Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

We've got four brand new, never before danced, styles this week. Our remaining celebrities will dance either Lambada, Charleston, Country Two Step, or Bolero. Let's see if I can explain a little about each dance.

Lambada has Brazilian roots and derives from Forro, Salsa, and Merengue. It can be danced in 2-beat or 4-beat style and is characterized by spins and arched legs, and side to side movements rather than front to back. The best clip I could find is kind of an instructional video.

Charleston originated with African-American communities, but is most often associated with the speakeasies and flappers of the Prohibition era. They style is a forerunner of Lindy Hop, characterized by twisting the feet in a lazy kind of rhythm or twisting and kicking the feet backward and forward to a faster tempo.

Country Two Step is danced in 4/4 time and progresses counterclockwise around the dance floor. The fun thing about two step is that you can dance it to almost any tempo of music. You can break two step down like this...quick step, quick step, slow step...and repeat. It looks best when the dancers glide rather than stomp.

Bolero has both Spanish and Cuban forms and is mainly a slow tempo Latin style of music and dance. In ballroom competition, the style is found in International and American Rhythm categories. It is characterized by gentle rhythms with three steps to four beats, hip movements over the standing foot, and no flicking of the foot.

I hope the clips are good. I was stuck in the land of the eternal buffer last night, so I didn't get a chance to watch them all the way through.

Let's see how our 11 remaining couples do.

Chuck and Anna T dance Country Two Step. Now this is something that he looks a bit more comfortable doing. He's still awkward, and I do have to say that he was much more loose and relaxed last week doing Samba. I think Anna put way too many silly tricks into the dance and didn't give Chuck a chance to settle into any kind of two step rhythm. There was very little dancing in that choreography. It was cute stuff in the intro, then a bunch of jumping around, and then a bunch of lifts. There just wasn't enough dancing content. I wonder if Anna is doing that on purpose to avoid any real dancing. They can still get away with that at this point, but not for too much longer. Judges say 6,5,6 for a total of 17. I think that might even be too high. His personality is getting him through each week. He's just not going to improve much as a dancer.

Melissa and Mark dance Charleston. The costumes were perfect. They had a cool wacky black and white effect to start the dance, which was neat. And Melissa was definitely channeling a 1920s flapper character. You could see in her face how much fun she was having. And she wasn't thinking about the dance, she was just performing. I really enjoyed that. She was big with her movements as she needed to be. It's too bad she had that footwork mistake at the end. Without that, I think she was really on her way to a big score. But even with it, that was fun and so enjoyable to watch. And based on the judges' comments, they may not have noticed the mistake, or may have decided to let it slide. Makes me wonder if I actually saw a mistake. Judges say 9,9,10 for a total of 28. Well! Either I didn't see what I thought I saw, or the judges really decided to reward the performance. Good for her, but I think that score is a couple of points too high.

Natalie and Alec dance Bolero. This was really a beautiful dance. They are developing a wonderful connection. And I'm remembering what a terrific teacher Alec can be when he has a student with ability and willingness to try. These two are becoming real contenders for me. The dance was sensual and smooth, and it had a joy about it that was a pleasure to watch. It also had a lyrical and artistic quality, and told a lovely romantic story. Natalie is beginning to pull out of her shell, and when she finally does let go she's going to be really really good. She is competing and that is good to see. Judges say 8's across for a total of 24.

Aaron and Karina dance Lambada. Great tumbling trick to start. But he's still stomping through the steps. His hip action was a bit less stilted than last week. But the dance seemed a bit manic and disconnected. It was a good effort, but not really the dance of a major contender. Lambada is a dance of raunch, and there just wasn't enough of that down and dirty, into the floor kind of work. His enthusiasm was fine, but he just missed on the sexiness and character of the dance. He's really trying a little too hard. He's got the natural ability. He just needs to relax and dance. Judges say 6's across for a total of 18. He's going backwards just a bit. He might be better suited to the ballroom styles, and getting back to that may help him settle down.

