Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

It's Story Night for our remaining 10 pairs as they choose their own music to tell a story through dance.

Our DWTS Troupe leads off with a demonstration of the dance styles we'll see this evening...Paso Doble, Rumba, and Samba.  Well also see Foxtrot, Waltz, and Cha Cha Cha.

Wendy and Tony tell their story through Foxtrot to a song I don't know, which describes how hard she had to work and the struggles she went through to get her radio career started.   She looks like she's having fun dancing, but it's an odd choice of music for Foxtrot.  I guess that's to be expected, because it's the song she connects to and Tony has to figure out how to make it work with Foxtrot.  This dance is a bit of a mess.  I think Tony did his best to choreograph that, but the song really did not lend itself to the style of dance.  She was vibrant and expressive.  But with Foxtrot I'm expecting smooth movement and elegance.  This dance was missing that.  I don't think she did very well.  I think the problem was in the song choice.  Not that it wasn't meaningful to her.  It's just that the song just wasn't suited to ballroom dancing.  Judges say 5's across for a total of 15.  That's too bad.  I like her.  Her Quickstep was better last week than this Foxtrot.

Chelsie and Mark tell their story through Cha Cha Cha to a song called Chelsie, which her first love wrote for her, and she first heard it when he played it live with his band.  Say it with me now...awwwww, isn't that sweet?  I'd like to see her be stronger with her legs.  They are bent at the knee and soft.  She needs to extend through he toes and emphasize the movements, really snap the steps off and make them clean.  That will get her hips working properly.  She also seems to be off beat in some of the side by side dancing.  Mark seemed ahead of her.  I thought her musicality was off.  Other than that, I think the dance went well.  She had a lot of good moments and the performance was full of energy.  Oh geez...Bruno was a little creepy with his comments.  Yikes.  I did enjoy the dance, but I thought Chelsie had some technique issues that the judges over-looked in favor of the fun and flirty performance.  Judges say 7,8,8 for a total of 23.

Chris and Cheryl tell their story through Rumba to Let It Bee, for his mom who died several years ago due to complications from an accident.  This was definitely an emotional dance.  Chris was in control of the partnership, leading Cheryl through the movement.  He provided a solid base and frame for her.  He didn't have great Rumba hip action, and his toes were a little too turned in.  There were some poor technical aspects, particularly with his arms, which kept the dance from being as smooth as I think it should be.  But the poses were good and some of the lines were very nice.  He captured the essence of what Rumba is in his connection to Cheryl, and the characterization of the love in the story.  It wasn't a romantic story, but it was emotional and quite lovely.  Nicely done.  Judges say 7's across for a total of 21.

Kendra and Louis tell their story through Rumba to You and Me, with the message to follow your heart and be true to your love.  I don't like the fog effect because it was too much.  I think it would have worked if it had been more subtle.  She was very awkward coming out of it and down the stairs, probably because she couldn't see where she was putting her feet.  Now she is learning to straighten her legs.  She had some very nice extended lines during a few of the poses.  She does well with that until she has to spin and then those awful bent knees become exposed, particularly in that short dress.  She did pretty well with her hip action, but the dance didn't feel romantic.  It was on the sexy and erotic side, which may actually be the story she wanted to tell about her relationship with her husband.  And if so, then I think she did it well.  It wasn't overly raunchy...rather it was sensual.  I'd like to see her continue to work on those legs.  When she gets that down, she'll have a full performance.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  I think the 8's were too high, but good for her on the improvement.

Romeo and Chelsea tell their story through Rumba to I'll Be There, in tribute to the death of his two young cousins.  This is really beautiful.  He's not using his hips as he should, but he is providing a wonderful frame for Chelsea.  He's very strong as a base for the poses, and he is leading her through it.  I'm not a fan of this choreography though, because it isn't requiring him to dance much at all.  Chelsea did most of the dancing, and Romeo held her and spun her and guided her.  Actually, if that's the definition of the male role in a Rumba, then he did it very well with the exception of the lack of hip action.  And there were some problems with his footwork and his leg extensions.  Still, the story was well defined and very emotional.  He was committed to the dance and the style.   Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.  I did like the performance, but he's not going to get the high scores or progress much in the Latin styles unless he lets loose of his hips.

Hines and Kym tell their story through Samba to Fantasy, as a tribute for the work his mom did to get custody of him, bring him to the US, and give him opportunities.  He does such a fine job of keeping his back so straight.  Wow.  Hey gang...this is really impressive.  He's got the perfect hip action.  And his personality is perfect for Samba.  This is his third dance with Kym and it looks like they've been dancing together for years.  That was fantastic!  There were a couple of hand placement issues toward the end when their timing got off just a little bit.  But that's picking nits.  This dance was outstanding.  The choreography was difficult and he made it look so smooth and easy.  All the movements were connected and seamless.  It had so much content.  He has such tremendous musicality.  He dances like a real gentleman.  Judges say 9,8,8 for a total of 25.  Excellent!  Well done Sir!  Romeo should pay attention because Hines shows how a man can be a man and still do hip swivels.

Petra and Dmitry tell their story through Waltz to You Raise Me Up, a song she says gave her the courage to start her foundation that rebuilds schools after disasters around the world.  I really wanted her to get a chance to Waltz before she goes home, although the way she's dancing tonight, that might not be for awhile.  Her neck extension in that first movement on the floor was wonderful.  This is a difficult song to Waltz to, but Dmitry managed some beautiful choreography.  He mentioned in rehearsal to make it like dancing in clouds, and the movement did have that kind of ethereal quality to it.  It was quite a lovely dance.  She was elegant and graceful.  She did very well with this dance.  It was slow enough that she could keep her balance and focus on her technique.  She made some beautiful lines, and her height served her well in the style.  I really loved that performance.  It was very moving.  Judges say 8,9,8 for a total of 25.  Well done my dear!

