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!
We have more media coverage to add to our countdown. In Part 1 we saw teasers for what’s to come for Cheryl and Rick, Maks and Brandy, and The Situation and Karina. In this edition, we’re starting off with Kurt Warner. In this article from The Indian, Kurt talks about his experience with “Dancing with The Stars”. Here is a little from that interview…
The former quarterback and father of seven said that dancing intimately with a scantily clad dancing partner (Anna Trebunskaya) could have wrecked his marriage but thankfully it did not. Kurt and Brenda have been married for 13 years now and they have seven children together. The Football star also said that his marital life is in perfect order because his wife (Brenda) is confident about his priorities.
The athlete also mentioned that his dancing partner is also married and whatever they do on the show is just for the sake of entertainment. Kurt also expressed his liking for Mike (the Situation) Sorrentino, who happens to been one of the contenders for the coveted ‘DWTS’ title. Kurt was full of praises for Mike, he also complimented him by saying that the “Jersey Shore’ actor is a star in his own right, who has created a niche for himself.
Also, an insider told Hollywoodlife.com that Kurt Warner “is the nicest guy in the cast” this year. I’m not surprised to hear that, are you? He seems so pleasant natured.
…Kurt Warner is the lowest maintenance and nicest cast member onDancing with the Stars! “Everyone loves Kurk backstage,” an eyewitness tells us. “He’s genuine. He’s a good guy. He never has any issues or complaints…and takes everything they throw him in stride.” With a cast of potential divas and strict competition, like reality star Audrina Patridge, pop singer Brandy, Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey and even NBA star Rick Fox, tensions can run high, especially on performance nights, but Kurt doesn’t let the pressure get to him. “He’s just having fun with it, you know?” our source explains.
Next up, Kyle and Lacy!! On their Rumba, Kyle told ET ”I got the sexy”. lol Apparently, he’s got the slow part down but the footwork has been challenging for him.
“The rumba’s going pretty well. It’ll be ready for showtime,” Kyle tells us during a break from his “DWTS” rehearsal.
“He’s getting his steps right now, and then will come the sexiness,” Lacey says.
“Well, you know, I got the sexy — now I’m working on the dance,” he clarifies.
The two keep things fun by bantering and cracking jokes with each other — Kyle even gives his unwitting partner rabbit ears (or perhaps devilish horns!) at one point — but Lacey tells ET they’re taking the rumba seriously due to its high difficulty level. It’s a slow dance, which you think would be simple, but there’s so much extra stuff that’s added to it, it’s unbelievable,” she says.
Here’s a fun video of the two;
Tom Bergeron tweeted Saturday that last week’s show was “weird”. lol…Good ol’ Tom. In a new 3-page interview on Wetpaint.com, he talks about “Boo-gate, Maks, Bruno, the show without Edyta, and what’s next for the show. Here’s some snippets of this interview.
So that’s Bolton-gate, then there was Boo-gate. Did the producers have any regrets in cutting right to Sarah Palin? Because it did kind of seem like, what were viewers supposed to think, when you cut right from boos to ….?
I think the thing is, when you’re doing a live show and it’s happening in real time, I don’t know what they would’ve done differently. If I was in the booth — and you hear Brooke and you hear some boos — they probably heard the 9s being yelled too, so they, like me, probably didn’t think anything of it. I certainly didn’t as I was sitting next to Sarah. I didn’t think that anything untoward was going on at all. The judges had booed all night, so this was just another instance. But then I had seen kind of Jamie Lee Curtis instigating a little bit. She’s a good buddy of Jennifer’s Grey’s. So from my perspective, I knew what it was, and as Sarah Palin said to me the next night before I went on the air, she said “I thought it was silly because I was booing the judges too.” So I don’t know what they would’ve done differently in the booth, which again deals with the immediacy of a live show versus something you can tape and edit and think about. I think from the booth’s perspective and from mine it just appeared to be what it was, which was the audience booing the judges. Unfortunately you cut that way, and me sitting there, I can certainly understand why people thought it was different.
What can you tell us about what’s coming up that’s new and exciting this season?
We’re doing an acoustic night next week, which will be really cool. I’ve seen the sketches, they’re probably going to change the ballroom and it’s going to be theater in the round, which is pretty cool. The whole stage area will change. Harold Wheeler and the band will all be acoustic. And it’s going to have a very different kind of feel to it. I think on at least one show we’re going to have a guest judge taken from the ranks of past performing celebrities. I know we’re coming up on our 200th episode so we’re going to have a big to-do about that. I think we’ll have a special show on the 10 top dances from our past 10-plus seasons, voted on by the viewers. So there’ll be some cool stuff.
Would you have ever guessed that some of the celebrities and pro dancers were bullied when they were kids? Well, they were and “fame and fortune doesn’t always erase the memories”. Here are a couple of snippets today from Access Hollywood. I love these messages of “rising above” it;
“[Corky Ballas and I] were both bullied as kids for different reasons,” Florence Henderson told Access, of she and her “Dancing with the Stars” partner. “We were so poor as kids — I’m the youngest of 10 kids, and they would make fun of me because, you know, I had a hole in my dress, or no shoes, or no school books. It’s hurtful.”
