Though ABC has no official comment on the news ahead of the full cast reveal on Good Morning America next week, a source confirms the 20-year-old member of the hit girl pop group and global ambassador for the American cancer society will compete on the dance competition’s 24th season.
They also confirm Sharna is back…
A second source confirms that dance pro Sharna Burgess will be returning. She joins confirmed pros Witney Carson, brothers Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy and Maks’ fiancée Peta Murgatroyd, who will hit the dance floor just two and a half months after giving birth to son Shai Aleksander.
Maks Chmerkovksiy has written some thoughts and advise for each of the remaining couples at his new blog at Entertainment Weekly. I’m agreeing with everything he’s written except the part on Derek and how he’s not supportive and making an effort with choreo, etc, for Marilu, but, I do agree that she doesn’t seem comfortable and she just needs to have fun. More below including Miss Heidi’s thoughts. Let us know what you think too. Maks also makes a Prediction on who will make the Finals: Laurie, Calvin, and James.
Marilu and Derek:
I think this is the first time we’ve seen Derek in a role he’s not used to. It’s the role of not being the best couple in the competition, nor having a partner who can do things the way he wants her to.
We always see similarities from season to season — all of us pros recycle stuff. Having several years of DWTS experience, we know there are weeks that are easier than others. We know a set of steps that we can put in that will impress, we know a set of lifts that we can put in that will impress, we know some choreography pieces that we can do over and over. I’m not saying this in a bad way at all — it’s just the way it is.
But I think maybe Derek is attempting this and it’s not working. Marilu is a different person than other people he’s worked with. I don’t doubt that he puts an effort into choreography and stylizing the dance and trying to make her look her best. But when he hits a wall and sees that she’s not responding the way he wants her to, I think he just gives up and moves on. She needs something that needs to be styled for her, so Derek’s signature fast footwork doesn’t really work. She needs to be a little bit smoother, and maybe slower action, or different song styles.
To me Marilu seems like she wants this the most — she genuinely loves the show and loves to do this, but it seems like she has zero fun. The look in her eyes as soon as she messed up just seems like she’s not comfortable in the situation. And Derek just doesn’t seem supportive enough. You can get frustrated (believe me, I know this) but then you have to come back and figure it out, work together, and try something else. You change your approach, and sometimes change your own personal style for the benefit of your partner.
Like I said I’m not innocent; I’ve obviously had issues and been frustrated with a partner in this competition, so I get it. But I feel like I’ve come back and adjusted my approach and made the best of a situation. Not everyone comes into the competition being great, but it’s a matter of adjusting to have the best outcome, and more than anything, being professional.
Heidi: Maks has thought that Derek always had great partners for YEARS. To claim that this is the first time that Derek hasn’t had the best dancer is moronic at best – me thinks Maks still has a hard on for Derek and his only explanation for those six trophies is that “Derek always gets great partners”. Jealous much? Not only has Maks’ read on the show always been WAY off base (and not just about Derek, but in general), but he’s never understood the show and how it works. That much is obvious from his own lack of trophies except that one that was manufactured for him. And that he’s giving advice to DEREK of all people is beyond laughable. Derek is the one who changes tack with all his partners until he finds what works – Maks is the one who is rigid and unbending (that he thinks otherwise is delusional). The proof is in the pudding, dude. But most of all – that he doesn’t acknowledge that the packages don’t tell the whole story – something he’s complained about in the past – is just idiotic. But then…our sources have said that many of HIS packages were accurate because there was nothing good to show. So maybe he’s projecting. 😉
….Maks Chmerkovksiy as we reported on last night in the Pro Watch post. Maks is excited. He couldn’t stay away for all the relationships he’s had with the show. Also, he is in the shape of his life after touring this summer to take it on. Stay tuned for video courtesy of @Idolxfactor1 shortly.
Thanks to @Idolxfactor1 for recording all the Good Morning America coverage of Dancing With The Stars last night. Bindi Irwin and Maks Chmerkovksiy weighed in on the dances. Maks also mentioned how there will be a preview of the “Our Way” tour on the show tonight. I can’t wait. More below…
While visiting Miami Beach, Florida, Peta Murgatroyd and Maks Chmerkovskiy attended the Samsung celebration for Alec Monopoly’s LEVEL Headphones Collaboration held at Soho Beach House on Wednesday night. Then last night, “Sway: A Dance Trilogy” premiered In Miami. You can view some fun photos and videos below. If you want to see more, visit the Official Sway twitter and Facebook accounts.
