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DWTS16: Introducing our NEW TROUPE MEMBERS!

Well DWTSers, it looks like they’re expanding the Troupe this year, from 6 dancers to 8! Sharna was promoted out of the troupe this season, so we knew we would get at least one new pro troupe members. Instead, we get THREE!

First, ELENA SAMODANOVA… She comes to us from Australia’s DWTS, like Gleb, who is one of our new teaching pros.

Elena was born in a dance family so she started dancing before walking. Since her infant years Elena has always been on the dance floor dancing to all different styles of music..

During her youth Elena has won many Russian championships and awards in Latin American and Ballroom genres internationally.
Elena became a professional dancer at the tender age of 16 and she became the “World Youngest Professional Latin American Dancer” and soon after such, Elena was ranked the Top 20 dance couple in the world ranking in Latin American genre. Even since she has been performing, teaching and competing all over Europe and Asia.

The next decade marked further special achievements in Elena’s career in which she won many more international competitions and championships around the world. In 2009 she hit the Top 10 professional dancers in the World ranking of Latin American. Elena’s titles include being the Asian Professional Champion, Hong Kong Champion, Japanese Champion, Singaporean Champion and England Champion.

Elena has obtained her official certificate as a professional Latin American and Ballroom professional dance teacher and has the highest credentials and qualifications to teach in Russia, Hong Kong, England and Australia.
At this moment Elena Samodanova is the National Australian Professional Latin American Champion having won the 4 major dance titles down under and as a result she will now be representing Australian on the next World Dance Championship this November. This year Elena also makes her DANCING WITH THE STARS debut.

ADDING: What fun! I finally realized that I could possibly find more about our new troupe dancers on You Tube! Elena WAS on DWTS Australia, but my computer wasn’t cooperating with me to play any of those videos! However, I DID find one of her dancing the Paso with Gleb! And, since he’s a New Pro, and one we HAVEN’T seen dance yet, here’s our opportunity!
Elena and Gleb dancing Paso at a private function, 2009(ish)

Second, WITNEY CARSON… Witney competed this past summer on So You Think You Can Dance along side her friend Lindsay, who is now one of our new teaching pros.

Witney Carson was born and raised in American Fork, UT. Witney has been dancing since the age of 3; training, performing, and competing has been her life. Her specialty dance is Ballroom. She recently graduated from American Fork High School, and is ready to start her new adult life!

ADDING: A video from SYTYCD, which seems to be the first week of competition?? (I didn’t watch) She’s dancing Samba with her partner Chehon.
Witney and Chehon, “So You Think You Can Dance” 2012

Third, JULZ TOCKER…

Unfortunately, my search has come up scarce, and all I could find on Julz is what’s on his twitter bio, Dancing With The Stars season 16 cast member. International Ballroom and Latin American Champion, Dance Teacher/Coach, Model, Actor and a whole lot more people. That, and he has Gleb and Jason Gilikson on his facebook friends list.

ADDING: Julz was dancing in Australia on the show, “Everybody Dance Now 2012″ which ran only one season, and was cancelled. I did find one video with him dancing with his partner Annalisa. He’s in the first 5 minutes of the video…
Julz and Annalisa, “Everybody Dance Now” Australia 2012

If you know or can find anything more on Elena, Witney or Julz, PLEASE let us know in the comments, with url or documentation, and we’ll add it and credit you. Unfortunately, all 3 are new to me.

Rounding out the troupe are returning members SASHA FARBER, EMMA SLATER, HENRY BYALIKOV, OKSANA DYMTRENKO, SONNY PEDERSEN.

ADDED: A couple videos from @ButterflyWhirl, thank you!

Witney, Lindsay and Nick doing a ballroom trio, SYTYCD 2012
Elena and her partner Shannon Noll, DWTS Australia 2012

March 15, 2013 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Pure DWTS in Sandy’s Path

Hey there everyone!

I don’t need to tell anyone about the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, and how she is going to pummel the NorthEast of the United States. I don’t need to tell anyone that this is an icredibly HUGE storm, and that it isn’t going to simply “go away with only a whisper.” Yes, it would be nice!

Already in the comments, I’ve seen people mention that they’re in the path, and I’ve seen others asking for safety…

One reason I like this site, is that people who are here regularly develop a camaraderie, and a friendship and a respect, even though we all have different thoughts and feelings and favorite pros and celebrities. We find friendships. Read more..

