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DWTS Rants & Raves – Why the Pros Should Count Their Blessings

This post started off far more “rant” than “rave”, but I opted to change the tone a bit, perhaps in hopes that the message would then be more easily swallowed :-) As many of you know, Edyta has recently been writing a series of blogs about her time on the show that have been rather…bitter. Vengeful.  Even malicious.  And it’s unfortunately colored many of our opinions of her for the worse – she even went so far as to block a reader who dared to make a comment expressing “disappointment” in Edyta’s choice to be so critical of the show that made her a household name.  That’s when it dawned on me: some of the pros seem to have forgotten what life was like BEFORE they were on Dancing with the Stars.

For those of you unfamiliar with the “real” world of ballroom, first things first: prior to 2005, when DWTS & SYTYCD hit the air, most ballroom dancers (even the world champions) led lives of relative obscurity.  They may have been well-known within the ballroom community (which is still relatively small), and may have even been what I like to call “ballroom famous” – a title that me & my teammates from my college ballroom dance team bestowed upon dancers that were particularly respected & admired in ballroom circles – but they most certainly weren’t household names, and they weren’t mobbed by fans in public.  In short – they were just like you and I.  Just average people with a not-so-average occupation.

How bout a short poll: how many of you had heard the name “Tony Dovolani” prior to 2005? Now of those who had, how many of you HAVE NOT somehow been involved in the world of ballroom dance at some point in your life? If you fit both of the criteria above, then I applaud you – because prior to 2005, the only mainstream thing Tony had really done was a bit part in the American version of Shall We Dance?, and he was also credited as a choreographer in that film.  The fact that he actually got a few lines to say was pretty impressive, considering that, at that time, the biggest movie/tv role (besides choreographer) that most ballroom dancers could ever hope for was either dancing around in the background as an extra in a big dance scene, or maybe being a “dance double” for a particularly ungraceful actor (true story: the owner of my bf’s dance studio was Ben Affleck’s “foot double” in the movie Going All the Way – apparently Ben has 2 left feet!).  Dancers were lucky to even get credited as extras, let alone hope for a speaking part.  The widely held opinion with most casting directors was that “if you’re doing a dance movie, you’d better find actors that can dance…because you aren’t going to find dancers that can act!” It was a far, far cry from the starring movie roles that Julianne & Derek have been given in recent years, and the tv gigs that Maks (Bachelor Ukraine, Celebrity Ghost Stories), Cheryl & Louis (Suite Life of Zack & Cody), Edyta & Alec (CSI: NY), and Mark (Samantha Who?) were able to get due to their DWTS fame.

You know all those spiffy endorsement deals that so many of the pros on the show have gotten over the years, with their faces plastered over everything from shoes to hair extensions to diet pills to makeup to exercise tapes to dancewear? Yeah, pretty non-existent back in the pre-DWTS days – most competitive ballroom dancers were lucky if they could get a dance shoe or costume sponsor to help mitigate the exorbitant cost of competing.  And speaking of money – let’s just say they weren’t raking it in back then like they are now :-) Don’t get me wrong, some ballroom dancers make quite a good living for themselves just on coaching, choreographing, and doing exhibition performances, but it’s peanuts compared to what they’re rumored to make on the show (which I’ve heard reported as roughly $6k+ per week).  And can you really put a price on the exposure the show gives them??? Since the beginning of the show, how many of the pros have opened successful dance studios with their name plastered on it? So far, I count Cheryl, Karina, Chelsie, and Maks & Tony (with the new Dance with Me in CA).  For those who already had dance studios (like Jonathan & Anna), I can only imagine they started booking up faster after their appearance on the show – I know for a fact that Jonathan is now one of the most in-demand pro-am teachers in the country. 

