Mr. Phillip Stephens — dance studio owner, dance judge, dance instructor, instructor of dance instructors and dancer — says in his recent newsletter:
Hello to All:
We’ve heard back from a couple of people that they will NOT take the “Educated Dancer” quiz because they don’t want us to know how dumb they are, but I’ll wager they are secretly working on all those problems. Anyway, it’s just fun, so we hope everyone will feel the urge to join in and take the quiz.
Be sure to join us on Friday evenings from 8-10pm for our fabulous Practice Party. You’ll meet some great people and get to practice all those cool moves you’ve been learning in your classes and lessons.
Also join us on Saturday, May 9, for the USA Dance party. They hold a class at 8pm for just $5 per person, then the dance from 9pm until midnight. Admission to the dance is $10 for non-members and $8.50 for members. Bona-fide students with IDs get in for just $5.
On Saturday, May 16th, we have a T-rrific West Coast Swing night. $8 admission to a 4-hour dance in a beautiful setting with wonderful people and the best dance floor for miles around. Come on down and enjoy some of that great West Coast music with your friends.
This commentary is provided by Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Fellow and Examiner and Championship Certified Adjudicator Phillip Stephens. Statements made in this commentary do not reflect the viewpoints of The Dance Place or its teachers.
Group Quickstep-Foxtrot-Tango, Nice choreography, good emotive qualities, a bit too “cliff-hangerish for my taste, and Dmitry looked a bit lost in Ballroom.
Group Latin. Why did Dmitry think HE needed to have an open shirt? Really nice Reverse Samba Rolls, but this was not as nice – for me – as the Ballroom routine.
Each couple danced 2 routines this week, and each celebrity must do a 15-second solo during their Latin dance. And, if you watched the Results Show from Tuesday night, you know that Lil’ Kim got booted off the show this week.
Shawn & Mark
Quickstep – Mark out danced Shawn in several places. They had more open work than I care for – or than is allowed – in this kind of dance. Shawn did an excellent job of performing some very difficult and fast choreography. Mark was a bit too exuberant in some of the moves 29? Len thought the personality came through and he noted that they went out of hold in the body of the routine. Bruno – raved about the footwork also noted the break in hold. Carrie Ann – taking away a point for the broken rule.. Got: 9+9+9 – 27. The silly teacher HAD to break the rule and it ended up costing the celebrity a perfect score – Arrrrggggh!
Paso Doble – Compared herself to a bull? Entrance looked a bit too “gymnastic” for me. Arms were so frantic!, She does – generally – have good control and looked quite strong although, in this routine, her shoulders were too high and she didn’t look as comfortable as normal. Where was the solo? The audience loved the routine. 27? Carrie Ann loved it? liked the solo?? Len liked the solo? Liked the precision and footwork, but it wasn’t overly exciting. Bruno thought she had the killer instinct. I think it was good, but not THAT good. Got: 10+9+10 = 29, which was a bit too high for that performance. How did I miss her solo?
Ty & Chelsie
Argentine Tango – Nice suit. He has such amazingly strong posture. He was right on with the music, though his foot placement was sickled inward now and then. Made the lifts look pretty effortless. Good with the kicks and flicks and looked confident, too I would give that at least 27 points. I would agree with Bruno that it lacked a bit of smoothness. Carrie Ann – commended him for developing his talent, but noted a stumble here and there holding him back. Len – Captured the flavor and essence of the dance. Noted that he was a natural actor & performer and that he’d done such a good job. Got: 8+9+8 = 25, which I think was a bit low.
Rumba – Not good. His leg and foot actions were not accurate and Chelsie seemed to choose moves that highlighted his weaknesses instead of developing his strengths. 21? Len – noted the sweetness, but thought is was not good. Bruno – likeable contestant, but you mustn’t confuse ability with like-ability. Carrie Ann – same as Bruno and Len. Got: 7+7+7 = 21 (His comments about the solo paying dividends later was priceless!)