The “Dancing” cast member (and former “Mrs. Brady”) was able to push through the pain by keeping her sights set on her future goals.
“Inside I just thought, ‘That’s OK — I won’t let that get me down. I will be somebody, and you won’t, because you’re not a nice person,’” Florence said. “And I just held on to that.
“I held on to faith, and that I would make it. And I did,” she smiled.
Florence’s “Dancing” co-star, professional dancer Louis van Amstel, shared similar sentiments.
“Unfortunately, I was bullied as a fat kid and as a gay kid,” Louis said. “I mean, at the age of 10, being at school, being a dancer, they automatically assumed you were gay, and at the time, you don’t know what that means. I was 10 years old for crying out loud!”
Louis, who says becoming a “world champion in your field” is “the biggest revenge,” tasted a bit of victory over his childhood tormenters when he attended his 20th high school reunion last year.
“All those bulliers changed their tune because they’re still in their own hometown,” he smiled. “Some have been in jail, some are out of jobs, and look where I am — in Hollywood! It’s the biggest revenge.
“That’s my message for everyone who gets bullied: find something that you’re good at… put your mind, body and soul in it because when you grow up, you’ll look back as a stronger human being,” he added.
And for all of you Jennifer Grey and “HOUSE” fans like myself, we are in for a special treat. Jennifer is to guest star on the hit drama some time this month. According to EW Jennifer will find herself in a no-win situation with Dr. House…
Grey (filmed at the of July) will play Abbey, the mother of an infant daughter who is displaying signs of a life-threatening illness. As House and Co. investigate her daughter’s developing symptoms, Abbey is faced with a treatment decision for her newborn that could affect not only her baby’s life but her own.
If anyone knows the exact date of this episode, please let us know. Wow, is her career taking off again or what?
Lastly, if you’ve ever wanted to dance with the Pros, Grinya’s Entertainment is holding a Celebrity Dance Camp. So far, Tony Dovolani, Cheryl Burke, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Chelsie Hightower, Elena Grinenko, and Corky Ballas have all signed up.
Start your morning off by working your Cha Cha with Tony Dovolani , followed by sassing your technique with Cheryl Burke. Relax at the pool with some light lunch before hopping back in for an afternoon Waltz with Chelsie Hightower or a hot Salsa with Maksim Chmerkovskiy! Then ease into your evening with a lovely cocktail hour, followed by parties, live bands, DJs, and more! Never before have so many of the world’s best Celebrity Pros gathered in one place to teach YOU!
This Celebrity Dance Camp will be held Feb. 4th-6th in Burbank, California. If interested, read more details at Superstars Of The Ballroom.
Heidi Addition: Derek is auctioning an hour of dance lessons for charity with Charity Buzz. Proceeds go to Communities in Schools.
Ok, that’s it for now. Are we getting excited for Monday night yet?
I love how everything you can imagine now has odds given to it, including Dancing with the Stars. On online betting site just posted the early odds for Dancing with the Stars season 10. Yes, this is really early since we still don’t know who the professionals will be for Dancing with the Stars season 10. So, the odds are all based around the professionals that could be on DWTS 10. Check them out:
Derek Hough +600
Mark Ballas +700
Julianne Hough +750
Cheryl Burke +800
Maksim Chmerkovskiy +800
Lacey Schwimmer +800
Chelsea Hightower +1000
Dmitry Chaplin +1200
Karina Smirnoff +1400
Kym Johnson +1400
Alec Mazo +1600
Louis van Amstel +1800
Edyta Sliwinska +1800
Anna Demidova +2000
Tony Dovolani +2500
Anna Trebunskaya +2800
Jonathan Roberts +3000
Ashly DelGrosso +3300
Elena Grinenko +4500
Inna Brayer +4500
Corky Ballas +6600
Looks like Heidi’s not the only one that likes Derek Hough. This is a pretty interesting list since it basically compares the “star quality” of the pros I think. Nice to see that it corresponds really well with our list of Top Female DWTS Pros and Top Male DWTS Pros quite well.
Desire Street Ministries was founded in 1990 when Mo and Ellen Leverett moved into the neighborhood surrounding the Desire Housing Project in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. This area has often rated one of the worst in the nation for crime, drugs and poverty.
In 2002, the ministry opened Desire Street Academy for African-American junior and senior high males, in a new multi-purpose ministry, school and recreation facility built on the same property.
Topping the bill were Tony Dovolani and Elena Grinenko from the TV show “Dancing With the Stars.” Top-notch local talent was provided by U.S. ballroom champs Eric Luna and Georgia Ambarian, as well as medal winners Jesse Benedetti and Kimalee Piedad. Kelly Madison from Chapel of the Cross contributed several powerful and moving vocals.
“Dancing already involves a lot of emotions,” Dovolani said at practice, “but when you know you’re doing it for a great cause, every movement, every count, every look matters, because you’re helping to change someone’s life.”