How many pros have graced the covers of magazines since joining the cast of the show? Back in the day, the biggest magazine a ballroom dancer could hope to appear in was American Dancer, the bimonthly publication put out to its members by USA Dance – which, of course, was only sent to members.  All those invites to parties/award shows/premieres/charity benefits/etc? Probably wouldn’t happen to your average ballroom dancer. And how many pros can now count some pretty big celebrities amongst their friends…and sometimes exes? Without the platform of DWTS, Maks may never have met Kirstie, Derek may never have met Shannon, and Julianne may never have even been in the same room as Ryan Seacrest.  In the entertainment business, it really isn’t what you know, it’s who you know – and DWTS has supplied some primo connections for its pros. 

I don’t want ths post to be a neverending soapbox of why DWTS is so great, so I’ll get to my point: as much as the pros may bitch & moan in the media about the show and how “unfair” or “fake” it is, at the end of the day I daresay their participation in it has done them far more good than harm – it has plucked many of them out of obscurity and opened doors to opportunities far beyond their imagination as young ballroom competitors.  Some (namely Julianne, Derek, Mark, Cheryl & Maks) have parlayed those opportunities into success better than others (namely Alec & Edyta), but even the latter has undoubtedly benefitted from having the show on their resume – Dance Temptation may not have taken off with someone less notable at the helm.  And fans, you can take something away from this too – you may complain about how the show has been so “unfair” or “biased against” [insert pro here] (which, of course, is pretty subjective), but I challenge you to imagine a life without that pro in it.  Would you rather watch Maks occasionally “take a beating” from the judges, or have never known him at all? Would you rather see Tony tough it out with such duds as Wendy Williams & Kate Gosselin, or have no idea who he is? I know many of you will probably argue “you can’t miss what you never knew to begin with”, but I’ve seen how this show brightens some of your lives, and what an important role some of the pros play in it.  They inspire you, entertain you, and can even motivate you to better your own life. Yes, sometimes this show is indeed “unfair”, “fake”, “scripted”, & “storyboarded”, and I’m not saying the viewers or the pros should accept every aspect of the show without complaint. But when it comes down to it, it still fulfills one crucial purpose in the lives of its pros: to share their love of dance with the world…and reap some sweet benefits while they’re at it ;-)

February 10, 2012 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 Season 4, Weeks 1 and 2 -The Cheesecake Awards (Retrospective??)

So, is it a retrospective when it’s a re-airing years later ?? I’m going with yes :-)  As I mentioned in an earlier post, we can’t promise that we will do these every week, and we can’t promise they will be as long as the regular Cheesecake Awards…but we can promise that we will try to be our obnoxious selves. :-)  On with the show…

The Bad Acid Trip Award: The old “kaleidescope” opening credits

Courtney: Soooooo glad they got rid of that cheesy nightmare – damn near gave me a grand mal seizure.

Heidi: I think I may have actually had a seizure every time it was on because I’m lacking in recall.

The “Trying Too Hard” Award: Brian Fortuna

Courtney:  Admittedly, I actually missed a good deal of this season when it was originally airing, since I was still in college, working, and too broke for TiVo :-P But what really struck me is that Brian (who I had all but forgotten about until that opening pro number in week 1) was just…too much.  The dude seemed like he was trying waaaayyyy too hard to make an impact and carve out a niche for himself on the show.  The face pulling, the exaggerated dance moves, the overgelled hair, the jewelry – just…no, dude.  He was like young Derek and Mark lite – but not as talented.  And quite possibly the best part of watching these old episodes years later? You already know that he ain’t going to be around for very long – kinda makes me wish I had a tin can phone system that could reach the past and tell him “Dude, you may as well dial it back about 5 notches…you’re not gonna be around much longer, anyway.  Don’t strain yourself.” :-P

Heidi: The thing that got me is what still gets me with Mark sometimes. The SMILE. Jesus dude. Almost constant, fake looking, very big smile.  Mark has that same glazed look from time to time where he would habitually have a smile on his face but it doesn’t seem to reach his eyes or he’s not really feeling it. It’s like perma-face or something. Hard to explain.  Brian does kinda look like Derek’s younger, squirrely, annoying brother.  The less attractive brother. But everyone knows that to be a Hough you have to have blond hair and blue eyes. :-)  Freakishly strong genes in that family.