Peta Murgatroyd talked with the Miami Herald about the new “Sway” show. She says it’s nothing like the Dancing With The Stars tour and it’s more theatrical. She also talks of how fun Ballroom dancing is and how it keeps you in shape. Lots more below….
“Ballroom dancing is no longer a thing your grandparents did, the dorky thing you didn’t want to admit you’re doing,” says Murgatroyd, 29, from rehearsals in Los Angeles. “This is something freaking amazing to do. Keeps you fit and healthy, and it’s an incredible art form that inspires people.”
Sway taps into that feeling and the ballroom revival fueled by the splashy TV dance shows.
“These kind of shows, like Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, brought it back for people to fall in love with again. [They have] given children and teens a greater purpose to be creative, so it’s good for the art form,” Murgatroyd says.
Sway, however, is not the Dancing With the Stars Tour redux. It’s more theatrical, Murgatroyd says. Divided into three parts, it delves into the lives of its pro dancers.
Sway opens with a debonair Dovolani leading a production number meant to evoke the nightclub scene of 1940s and ’50s Manhattan.
Val brings an emphasis on hip-hop, street and urban influences to the second act. Then Maks, with Murgatroyd, brings South Beach to the mainland for a fusion of salsa, rumba and cha cha.
“It’s about the three boys — Maks, Tony and Val — and their journeys to America, and what that means to them,” Murgatroyd says.
“It’s amazing because I have no roots in South America. I’m Eastern European, so it’s very strange that I’ve always been drawn to that culture, and it’s kind of exciting,” Maks said.
Murgatroyd, born in Auckland, New Zealand, and raised in Perth, Australia, similarly finds herself attracted to Latin rhythms.
“I must say my favorite dances in the show are during my section,” she says. “I love the passionate, fiery dances. I don’t get to tell my story about coming to America, but I get to do the dances I love like the salsa and rumba and cha cha. I like creating a story when I dance, and those dances do that with love and lust and anger and pain, and the cha cha is cheery. I like exploring those things. Perfect for Miami.”
To read more, see the Miami Herald. Show dates for “SWAY: A Dance Trilogy” is scheduled for December 3-6, 2015 (5 shows) in Miami. For tickets visit: www.swayshow.com.
ETA: Here is Local 10 with a sneak preview and interviews with Maks, Peta, and Rumer….
ETA2: Below Maks talks with the Examiner. To read the full interview, see this link. Note how they are ending “Sway” after the Miami run and are thinking of touring nation wide and do a different production.
JE: In this installment of “Sway,” You will reunite with your fellow “Dancing with the Stars” Season 18 co-champion: Meryl Davis. What is it like to have the opportunity to work with her once again?
MC: Meryl was a part of the last two SWAY productions. She loves performing with the cast and I love working with her. I think that we try to stay close as friends and maintain this relationship that was developed on DWTS. I think we have succeeded! We have a lot of mutual friends on that stage and she is going to have an amazing time as she did in the last couple of installments.
JE: While Meryl and Rumer Willis (Val’s Season 20 co-champion) will be participating in this go-around of “SWAY,” would you like to have some of your former “DWTS” partners perform in future installments?
MC: (Laughs) I think we are good! I think that SWAY is now in its ultimate form. One of our main goals was not to turn SWAY into a Dancing with the Stars homage. Meryl, Rumer and everybody else from DWTS are characters in SWAY. We are not ourselves, we represent characters that drive our show’s storyline. We asked and attracted people that we thought could fill those roles and that was Meryl and Rumer. Zendaya also has done very well in previous installments, but unfortunately she was unable to participate this time around. There will be opportunities in the future where I could possibly work with my past partners. I am always open to working with them again.
JE: If “SWAY” has a successful run in Miami, would a nationwide tour be in the foreseeable future?
