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BBC/DWTS Productions Reportedly Files Suit Against “Ballroom With A Twist”

Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the BBC and DWTS Productions have filed a complaint against Scott Stander and Associates of “Ballroom With A Twist”. Below you’ll find an excerpt from the report that describes the situation and Stander’s response. Heidi, Courtney, John, and I have some personal thoughts on this which you can read below (Note: We’re not attorneys. We do love DWTS and dance tours.). Let us know what you think in the comments too.

BBC and co-plaintiff DWTS Productions have a problem with the defendant’s advertising, asserting that “Ballroom with a Twist” is written in the same color, font and design in promotional materials as DWTS. The plaintiffs have also flagged advertisements on the websites of theaters describing the show as “a non-competitive spinoff of Dancing with the Stars, featur[ing] sizzling performances by jaw-dropping ‘DWTS’ celebrity pros.”

The lawsuit alleges unfair competition and trademark claims, raising the theory that by using DWTS in this manner, Standler will be “likely to cause confusion among ordinary consumers as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or approval of the BWAT show, and to dilute the value of the DWTS Mark.”

What takes this lawsuit that extra step is the note by plaintiffs that they have locked up contracts with all of its DWTS dancers including Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Emma Slater, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd, and Jenna Johnson that guarantees, according to the complaint, they “shall not not render services or appear in any other dance related program in any medium, or authorize the use of the DWTS Dancer’s name, voice, or likeness in connection with an endorsement for any such program.”

Standler gave us this comment:
“We just received a copy of a complaint, and our attorneys are reviewing it. Our show has been in existence for over five years now without any previous objection by DWTS, so it is quite surprising and very suspect that they are now suing us. However, we are, and have been, just fair and open competition performing in live theatrical venues with different and unique entertainment elements in our show. There are also several other live dancing show productions out there. Our attorneys will respond in kind and protect what we have created and developed over the years and if necessary will file a counter lawsuit.”

Vogue: This makes me sad. Scott Stander is one of the most sweetest and giving people. I know this personally. He has gone out of his way so that many fans like myself could see the show, meet the pros, etc. In my opinion, Scott and Ballroom With A Twist have only HELPED to promote Dancing With The Stars in the off season not the opposite…as well as promote ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ And ‘American Idol’. Also, why is the BBC and DWTS productions making such a big deal on taking issues now when ‘Ballroom With A Twist” has had this show going in the way it has for a such long time (5 years)? Sad… I hope they can work it out somehow because I don’t think a suit is necessary especially when Ballroom With A twist has done so much for Dancing With The Stars and vice versa. Why not work together for the good of “dancing”, dancers, and dance fans everywhere instead?

Heidi: Well, unfortunately, anyone can sue. I think that the huge success of MOVE, selling out in 98% of the 50 or so shows they did across the country woke the owners of DWTS to the fact that they might be able to mount an equally successful tour next summer. This suit could well be the first step in eliminating the competition. Not only are they complaining about the marketing, but they specifically mention the pros who have long term contracts with DWTS and who also performed in BWAT.  I think it’s pretty clear that if they lose the lawsuit, they can still eliminate BWAT by preventing those pros from performing in it.  As for MOVE, I doubt they can touch that tour, because I doubt that Derek is still under long term contract. With all he has going on and the length of time he’s been on the show, he’s got to have a sweeter deal.  The question is Sway. Sway is of much shorter duration, but from the sound of this suit, they can certainly put the kibosh on that one if they want to. Or at least, take out a lot of the dancers.   The reason why the lawsuit bugs me is that it harms the income of the dancers if DWTS decides not to go forward with it’s own tour. Not only that, but it does indeed seem short sighted of DWTS to sue a production that does serve to promote the show’s professionals and, in turn, the show itself.  If you want to mount your own tour, just do that and prevent the dancers from taking part in BWAT – not sure why the extra step is needed.