Courtney: Brian could be the weird cousin of the Hough family.  Kinda like cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch…never did quite understand his purpose. Read more..

January 27, 2012 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Casting: How Far Will Dancing With The Stars Go For Ratings And Popularity? (Rant Post)

Edyta Sliwinska has written a new blog at Dancing Pros about the producers pairing celebrities with the pros on Dancing With The Stars. In her new blog, she examines “who puts these couples together, how does it happen and, is it fair?” Let’s just say matching dancers and celebrities based on age, look, height or personality isn’t always how producers pair the couples up. Creating the right demographic for buzz, controversy, drama, and purchasing power is more the case. Are you surprised? Below is a take….

So let’s abandon this nonsense notion that the producers try to match dancers and celebrities based on age, look, height or personality. I could give many more examples to prove my point: Cheryl Burke and Chad Ochocinco (huge height difference), Karina Smirnoff and Steve Wozniak (this time the producers went for the ‘Beauty and the Geek’ theme), Derek Hough and Jennifer Grey ( born over 25 years apart). And really, if once in a while a couple happens to be a perfect match, I would claim that it simply happened by chance. The real motivation of the matchmakers from hell at DWTS is to create controversy and buzz. And therefore Cheryl was paired up with Chad and Karina Smirnoff with Mario Lopez, because the prediction was that these attractive and single people, paired up together would certainly generate rumors about their romantic involvement. And they did. However, publicity-hungry producers, at the same time created some great partnerships. My personal opinion is that not many couples could match the amazing chemistry that Mario and Karina showcased on the dance floor in season 2. You might also guess that egotistical Max Chmerkovskiy is not coincidently paired up with some of the strongest women that had appeared on the show. Leila Ali, Misty May-Tranor, Hope Solo and Erin Andrews succeeded in professions dominated by men. Mel B, Debi Mazar and Kirstie Alley are known for their feisty personalities. Pair up a woman who knows how to stand up for herself with an arrogant Russian dancer and you will get a recipe for a drama.

Getting a right demographic of the audience has been a long time struggle for the producers of DWTS. Please don’t get offended if you are 49 or older, but the most desired viewers age, the one that advertisers are willing to pay big bucks for, is between 18 and 49. These are the ages of people believed to have the most purchasing power. Personally I think its nonsense. Most people over 50 that I know spend and have more money then people my age. But I’m not here to convince you about the defectiveness of TV executive’s thinking. It’s a simple fact: major TV networks do everything to attract younger audiences. Does it surprise you then that younger pros usually get better celebrities? When Cheryl Burke won DWTS twice in a row she was at the time the youngest dancer on the show. Later, even younger Julianne Hough, Mark Ballas and Derek Hough replaced her on the podium.

Luckily for the audience the producers can’t predict everything. Some couples who were favored to win were voted off someway along the way, like Mark Ballas and Sabrina Bryan. Others, who no one expected to do well, made it to the finals or even won like Alec Mazo and Kelly Monaco in season 1. This tiny bit of unpredictability might be the reason why you still watch the show with a trill.

Be sure to read Edyta’s new blog in full at Dancing Pros.

I have to say I am not surprised by a lot of what she writes. I love this show and I will continue to watch and be a major fan, but, sometimes, I have to wonder about the heart behind the scenes? Also, I would suffice it to say that Maks is a guaranteed ‘shoe in’ to be on this show for as long as he wants (not that I mind that as long as he doesn’t cross the line like last season).

Heidi’s Note: Edyta complains that the producers are after a big audience and as much fireworks as possible???  Can I get a resounding DUH!!!! Please? Gee, that’s why TV shows exist.  Anyone who thinks their only goal is to entertain or be “fair” is naive in the extreme.

