Twitter is alive with some cool photos of our pros celebrating the new year! First of all, check out Julianne and Derek Hough celebrating at Times Square in New York last night. Be sure to see more pics at Pure Derek Hough. Derek is all smiles and looking happy! I love when he wears these cool leather bombers! So cute!
Below is Maks and Val sexy and crazy as usual bringing in the New Year where ever they are located (somewhere in the Caribbean?);
Karina and company look like they were all in fine form and happy at her Joonbug Party in New York City. Below is one pic. More at Zimbio including some with Season 12 partner Ralph Macchio. Isn’t her dress gorgeous? Be sure to tweet her a Happy Birthday tomorrow.
We can’t forget about Kym and Cheryl beautiful as always as well. They are bringing in the new year in Australia.
What do you think? I thought Part 2 was better than Part 1. I loved how they spotlighted the little dancers! They were so good. I loved how they included the full cast of this past season in it in some way, not just the dancers present at Dance With Me Studios with Nancy! I also loved Val playing his violin (and the retrospective with Mark Ballas) and the kiss on Nancy’s cheek from Maks after they danced (they would have made a cool couple to watch last season like he and Kirstie). Great show!!
And again, if you missed Part 1, be sure to see it here.
Great shows!! I hope Nancy will continue to cover Dancing With The Stars in the future. I’d love to see more TV coverage of what goes on at Dance With Me Studio’s as well. Fascinating!!
Just a couple of reminders! Don’t forget to watch the Nancy Grace Show on the HLN network at 8:00pm ET for Part 2 of her “Dancing Special” tonight. If you missed Part 1, be sure to see it here. It was a gas and I’m betting tonight will be too! If nothing else, it’s great for those suffering from DWTS withdrawals. 😯 Nancy tweeted that the show will have “Child dance phenoms” as well….
Also, Dancing With The Stars Champ J.R. Martinez is the Grand Marshal of the 123rd Tournament Of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. If interested, you’ll be able to watch the parade go down LIVE on ABC and NBC at 11:00am ET on Monday, January 2nd. If you’d like to watch it commercial free and in 3D, you’ll be able to view it on the HGTV channel at the same time. In the meantime, TV Guide has a little interview with J.R. where he talks on the honor of doing it and why (his answer might shock you. lol). He also mentions Dancing With The Stars and his future plans in acting.
On a future note and if you live or would like to travel to New York, Mark Ballas is giving a one night concert at The Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington, NY on January 27th at 8:00pm. You can read more about the concert at Playbill as well as how you can obtain tickets.
Hey All!!! How did your Christmas go? We hope it was fantastic!! 😉 Also, if you happened to miss the Nancy Grace Dancing Special Friday night, you can watch it in full below. Mark your calendars if interested. Part 2 will be shown this upcoming Friday night on Nancy’s show on HLN at 8:00pm ET.
Did you know dance pro Elena Grinenko has been helping some ice dancing Olympic hopefuls? She is!!
As most of you know, Elena is Tony Dovolani’s former dance partner when they were competing. She was also a pro for Dancing With The Stars in Seasons 3 and 4. Since that time, she’s helped on the side lines with the show. She’s also helped Dance With Me Studios. She also has her own talent and booking agency called Grinya’s Entertainment where she helps people achieve and find their goals in the Performing Arts for whatever they may be. One such couple she’s been recently helping is ice dancing and reigning World Champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
You may remember this skating team from the 2010 Olympics where they won a Silver medal. Well, the two are very much still competing to keep their American and “World” titles and working harder than ever to win a Gold medal come 2014. In doing so, they’ve asked Elena to help choreograph their dances which have been stunning audiences since last summer. Elena has also been helping to choreograph dances for ice dancing pairs Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani. Below is a little take explaining what the experience has been like for Elena. You can read even more on it at Ice Network.
The first time she went to Detroit, she worked with Davis and White focusing on choreography for their Latin short dance. They hadn’t yet chosen their music, so they played with different pieces of music before putting the whole program together.
During the trip, she met Marina Zoueva. Shortly after Grinenko returned home to Los Angeles, Zoueva called and asked her come back and work with some of the other teams. Before accepting, Grinenko made sure that was alright with Davis and White, who gave her the okay. On her second visit to Detroit, she worked with all of Shpilband and Zoueva’s teams. She’s since been back for a third visit.
“It’s very exciting and it’s amazing how your work can transfer to ice,” Grinenko says. “It’s actually even more amazing to see certain things they can do on ice way better than they do it on the floor.”
So far, the experience has been a thrill for Grinenko, who grew up in Moscow (she became a U.S. citizen in 2008) and watched a great deal of figure skating on television with her mother. She intently watched the 2010 Olympic Winter Games on TV, and when she was doing research on the couples she’d be working with, she realized how much she’d enjoyed their Olympic performances.