October 28, 2012 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dance of the Day: We’re going FREESTYLING!!

AHHH!!! The Finale!! Home of the FREESTYLE! The one time of the year where the rule book can be tossed out, and ANYTHING GOES! In the prior twelve seasons, we’ve seen some bad freestyles, some good freestyles, and some GREAT freestyles!

All three Pro Dancers in the Finale this season have all been here before, we’ve seen them freestyling before…. Karina, unfortunately, wasn’t successful in her bid for the Mirror Ball full of Glitter dust, with Mario Lopez…. (joking…. Probably is empty, but they SHOULD have some glitter dust inside, for memories of their season…) but still choreographed an awesome freestyle! Cheryl was successful, she is our DWTS FIRST back to back winner, first with Drew Lachey, and second with Emmitt Smith. She also performed a freestyle with Gilles Marini, and lost out in an extremely close final vote. She also appeared with Christian de la Fuente. Derek has also had three trips to the finales and, so far, is unbeaten.

I really think we will be in for a FANTASTIC finale this week! All three pros are fabulous teachers, and know how to show their celebrity-partner to their advantage, and all are fantastic choreographers! Now, I know that Courtney and Heidi have put Mario and Karina’s into their dishonorable mention category, I do think it had quite a bit of “him” in it. And a big problem that it probably had, is that they did start dating while they were working together. Since this season, I do think that Karina has become MUCH better at working with her partner, and choreographing to their strengths, like Cheryl and Derek do. Besides, this is her ONLY trip to the finale.

While we’re waiting for Monday to arrive, we’ll re-watch the freestyles from Karina, Cheryl and Derek, the first time they each appeared in the finale.

First up, Season 2, CHERYL BURKE, in her first season on DWTS, dancing with Drew Lachey.

Read more..

November 21, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS Halloween Dancing preview… A review of Season 3

There were a few ways to review this week, and I went back and forth for a while, trying to decide. I thought about the Halloween dances, and the team dances from the past. Since many of the songs are duplicates, I thought about finding all of the prior dances to those songs. But, my search skills on youtube stink and that failed, so instead, I found the dances from Season 3, Week 8, when they performed on Halloween. And, SOME are duplicate songs for this week!!

So, enjoy these Halloween dances, and GET READY for more great dances tonight!
,
Addams Family with Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska dancing Tango

Sympathy For The Devil with Joey and Edyta dancing Paso Doble

Witchcraft with Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke dancing foxtrot

Spooky with Emmitt and Cheryl dancing rumba

Superstition with Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff dancing samba

Dark Waltz with Mario and Karina dancing Waltz… Get your tissues ready! They should have won their season!

Somebody’s Watching Me with Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel dancing tango

Ghostbusters with Monique and Louis dancing Cha Cha Cha

October 31, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS Quick Quiz……

I’ve been here and there on the internet to try to find some information I need. DWTS had a performance show on Halloween before, so be on the look out for eventually seeing a review of that past performance show. Season 3, week 8, by the way. Also, trying to figure out the team dances…

Meanwhile, I found a lot of interesting stuff, and anyone who is “into” trivia may be interested. So here’s how it’s going to work…. I’ll post a few questions, and you answer in the comments. Simple. All the answers can be found if you look, and I’ll try to make some easy, and some not so easy. I’ll post tomorrow in the comments the correct answers, or if people found the correct answers! OH! And some of the questions MAY NOT refer to just our version…

DWTS QUICK QUIZ #1:

1.) How many celebrities have withdrawn from the US version of the show?

2.) How many professionals have had back to back wins?

3.) There are versions of the show in over 30 countries around the world, and so far, there have been 2 Dancing With The Stars World Championships. Name the country that came in first place in the first one.

That’s it! Happy hunting!

October 27, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dancing With The Stars Past GROUP DANCE Review!

This is going to be quick, not much commentary, just the facts. Or rather, the videos. I’ve found myself much busier than I plan to be… But, to get us ready for the fun Group Dance, I’m searching for the videos of the group dances from past seasons. When possible, I’ll post the practice sessions, also.

Season 1, Viennese Waltz. Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts, John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen, Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo, Joey McIntyre and Ashly DelGrosso.