Courtney: Heidi is spot-on when she mentions this suit having the potential to hurt the livelihoods of some of the pros.  I’ve referenced this before, but the bf actually interviewed for a pro spot on DWTS about 5 years ago – and while the salary ain’t bad, it’s certainly not handsome enough to live off of year-round if you’re a fairly new pro like Sharna, Sasha, Emma, etc…especially in a city with such a high cost-of-living as Los Angeles.  There’s a reason why these pros stay busy in the off-season – not only does it keep their skills sharp, but it’s often much-needed supplemental income.  And in the cases of dismissed pros like Anna & Chelsie – it’s often their primary source of income, and if this lawsuit basically shuts down shows like BWAT or Alec & Edyta’s “Dance Pros Live”, that’s one less opportunity that ballroom pros have to earn money.  I give DWTS a lot of credit for bringing ballroom to the mainstream and turning professional dancers who had toiled in relative obscurity into household names, but this just seems like a bit of a d*ck move – shutting down a show that has been around for more than a few years now, likely because they’re looking to start their own show back up. I don’t even think BWAT would offer up much competition for a new iteration of the DWTS live tour – BWAT has mainly stuck to smaller venues, and tickets aren’t exorbitantly priced; I can only speak for myself, but if both shows came to my hometown, I’d shell out for both. But I get that the head honchos at DWTS are basically trying to protect their assets by keeping their pros to themselves.  It’s just such a sticky situation – and since there are no guarantees that an official DWTS tour is going to happen, this just seems like bad news for both fans AND some of the pros.

John: I think there’s probably a lot more to this lawsuit than we realize. I bet more details will come out on it that we don’t know about yet. Plus, DWTS actually has to enforce its trademark if it wants to keep it. If it doesn’t enforce any violations of its mark, then it will lose its mark. It does make you wonder what took them so long to do it though. I don’t think MOVE or Edyta’s “Dance Pros Live” will have an issue, because I don’t think they’ve used the DWTS mark to promote their tours. I don’t think they used any of the pros that were under DWTS contract either. My guess is that those tours will be fine. Plus, BWAT can probably keep going if they remove the dancers under contract and the DWTS and Dancing with the Stars reference. Although, the look at past damages (or benefits) would be an interesting and challenging one. I think there are also laws and penalties for violation of trademarks even when you can’t show any damages.

It is pretty sad that the dancers kind of get screwed by their contracts. Of course, they’re the ones that chose to sign the contracts. All of the dancers should have chosen to never sign an exclusive contract and then this wouldn’t have been an issue. Of course, it’s a game or Russian roulette if you go that route. I’m reminded of an interview with Nigel Lythgoe, producer of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), where they asked him his feelings about SYTYCD dancers dancing on DWTS. He responded “These kids need to work.” Basically, he understood that life as a dancer was hard and there’s a limited time period where you can make money dancing. He didn’t want to stunt their careers. It’s not like music (see American Idol) where you can sing for a long time and so they can give you a terrible contract up front and you’ll be fine if your name is Carrie Underwood.

Anytime a lawyer gets involved it’s not pretty and everyone loses. Although, DWTS has the right to protect their trademark. We’ll see what happens with the case.

October 21, 2014 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.

More Dancing With The Stars Pros Added To The 2014-2015 Ballroom With A Twist Schedule

Just a quick update! As might know from previous postings, Ballroom With A Twist is returning for a Fall and Winter run. If interested in attending the show near you, see our Schedule at this link (which is located in our “Pure DWTS Features” link in the top bar for future referencing). Also, they are starting to add more Dancing With The Stars pros to the line up. So, check it out. It’s a great show to see!!

October 3, 2014 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 Pros Visit Shriners Hospital for Children While In Hawaii (New Photos)

This is so awesome. While in Hawaii performing for “Ballroom With A twist”, Dancing With The Stars pros Karina Smirnoff, Maks Chmerkovskiy, Sharna Burgess, Val Chmerkovskiy visited the Shriners Hospital for Children Honolulu. You can see a wonderful gallery of new photos of them at KITV. SWEET!

August 25, 2014 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.

Ballroom With A Twist Fall, Winter, And Spring Schedule Filling Up

Just a quick update!! Ballroom With A Twist may be over for it’s summer run, but, it’s new schedule for Fall, Winter, and Spring is starting to fill up nicely. Be sure to see THIS LINK for some new additions to our schedule. The schedule includes ticket information, etc. Some shows are selling tickets now and some are starting soon, so be ready if you want to get a good seat. It’s a lively, entertaining night of fun….especially if you are a general fan of dancing and singing.