A) NONE Of this is a surprise, but; B) Edyta doesn’t know jack about how they cast the show.  She was one of the dancers, not one of the producers.  She’s hypothesizing like everyone else, but she’s got an actual ax to grind (from the sound of it) since she’s never won the show.  Her explanation for Derek, Mark and Julianne winning?? They get preferential pairings because they were younger. She clearly hasn’t seen a complete listing of Maks’ partners (or Derek’s, Mark’s or Julianne’s for that matter). Of course, she implies that Maks’ partnerships are designed to create fireworks – that doesn’t mean they aren’t good dancers or ringers.  At the end of the day, Edyta’s opinion is no more valid or “true” than Maks’ is when he said that “Derek always gets great partners” or when DEREK does one of his usual PC song and dances.  The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.   I think she’s right about some things, bitter about others. Just like everyone else.

I would also argue that the female celebs are easier to match with male pros than vice versa – the female celebs are more likely to be shorter or similar in heights, and they are more likely to have previous dance or performing experience. The producers can tinker more with matching personalities, age groups, whatever. With male celebs you are more likely to have a huge variation in height and are therefore limited in pairings….as for age not playing a part?? I bet it does…but Edyta never even considers the fact that some celebrities have the clout to request a particular professional. People have requested Derek, Mark and Maks (and probably Edyta herself, along with Cheryl and Julianne, etc)….and they’ve gotten them.  When you have a couple celebs in a season making requests and getting them, that really narrows down who the remaining ones can be paired with.

Of course she’s right about them wanting ratings and the various ways they will go about getting those ratings…they’re in business.  But I think she over simplifies and makes the easy argument without considering all the angles.  Just like many fans of the show.

January 12, 2012 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.

PureDWTS Exclusive! An Interview with Randall Christensen, Part I

A few months back, we asked you guys to submit questions for Randall Christensen, the costume designer for DWTS from seasons 2-12.  Well now that the holidays are over and we’re starting to get back into the swing of things, we’re sharing Randall’s responses :-)

We’ve been lucky to get a chance to chat with Randall, since he has kept very busy since moving on from DWTS! He’s currently working a couture swimwear line with MiracleSuit (check out Vogue’s post on the Macy’s MiracleSuit fashion show last summer!), is working on a sportswear/ready to wear collection, and is still designing dancesport costumes for Randall Designs, Inc., his costume design company for the past 30 years.  Let’s see what this dancewear icon has to say in response to some of your burning questions :-)

At what age did you start designing?

Randall Christensen: I started designing for my professional partner and students back in the early ‘80’s, learning the craft with “hands on” experience.  I am self-taught.

Who were your mentors?

RC: My first mentor (and still most influential) was Bob Mackie.  He was designing for Carol Burnett as well as Cher for their (respective) shows.  I was a pre-teen and tried to NEVER miss a single one of their shows, as I was mesmerized by their costumes!

Seems like things at DWTS run on a pretty hectic timetable. Can you descibe what a typical week was like for you at DWTS?

RC: A typical week at DWTS starts new on Monday/Tuesday with new designs for each couple.  If we are lucky enough to get the music by Monday (instead of typically Tuesday) I try to get the couples up to the wardrobe department to discuss concepts for the next week’s costumes.  I only get 15-20 (30 mins. tops) to listen to the music, research ideas, discuss, design and finalize.  Then the entire show is shopped Wednesday by 5pm and delivered back to the studio, where I go over every women’s design with our cutter/fitter (the mens’ costumes are done off site, by our dance tailor in downtown Los Angeles).  The costumes are cut/sewn/preliminarily fitted on Thursday, then I have celebrity fittings all day Friday. My assistant helps on Saturday with the professional women’s fittings, they’re altered and ready for the final fitting on Sunday, after the couples do their blocking for the camera.  Adjustments are made and then are trimmed, beaded, crystallized and trimmed out to completion.  Monday morning is time to review each costume before setting them in the individual dressing rooms.  We have dress rehearsal only a few hours before we go LIVE on the east coast.  During that time any last minute adjustments are made and redelivered to the couples’ dressing rooms, sometimes just minutes before they’re to go to the top of the stairs for their walk down – live!  We have to design/shop/fit/finish each and every costume in 3.5 to 4 days!!  Whew!

