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PureDWTS Discussion Post: Spencer Liff on the Choreography “Controversy”

I saw this the other day and kind of ignored it. Mainly because I don’t really consider it a “controversy” OR new information. But I’m bored – the dog days of summer and waiting for DWTS Fall Season news to break is getting old. Plus Vogue is on vaycay and me and Court have to try to fill the void. :-)

We’ve known that outside choreographers help for YEARS. Derek just mentioned it in a meet and greet the other day when asked about choreography. I don’t recall the context, but he said that he only used an outside choreographer for his and Shawn’s bhangra, but he knows that others do it more frequently….and he can always tell when outside help was used. He’s very observant, so that’s no surprise, plus he knows all of them very well. He apparently didn’t think it was a huge deal – and neither does Spencer Liff. Spencer makes some interesting points and seems to defend Witney (if she needs defending) pretty clearly. He says that outside “help” doesn’t have a right to the statue. What are you going to do? Count the steps that you contributed? What he seems to be saying – at the risk of putting words in his mouth – is that the contracted individual is responsible, is in charge and deserves the credit for that. What do you think?

Also, what I found interesting was that Spencer said he has “ghosted” on DWTS “many times” – this is intriguing, just cuz I’m nosey. :-) But the money comes out of the DWTS pros pocket when they get help, and it’s done away from the regular rehearsal spaces – and he says take your paycheck and keep your mouth shut. Very interesting conversation in the first five minutes of the video I’ve posted, below.

At the end of the day, Witney tried and gave full credit to her assistant and DWTS apparently tried as well. But the Academy has rules. Someone else mentioned in the video that the producers are limited to THREE nominees also, even if more producers were involved. Too bad. Those of you “helping” either need to stop helping without being contracted to the show, or suck it up and take the pay the DWTS pros give you.

Courtney: First off, a tip of the hat to Spencer – I’ve always found him to be one of the less “diva-ish” choreographers on SYTYCD, and while I may not have always been wowed by his choreography, I think he’s always done a good job of giving routines that are appropriate to the style he’s been assigned (unlike others, who seem to take “jazz” as an opportunity to do a contemporary routine).  I think he also did great job of explaining what’s what as it pertains to the nominations – it was very “Look here, guys – as someone who’s been nominated before, let me tell you that if you are ghosting on a routine, you are just that – a ghost.  Do not expect credit unless it was truly a collaborative effort – you don’t get to say ‘But I choreographed 20% of that!’ after the fact.  Your money is your compensation – take it and shut up.” Anyone else get the feeling he was a tad irked that some people were even trying to pull that stuff? 😉 Now, with that being said – I feel like him comparing his “assistants” on SYTYCD is maybe not a perfect analogy to what we think the situation has been at DWTS.  I’ve always gotten the impression that those “assisting” on SYTYCD were just helping the choreographer to show the routine to the couple they’re choreographing – they don’t actually contribute much, creativity-wise.  They’re just a body.  The impression I get from DWTS is that it’s one pro actively contributing to another pro’s work – giving advice on choreography.  But, I do agree with Spencer – it gets to be really tricky determining how much credit you give for a partial contribution by another pro. I look at a true collaboration as something akin to Derek & Chelsie’s acoustic paso back in season 10 – they agreed to work together and both were involved every step of the way, therefore a co-nomination was appropriate; but I get the feeling that the dances in question (presumably Witney’s, though I see the female pros are still dancing around naming names) were more like Witney getting somewhat into choreographing something and saying “Crap, I’ve hit a wall with this part.  Hey Sharna (or whoever), can you help me work through this part right here?” And then Sharna (or whoever) contributing something to a portion of the dance, and then walking away.  It wasn’t as if Pro A and Pro B started off choreographing from the beginning together; the concept of the dance was probably Witney’s idea, and the bulk of the spacing/set design/costume design/choreography was also hers. But anywho – the degree of entitlement being what it is amongst the pros at DWTS these days (as well as the degree of butthurt-ness), can’t say I’m surprised that some of the pros are basically scoffing at what has been standard operating procedure at the Academy for many years and feeling as though they are due some sort of credit.  Cause everybody is a winner and a special little snowflake that deserves an MBT, and Emmy nomination, and whatever his/her little heart desires – because FAIRNESS, guys. But yes, please do continue to throw shade at other pros for something that was likely out of their control, anyway – and then get indignant when fans try to guess just who you’re passive-aggressively tweeting about.  Such a good look :-) Funny how people think WE start “fan wars”…the pros are doing a fine job of it themselves… Read more..