BWATCheyenne2014 503

August 24, 2014 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.

Ballroom With A Twist Sharna Burgess And Val Chmerkovskiy Meet And Greet Photos

Hey Dancettes, do you remember the “Ballroom With A Twist” blog written by Lois, and her friend, Kathy, from when they say the show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on August 10th? Well, Lois sent us sent us some fun “Meet and Greet” pictures for when they met Sharna Burgess and Val Chmerkovskiy. These are adorable and check out Sharna’s face when she didn’t receive a hug too. So cute. Thank you Lois and Kathy for your pictures.

August 20, 2014 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 Karina Smirnoff, Tony Dovolani, Sharna Burgess, Val Chmerkovskiy Talk On Dancing And More

If interested, be sure you see KITV. They have a fun interview up with Karina Smirnoff, Tony Dovolani, Sharna Burgess, and Valentin Chmerkovskiy. The Dancing With The Stars pros talk on Ballroom With A Twist and the importance of dancing. This is just part 1. KITV will air Part 2 later.

“All of us travel and do charity work constantly because dance bring smiles to people and that’s the best healing you could ever have,” said Dovolani.

“Dancing has always been a very healthy activity, no only physically, but for your mind and soul. You see people come out of the dance studio happy. Tired in a good way,” said Smirnoff. “So, this is one of the things we do during the show. We want the audience to get up and actually start moving with us because that gift, that passion for dancing is for all of us. We want to be able to share it with people that love the show and love ‘Ballroom With A Twist’ and, for us, it is the opportunity to do it.”

ETA: Here is the video. Also, see Ballroom With A Twist facebook. They have some fun pictures of the cast playing on the beach.

ETA2: And here is Part2!

ETA3: Be sure to see a beautiful gallery of new pics of the cast enjoying their free time in paradise at Ballroom With A twist Facebook. Breathtaking!

ETA4: More Ballroom With A Twist updates….pictures, reviews, and videos of their last summer show in Hawaii. Be sure to see everything at Ballroom With A twist Facebook. The pics are gorgeous. The Daily Mail has a feature and some professional pictures from Hawaii too. BEAUTIFUL! Must see!

August 19, 2014 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 Pros Light Up Ballroom With A Twist In Seattle (Pictures And Videos)

Thanks to Ballroom With A Twist facebook, Karina Smirnoff, Val Chmerkovskiy, and fan @kimmy381 at twitter(be sure to follow her, she has more pics too) you can view some coverage of Ballroom With A Twist in Seattle from yesterdays shows. The passion and hip action is making my morning complete.

And…. Read more..

August 17, 2014 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.

Cheryl Burke, Val And Maks Chmerkovskiy Interviewed On Ballroom With A Twist And Dancing With The Stars

In a new Ballroom With A Twist interview with Equality 365, Val Chmerkovskiy chats about why he loves doing the show. His favorite part is the “human element” and how “inspiring” it is to share the stage with such “passionate” talent. Val also talked about his brother Maks and the new season of Dancing With The Stars. Below is more….

ED: How do you feel about returning to DWTS next season?
VC: I am very excited. The announcement was just made Wednesday. I feel very fortunate to be able to perform on a show that provides me the platform to share my talent and passion with an average of 20 million people a week. I am incredibly lucky for that. I am very grateful to be called back. I love all the work that goes into the show. It is a lot of work. It isn’t easy. I am also very excited to meet my new partner. I have no idea who it might be. I love the process of meeting someone new and finding out more about them while building a lifelong relationship with them. This journey that we go through each season is the greatest thing ever.

