Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

And it's Rock Week!  Our 10 remaining pairs try to put proper ballroom and Latin routines to rock music.  There's always potential for greatness or disaster in trying to choreograph dances to rock music.  And there's always the potential for unfortunate song selections.

How do we introduce Rock Week?  Why, we do it with KISS of course!

It is possible to Paso Doble to Rock and Roll All Night.  The Dance Troupe just did it.  You have to understand what to look for with Paso, but it's there.

This could be fun. 

Hey...the theme music got a rock arrangement.  Cool!

Sherri and Val dance Tango to Quiet Riot.  Technique is paramount in Tango.  Frame is critical so that movement can be precise.  The footwork has to be exact.  I thought she was inconsistent with her posture.  She also didn't seem to have the same emotion and performance as she's had in past dances.  I didn't see the attitude and passion that I expect in Tango.  I liked some of her footwork, but I don't think this dance was up to earlier efforts.  She missed on the sharpness and precision.  It was a good dance, but I've seen her do better.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.  Yeah, I think this was a down week for her.

Katherine and Mark dance Paso Doble.  She's got the look and the attitude.  There's drama and passion.  The choreography is a bit odd, but fits the music.  There's classic Paso there, with Mark's unique twist to it.  I really like this routine.  I think Katherine's footwork is outstanding and her posture is excellent.  I think she handled that very well.  There were a couple of bobbles in holds and spins, but I think that's very minor.  She was fierce and she attacked the dance.  However, I thought there were some lines that she didn't quite extend.  But overall I thought it was another strong performance.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  She's back to the group just a little this week.

Jaleel and Kym dance Tango to The Rolling Stones.  I like the way Kym has put this piece together.  What I don't like is Jaleel's posture.  He looks too loose to me in the way he moves...almost too casual.  I love the content, though.  I think his footwork is very good and I always enjoy the connection between the two of them.  That last trick at the end was cool.  I think I enjoyed the dance and the performance.  But the smooth and relaxed movement was bothersome.  I want the aggression and passion, and the crispness and staccato movement.  Len and Bruno both pointed out that the stalking quality of Tango was missing.  I see was missing a sense of smoulder.  The overall feel of the performance was fine, but as a proper Tango it was lacking.  Judges say 8,7,7 for a total of 22.  Jaleel draws me in with performance, but I need to see the technique too. 

Melissa and Maks dance Paso Doble.  They've gone with more traditional Paso costumes.  This is a great song for Paso, particularly for the way Maks likes to choreograph the dance.  It has to be strong and passionate, with so much attack.  That routine looked very difficult.  I think Melissa held up pretty well.  There were a couple of times when she had this expression...I couldn't tell whether she was terrified or exhilarated by the speed of the dance.  For the most part I thought she had her feet under her.  There were one or two times when I thought she fell behind the music and Maks pulled her along.  Then they had a bit of a stumble right at the end, but they hung on let the dance end without falling out of character.  I think that was pretty good.  Judges say 7,8,7 for a total of 22.  The scores are lower than they have been because of the focus on technique this week, and that mistake came right at the end.

Donald and Peta dance Paso Doble to Jimi Hendrix.  Attitude, aggression, had all that.  It also had control when it easily could have gone wild.  I liked the choreography.  I loved Donald's posture.  His frame was fantastic.  His movement was crisp and strong.  Everything had power to it.  He also had the stomping step you have to see for a really strong Paso.  He had presence and passion.  I thought his body art added to the mood and story they created.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  Yup.  That dance was complete.  I saw one or two bobbles, so I didn't think it deserved a 10.  But it definitely earned the 9s across.

Gladys and Tristan dance Tango to Queen.  Unfortunately, the singing threw me off and it looked like it messed with Gladys' timing as well.  I think she definitely had the attitude, but I had such a hard time paying attention to the dancing with the distraction of those horrible vocals.  I think there were a lot of mistakes and problems with the choreography.  That dance just didn't come together.  It's a hard song to begin with.  The choreography was really ambitious.  But it was hard to get the musicality squared away because the rhythms were just too weird for dancing.  Not her best.  I'm going to blame that one mostly on the music.  Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.  Harsh, but I don't think I can disagree with it based on what I saw.

William and Cheryl dance Jive to Twisted Sister.  That was off to such a great start and then whammo...they missed the big trick.  And they missed it badly.  The dance was going really well too.  Then they missed the swing and it took them a few bars to get the timing back.  Cheryl threw a shoe.  I hate to see a routine fall apart like that.  That's a shame.  The routine had the potential to be really good.  But at the end of the day, he has to shut out the screaming and silliness and focus on the steps and technique.  If he does that, then this routine gets very high scores.  I could see that the piece had character and plenty of content.  And they might have done OK after missing the swing trick, if they had just been able to find the timing again.  Judges say 7,7,8 for a total of 22.  That's generous, especially with such a glaring mistake that they never really recovered from.