Although she worked with all the couples on the dance floor, much of the actual choreography was done right on the ice. Rather than mapping out a program only to find out certain moves weren’t viable, they took the creative process onto the rink.
“It’s faster to digest what is working and what is not,” Grinenko says. “I’ve taught since I [was] 15 years old, and I have a very good sense of what’s working and what’s not. I thought it would be actually a harder transition for me to try to do it on ice and see what works and what doesn’t, but it went pretty smoothly.”
For Davis and White, she even choreographed hand gestures to go with the required steps in the compulsory rumba to make it more authentic.
“Obviously, we did completely different steps when it’s allowed to do it,” Grinenko says. “When we touched rumba part, it was pretty much all about upper body.
“They’re such amazing athletes,” she adds. “They pick up on it so quick. It was very exciting to see how fast they catch onto it. Pretty amazing.
Below is Meryl Davis and Charlie White November 29th at “Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular”. You can view more here. As a dancing and ice skating fan, I’ve got my eye on these two. Good luck Elena!
We’ve got a lot to report to you today and some things that require your fun participation like always 😉 ,but, for now, let’s start out the morning with some music from Dancing With The Stars Season 11 2nd place winner, Kyle Massey, and his brother Chris performing their first single at the Roxy in L.A. last night. Val Chmerkovskiy was also there to share the mic according to his twitter.
That’s not all in fun entertainment that’s currently taking place with our former and current cast of Dancing With The Stars. On Oct. 30th Val Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Kirstie Alley, Daria Chesnokova, and Elena Grinenko are to take part in Dance With Me USA’s Fall Fantasy Showcase which can you read more on and get ticket information on here (Oh, if only I lived a little closer).
Maks and his brother Val seem to be just as popular in the Ukraine as the United States or maybe even more so? Currently, they are helping to film a Ukrainian TV game show called “The Cube.” Maks’ role is being described as “organic” and “entertaining” and of course, the women are loving him. Below is a take from Kiev Media which explains more (note: it’s hard to understand since it’s been translated). There are more fun pictures like the one above at the link.
My friend, being in the crowd of the project, shared her impressions of, and along with photographs from the memory of the project. According to her, Maxim in a new role is very organic. Hollywood smile evoked strong interest from women. Maxim get used to the new role, trying to entertain the audience.
The first party, “Cuba” was a zealous fan of “Bach”. The girl did not lose the gift of time and tried to flirt with the attractive leader. But, alas, to no avail. It seemed not to notice her Chmerkovskiy subtle hints, and insisted that to start the game.
My acquaintance is so fascinated by Maxim that she think of anything more I could not. On Monday I’m going to explore myself and tell you everything.
No word yet when the two will be flying home, but, I imagine very soon because Maks will soon be starting the new season of Dancing With The Stars. Also, he and Tony have recently opened their new “Dance With Me Los Angeles Studio” in West Hollywood, CA. Tony’s former professional partner, Elena Grinenko, has also recently teamed up to help them. You can read all about it in a new Grinya’s Entertainment newsletter >>>>>>HERE (what I wouldn’t give to take a few lessons at this studio sometime. )
As reported earlier, “Ballroom With A Twist” is currently receiving some fantastic reviews and here’s yet another from LA Weekly.
One of Dancing With The Stars’ professional dancers, Louis Van Amstel, stages his own show after an illustrious 20-year career as a performer and competitive dancer. His fluidly staged, marvelously high-caliber entertainment (with a couple of also-ran American Idol singers (Gina Glocksen and David Hernandez) thrown into the mix, moves seamlessly from fast numbers to slow ballads, from dance to song and back again. Athletic bodies draped with Randall Designs’ gorgeous costumes cavort through Van Amstel’s well-orchestrated spectacle, which also celebrates diversity with its casting of various races and body shapes. Van Amstel hosts the evening, assisted by hilarious comedienne Niecy Nash (his partner from the most recent season of DWTS). She brings welcome humor when not tearing up the dance floor. The costumes are figure-hugging sexy, flowing and dazzling (with rhinestones) as well as casual and relaxed for some of the modern dance numbers. Van Amstel’s exceptional choreography feels liberated from the constraints and repetition of competitive ballroom regulations. Salsa, Paso Doble, Jitterbug, Quickstep, Waltz and Argentine Tango – Van Amstel name-checks every dance style, yet pairs each number with everything from slow ballad duets to clubby dance mixes of classic and contemporary tunes — something for everyone.
Mitsy Gaynor hosted the show on January 20th. She posted some fun photos of the night at her facebook account which you can see one photo below. Be sure to see more at the link.