ED: What do you think about your brother (Maksim Chmerkovskiy) leaving the show?
VC: About time man, he is always hogging the spotlight (laughing). I am joking. It is rare these days for siblings to work in the same city much less the same industry. To be able to work in the same industry at the same job that also happens to be the number 1 TV show in America is just crazy. For me it has been an incredible ride. We are super close and it has been great for our family to witness that and watch us together. I think it will be amazing for our future children to know that we had that experience. Our lives didn’t start with Dancing with the Stars and it certainly isn’t ending there. My brother and I have a lot of projects that we want to do together. We are very close. We love one another and support each other. I am sad that this chapter of our life has come to an end and we won’t be able to share the stage on DWTS anymore. But at the same time, there are plenty of other projects that we will partner in. I do think it is a great time for him to exit gracefully. Leaving on top after last season is an incredible blessing. He has a decade of commitment to DWTS and I think it is time for him to work on other projects.

More at Equality 365.

There is also a new Ballroom With A Twist interview with Maks Chmerkovskiy and Cheryl Burke at Honolulu Pulse. Both dancers talk of why they love to do Ballroom With A Twist. Cheryl said, “It’s a very high-energy, two-hour show. We go into the audience and get them moving. It’s really a chance for them to connect with us. A lot of people have questions, and they’re always interested in (the) behind-the-scenes of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’” Cheryl and Maks also talked on Dancing With The Stars. Here is more from Maks and why he decided to retire from Dancing With The Stars and how shows like Ballroom With A Twist are a better fit for him now.

Though he will continue dancing, he has announced that he is retiring from “DWTS.”

Part of that decision is the grueling nature of the show.

“By week seven, no matter who you have, no matter how brilliant they are, no matter how easy they are to work with, your body is exhausted and you just want to die,” he said.

Nonetheless, his victory also has given him a sense of accomplishment and appreciation for what he does so well.

“I never really appreciated myself or the talent that I have, till now,” Chmerkovskiy said. “So now I do a show like ‘Ballroom With a Twist.’ I never would do this kind of thing before.

“Finally I said yes to these things because I just want the stage. I love the stage, I love to move, I love the audience interaction. I want to say thank you — live.”

Lots more at Honolulu Pulse.

If interested in seeing Ballroom With A Twist before Dancing With The Stars begins, see this link for ticket information. This weekend they are in Seattle and then they go to Hawaii next week!!

ETA: You can also listen to Karina and Val talking on Dancing With The Stars and Ballroom With A Twist at Komo News. Note how Karina mentions there will be a bigger digital presence and a “Q & A” on Dancing With The Stars this season. ABC and BBC have something special planned this season and they are excited. Hmmmm….

August 15, 2014 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.

Ballroom With A Twist Review From Lancaster, PA August 10, 2014 (Photos)

Our resident poet, Lois, and her friend, Kathy, saw ‘Ballroom With A Twist’ in Lancaster, Pennsylvania last weekend. Below Kathy writes all about their experience. Afterwards, Lois adds her thoughts too. You can also see a fun album of pictures at Shutterfly. THANKS GIRLS!! Much appreciated!!

BALLROOM WITH A TWIST REVIEW
Written By: Kathy L. Erdman

On Sunday, August 10, 2014, I had a the pleasure of attending with my dear friend, Lois Troutman, the 2:00 p.m. performance of Ballroom With A Twist at Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, PA.

We arrived at Fulton Theatre and were treated splendidly by the entire staff at Fulton Theatre. We had front row seats for the performance and believe me we had the best of views.

The show started with the director of Fulton Theatre welcoming the audience and advised that taking photos were permitted, but if you planned on doing so, please share on the Fulton Theater Facebook. The show then began.

The announcer introduced the cast, which consisted of finalists from American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance and of course , the featured stars from our favorite show, Dancing With the Stars, Sharna Burgess & Valentin Chmerkovskiy.

The stage was set for an amazing day of song & dance.

Sharna & Val performed with such intricate detail and precision. Watching them dance live, as opposed Read more..

August 12, 2014 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 Sharna Burgess And Val Chmerkovksiy Light Up Lancaster, Pennsylvania In Ballroom With A Twist

And so the Ballroom With A Twist fun continues…this time with Sharna Burgess and Val Chmerkovksiy and the cast and crew in Lancaster, PA. You can view some pictures and videos at FOX43. Also, below is some coverage and interviews with ABC27…

abc27 WHTM

Lastly, here are some instagrams from Sharna and Val. *choose something to be passionate about* indeed!

August 7, 2014 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.