Roshon and Chelsie dance Viennese Waltz.  I beg your pardon?  For Rock Week?  Ahhh...a little David Cook.  That works for me.  Roshon has improved his posture and his frame.  He didn't hold it consistently through the entire dance, but he held it for some of the really elegant stuff.  I thought the performance was sweetly romantic.  He got a little ahead of himself a few times, and there were a couple of times when he lost his balance, but for the most part he controlled the movement.  I liked the lines and shapes he made.  One turn was linked to the next spin.  There was some rise and fall.  I thought his footwork was really good.  Overall I thought he danced with sophistication and maturity while maintaining his youthful charm.  Well done, young man.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  Excellent.

Maria and Derek dance Tango to Alice Cooper.  She's got a rib injury, and now a stress fracture in her foot.  Ribs you can dance through, but fractured feet?  In heels?  She's doing it.  Fantastic choreography.  Derek made sure there was enough content while also trying to protect that foot.  There were places where you could see she was being careful.  I don't blame her for that.  Despite the ribs and the feet, she danced really well.  Lines, passion, aggression, drama, and technique.  I think that by being careful with footwork, they lost some of the driving quality that would have made it a great Tango.  But it was solid and I enjoyed the staging.  There was nothing wrong with her posture and frame in hold.  And it also had some of that stalking, smouldering quality.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  I think that's well deserved.

Gavin and Karina dance Tango to The Rolling Stones.  He took control of the routine from the first beat.  I really liked his posture to start, but then his frame fell apart and his shoulders pulled up and hunched over.  He's got to focus on tucking his backside in and pulling his shoulders back.  I did like his footwork.  I thought he was precise and crisp with his foot placement.  The routine built the drama throughout.  I thought there was a story to the piece.  There was an attitude and style to it that I really liked.  He connected the movements together, which made the routine feel cohesive.  I thought it was a complete performance, even with the posture issues.  Judges say 8,8,7 for a total of 23.  Come on Bruno!  Yes, his posture didn't hold up throughout the routine.  But they didn't make any major mistakes, and they told a fluid story in Tango.  That deserves 8s across in my book.

Here's our Rock Week leader board:

27 Donald and Peta
26 Maria and Derek
26 Roshon and Chelsie
24 Katherine and Mark
23 Gavin and Karina
22 Jaleel and Kym
22 Melissa and Maks
22 William and Cheryl
21 Sherri and Val
20 Gladys and Tristan

If you got your technique squared away this week, you got the scores.  The judges particularly focused in on it, marking down when it was lacking and rewarding when it was mastered...or if not mastered, at least controlled.  This cast is so strong in performance, but we need to see improvement and consistency in technique.  That's the takeaway for the week.

There aren't enough votes!  I had a hard time figuring it out this week.  But I had to throw votes to Gladys after she had a rough dance.  It's not time for her to go home yet.  My other favorites are Katherine and Jaleel.  I had room for a fourth, so I went for Gavin because I think he keeps improving every week. 

Then I felt bad that I didn't have enough votes for Donald and Maria and Roshon, because they are three of the better dancers and deserve my attention too.

Pam went for William.  He had a rough dance, just like Gladys.  Then she split votes for Donald, Maria...and Roshon. 

We might need another couple of phones.

You know the drill.  Tune in tonight for a rocking results show.  Then check back here for encores and my results recap.

Later gang!


  1. Melissa gave it all she had, as I heard she was taken to the hospital after her performance. A mild concussion and whiplash. I'm still feeling the love for Gladys!

  1. Cherie says:

    I got home from work just in time to see the recap and hear about Melissa's injury. *Must buy new video tape ... Must buy new video tape* lol Looking forward to your best dance pics to get caught up. :)

  1. Jean says:

    Big hugs... Trees are greening out. Is spring near?

  1. Jamie says:

    Find myself focusing on Donald and Katherine but it is still too soon to be quite that narrow. If Melissa doesn't recoup, that could mean an unexpected elimination thought I didn't think her scoring was too low.

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    I missed it last night as we got movie channels (free for 3 months) & I noticed they played Twilight's New Moon & I was hooked on that :) Anyhow, based on your reviews, I still really like Mark & Katherine :)

  1. I do believe that someone needs to take a serious look at the music that is used on the show. All too often the music seems to be inappropriate for the dance being performed and I can't tell you how many times the vocals have just been horribly distracting, to say the least.