What types of fabrics are the best for ballroom costumes?

RC: Thank goodness for stretch fabrics, jerseys, lycras, etc.!  These help the costume to be quite comfortable as well as flexible.  We can then get a terrific fit with little to no wrinkles in the fabric.  Chiffon (both silk and polyester) are great for the ballgown skirts, due to the wonderful movement.  Charmeuse satin is a terrific vintage type fabric, reminiscent of some of Ginger Rogers’ gowns.

Are there limitations, or can you work with pretty much anything?

RC: I push the limits every chance I get!  How else can you continue to come up with fresh ideas?  That being said, some fabrics are VERY challenging!  I try not to use brocades, as they are just to stiff and unforgiving for costumes.  Not to mention the fact that they do not flow at all!  I love using natural trims, for an organic vibe, still mixing in crystal rhinestones of course.  We have to have a sparkle on almost everything.

What is the most extravagant costume you’ve ever designed for the show, and who wore it?

RC: I would say the most extravagant costume would have to be Toni Braxton’s Marie Antoinette-inspired Viennese Waltz gown (complete with powdered blonde wig and all).  To be as authentic as possible, we went to a costume house and purchased a “cage” to make the silhouette as close to the look of the era as possible.  It was almost all completely sewn by hand, on the dress form as there is no way to get that wide cage (for the hips) on the sewing machine to work on.  Quite labor intense, but what a gorgeous look!  And still, we did it in just under 4 days……I still break out in a sweat thinking about that one!

*photo courtesy ABC/Kelsey McNeal

If you could only pick one DWTS costume as your “all-time favorite”, which would it be and why?

RC: Besides Toni Braxton’s Marie Antoinette gown, I would have to say Joanna Krupa’s “Futuristic Paso Doble.”  We pushed the limits (again) of what we could do in just 4 days.  The silver silk lame with electric lights (all wired into the dress) was sensational, but a nightmare to get done in such a short time.  We had a lighting specialist up from San Diego for 3 days just wiring the darn thing.

*photo courtesy of ABC

Everyone has regrets. Have you ever looked back at a costume you’ve designed for the show and thought “What was I thinking???” If so, which one & why?

RC: Oh, I’m sure we ALL have regrets, but I have to say, we have a really good track record if you consider that from concept to completion is 4 days maximum.  The discipline the couple has to have to stick with the original design, in spite of choreographing after the design is done, a procedure which is completely backwards! That being said, each and every week I look at the costumes, making mental notes as to what we could have done better, or what I would have done differently.  The beauty is I get another chance 4 days later.

Who have been your favorite celebs and/or pros to design for, and why?

RC: I count myself quite lucky to have such a great rapport with the pro dancers, and we have such fun with (and trust in) each other.  Our design sessions are quite intense and rewarding. I have enjoyed the trust that almost all of the celebrities have shown to me.  I honestly think that they put their trust in me (and their pro partner) due mainly to the fact that they are in such a foreign and vulnerable area.  They have not danced like this before, and really have to rely on our experience and expertise.  The trust that Susan Lucci, Jennifer Gray, Florence Henderson, Chelsea Kane and Kirstie Alley (to name a few) showed me was quite humbling and really rewarding!  This definitely impacts how wonderful their costumes showed on them.

Do you have an all-time favorite? 

RC:  I would have to say that as far as professional dancers, Edyta Sliwinska made ME look good!  I wish I could take credit for her beauty, but she came that way!!  That being said, I have to admit that Edyta was remarkably prepared each week, knew what looked good on her, and above all else, she left me to interpret her ideas and trusted me completely.  What a dream lady to work with!  Toni Braxton and Brandy both were appreciative, trusting and so lovely to design for.

