Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

I have been dubbed Dancing Bee by Anndi, a long time blog pal and a fellow Worker Bee for Peace. know that's gonna stick. Heheheheheheeee!

But did you know that there really is such a thing as a dancing bee? I didn't, so I looked it up. A honey bee will do a waggle dance to communicate to other hive mates which way they should fly in search of food. Seriously! You can check it out here.

That waggle looks a lot like sexy Mambo hip swivels.

Hang on...where was I? Oh right! We're live from Hollywood!

This week our remaining pairs dance either Paso Doble or Argentine Tango, and tackle the always fun group dance.

Paso Doble is a dance that generally features the man. He represents the bull fighter, and the lady represents alternatively the cape and the bull. Paso is characterized by heel lead forward steps, less hip movement than other Latin style dances, and steps that stomp into the floor to emphasize beats in the music. The flavor of the dance is dramatic and aggressive. This is Melinda Torokgyorgy and Maurizio Vescova.

Argentine Tango can be danced in either a closed embrace, which is traditional, or an open embrace, leaving room for embellishments. There is no basic step in Argentine Tango as it relies more on improvisation than patterns. It is basically characterized by intricate footwork and relies on the dancers' ability to make an audience see and feel the music. This is Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.

Let's see how our 10 remaining couples do.

Natalie and Alec dance Paso Doble. And here we go with the unfortunate music selections. Forgive me, but I have a hard time understanding Paso when it isn't danced to Latin music. I did not like the dance, and it had everything to do with the music. It appeared to be classic Paso choreography. Natalie was dramatic and clean, and there was some power to the movement. But American Woman just ruined the vibe for me. All I really saw was a bunch of steps. The judges also complained that it didn't have the Spanish bull fighting flavor. Well, how could it when it didn't have any Latin music? Judges say 7,8,7 for a total of 22. I don't know if that's too low or too generous. I really hate it when the music gets in the way.

Aaron and Karina dance Argentine Tango. What it comes down to is, can Aaron bring the maturity to this dance that it requires? His face looked blank to me, rather than passionate. He didn't appear to be dancing very much. Rather it was fondle Karina, bury face in Karina's hair, then stand and fling Karina, then step step step, then stop and fling Karina a little more, then step step step, then big dip finish. I didn't get any heat from it. I will give him good marks for controlling his movement and settling things down. The one thing he didn't do was over-perform. He did provide a strong lead for Karina. I just didn't think he danced enough. Judges say 8's across for a total of 24. I don't know that it was that good.

Michael and Anna dance Paso Doble. I'm not telling what Irvin did during rehearsal to train himself to the Paso walk. This was a much better musical selection, describing and enhancing the Spanish bull fighting feel that Paso represents. I have to give him credit for character and drama. He had that flavor and his particular style was suited to this dance. He stomped quite well. He's still not dancing all that much, but he could get away with walking in the Paso. Although he's not a dancer, he pulled of a decent performance. He actually used his size to emphasize the power of Paso. It's definitely his best dance of the season. Judges say 7's across for a total of 21. I'll agree with that.

Mya and Dmitry dance Argentine Tango. I expect a lot from this dance, particularly with Dmitry's track record for Latin choreography. That's what I'm talking about when I say I need to feel the heat. This dance had passion and drama, tempered by romance. It was sensual without crossing any raunch boundry. The footwork was intricate and her lines were exqusite. This dance is flirting with perfection yet again. And they were finally able to please Mr Cranky Pants. I'm really impressed by her precision and sophistication. She's classy and elegant. Judges say 9's across for a total of 27. The main criticism from the judges was "distance without explanation". They thought there wasn't enough of an emotional connection between Mya and Dmitry, and that evidently kept the dance from perfect scores.

Mark and Lacey dance Paso Doble. This dance would seem tailor made for Mark with his martial arts background. And he's got it. Posture, attitude,'s all there. I'd like to see him lead a bit more with his hips. But he's making up for that with frame and the way he's controlling the dance. I'll tell you what. Normally Lacey pulls my focus. But this week, I watched Mark. This is an amazing improvement for him and he can be very pleased with that performance. Props to Lacey's choreography as well. He never had that moment of doubt that has caused him to make a mistake in prior performances. Well done. Judges say 9,9,8 for a total of 26. That last 8 could have gone to 9.

Donny and Kym dance Argentine Tango. The nervous squee is back. Pam isn't sure what to expect from Donny in the Latin styles. I thought his footwork was very clean and crisp. This was very well danced. Much better than I expected. It was elegant, passionate, controlled...outstanding. It had maturity. Pam's little nervous squee became an excited squee. Donny really did find and display all the little details that make a Tango work. Kym's choreography was subtle when it needed to be, then escalated to fiery as a counter balance. This dance allowed Donny to combine technique with performance. He nailed this dance. Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29. Pam got caught between squeees and grrrrrs! We don't know why Len didn't throw a 10. But the squeees will win out. That was fantastic.