Ray and Anna tell their story through Paso Doble to My Prerogative, demonstrating determination and beating the odds.  This should be a strong style for him.  It isn't about hip action.  It's about aggression and passion.  You can get away with stomping on the floor and walking through some of the movement.  In fact, it's encouraged.  He has the attitude working.  Posture is still a problem.  He's not extending and emphasizing with his arms.  He's not leading with a strong chest.  Hmmm...evidently I was wrong that this would be a style that would favor him.  He was much too loose with his body.  The dance pleased the crowd.  I think I agree with the judges that he didn't let the dance control him, but it really wasn't a good Paso.  It was a better effort for him and he has improved over his previous performances.  Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.  He deserved to have his score go up, but I think he's still in danger.

Kirstie and Maks tell their story through Rumba to Over the Rainbow, which takes her back to 1980 when she lost her mom and nearly her dad to a drunk driver, and then won the role of Saavik in Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn to launch her career.  Oh no.  Maks injured himself during the opening of the dance.  But he managed to pull himself together and continued to dance.  The dance was very poignant.  The story was about coming back from the adversity that life throws at you.  Kirstie could have fallen apart when they fell, but she held herself together and stayed in the game until Maks got his feet back under him.  She was so strong and supportive as she waited for Maks to settle back in.  Judges say 7's across for a total of 21.  I thought it was an ankle that collapsed on him, but he said afterward that it was a muscle strain in his thigh.  From the way they finished the dance, that was going to be something very special.  You know what, strike that.  Let me say this instead...the way they finished the dance was something very special, because it emphasized the story she wanted to tell, and told the same story of strength that characterizes the relationship between the two of them.

Ralph and Karina tell their story through Rumba to Stay Gold, which is from The Outsiders, the film that started his career.  It is also his wedding song.  This week is Phyllis and Ralph's 24th anniversary.  He's a little bit stiff in this dance and he's still having a little trouble with those hands.  And there were some issues with his feet this week.  But he's still an incredibly strong partner.  I thought Karina's choreography was sweetly romantic, however I did think his dancing was a bit too crisp around the edges.  For Rumba, I want softer movements.  I thought Ralph danced with just a little too much of an edge.  But Pam squeeed and then she said "Awwww", so I guess the dance passed her eye test.  I don't know what was going on with the judges and why they thought they had to get in each others' faces.  I was a little embarrassed for them.  There was no reason for that outburst.  Judges say 7's across for a total of 21.

Here's our leader board after Story Night:

25 Hines and Kym
25 Petra and Dmitry 
23 Chelsie and Mark
23 Kendra and Louis
21 Chris and Cheryl
21 Ralph and Karina
21 Kirstie and Maks
20 Romeo and Chelsea
20 Ray and Anna 
15 Wendy and Tony

The leader board has turned over a little bit.  Kirstie and Ralph both had their struggles this week, while some other couples stepped up and had great performances.  I think Hines is the strongest celebrity dancer, and the most consistent so far.

What a great night of dancing.  Honestly gang, this is a terrific season and it's tough to decide how to vote each week.  I split between Ralph and Hines, while Pam spread her votes out this week between Ralph, Hines, Chris, and Kirstie.

I know!  But we're using two phones each so we're OK for awhile.  It's going to be tough though, because there always comes that time when we have to stop splitting and settle on one favorite.

Tune in tonight for results, and check here tomorrow for encores and a recap!

It does pain me because I don't like Jim Calhoun, but I do offer my congratulations to the University of Connecticut for winning the NCAA Championship.  The Huskies defeated Butler University 53-41 to win the title.

Congratulations also to the Bulldogs.  Although they came up short for the second straight year, they show a tenaciousness and determination that I enjoyed watching throughout the tournament.

I'm sorry for my friend Desert Songbird.  She's a Butler alum and she really thought her Dawgs were going to get it done.  So did I.


  1. Call it great defense or whatever, but it was, perhaps, the most boring championship game I have ever endured. I don't believe I even watched the final eight minutes. Like you there are a few coaches I am not fond of. I was okay with Kentucky losing because I don't care for Calapari.

  1. I missed DWTS last night. I appreciate your recap of the show and the dancers.

    I was sorry Butler lost.

  1. Julie says:

    So I missed the first 20 minutes and only missed Wendy? What did they do at the beginning of the show?

    "Let it Bee" it! I never realized what nitpicking was until you switched up the words! Bwhahaha!

    Poor poor Maks.....I was so shocked when that all happened. I was watching it with my brother...and didn't pay real close attention..then I shut the tv off before re-watching it.

    Thanks for getting me up to speed dear man!

  1. I was pulling for Butler. Congrats to UConn.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Sounds like you're really enjoying this series Trav. :)

  1. Watched my Yankees, so did not see any dancing last night...then off to the show which ended about the same time as the b-ball game.

    Thanks for the updates

  1. Driller: I found the game more frustrating than boring, because Butler was having so much trouble offensively.

    Pam: It was definitely another good performance show.

    Julie: They had a bunch of stuff leading off the show.

    GGG: I know. I really wanted Butler.

    Akelamalu: Every time!

    V: As you have told me, TIVO!

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  1. Thanks for sharing the highs and lows and the joys and frustrations with me again this tournament. It makes it so much more enjoyable when I have another hoops fan with whom to share. I truly, truly believe my Dawgs will be strong again next season, even without Howard and Hahn and the other seniors, and even if Shelvin Mack turns pro. I believe it. My Dawgs are indeed tenacious.