Hey Dancettes! Elena Grinenko and Stuart Brazell of Dance Junkies TV are back with another Dancing With The Stars Pre-Party. This time dance pro Anya Garnis joins them in discussion as they critique the dances from last week. It’s fun because they feel much like we do on most of the dances. I had to giggle on the part about Louis and Sabrina.
That’s not all! Dance Junkies TV will be featuring a more in depth interview with Anya soon where they ask her questions from the fans..including those from PureDWTS.com. So, stay tuned!
Hey All!! The Dance Junkies gang will be interviewing pro dancer Anya Garnis tonight and they’d love to have you send them questions for what you’d like to ask her.
As you might know, Anya was on the Dancing With The Stars After Party this past week. She has performed in some of the results shows on Dancing With The Stars. Anya is also a dancer on So You Think You Can Dance. You can leave your questions for Anya in the comments section and we’ll be sure Stuart gets them later before the interview. I’ll leave my questions in the coments section as well. Such a beautiful dancer!
I debated even reporting on this, given that I am done with SYTYCD now that it has become a bona fide popularity contest and that least skilled dancer this season is probably going to win (and just as I feared, both ballroom girls were cut back-to-back just before the finale), but alas, it’s not Dmitry’s fault and he is part of the DWTS family – so here it is.
Dmitry tweeted that he is going to be choreographing for the upcoming performance finale next Tuesday:
Also choreographing on SYTYCD for next week and stressing about it lol. So please wish me luck!
Can’t blame Dmitry for being nervous – seems like the ballroom routines this season have had about a 50/50 chance of getting ripped apart by the judges…so much for debunking the blatant anti-ballroom bias on that show. Dmitry may also be having flashbacks to last season, when Nigel picked apart the cha-cha Mark choreographed for the performance finale. Let’s hope Nigel isn’t looking forward to a repeat “My show is better than DWTS!” pro-roast this time around…
Anywho, everybody cross your fingers for Dmitry that he doesn’t become the next victim of Nigel the Ballroom Meatgrinder next week. I just find it funny that he seems to think his show has so much more street cred than DWTS, due to the many dance styles they portray and all the Emmy nominations they amass – yet his show has turned into a complete popularity contest, while DWTS at least maintains some degree of integrity by making the results 50% scores and 50% votes. Enjoy those Emmy noms, Nigel – because with your ratings hitting an all-time low this summer, this may be your last hurrah.
Today I continue my series with season 4 runner-up Joey Fatone – for those who want to play catch-up, check out my previous editions featuring Kelly Monaco, Emmitt Smith, and Drew Lachey
For Joey’s best dance, I picked his 2nd jive to “Jump, Jive, & Wail”:
And for his worst dance, I picked his 2nd cha-cha to “Groove is in the Heart”:
Without a doubt, Joey sure has got the showmanship portion of dancing down pat – to this day, I still think he’s one of the most entertaining celebs that have ever graced the DWTS floor. And he moves big – he always seemed to do a really good job of using the entire floor and stretching each step to its limit. However, the big caveat that often comes with moving big is moving sloppy – and I think Joey, being a bigger guy, sometimes loses a bit of technique & precision in the process of “moving big”. I find it a bit interesting that he & Drew seem to have the opposite problem: Drew has the precision, but not the size & degree of motion; Joey has the size & degree of motion, but seems to lack the precision. And unfortunatley, when it comes down to it, I think the judges will (or at least SHOULD) favor precision & technique over size & impact. With strong technicians like Gilles in the competition, I think Joey’s going to have to work on really refining his movements, while not sacrificing the big entertainment value he brings to the stage. I’m also noticing another possible problem – and I actually think the fault lies more with Kym: some of their choreography in their original season seems to favor style over substance. I’m guessing that Kym was trying to really choreograph to Joey’s strengths as a showman, but upon close scrutiny, it seems like there’s a lot of “fluff” and not a whole lot of basic steps in some of their routines – I think they got called out for it big time in that 2nd cha-cha. They may have been able to get away with excess “fluff” in their original season, but with so many talented, strong technicians this season, I don’t think they’re going to have any choice but to buckle down and give Len some good meat-and-potatoes choreography.