Mark and Lacey dance Country Two Step. He's just not musical and he seems to get a little worse each week, in my opinion. It surprises me every week that he just doesn't seem to have any rhythm at all. And he lets the steps get in his head. It's unfortunate because I expected him to be a contender. The energy was good and he seemed to enjoy the dance, but it just wasn't very good. Lacey's choreography would have been enjoyable in the hands of someone with musicality, but perhaps it was just a bit too advanced for Mark's ability. I'm not enjoying watching these two dance at all. And that sucks because Lacey is one of my very favorite pros. The judges did seem to like it, but there were too many mistakes for me. Judges say 8,7,7 for a total of 22. I think that was too high.

Kelly and Louie dance Charleston. The make up and costuming was terrific. I wish she would have kept her confidence up through the entire performance. She could have made the dance even more fun. but she kept looking at her feet and worrying about the steps. When she just danced, she had it. It's the same story each week. When she lets the fear go, she nails it. But when she lets her doubts get in her head, she fumbles and stumbles and you can see it all over her face. On the other hand, you can see her face just light up when she feels strong. She did have the performance, but she still struggled in parts. I did enjoy it, but I find myself waiting for some of the magic from that first week. Or perhaps I've fallen into the trap of expecting more than I should instead of just enjoying how well Kelly is dancing. Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.

Joanna and Derek dance Lambada. They definitely had the raunch factor squared away and checked off. They were down into the floor. But I'm still not finding her attractive and I'm not impressed with her dancing. I think Derek is making her look better than she is. Those rubbery chicken legses are just not getting it done for me. But I do have to say that this met the standards for what little I know of the Lambada dance. Derek's choreography was outstanding. And Bergeron had the comment of the season when Carrie Ann said she hoped the children were in bed, and Tom said he expected some of the adults would be now. Bwahahahahaha! The dance was sex on the floor, but didn't cross the line into something inappropriate. Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.

Donny and Kym dance Charleston. You know the sqeee is coming...I would have to characterize it as a delighted sound this week. Pam was hoping Donny would get this dance. Oh yeah. I couldn't find anything to pick on. He even covered what looked like a couple of footwork issues toward the end. I couldn't tell if he messed up or just got a little tired. But I can say that I loved the performance! It could be theatrical and he played it for all it was worth. Kym's choreography was outstanding. Pam squeeed and fidgeted and lit up watching it. She was dialing as soon as the performance ended. I'll tell you what...I'm having as much fun watching Pam watching Donny as I am watching the entire show. That was just too much fun. Judges say 8's across for a total of 24. Pam is not pleased...she thought it was 9's.

Michael and Anna D dance Bolero. Tony Dovolani visited rehearsals with some pointers. Michael did a better job of using his size this week. He extended through movements and created some actual lines. The problem is that he just can't dance. He moves around the floor and tries to make you think he's dancing. What he did in this dance was pose while Anna danced around him. He walked a little, he posed some, he looked all romantic, and he performed. The thing he didn't do was dance. Anna seems to be struggling with choreography for Michael because he's not able to dance. So she has to put something in for him to do, but she can't put in too much because he can hardly do anything. Judges say 5,6,5 for a total of 16.

Louie and Chelsie dance Country Two Step. I enjoyed the choreography because they actually attempted the kind of two step I recognized. There was actual quick, quick, slow foot movement. Louie was a little rough and awkward though. He did ok when they actually two stepped in a pattern. But when they went to the spins and tricks, he lost the basic musicality. And there didn't seem to be all that much enthusiasm for the dance. They normally have a good connection between them, but not this week. This looked like another case of the pro trying to compensate for a celebrity that just wasn't up for the challenge this week. Judges say 5,5,6 for a total of 16.

Mya and Dmitry dance Lambada. I like this girl. She's got everything it takes to do well in this competition. She can dance. She understands how to perform. And most importantly, she immediately grasps what each dance requires an dunderstands how to convey it. She works very well with Dmitry and she can handle his intricate steps and designs. She matches his artistry. She's engaging. She has a class and sophistication about her that I find intriguing. That was an outstanding performance and if they don't capture Len this week, nothing will. He is giving her a separate standard than the other celebrities. It's probably time for them to stop trying to dance to please Len and just dance. That's usually when the top couples end up getting his positive attention. Judges say 10,8,10 for a total of 28.