Season 2, Salsa. Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke, Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya, Lisa Rinna and Louis Van Amstel, Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani, George Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska, Tia Carrere and Maks Chmerkovskiy.

Season 3 Disco. Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel, Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska, Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff, Jerry Springer and Kym Johnson, Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke

Season 4 Swing. Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough, Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff, Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts,John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska, Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke

Season 5 Rock and Roll Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough, Jennie Garth and Derek Hough, Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas, Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts, Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani, Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska, Mel B and Maks Chmerkovskiy

Season 6 Country Western. Sorry, my brain has melted, and I don’t remember the names of the people I’m seeing in the video….. I know them all, but their names are no longer connected. In my brain.

Season 7 Old School Hip Hop Thanks to Gitte and Elara for helping to find this one….

Season 8 1960’s.Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska, Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower, Lil Kim and Derek Hough, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas, Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani, Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke

Season 9 Hustle. Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower, Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas, Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel, Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer, Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff, Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson, Joanna
Krupa & Maksim Chmerkovskiy (in the place of Derek Hough who was out with the flu), Mya & Dmitry Chaplin, Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova and Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo

I think that’s all…

October 24, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dance of the Day: Pre-Movie Theme review of Movie Theme circa Season 10

I thought it would be a nice idea to take a look back at a prior Movie Theme night, to review all of the dances that night, just to give us a sampling of what we will be enjoying… or cringing… when we watch on Monday.

So, we are looking back at DWTS Season 10, Week 5, definitely a night that gave us some memorable dances…. Some GOOD memories, and some very bad memories, and some that we may not really want to relive, but what the hey, it’s fun…

Since the producers LOVE to challenge the Pros and Celebrities by giving a constant stream of themes, we’re sure to see more. If the theme is a repeat from a prior season, like this one, PLEASE let me know the season and week, it’ll make looking up the dances. Thanks!!

Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough Tango to the theme of Pretty Woman

Nicole and Derek scored a 9,9,10 for 29 out of 30 points. Derek is still in the competition, dancing with Ricki Lake. Read more..

October 6, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dance of the Day… Let’s look at some Infamous Alumni…

Throughout the years that I’ve watched Dancing With The Stars, one thing that I’ve absolutely LOVED! was being able to get to know celebrities in a different way than we’ve ever known them. And, I’ve loved learning to actually like, and come to care for, several different celebrities that I thought that I would NOT like at all… Only to find that they’re HUMAN, and that I cared about the people they’ve allowed us to see.

This Dance of the Day post isn’t about them…. But, we’ll see some in a future post.

I’ve decided to take a different approach to the Dance of the Day, and look at those that…. For one reason or another, ended up in a different category than those that we’ve come to love. And….. I guess I’ll explain as I go.

JAKE PAVELKA. I’m starting with Jake, because he is the reason that this post is existing! I will admit that I DON’T watch any of the Bachelor franchise, so my first real exposure of Jake was during the episode of the Bachelor where they first announced the next seasons cast of Dancing With The Stars. And, surprise of surprise, he was announced as a contestant, with his brand new fiancee, Vienna Girardi,in the audience.

According to his IMDB page, he had some bit acting parts, both before and after the Bachelor franchise appeared. He was first a contestant on the Bachelorette, and followed that up with his first run as the Bachelor. From the Bachelor, he gained a spot on DWTS, Season 10, partnered by Chelsie Hightower.

This is what I consider to be his most memorable routines, their Risky Business Cha Cha, which gained them an 8 7 8 for 23 points.

Afterwards…. Jake and Vienna had a rather nasty split…. That’s all I will say, but if you care to review the break up, go to your favorite search engine…. :) From there, he headed to Famous Food, where I couldn’t find any youtube links, and now, he’s on Bachelor Pad. With his Ex, and her new boyfriend.
Recently Jake appeared on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show. I tried to listen to this several times, honestly, and haven’t been able to listen to the whole thing, because he didn’t endear me during DWTS, and neither he nor Vienna are very truthful in my opinion. If you feel like listening to the whole thing, go here. It’s rather interesting. Especially the part about possibly returning as Bachelor again….

Okay….. I promise to NOT go off onto the soapbox again…. I hope.