Lil’ Kim & Derek
Waltz – Not a good dance for her, but she did reasonably well with a pretty strong head position and good shoulder lines in closed position. Did a lousy tornillo turn and they almost lost balance at the end. This was just not as dynamic as her normal performances, but she still got a Standing O – go figure. 26? Carrie Ann noted lots of missteps and unfinished lines. Len – noted lack of razzmatazz but thought there was a lot of quality in the dance. Bruno – Tried to be a lady but she’s more comfortable being a tramp. Noted the hesitations and lack of comfort in the performance. Got: 8+9+8 = 25 – lower than I expected from the comments.
Salsa – Not well synchronized in some of the kick actions. She was slow in places. Did a very strong solo. A really sharp trick near the end. 29? Bruno – noted out of sync footwork near beginning. Carrie Ann – noted that Lil’ Kim got out of control (I agree!), Len – Went overboard on praise, but did note lack of control. Got: 9+9+9 = 29
Good in tricks, but not in the basic dance. Slow in turns, off in basic break action, just out of control in general.
Gilles & Cheryl
Foxtrot – Head too far left in closed position, then too far forward in many other positions. In general, the moves frequently looked a bit frantic. Gilles’ left arm was too high and looked rather Tango-ish in closed position, and he never played the audience. Gilles didn’t look comfortable with the dance because, to me, it looked as if he was trying too hard. 25? Len – Enjoyed watching the performance the feeling, etc, but noted that Gilles missed out on straightening his legs & displayed no rise and fall to speak of. Bruno – raved about reaching the audience??? Carrie Ann – Thought the performance was good? (What a load of crap from Bruno and Carrie Ann!) Got: 10+9+10 = 29 – WAY higher than I think that performance deserved.
Rumba – Moon walks going forward? That just looked weird. Gilles appeared to be off time a lot in this routine. Cheryl looked to be all massively wide hips in that dress. Gilles seemed not to know what to do with his arms half the time. The falling down bit at the end didn’t look very good to me. I would only give this a 24 or 25. Carrie Ann – delivered a hot Rumba? She found the beginning weird. Also noted forward moon walking. Len thought it looked fantastic, but didn’t like the silly walking bit at the start or the rolling on the floor bit at the end. Bruno – wondered if it was the right dance at first. Got: 9+9+9 = 27
As Michael Schedler noted – Gilles may have danced the most anticipated Rumba of the season, but it ended up being flat. I agree – Gilles missed a lot of the basics!
Cheryl says Gilles needs to keep doing what he’s doing, but she is wrong! He needs to work on fundamentals, and she needs to alter her choreography to better suit the student. As someone – Einstein? – once said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Melissa & Tony
Viennese Waltz – Lovely attitude tornillo turn in the entrance. Nice long steps that were very lyrical and on time. Lovely arm lines and beautiful leg extensions. Feet a bit too far turned out for “proper” ballroom. A beautiful back bend tornillo for the end. A beautiful and moving performance. I’d give this a 30. Bruno – lighter than air and beautiful. Carrie Ann – Missing Sway (I think that’s what she meant to say). Len – not a fan of her feet in ballroom. Got: 9+9+9 – 27, probably due to being a bit cautious
Samba – Quite a nice entrance. Nice look in the costume. Good hip and body actions. Nice lines and good leg actions. Very musical Quite a strong performance. 30? Len – Says she should be in the final. Bruno – Samba had everything in it that a body could want. Carrie Ann – Thought the routine was flawless. Got: 10+10+10 = 30 Way to GO!
Note: Michael Schedler noted Melissa and Tony being a bit cautious, which was probably due to Melissa’s rib injury, and that this kept her from going all out. I am always surprised at how the pros go all out in getting the UNTRAINED celebs to do tricks, dips, lines, etc to the point of causing an injury, and then get overly cautious once the injury has occurred.
Well, I don’t expect Ty Murray to be in the final round. I hope to see him go, then I’d expect Melissa to win with Shawn 2nd and Gilles (whose dancing I don’t care for all that much) to be third. And there you have it!
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