So now comes the obvious question: how is his time in the Vegas show going to give him an edge this season? Well I think obvious benefit is just being in the “swing” of being onstage – as I said in my post about Drew, I think anyone who has been performing on stage within the last year or so is probably going to have a bit of advantage in that they are still in the groove of performing, and are likely feeling confident in their stage presence.. Given that Joey has actually been doing ballroom for the past few months in the DWTS Vegas show, too, I daresay he is a lot less rusty than some of the others who haven’t done any dancing since their initial seasons. In particular, he seems to have cleaned up his technique and become quite the lifter:
All in all, I think it will be a big advantage for Joey, given that it’s actually given him time to sharpen up his skills. But I do see a few possible drawbacks, the biggest of which being burnout – Joey has already been dancing for a little over 3 months straight in the Vegas show, and although he seems to have a bit of a break between when the Vegas show wrapped earlier this month and when rehearsals begin in the next week or so, I think its entirely possible he may just get exhausted by the middle of the season. We’ve seen how celebs meltdown after only a few weeks – can you imagine a few MONTHS? And keep in mind that the pace of the tv show is pretty breakneck compared to the Vegas show – Joey really just had to repeat the same routines night after night out there; now he’s gotta go back to learning & performing new ones (and performing them well!) in only a few days. Keep in mind, too, that the Vegas show is a lot less “strictly ballroom” than the show – there was quite a bit of hip-hop, jazz, disco, and other genres thrown in out there. It was what I like to call “watered-down ballroom” - and we all know that’s not Len’s cup of tea. Will Joey be able to make the transition?
Court’s verdict: Joey will definitely be one to watch this season, but he’s going to have to clean up his technique quite a bit if he wants to be a real contender. Kym is also going to have to focus on giving him routines with a lot of basic steps and without a ton of fluff, so they don’t get called out for lack of content. Overall, though, I see him lasting quite awhile, and possibly even making it to the finale
So what are your thoughts on Joey? Big contender, or overrated?
Dmitry is the 2nd DWTS pro to choreograph on this season of SYTYCD – Louis choreographed a samba back in week 1. Also appearing on this coming week’s episode of SYTYCD? Anya Garnis of the Vegas troupe, who will be dancing with one of the contestants as an all-star – maybe in Dmitry’s piece?
Also semi-interesting to note: despite what Heidi & I have pointed out to be a strong anti-ballroom bias on SYTYCD, the two female ballroom contestants this season, Lindsey & Witney, are still in the competition – and I think they’re actually the two strongest female dancers with the best chance of winning this season. Both apparently have attended Chelsie’s studio in Salt Lake City, and have also worked with Mark. Hmmm…anyone else think we might see them as troupe members or pros on a future season of DWTS?
Special thanks to @DMITRYDREAMTEAM for the heads up about Dmitry Be sure to check out our sister site, Pure SYTYCD, for more news & updates on the current season of So You Think You Can Dance
UPDATE: Check out the cha-cha Dmitry choreographed for contestant Cole & all-star Anya below
ETA #2: Check out a cute interview with Dmitry after the show, where he talks about what it was like working with Cole & Anya and whether or not he agrees with what the judges had to say about Cole’s performance. Thanks to reader Maria for the heads-up!
As you know from a previous posting with new interviews, etc., Dancing With The Stars pro Mark Ballas has been performing at the Dancing With The Stars Live in Las Vegas show this week. Well, the Morning Blend has interviewed him as well where Mark talks about the 6 numbers he’s in, his pets (did you know he has two dogs and three turtles?), his favorite partners on Dancing With The Stars, his parents and how he got into music and ballroom dancing, and more. You can listen to the fun interview in full here. Thanks to CMHagey You Tube, here’s some great footage of Mark dancing in the show as well. I love this song!