Next up, Lawrence Taylor! Lawrence danced with Edyta Sliwinska in Season 8, and yes, during his run on the show, did seem charming. In week 7, he performed the waltz with Edyta to Journey’s Open Arms, and this was the week the contestant designed the costumes, and he chose to “put Edyta in clothes” only to have her become tangled up in them during the dance.

After he left…. Well, “our” LT was arrested, and convicted of a crime against a female, and was sentenced, and labeled. You can read a bit about it here or visit your favorite search engine. It’s not something that I want to hear again, or bring up here, I would like to leave this haven a “safe zone.” But, it definitely put L.T. among my list of “Infamous DWTS Alumni.”

And last for today, David Alan Grier…. Another season 8 Alumni. I was curious at the beginning of the season, how things would work between David and Carrie Ann, since both were on In Living Color…. But as it turned out, she didn’t end up his favorite judge. Things really seemed well during his run, and we saw this Viennese Waltz on week 5, with his partner, she of the awesome boobage, Kym Johnson. They danced to “I Put a Spell on You” by Nina Simone and got 7 8 7 for 22 points.

HOWEVER! This was also the week they were eliminated, and he showed some “bad sport.” THIS is why I’ve put him on my “infamous” list…. He put the sweet and wonderful Kym into a very bad spot at the end of this interview, and he really has some bad stuff to say to the judges…. It’s safe to watch, they censored it.

Who would you put onto your “infamous dancers” list? And why? Do you agree with those that are here, and who would you add?

And, for another post….. Who was it that most surprised you, that you were positive that you would HATE that you ended up liking?

August 22, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dance of the Day… Let’s watch the One Hit Wonder Pros…

That’s not really a good way to describe them…. But, I had the most difficult weekend imaginable, a most horrid nightmare…. But, I know that there are worse nightmares out there, but this one is pretty difficult to get through right now for me…. And that is all about that.

Throughout the seasons that I’ve watched DWTS (beginning season 3), there are some pros that I wanted to see more, and have been disappointed that they haven’t returned, beyond one season. Since I didn’t watch the first two seasons, I can’t focus on any of those pros AT THIS TIME!

We start in Season 7, with INNA BREYER!! She was a brand new pro that season, and paired with Ted McGinley, if I remember, the same season that we met Lacey. She was on the show for only one week, but had 2 performance shows. That was the season that they all performed on Night One, and then slowly announced who was safe…. They had everyone out before each number, and announced one by one, the pair who would be dancing next…. Creating a LOT of drama and unnecessary pressure (in my mind, anyway) on all of the remaining pairs. The pair left standing at the end went home without dancing a second time.

Here’s her second dance with Ted, they danced the Mambo to “Mambo Gozon” by Tito Puente. They scored a 6,6,7 for 19 points. And, they did not return for week 2, which was very disappointing for me, because I wouid STILL love to see more of Inna, I think she did quite well with Ted. I did like her more than Lacey.

Next…. Remember Fabian Sanchez??? He was on for only Season 6, with Marlee Matlin. I loved this pair, and I thought that each week they remained, they were a triumph! It seems that Fabian is what I think a professional on the show should be…. He was encouraging, he was thoughtful of his partner, he had wonderful choreography…. And so much more. I’ve been disappointed that he didn’t return after Season 6. I still think that he embodies what this show has always been about….He was given a partner who had a big handicap on the show, since she is the only one to compete, that’s not been able to hear the music…. He was able to teach her the musicality, and the dance, without hearing. Quite an accomplishment, in my book.

I chose to show you Season 6, Week 4, with Marlee Matlin and Fabian Sanchez, they danced the Viennese Waltz to “She’s Always a Woman” by Billy Joel…. Solely because I sat here at my computer and cried while watching again. They scored an 8,8,8 for 24 points.

Last up for today, Damian Whitewood…. Damian first came to our attention in Season 10, paired with Pamela Anderson…. I will admit right now, that Pamela and Damian were not my favorite pair of the season, but they did impress me,,,, I loved how well that Pamela was able to totally embody each and every character of each and every dance that they did on the show….. To me, she will stand out as one of the best character dancers…. Even if she didn’t get the technique, no one could ever fault her character…. And obviously, they loved dancing with each other, because they paired up for another dance series, and our wonderful friend Carlos brought it to our attention….. They performed on a similar series from Argentina (and Wiki says it’s NOT related to DWTS or SCD at all, but will defer to our wonderful Carlos for the last word on this…) called Bailando por un Sueño

Maybe Carlos could find a video that he likes from Pamela and Damian, from this series, and we can add it? And… could we learn more about it?