What happens to the costumes after they’ve been worn?

RC: The celebrities have the option of purchasing any of their costumes, once the season is over.  Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson purchased all of their costumes, along with several celebs. buying their favorite one(s).  We keep a great majority of the costumes from past seasons in a storage facility quite close to the studio.  We also keep a few on hand right in the workroom, in case we need a last minute “fix.”  We have NEVER had to use one of those yet!

We’ve noticed some get reused and others don’t. How do you decide which ones get reused?

RC: We reuse costumes based on the producers’ requirements/suggestions, as well as our guest choreographers’ ideas.  Many times (most of the time) we re-work them so that their silhouettes more readily coordinate with each of the other dancers’ looks, for a more cohesive themed look. There is just not enough hours in the week to make ALL the costumes seen on Monday’s and Tuesday’s shows.  That said, we ALWAYS make something new for our couples for Monday’s show.  The pro numbers and (pro) group numbers may get previously worn costumes, but NEVER on celebs nor their partners for Monday’s competition!

*photo courtesy ABC/Adam Larkey

Do certain pros want specific kinds of alterations (i.e. shorter hems, lower necklines, mesh inserts, etc) on costumes that have been worn before by someone else?

RC: Again, it’s all about the overall theme/silhouette desired.  Our pro dancers do have their specific preferences, and if we could accommodate them, we most certainly would.  Some of those preferences are just going to be kept secret – no use spoiling the illusion……

Tune in later this week when we reveal part II of our exclusive interview…and Randall talks theme nights, panic attacks, and his love of princess seams (?) ;-) You won’t want to miss it!!!

January 9, 2012 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 Former Pro Alec Mazo: “Working with your spouse is fruitful if….”

As you know from a previous reporting, Edyta Sliwinska and hubby, Alec Mazo have started a new facebook page called “Dancing Pros” in promotion with their stage show “Dance Temptation”. Last week, Edyta wrote her first blog where she discusses how she got picked to do Dancing With The Stars. This week, Alec takes the wheel to write about the capability of married couples being able to work together. In doing so, he’s honest in saying “sometimes”. He takes us to the beginning when he met and started competing with Edyta to their decision to do Dancing With The Stars. Below is a take on the Dancing With The Stars part….

Edyta and I grew tired of competing and made a decision to go on DWTS because we wanted to be together, which would be difficult if we kept competing in Ballroom.

At first, the decision to go on DWTS was right on the money, figuratively speaking. Our motives were purely personal. There was no money incentive from DWTS – they paid very little the first couple of seasons and we could have made triple the pay at the studio. Since we joined DWTS from the first season, we had no idea how successful the show would become. However, working with other people (me with Kelly Monaco and Edyta with Evander Holyfield) made us realize how much we wanted to be together based on the time together/apart balance. Our personal relationship thrived. I should note that at this point, being on DWTS meant that we were often in the same building at CBS studios, but were really not working together outside of result show performances and occasional choreography advice to each other. Another plus was that when we went home, we could talk about the common goals and objectives. We understood each other very well and this communication helped our personal relationship. The key takeaway from this experience was that working together with your spouse is fruitful if you can balance your time together/apart, work within your circle of expertise, have common goals/objectives, and understand each other’s personalities while keeping the communication channel open.

Once again, fascinating! You can read Alec’s first blog in full at Dancing Pros. He plans to write more on the subject soon.

January 5, 2012 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.

Edyta Sliwinska Writes Her First Blog On How She Got Picked To Do Dancing With The Stars

Edyta Sliwinska and her hubby, Alec Mazo have started a new facebook page called “Dancing Pros” in promotion with their stage show “Dance Temptation”. As previously reported, the two plan to hit the road again with it again next summer. Yesterday, Edyta wrote her first blog. In the blog she writes about how she got picked to do Dancing With The Stars. Below is a take about the process….