Pictured above is Dancing With The Stars pro dancer Mark Ballas. Sunday night, he looked lean and mean playing his guitar at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. Seeing this picture and others like it at Getty Images makes me want to see him perform on Dancing With The Stars in a string duo with Val Chmerkovskiy again. How about you? Be sure to see all of the pics. They are some of the best music performing pics I’ve ever seen of Mark in action! He really gets into it!
Also, Fox 5 in Las Vegas interviewed Mark on Dancing With The Stars Live In Vegas. Last night, he danced for the first time in the show. He’ll be dancing until July 12th if you’d like to take it in. He will also be performing his music in the Tropicana Lounge on Thursday night. Details below.
Thanks to MarkBallas Facebook and MarkBallas.com for the heads up on the video above!
ADDING: KTNV in Las Vegas interviewed Mark as well as Sabrina Bryan. Yes, the two are reunited again. Watching this interview makes one wonder on if she will be back for the All Star season which is briefly mentioned? You can see the new interview HERE.
As promised, Annie Barrett of Entertainment Weekly posted the videos of her backstage interview with Tristan MacManus, Lacey Schwimmer, Joey Fatone, and Carson Kressley before she saw Dancing With The Stars Live In Las Vegas. Carson shows off all of his costumes including his “Vogue” and “Moves Like Jagger” costumes. Tristan and Lacey talk on their injuries and the show’s ‘different vibe’ from the TV version. They say Tom Bergeron is jealous of Carson’s part and he is a “Silver Fox”. Joey Fatone talks of why he returned to dancing and how he loves his two dances. You can see more of this fun interview in four parts HERE.
What a great in-depth three page review for Dancing With The Stars: LIVE In Las Vegas by Annie Barrett of Entertainment Weekly. She gives huge props to Carson Kressley calling him a “marvel” in his hosting duties and how he is “never not funny” much like Tom Bergeron. She calls the show “quite stunning, especially during the many bombastic group numbers” and how the lack of cameras (seen if you are sitting in the audience on the TV version) “frees up the dancers to use the entire stage and actually move.”
The whole thing felt more like a musical — with slow/sensual or fierce/emphatic movements instead of dialogue, or literally (if we want to get all Carrie Ann about it) “beautiful lines” instead of spoken lines.
She also raves about dancing pro Lacey Schwimmer (who got hurt this past week) saying she “commands the stage”…
As I expected, the dancer who embodied that classic for-the-love-of-the-game performance quality the most for me was Our Pro Lacey Schwimmer. Girl knows how to command a stage — even if she had just slunk into a corner, she was all I could see. Also, uh oh: I just read that Lacey hurt her ankle during the week and didn’t dance last night. Noooooo. If she can’t return that’ll be a huge loss for the show. Lacey and her crazy hair extensions (currently pink and purple) are truly the life of the party.
But, Annette’s favorite dance in the LIVE show was, to her surprise, a Rumba with Dmitry Chaplain and Anya Garnis….
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Anya as one of Our Pros at some point — though if there’s any intention of maintaining a DWTS Vegas run throughout the rest of the year instead of just in the summer, whoever’s in charge may want to shackle her (using prop police handcuffs) and Dmitry to a Tropicana slot machine right now. She’s on fire!
YES. Fave dance of the night: Dmitry and Anya’s rumba. It took 14 seasons and a trip to Vegas for me to realize this, but maybe there IS a place for barefoot men in the ballroom. They just have to look/play the guitar/open their shirts like Dmitry. Oh screw that, they just have to be Dmitry. NEW RULE: Only Mr. Chaplin can remove his shoes.
Anya can barely even process his hotness.
You can read lots more of this fun review on the show and the cast at Entertainment Weekly. You can see more pictures as well. Also, be sure to read the part on Tristan MacManus. He joined her, Lacey, Carson, and Joey Fatone for a pre-show backstage chat in Carson’s dressing room. We hope to post that interview as soon as it’s made available.