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“A Cinderella Christmas” Opens For Second Year, DWTS Mark Ballas Choreographs

Back by popular demand this Christmas season in North Hollywood, CA is the stage show “Cinderella Christmas”. The Bonnie Lithgoe production features Baron HardUp as Willard, recording artist “Bean” as the fairy godmother, American Idol’s David Hernandez as Dandini, and more fun stars. Even more cool is that Dancing With The Stars pro Mark Ballas updated and choreographed the dancing. I would so like to see what he came up with for the songs below….

The production is helmed by Bonnie Lythgoe from So You Think You Can Dance (Australia) and choreographed by Dancing With the Stars’ Mark Ballas, with American Idol’s Michael Orland serving as Musical Director. Bonnie Lythgoe, Kris Lythgoe, and Becky Baeling are producers. An updated version of the classic tale, “A Cinderella Christmas” features family-friendly updates, a comedic twist and modern music, including “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez, “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga, Michael Buble’s “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.”

You can read more on the show here as well as on information on how you can obtain tickets. “Cinderella Christmas” will run from December 22 to January 8 at the El Portal. Also, if interested, follow and watch this Facebook page closely as they may post coverage of the show and production as it unfolds more in the coming days.

December 11, 2011 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

New PureDWTS Segment: Ask Courtney

This is a feature I’ve contemplated doing for awhile, and I think now might be the right time, with one season over and the rumor mill not quite started up on the next.  For those of you that don’t know, I actually do have quite a bit of ballroom knowledge, as I’ve been dancing for about 9 years now and my boyfriend is actually a ballroom dance teacher.  Because of that, I’m probably better able to answer some of the more “technical” dance questions than the average viewer, and many of you have seen me get a bit more in-depth in analyzing the dances, in terms of technique and what have you. 

I’ve noticed that many of you seem to be getting more curious about the actual ballroom world, as well as how the rules of the actual ballroom world apply to DWTS (or, rather, how TPTB seem to TRY to apply them ;-)).  So this is the place where you can finally get answers to those burning questions about ballroom technique, certain rules, dance steps, etc. – I will do my best to give you guys thorough, relevant responses, and if there’s something I don’t know the answer to, I will defer to my boyfriend, who is a true expert on the subject :-) So if you are curious about a certain ballroom subject, feel free to post your questions in the comment section of this post, or tweet them to me @putuincespence, or you can email them to John and he can send ‘em my way.  Try to keep them fairly objective – things like “Why do ladies have to wear heels in ballroom?” or “What makes the jive so hard?”, rather than “Why does Derek stink at choreographing samba?” or “Why does Mark always wear spats?” :-P I’m not really equipped to handle subjective stuff like that, hehe. I’m going to try to answer a new question each week, at least until things start to pick up with the new season.   

So to kick off this inaugural “Ask Courtney” post, I thought I’d tackle a question I’ve seen quite a few of you ask in passing this season: Why can’t you break hold in the quickstep?

For those of you that didn’t know, quickstep is the only dance on DWTS in which the couples cannot break hold in the middle of the dance. To quote Len, they can do “a little bit at the beginning, and a little bit at the end” out of traditional dance hold, but they must remain in-hold for the majority of the dance.  Notorious violators of this rule? Mark & Shawn in their Aladdin quickstep, and Nicole & Derek in their sailor quickstep.  So why did they get in so much trouble???

The answer to this is a bit silly to me, because it’s one of the few ways that DWTS has attempted to adhere to actual ballroom dance rules – which I often find don’t really translate well to this show.  In “real world” ballroom, there are two styles: International style, which tends to be more strict and is more difficult; and American style, which is a bit more relaxed and open to interpretation.  With the ballroom dances, you can either do the International Standard style (in which the couple must remain in-hold the entire time) or the American Smooth style (where the couples are able to go in and out of hold as much as they like).  The International Standard dances are waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz; the American Smooth dances are waltz, tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz.  You’ll notice there is no quickstep in the American Smooth style – it is only danced in the international style, thus the couples are forced to adhere to the international style, in which hold cannot be broken.  Since there is overlap in the other 4 styles, the DWTS pros can choose to dance either the American or International styles of the waltz, tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz – and most choose the American style, since it’s easier and allows for more creative freedom.  But even though they’re trying to adhere to “real” ballroom rules by forbidding the breaking of hold in the quickstep, they’re still not being completely true to the rule, since they’re allowing open work at the beginning & end.  In a real international standard quickstep (or any other international standard-style dance), the couple would only be allowed to walk a few feet towards each other to get into hold before dancing – any sort of open work at the beginning (i.e. Ricki & Derek’s tap sequence) is a huge no-no.  You have to be in-hold before you do ANY dancing in real quickstep.

So what do I suggest? Eliminate the silly “no breaking hold in quickstep” rule – it’s just a pointless vestige of the show’s often feeble attempts to mirror the real world of ballroom.  If you’re going to allow open work at the beginning and end of the dance (which I think is a good idea, as it’s more audience-pleasing than just getting straight into hold), you may as well allow it in the middle, just like all the other dances, because most viewers aren’t going to understand the reasoning behind forbidding it, anyway.

So what ballroom questions do you guys have? Lay ‘em on me, and I’ll do my best to get you answers :-)

I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS Cheryl Burke Parties in Las Vegas & New “Ideology” Interview

Isn’t Cheryl gorgeous again in the picture above? Friday night, she was seen with friends Kelly Monaco (seen above with Cheryl and who looks beautiful as well) and Jenny McCarthy dining and partying at Koi Restaurant at the Planet Hollywood Resort and the Chateau Nightclub & Gardens inside Paris Las Vegas! You can see more fun pictures of the two at Haute Event and the Haunt Event Facebook page which are fun sites to follow if you are interested in keeping up with the Las Vegas nightlife and happenings in the city. :)

Speaking of Cheryl, she did a new interview with Fashion Weekly on her new Macy’s gig representing the new active wear line with “Ideology”. Cheryl talks of how Rob helped with promotion this past week and how she’d like to help with designing it one day. She also dishes on her dreams and what a good sleeper she is. More below. Be sure to read the link for the full interview.

You and Rob Kardashian must be pretty tight if he’s deejaying your party.
We developed a great relationship. I found out he was deejaying a few days ago; it was such a surprise. I didn’t even know he could DJ, but he knows what kind of music I like.

We’re at the Dream. Tell us about your last one.
I always dream that I’m being chased; I don’t know why. I’m always in the forest running away from some animal. I always wake up in a sweat.

If someone taught Cherylology like biology, what would the curriculum be?
Dancing, obviously. I’m a really good sleeper. I can sleep like nobody’s business. I’m a good girl to go out with if you want to have a good time. I know how to get down. I also like to cook.

Interesting. I never knew she could sleep like that or cook.

I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.