Oh I love the Argentine Tango it's so SEXY!!

  1. Cheesy says:

    LOLcat? TOO CUTE!