July 31, 2015 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. :-)

America’s Ballroom Challenge is Back – Mary Murphy talks DWTS, Ballroom, and Derek and Julianne Hough

Mary Murphy’s not on So You Think You Can Dance anymore – she says there will be very little ballroom, which is a damn shame – but she’s talking America’s Ballroom Challenge. Honestly, one couple on SYTYCD attempted a Cha Cha the other night and butchered it badly – worse than some on DWTS – so maybe the change isn’t so bad. From Yahoo TV (thanks to Motisima):

“On So You Think You Can Dance, most of the time you’re seeing two people who have never ballroom danced, and it’s kind of all smoke and mirrors,” Murphy tells Yahoo TV. “Honestly, they can edit everything to get the best vantage of every step. And Dancing With the Stars is the same thing, too — you’re dancing with a celebrity, sometimes they have danced, sometimes no dance. For these people [on America’s Ballroom Challenge], dance is their life. They are professionals at the highest level. You will see the best of the best.”

RIDER: Derek Hough
“Julianne and Derek are about as good as you’re going to get,” Murphy said. “Derek, especially, I’ve been watching that kid since he was 7 years old. For me, the pinnacle was that Argentine Tango the other night [on Dancing With the Stars]. I just was so impressed with him. There was just such maturity about him. I feel like I’m seeing him as a young man now, as opposed to looking at him always as a kid.”

July 29, 2015 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. :-)

Olympic Skating Medalist Nancy Kerrigan Visits Ballroom With A Twist At The North Shore Theatre- HQ Photos

It must have been so cool to have Olympic Skating Medalist Nancy Kerrigan attend Ballroom With A Twist and visit with the cast. You can view some high quality shots below courtesy of Producer Scott Stander (click on them to see them in their full size). Thanks Scott! Beautiful!! I wish Nancy would do Dancing With The Stars. Have you seen Ballroom With A Twist yet? If not, be sure you do. The show is going to Texas and New York state next. For tickets, see this link.

Ballroom With A Twist July 26, 2015 2

Ballroom With A Twist July 26, 2015

July 27, 2015 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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Live Tour TV Report From The Springfield, MO Show And More

KSPR has a special report on the Dancing With The Stars Live Tour from last night. You can read a little below, but, see the link for more including a fun video!!

Fans of the hit ABC show, Dancing with the Stars got up close and personal with some of the show’s biggest names at Hammons Hall Sunday.

The Dancing with the Stars Live national tour hit Springfield.

Dozens of fans got to take pictures during a meet and greet with some of the dancers and headliner, reality star, Melissa Rycoft.

It was a special time, not only for the fans.

Dancer, Val Chmerkovskiy said, “I don’t take it for granted that people are making an effort to come out and spend time watching us do what we love.”

Reality star, Melissa Rycoft said, “Ballroom was very humbling to learn you know. I came in going, I can count, surely, this won’t be that difficult. It’s like trying to learn a new language every week. It’s really difficult.”

And I’m loving these instagrams. See why below…. Read more..

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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

DWTS Season 21 Gossip and Rumors – Amanda Bynes and Pippa Middleton

Keep in mind that the sources for this information are WAY less than reliable. LOL.  First up, from the UK, Pippa Middleton is apparently dying to be on DWTS with Derek as a partner. From The Hollywood Gossip:

As for Pippa’s boogying ambitions, the guard claims Kate’s younger sister desperately wants to appear on Dancing With the Stars, but her dream has repeatedly been shut down.

“She wants her sister’s fame, that’s for sure. I heard she’s desperate to be on Dancing with the Stars but the palace asked her to back off. They felt it would sully the image of her sister.

“Well, I tell you she did not care! She supposedly contacted Derek Hough somehow and he’s a big fan of the idea.”

We’ve also posted on Pippa a number of times, since she’s on Mark’s wish list of celebrity partners. Sorry Mark. :-) Next up, Amanda Bynes is supposedly in the running for this season of DWTS and she wants Derek or Mark. Oy veh. :-) From Hollywood Life:

In keeping with the good news, our sources tell us that Amanda is in the running to star on the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars — that is, if she remains healthy enough to compete. “They want her! If she does it, she wants to dance with Derek [Hough], 30, or Mark [Ballas], 29,” a source tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “She is in very, very loose discussions and absolutely nothing has been set in stone but as long as she is mentally stable, she is basically a lock for the next season.”