Everyone in the dance world knew about the British show ‘Strictly come dancing;’ it was hugely popular, so when I heard that it will be produced in America, I immediately submitted my resume, videos, pictures, magazines scraps, you name it. By the way if you are thinking of becoming a professional dancer, you should have all of the materials together and ready to go. You never know when the opportunity might knock to your door. In my case it happened in May 2005 and I was so ready for it. I considered all other options (I think I went a little too far thinking I could be a lawyer). Somewhere deep inside I knew I loved dancing. I was invited for an audition to Los Angeles. The producers already knew that I’m a good dancer, or at least good enough for what they were looking for, from all the videos, competition results and so on. Now they had to make sure I had the right personality to play the part. And here came a lengthy interview with hours of question. It was like a real interrogation with the only difference being that I wasn’t asked to tell the truth but to give a few different answers, the more outrageous then better. I had to deliver these snippets ‘in my own way’, but after a while I was so confused I forgot what ‘my own way’ was. They needed to typecast me somehow. My head was spinning; I had to be charming, sexy, competitive, arrogant… Uh, it was my first taste of what television was about. Later I understood that on TV, personality is just as important as skills. In fact I know a former world champion who didn’t get on the show because she was too shy and didn’t look interesting enough on camera. She is an amazing dancer, someone I’ve looked up to for years. Back to the audition, the next in the process was a short dance lesson to examine our teaching skills. That was easy considering my experience with kids in my SF dance studio. If you can teach a 5 year old you can teach anyone.

“Personality” has so much to do with a part on Dancing With The Stars, maybe even more than dancing ability itself?

More fascinating Dancing With The Stars things from Edyta here. They’ve posted some pictures from Dance Temptation as well at their facebook page which you can view one above. Beautiful!! I miss seeing Edyta dancing so much!! She will always be one of my favorite female dancers!

December 30, 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.

Edyta Sliwinska And Alec Mazo’s “Dance Temptation” Touring In The Summer 2012

Missing Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo like I am? As some of you may remember from our past postings, the two produced a new show this past year called “Dance Temptation” which they premiered in Niagara Falls over the summer. Well, something is very much in the works again. Edyta tweeted that as soon as Alec is finished with school, they plan to hit the road again with it again next summer. Be sure to watch this space closely for more information on the show when they time gets closer. For now, enjoy the stunning new “Dance Temptation” Poster (seen above) and some scenes from the show below….

I so want to see this and I hope they take it to every major city in North America!!! :)

Thanks to PureDWTS reader Carlos for the heads up on this!!xx

December 15, 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.

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..

Former DWTS Pro Edyta Sliwinska In New “Ballroom With A Twist” Production (Videos)

For those of you missing former Dancing With The Stars pro dancer, Edyta Sliwinska, she will be performing in “Ballroom With A Twist” at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles which begins tonight. In promoting it, you can watch her and her partner Sasha dancing on Good Day L.A. below….

DWTS’ Edyta Performs on GDLA: MyFoxLA.com

George Pennacchio also interviewed Edyta on the production. He asks her about her time on Dancing With The Stars and her future plans as well. She and hubby, Alec Mazo, have big plans for their own stage show called “Dance Temptation” (which we reported to you on over the summer) once he finishes school (I hope so! I’d love to see them tour everywhere with this show!!!). More below….

October 21, 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.

See Former Dancing With The Stars Edyta Sliwinska And Alec Mazo Dance (Video)

Do you miss seeing former Dancing With The Stars pros Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo dance like myself? Below is a video that might help fill that void a little. As we reported to you earlier, they produced a new ballroom dance production called “Dance Temptation” and recently premiered it in Niagara Falls. Yesterday, Alec released a new teaser video for it where you can see them dancing. They are stunning to say the least. See if you don’t agree?

And here is a picture that got tagged to Edyta’s Facebook; Read more..

August 21, 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.