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DWTS Ask Courtney – What’s a “Heel Lead”?

Judging from the comments of my inaugural Ask Courtney post, it looks like many of you are baffled about this one. But fear not, I am about to shed some light on the mysterious “heel lead” Len seems to prattle on about ;-)

Before I start, though, I want everyone to stand up and take 5 steps in whatever direction you have a clear path. Did you do it? Well congratulations! You just did a heel lead. :-) Literally, all a heel lead really entails is taking a step where the first part of your foot that hits the ground is your heel, and then the ball of your foot, and then your toes. Unless you’re injured or just prefer to walk on your tiptoes all the time, this is how people normally walk. It’s a very natural motion.

Where it gets dicey is on the dance floor. In the ballroom dances (waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz), you’re (almost) always supposed to step forward on your heel; in the Latin dances, you’re always supposed to step forward on the toe. You step backward on the toe in both dances (it’s nary impossible to step backward with a heel lead…I dare you to try. You will feel silly ;-)). When Len starts bitching about heel leads, it seems like it’s usually a male celeb stepping forward on the toe in one of the ballroom dances – it leads to a very stilted, awkward gait, and seems to throw both the male celeb and the female pro off balance. It also negates the possibility of them getting the proper “rise & fall” characteristic of the ballroom dances (with the exception of tango, which has no rise & fall). This is probably most noticeable in the regular waltz, which has the most exaggerated rise & fall.

As for doing a heel lead when you’re not supposed to – the only thing that springs to mind is Derek’s infamous rant after Shannon’s rumba in season 6, where he accused the judges of overlooking some other couples “doing heel leads out there!”. I haven’t the time or patience at the moment to pore through all of the other rumbas from that particular night and look for heel leads, but I imagine that they probably looked kinda bland. Part of what makes rumba (and all Latin dances, for that matter) look cool is the hip action – hip action that can really only be done well if you’re leading with your toe. So if you’re doing heel leads in Latin dances, it probably looks like you’re just walking like a normal person – hardly the exciting movement we’ve come to expect from dancing on this show. ;-)

Hope that clears things up a bit ;-) Keep the questions coming, guys!

December 16, 2011 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!

Dancing With The Stars “Season Retrospective” December 23rd On The Nancy Grace Show

Last night on the Nancy Grace Show, she mentioned that her December 23rd show will be an hour devoted to Dancing With The Stars and her time dancing with Tristan MacManus. If it’s like her shows in the recent past, she may have other stars of Dancing With The Stars as guests as well. So, mark your calendars. I really have to give it to Nancy. Along with Tristan, she’s went full out promoting Dancing With The Stars and it’s pros and celebrities. I hope she’ll keep doing this each season. She does a great job and she’s funny too! Nancy’s show airs weeknights at 8:00pm ET on the HLN channel.

Thanks to TristanDWTSFans at twitter and her facebook page for the heads up on this news!!

ADDING: According to Dancing With Me Studios and Pulse Creative NY at twitter, Nancy, dancers, and guests (see below which also includes a new picture of Maks and Tristan) are in New York City at Dance With Me Soho studios filming for this segment today. Watch these two accounts closely for updates!!



@ with his “what do you want now, face?” Me: Everything!!!!! A blurry @ http://t.co/Pq2sXS2t
@PulseCreativeNY
Pulse Creative


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.

DWTS Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, And Friends Hold Holiday Party!

Last night, Dance With Me Studios in Ridgefield, New Jersey held their holiday party! Dancing With the Stars cast members Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Val Chmerkovskiy, Teddy Volynets, Nicole Volynets, Daria Chesnokova, and Kiki Nyemcheck all showed up to dance, party, socialize, and take part in the festivities. You can view some fun pictures of them all and their guests at Bergen.com.

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.

Tony Dovolani Dishes On Dancing With The Stars Season 14 In New Interview

Tony Dovolani made a special appearance at the 10th anniversary celebration of Eredi Pisano’s flagship store in New York City this week. In a new interview on the Red Carpet for the event, Tony says the premiere date for Season 14 of Dancing With The Stars is March 16th. He says he’s excited because he “doesn’t think nobody will know who the stars are this season.” He thinks it’s will be “interesting and one of the best seasons.” Tony is also asked who he’d like to be paired with and he says Jennifer Aniston, Oprah, and any of the girls from The View. They show the photo takes with he and his beautiful wife! I can’t embed the video, but, you can see it in full here.

Hmmm, we will see, Tony! I bet we know on some of the stars who will be dancing before March 16th. We will see. :)

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.

DWTS Anna Trebunskaya And Jonathan Roberts To Dance In “Champions Of The Dance” (Video Interview)

Tonight through Sunday Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya along with other world class professional ballroom dancers will be dancing in a sold out show called “Champions Of The Dance” at the Annenberg Center and Theatre At The University Of Pennsylvania. “King of Kamelot” celebrity reporter Authur Kade from ArthurKade.com was lucky enough to get an interview with the two. They talk of their favorite and worse dance partners on Dancing With The Stars. They dish on the judges and what they think of them. They dance a little and much more. Fun interview!!

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.