Take all of this with a huge grain of salt as neither outlet has a stellar track record when it comes to DWTS. 😉

ETA: Vogue here. According to Amanda’s Attorney via Access Hollywood, she’s decided to return to college instead of doing Dancing With The Stars. Adding: Keep in mind though that the Access Hollywood article is 2 months old. You never know…anything could happen to change one’s mind in that time?

Amanda’s attorney also took the time to shoot down a TV project rumor surrounding his client.

“Amanda isn’t going to be on ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” Esquibias said.

“She’d like to return to college,” he explained, adding that Amanda has not matriculated anywhere yet.

July 24, 2015 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. :-)

Ballroom With A Twist Tristan MacManus, Chris Soules, Lacey Schwimmer, Chelsie Hightower, Dmitry Chaplin At The North Shore – Photos, Videos

Ballroom With A Twist Boston by Andrea

As you might know from a previous post, Andrea saw Ballroom With A Twist last night at the North Shore Music Theatre in Boston. She loved the show and said Chris Soules was a “natural” and “charming” (and at the Meet & Greet too). She sent us a bunch of photos and videos from the show of Chelsie Hightower, Chris Soules, Dmitry Chaplin, Lacey Schwimmer, and Tristan MacManus which you can view below. We can’t thank her enough. If you haven’t got tickets yet to see this fun show, see this link.

Click the links to see the videos… Read more..

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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

New Funny Ballroom With A Twist Promo With Tristan MacManus, Chelsie Hightower, Lacey Schwimmer, Dmitry Chaplin, Chris Soules

These Ballroom With A Twist Promos just keep getting better! Hilarious! I sure miss these pros on Dancing With The Stars. Chris Soules is a hoot in this too. If you like what you see, don’t miss seeing them at the North Shore Music Theatre in Boston, MA July 24th and 25th. For tickets, see this link.

Special Side Note: Andrea (who posts in comments) saw the show last night. She said Tristan told her he loves her and she got the final rose! So cute!! See Andrea’s twitter for pictures!!


Funny Ballroom With A Twist Promo by Voguerista

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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Live Tour Review – “Fancy Footwork” At Hartman Arena

Kansas.com reviewed the Dancing With The Stars Live Tour. They said the show had a lot of “fance footwork”. Here is more….

The athletic dances done on a spare stage of two sets of stairs and a catwalk ranged from an opening “Land of a Thousand Dances” – including the watusi – by Peta Murgatroyd and Chmerkovskiy to a hip-hop number by Chmerkovskiy and Witney Carson that probably got the biggest ovation and showed that Rycroft was right in giving credit to beyond-ballroom dancing.

Park City/Wichita country music fans even got to yell their approval before the company strutted to “Somethin’ Bad.” A Wichita woman in a long dress and platform shoes was the audience member chosen to fall into the arms of Keo Motsepe and Artem Chigvintsev – and to get very close and personal.

Not all the dancing was modern. Chigvintsev was back on stage for the first time after being injured, and he and Carson – she wearing a flowing gown – floated across the stage to the season-appropriate “Summer Wind.”

Being in Kansas enchanted Brit Emma Slater, who said she knew the state from “The Wizard of Oz.”

“My mom’s really jealous” of her daughter being in Kansas, Slater said, and then turned her back to the crowd and took a selfie with the audience for Mom.

To read the full review, see Kansas.com.

July 22, 2015 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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Behind The Scenes Of “Sway: A Dance Trilogy” And New Show Dates In Florida

Below you can watch some fun ‘behind the scenes’ action of “Sway” from this past June. The next show dates for “SWAY: A Dance Trilogy” is scheduled for December 3-6, 2015 (5 shows) in Miami, Florida. Proceeds from shows will benefit Alfalit and it’s initiatives to end illiteracy throughout the world. For tickets visit: www.swayshow.com.

July 21, 2015 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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Ballroom With A Twist Shout Out From Tristan MacManus And Chelsie Hightower – Video

Come see Tristan MacManus, Chelsie Hightower, Lacey Schwimmer, Dmitry Chaplin, Chris Soules, and more in “Ballroom With A Twist” in Beverly, MA at the North Shore Music Theatre from Thu-Sat July 23, 24, 25. Below Tristan and Chelsie give a shout out. For tickets, see this link.


Ballroom With A Twist Shout Out For North Shore by Voguerista

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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.