I chose the Argentine Tango for Pamela and Damian… Here is Season 10, Week 6… Pamela Anderson and Damian Whitewood, dancing to “Enjoy the Silence” by Tanghetto. They gota 7,7,8 for 22 points, plus 8 points from the swing dance marathon, for a grand total of 30 points for that week.

So… That’s it for now!!!! Is there someone else you would love to reminisce about? Care to share? Which pros that we haven’t seen in a while would you like to remember and dream about in an upcoming post? Is there a dance style you’d love to see more of, and which would you like to see again?

August 18, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dance of the Day…. Let’s watch Jonathan!

Okay, I know I seem to be jumping around with the Dance of the Day, but that’s just how my brain works. So, things may seem out of order, or scattered, but I promise, eventually, we’ll get back to stuff we’ve started.

Soon, we’ll go back and finish our Dance of Champions, and we have many different dance styles to compare, but I thought it would be nice to try to compare some of our pros over the seasons. Plus, it kind of ties in, I think, with an idea I tried to start before, but didn’t materialize.

Let’s watch Jonathan Roberts, the sweet and caring husband to our feisty Anna Trebunskaya… The two have created some of the most touching professional dances on results shows, but he’s also been a great teacher, and friend to a variety of celebrity partners, and I wish he would return….

Jonathan was one of our original Professional dancers, on Season 1, pairing with model Rachel Hunter. I did not watch Season 1, and I haven’t found the spot on Wikipedia that is telling me what they danced when…. So I have no idea where they placed that season, but they did NOT finish last. I have found a list of his partners for each season that he was on, and resorting to whatever I can find on video site.

Rachel and Jonathan performed a TANGO in Week 3 of Season 1, to Britney Spears “Toxic.” They scored an 8,9, 9 for 26 points.

Jonathan returned to the dance floor in Season 2, partnered with Giselle Fernandez. And since i didn’t see most of this season either, I can only say I THINK she’s in journalism. They also performed the Tango in Week 3, to “Hernando’s Hideaway,” by Victor Sylvester. They got a 7, 8, 7 for 22 points. You can watch Giselle and Jonathan’s Tango HERE.

Jonathan next appeared in Season 4, with Animal Rights activist, Heather Mills, who had an artificial leg, which didn’t stop either of them. I wanted some complacency, and looked for a Tango from Heather and Jonathan, and instead, decided to show their Week 3 dance, the Jive to Marvin Gaye’s “Can I Get a Witness?” They scored a 24. You can watch their jive HERE.

Marie Osmond was partnered with Jonathan in Season 5, and together, they produced some memorable routines, my favorite is their Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy routine. Week 3 gave them the Tango, and I liked how he combined the song, her acting/comedic skills, into a terrific tango. The song was “Please Mr Brown,” by Alma Cogan, and they scored a 9, 8, 9 for 26 points.

Tennis Great, Monica Seles, and Jonathan were unfortunately eliminated in Week 2 of Season 6, but first, they performed a foxtrot in Week 1, and the Mambo in Week 2, to “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” by En Vogue. I was quite sad that they only scored a 15. No, she wasn’t the best dancer, but she had fun, and did learn a lot, and that counts more. Wish she could have stayed longer. You can see their Mambo HERE.

Again, we greatly missed Jonathan in Season 7, but he returned in Season 8 with Belinda Carlisle. I was hoping they could have stayed to dance to some Bananarama, but that wasn’t to be. They were the first eliminated, in Week 2. I chose their Waltz from Week 1 to share with you, because I think it was beautiful…. No, not technically precise, but such wonderful choreography! Their song was “What The World Needs Now,” by Dionne Warwick, and it scored a 6, 6, 5 for 17 points.

Jonathan’s last season as a teaching Professional Dancer on DWTS was Season 9, where he was partnered with Macy Gray, they were the first eliminated. In week 1, they performed the Viennese Waltz to “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin. Again, I loved the choreography, even if it wasn’t executed well…. They scored a 6, 4, 5 for 15 points. You can watch them Viennese Waltzing HERE.

We miss you, Jonathan!

August 13, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..