MC: (Laughs) There has always been talk about taking the show nationwide. SWAY was the very first show that a lot of us had in producing a show of this size. We (as a company and creative team) know that we can do it. But, after this SWAY installment, we are going to go back to the drawing board. We have other ideas and scripts on the table that we want to entertain, if we want to go on that side of the business. We certainly feel like that Dance With Me as a production company can tackle a show of this magnitude successfully. However, I think we are going to end the run of SWAY after our Miami performances. These upcoming shows will be sentimental and it will be anchored by the South Beach vibe. It was always our ultimate goal to perform SWAY in Miami! The next step is probably going to involve a different production and that will be focused with a nationwide tour in mind. This show was not born to travel; it was created for us to experiment. This experience was just like baking a cake! The first time you made the cake too big, because you did not know your proportions. (Laughs) SWAY is way too big for both travel and production. We are going to trim it, use some ideas that we did not think that we could tackle and we are going to put on a show for everyone to love and fall in love with.
I couldn’t help but post this news on Maks Chmerkovksiy, but, my heart was so warmed when I saw it. Apparently, Maks surpised an 82-Year-Old Dancing with the Stars fan with a private dance lesson. Be sure to read about it in full at People. Also below are some photos of Maks and Peta Murgatroyd at the Casamigos Tequila Halloween Party on October 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California
Hankins, 82, was invited for a private dance lesson with instructor Johnny Carvalho, but had no idea Chmerkovskiy would be there. After her lesson with one of Chmerkovskiy’s pros, the DWTS alum surprised her with a meet and greet and a hug.
“She’s so passionate and an amazing person,” Chmerkovskiy told PEOPLE after the surprise. “Dancing means the same to me as it means to her. We’ve both done it when we were younger and it’s something that you never really stop wanting to do and stop wanting to enjoy.”
Hankins said her favorite dances are the waltz and the cha-cha and she always enjoyed Chmerkovskiy’s work when he was on DWTS.
“He’s always really good,” Hankins said. “I thought it would be nice to be able to dance with that man!”
Hankins, whose husband John has passed away, was born in Oakland, New Jersey and has a son, daughter and two grandchildren. Though she has been dancing since she was 5 and used to practice every week, she has been unable to dance regularly during the past few years due to health issues.
Maks Chmerkovskiy talked with People about his relationship with Peta Murgatroyd. It take some effort to keep seeing her being she’s on tour, but, they are happier than ever. He also says he and Val never disagree on anything with an exception to politics. More below and at the link.
Chmerkovskiy, 35, says he and his on-again/off-again girlfriend, who have been romantically linked since 2012, could not be happier. “Everything’s amazing,” he gushed. “She’s awesome.”
As for another of relationship that scores a perfect 10, the bad boy of ballroom told PEOPLE that he and brother Val – DWTS’s reigning champ – have never squabbled, not even as children: “You grow up with constant reminders [from your parents] that, ‘When we … die, it’s just the two of you.’ You can’t be fighting. … We never fought. We never argued.”
There is one exception to their harmony. Chmerkovskiy notes, “We’ve disagreed on some political issues. I am [a] very right[-wing] kind of type; he’s very liberal.”
Tony Dovolani also talked with People about wanting to be a judge on Dancing With The Stars and he thinks he’d make a great one (hmmmm, I’m not liking the sounds of that idea at all).
“I would love to judge, and I think I would be a great judge,” Dovolani told PEOPLE at the 10th anniversary party for Dance With Me, a chain of dance studios co-founded by Dovolani’s fellow DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
“Considering I’ve had so many different partners, I know the road that every single one of those partners has taken. It’s not like I’ve always had the ringers,” Dovolani said, making a convincing argument for why he could follow in the footsteps of Julianne Hough, who moved from the ballroom floor to the judges’ table in 2014.
“I’ve had the challenges. I’ve had the ringers. I’ve had the ones that needed to be worked on. [I’ve had] the ones that were going through tough times in their lives. So I feel like I would be a great judge,” continued Dovolani – who has previously partnered with NeNe Leakes and Leah Remini, and who took home the All-Stars season’s Mirrorball Trophy with Melissa Rycroft.
Even if he doesn’t become a judge in the immediate future, Dovolani still plans to remain part of the ballroom competition: “I think my dancing shoes are still not done,” he said. “I can do whatever they want me to do because I love the show. I love what it represents. I love what it does for people. So in any capacity that I’m involved with Dancing with the Stars, I’m very happy to do it.”