Anna and Jonathan were interviewed by Ballroom Fantasy on “Ballroom With A Twist” and all of their past, current, and future projects (including personally). This is a great interview. They are so cute! I can’t embed the video. So be sure to see it >>>HERE.
I’m loving the costumes. Randall Christensen has done a good job for this show and I like his work on Dancing With The Stars for the most part too. Rachael Ray has been really critical of his work on her show. So much so, Randall sent her a letter and she apologized which you can see in the video below.
In other Ballroom news, next weekend the first Superstars of Ballroom Dance Camp will take place at the Burbank Marriott Hotel and Convention Center on Feb. 4-6th. You can take classes with your favorite pros from Dancing With The Stars. Details below with pricing and more information at Dancing and Romancing.
On Friday, the dance scene will be hot and sexy with salsa classes with Paul Barris, cha cha with Dmitry Chaplin or Elena Grinenko and rumba witih Tony Dovolani. That will get you prepared for the salsa part that evening with Angel Lebron y su Sabor Latino.
Saturday, there will be more Latin dances (samba with Dmitry Chaplin, rumba with Corky Ballas, paso doble with Tony Dovolani and tango with Elena Grinenko). Chelsie Hightower will be giving waltz lessons, and Nick Kosovich will be teaching foxtrot and Vienesse waltz. For those who want something daring, there is a lift class and a spin, dip and variation class.
Saturday evening, there will be a dinner show and party with Dovolani, Hightower, Chaplin and Cheryl Burke performing. On Sunday, it’s West Coast swing, Cuban motion, Argentine tango, Lindy hop, jive (with Kym Johnson), Bolero and East Coast swing. As you can imagine, Sunday night is a swing party! As we reported earlier, private dance lessons with Tony Dovolani and Cheryl Burke have already sold out. Corky Ballas, who trained Derek Hough, Mark Ballas and Julianne Hough has one slot left!
Wow! What a show this week!! We’ve got some media things to share from before the show to backstage afterwards.
In this video, Audrina and Tony discuss how they go through steps for each routine from the costumes, the song, and to the choreography. Both put in their ideas. They also talk about how they got inspired to do their dance last night and she shows the tatoo on her neck.A very special Thanks to Nathan for this cool People new Blog from Audrina!! Here is a quote from it. Be sure to read more at the link;
This week Tony and I are dancing the Argentine tango. It’s kind of frustrating. It’s a mixture of Latin and regular ballroom dancing, and it’s really hard. There’s so much detail, and it’s very passionate, intense and feisty. There are also lots of kicks, flips and lifts. They’re a little scary! I really have to put all my trust in Tony and just jump up there and kick my legs around him and trust that I’m going to land on my feet.
I’ve had a few scary moments where I’m supposed to run and jump on Tony and kick my leg up over his shoulder and flip, but I get scared, so I just jump. Tony’s like: “What are you doing?!” I got scared! He just says, “You cannot hesitate. You just have to do it. No hesitation!” So far Tony has caught me every time in rehearsal. He’s known for his lifts; it’s what he’s really good at. So I definitely trust him. I just have to open up and trust myself!
Here, Audrina and Tony talk backstage on what they thought of their dance and the music they were given from the producers after the show and making the best of it. Tony also talks about the “Extreme Make-Over” show he and some of the other dancers did over the summer. It airs this Sunday.;
Here Brandy and Maks talk about their practices before the show, her diet, and their relationship. The interviewer also asks Maks about the slap controversy last week again. He talks about all of their different senses of humor and how he’s not going to let anyone misinterpret him.Also Maks attended the “Homes that Hollywood Built” event this weekend. His interview starts at the 5:45 mark in this video. He discusses his charities, his closeness with Brandy, and being a perfectionist. He also sends out a message to Brandy to “stay as you are”.
And here they are discussing their amazing dance lastnight afterwards backstage for what they thought of it and them being in second place right now;
For you Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke fans, here’s a fun TV Guide interview with Rick where he discusses their dance before the show and more. Here are a couple of snippets;
TVGuide.com: How’s the Argentine tango going?
Fox: It’s Cheryl’s favorite dance and she actually did spend three weeks in Argentina learning more about the culture and the dance. The passion, aggression and machismo that are needed are definitely things I brought to the basketball floor, so I think I might take Cheryl on the court so she can see a side of me that she hasn’t yet. I already see how the dance fits me like a custom suit.
TVGuide.com: You’ve been handling your height difference with ease. How hard is it for you not to dance down to her?
Fox: I’m used to team sports, so I to want to support a teammate and make their job as easy as they make mine, so my tendency was to hunch over. All that gets me is a smack on my arm! From watching the show, I could tell a lot of the dancing positions are close, so I knew we had a challenge even looking each other in the eye. She’s wearing four-inch heels and is level with my chest most of the time, and I’m looking at the horizon! The Latin dances are fun because we get to look at each other.