Here's our leader board:

28 Mya and Dmitry
28 Melissa and Mark
26 Joanna and Derek
24 Donny and Kym
24 Natalie and Alec
23 Kelly and Louis
22 Mark and Lacey
18 Aaron and Karina
17 Chuck and Anna T
16 Louie and Chelsie
16 Michael and Anna D

You know Pam's votes went to Donny. I rotated mine between Kelly, Mya, and Natalie.

It was a pretty good show. The separation is's becoming very clear who can dance and who can't. The next three eliminations should be fairly straight forward.

But you can never tell with the fanbases.

Tune in tonight for results when Shakira will be in the ballroom.

Remember, we're counting down the days to 5 November 2009 with Peace Quotes.

"I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality." Dr Martin Luther King Jr

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  1. Linda says:

    Thank you so much for the recap and review again, Travis! I think I had some sort of strange dream about Donny Osmond last night but I can't quite grasp it this morning!

  1. Jamie says:

    Truly enjoyed the dancing last night. I hate that it is opposite Comedy night on another channel.

    Phillies against Dodgers. Feeling no brotherly love. Phillies are going down!!!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    The Lambada instructional video was fun. I'm going to show it to MWM, I don't think I'd trust his back to do that dip - he might drop me! LOL

  1. Anndi says:

    I'm sorry.. I wasn't around for this last week and this week, I half watched because Chicklet was coming home from Thanksgiving weekend with her dad and I couldn't concentrate.

    I'm tired of Chuck and Miss In Your Face Sex, really.. tired... bah.

    I squeed a little for Melissa, she lit up and it was precious. I'll do better next week.

    One marble hits another and so on and so on...

  1. Bond says:

    I was very disappointed in Louis this week. He walked through the routine more than danced it...

    Kelly - yes I kept saying 'stop looking at your feet and trust yourself', but she did trust more this week then in the past. I am hopeful week one was not a fluke for her and she becomes a contender.

    I have been over Joanna since week two and now Aaron is falling fast...

    Thanks for a great wrap up

    I love that blue marble

  1. Chuck is a good sport….and I think Bruno has a thing for Chuck…even more than for Donny.

    Melissa…I was hoping she could have real fun with the Charleston. Her and Mark seemed to have real fun with it…but I didn’t like the b/w stop action parts…and I’m sorry they didn’t use a real flapper style costume…what a great jump in the scores …..most improved of the season for SURE.

    Natalie….again….what a great chest Alec has. She can do an incredible splits. She is a strong dancer. But I think Len was right about it being beautiful, but nor romantic.

    Bruno sat thru three dances…and then he started jackintheboxing again.


    The back stage Aaron and Michael hugging was a bit more intimate than I would have expected…

    Mark and Lacey did okay. Based on what Mark said after the dance he is thinking about it all too much. But the two-step suited his abilities.

    Kelly’s costume was AWFUL. But she was so cute doing all the steps! She really loved doing what she was doing! Fosse patches and learning to fly…loved it. (I think what you were saying about her fear has a bit to do with her age maybe)

    Joanna and Derek….seems to have very few clothes on… well suited to an incredible sensual dance…her transitions seem a bit rough to me. Len wants another kiss - ha!

    children in bed/adults in comment of the night

    Donny was great….Charleston really was a dance for him….he was off step from Kim once or twice…but....

    The unfortunate scheduling of The Big Bang Therory makes me have to play back and forth the last 30 minutes.

    Michael is getting better….but he won’t be the NFL’s most valuable dancer by a long shot.

    Louie was off. I am wondering if he doesn't really care if he gets to go on or not. 16 is pretty low.

    Mya and Dmitry. I think she could be the odds on favorite. Style and ability. lovely.

    I wish I could style my hair like Samantha….sigh.

  1. Travis says:

    Linda: Always pleased to be of service!

    Jamie: Go Dodgers!

    Akelamalu: I'm glad it was good.

    Ann: No had stuff do take care of.

    V: You know, I'm wondering about Louie. The Winter Games are so close, he's got to be thinking about training for that.

    Katherine: I really enjoyed Melissa, but I didn't think the dance deserved a 10. 9's, yes. Thanks for your thoughts.

  1. My cousin is avidly watching DWTS and squees for Donny, as well. She wonders why she loves Donny and 'Dexter'.

  1. I have missed sooo much this season. I try to watch the Kelly routines though.