Louie and Chelsie dance Argentine Tango. We're wondering just a bit about Louie and his training for the Olympics coming up in just over three months. Is his mind beginning to wander a bit? I think he can get away with the standing and walking in this dance. But I did want to see him participate in the intricate footwork. He handled the lifts very well, but this was still Chelsie dancing around him and Louie not really doing all that much. I'll give him some credit for portraying the character of the dance and for being a good prop for Chelsie. He was able to set some of the emotion to his performance, and although he didn't really dance all that much, the story worked. Judges say 7,8,7 for a total of 22. That might be a little high, but then again he didn't really make any glaring mistakes.

Melissa and Mark dance Argentine Tango. Unfortunately Mark is ill. But Anna Trebunskaya came in to help Melissa with the character of this dance from the woman's point of view. It seemed to help with performance, but Melissa's legs don't look strong this week. The dance did have the right passion, but there was something missing for me and I can't quite put my finger on it. I think she made a few mistakes. The choreography was very difficult and intricate. Perhaps that was it. Or perhaps it wasn't sensual enough. I don't know. The judges were equally split on it, so maybe it wasn't just me. Judges say 8,8,7 for a total of 23. I honestly don't know if that's right. I still like her though.

Kelly and Louis dance Paso Doble. We're dancing Paso to Ozzy. It's Crazy Train y'all. And there's a skull in the ballroom. Oh man. That actually worked. She was a little unsure in some of the turns. But in hold, she had it. In her words, she was fierce and so was the dance. The footwork across the floor was outstanding. She definitely did her daddy's song proud. That was a hard rock Paso. Just a couple of times she lost that excellent attitude, but those times are becoming fewer. Louis always makes difficult routines and gets her to rise to it. What I find endearing about her is that little bit of nervousness that she gets, and how she works to overcome it. Judges say 8's across for a total of 24. I think that's a good score.

Joanna and Maks, stepping in for a very ill Derek, dance Argentine Tango. The first thing I look at when Joanna dances is her legsses. They were strong this week. This dance suited her very well. She does have some talent for ballroom. Ooops. Just when I was starting to enjoy it, there was a stumble. I'm not sure what happened. I think she missed a step and cause Maks to lose his balance. The dance was really going well up until that point. It really was quite remarkable. Maks' choreography was difficult, but very well suited to Joanna. And she was focused this week. Judges say 8's across for a total of 24. That proves that they were on the way to a big score.

And now we have our group Hustle, choreographed by Corky Ballas. The judges don't get to vote on this. I'll warn you that I really can't describe these group dances very well because everyone gets all jumbled together and it's hard to watch so many dancers. These always have the potential for disaster, but usually turn out to be fun. This time there was very little group choreography. Everybody got some good time for solo work, so I could see how they all danced. That was really terrific! Everybody did great! Well done!

Here's our leader board:

29 Donny and Kym
27 Mya and Dmitry
26 Mark and Lacey
24 Kelly and Louis
24 Joanna and Maks
24 Aaron and Karina
23 Melissa and Mark
22 Natalie and Alec
22 Louie and Chelsie
21 Michael and Anna

Pam is happy and I do have to agree with her that Donny had the best night. Everybody actually did fairly well. Of course Pam's votes went solely to Donny. And tonight, some of mine did too. I split between Donny and Kelly.

Here's the thing. I think that Mya is the best dancer of all the celebrities. But at this point, the personalities are starting to attract my votes. And for me, the best personalities are Donny and Kelly. It helps that they are both dancing very well.

Tune in for results tonight. Members of the Jackson family will be in the ballroom, performing with our pros in a tribute to Michael Jackson.

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

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  1. I heard Kelly hurt her leg.

  1. Jamie says:

    Somehow the image of you in striped pants doing the "dancing bee" really made my morning. :-) Great description of the stars.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    The Argentine Tango is SO EXCITING!

  1. I have to say that use of Crazy Train was inspired =)

  1. jennifer says:

    Yay for Donny! I'm glad he is still squee-worthy and doing so well.

  1. Bond says:

    I wondered why Kelly got the same scores as Aaron, because I agree with you He was cardboard.

    Donnie did very well.

    But but say you want Latin with paso up above then you come back with Crazy Train was good. Granted, I liked it...but why the change?

  1. Travis says:

    Charles: I think it was her foot. I'm not sure what the injury is though.

    Jamie: Heheheheheheee!

    Akelamalu: It is!

    Starr: Agreed!

    Jennifer: Last night was really sharp.

    V: I know, I was just a little inconsistent there. But sometimes the beat comes through in some of the music even it it's not really Latin. But American Woman? Not even close.

  1. excellent recap as always...I am totally too burned out to ramble on and on....