TVGuide.com: Who from the cast has impressed you so far?
Fox: The pro dancers! [Laughs] They seem to be Energizer bunnies in how they show up for us, show up for the show, show up for media and then head out and socialize. The production has impressed me. … And then getting to know my castmates — I could not have created such warm relationships in such a short period amidst competition. I’m so used to not even looking at my competitors. It’s so bizarre to share the same practice facility, to each lunch together on game day, to be rooting and consoling each other. It’s a new competitive experience for me, which I think has enhanced my sportsmanship. Maybe that stuff will end pretty soon!
Here they are talking about their dance afterwards;
Zap2.it interviewed Florence Henderson at the GLSEN Respect Awards. Here’s what she said and check out her personal goal for the show. For whatever happens tonight, I’d say she accomplished just that. Would you?
“I’m not super human, but I am super stoic,” Henderson tells to Zap2it at the Oct. 8 GLSEN Respect Awards, acknowledging that she feels just as beat up as everyone else.
“I figure there’s nothing I can do about the pain and the suffering,” she laughs. “I signed on to do it, so I’ve got to take the aches and pains and make it really terrific.”
Her next task is the rumba, which she’ll take on in an entirely new environment for the series.
“This week is acoustic week,” Henderson’s partner Corky Ballas says, “for the first time in the history of the show. The entire room has been changed. It’s a 30-inch in the round stage, wood floor, stripped down lighting, no orchestra, one guitar, two violins and a piano. Every single move is going to be scrutinized, and the audience right up against the stage.”
Sounds intimidating. But Henderson takes it in stride. “I’m not anymore scared than I usually am,” she says.
For her, the pain and the nerves are small price to pay for the thrill of being on the show. “If I can inspire anyone to get up off their behind and move and dance and enjoy their life, then I’ve done my job.”
Here is Florence and Corky talking about their dance afterwards. Florence is a hoot as always;
Lastly, here’s the ecstatic Jennifer and Derek and their reaction to scoring some “10’s” lastnight! What an amazing dance they had!!;
Is your choreography influenced by former ballroom dance champions (I see a little Donnie Burns in there), or by movies, or anything else? –Lynn
Choreography is so specific. I think for the most part if I choreographed for anyone else, you’d be able to tell that it was a routine I created. Same with all the pros – Louis, Maks, Mark. We take our inspiration from anywhere we can. After several seasons on the show, you want to be able to keep bringing creative ideas to the dance floor. Things like acoustic week and story week really help keep us on our toes.
Derek, love your choreography. I’ve wondered if you have ideas in mind ahead of the season, knowing a waltz, paso doble, etc. are coming, and then do you adapt them to the ability of your partner? –LoveVioletFlame
I have ideas going into each season, but normally those fly out the window because each dance really does pertain to the song and the abilities of the celebrity. I do have a fun and original idea for a pro dance this season. I’m hoping I get to do it.
How long does it typically take for you to come up with the choreography for one dance? –Rebecca
I start thinking about the dance as soon as I get the music and then I keep thinking, changing and adding to each routine as the week progresses. Sometimes I add little changes in the day before show day.
If the celebrity you work with has ideas and a great dance imagination will you or have you incorporated their ideas into a routine? –Kaye
Absolutely. The thing about Dancing with the Stars is it comes to be a very collaborative effort. My partner might have some amazing ideas or thoughts and if I ruled them out completely and wasn’t willing to work with them then I might be missing the chance at creating something really memorable.
Here’s a great wrap up of the night;
Lastly, here’s what we didn’t see. Thanks to our Heidi for this link too from People.com :
• Derek Hough, Mark Ballas and Kurt Warner couldn’t resist coming out from backstage for the pre-show. The competitors joined in a mini dance-off with a few lucky audience members while the house emcee got the crowd pumped. Later, Tony Dovolani joined an 8-year-old girl on stage for a quick twirl during a commercial.
• Bristol Palin was surprised to see her parents and little sister in the audience Monday night. “I didn’t think they were coming,” she told PEOPLE. “They surprised me tonight, and I was thrilled about that.”
• The stars teased their TV-theme-song routines for next week. Florence Henderson and partner Corky Ballas told PEOPLE they hope to do a Brandy Bunch-influenced dance if they’re voted back, while Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer told reporters they’ll be dancing to the Charlie’s Angels theme song. And Tony Dovolani joked to PEOPLE that his routine with The Hills alum Audrina Patridge would “have something to do with mountains but a little bit smaller.”
Wow, what a show! I still haven’t recovered from it all. lol And I am especially loving all of your thoughts on everything!