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DWTS Henry Byalikov’s Advice For Ice Dancers Meryl Davis And Charlie White, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev

Several of you have expressed that you are interested and follow Figure Skating. We have another year to wait until the 2014 Winter Olympics, but, in order to qualify, one requirement is that the skaters have to place in the World Figure Skating Championships that take place this year. Since the last Olympics, I’ve had a special eye on ice dancers and reigning five-time U.S. champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Being “ice dance has been described as an interpretation of ballroom dancing on ice“, The Ice Network has asked Dancing With The Stars pro Henry Byalikov to give his advise and thoughts on them and European champions Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia. Here are a couple of takes for what Henry has advised for each couple. Note too while reading that former Dancing With The Stars pro Elena Grinenko has been advising and helping to choreograph many routines for Meryl Davis and Charlie White these past few years. I saw a vast improvement in their dancing after she was brought into the picture. Read on for Henry’s thoughts….

For Meryl Davis and Charlie White:

This is one of the rare times that I have watched such an inspired, emotionally driven performance by a skating duo. In particular, I was drawn to the Baryshnikov-esque passion exhibited authentically, throughout the performance, in different shades and colors, by Charlie. He comes across seamless and incredibly fluid, and I’m extremely impressed with his performance.

In my opinion, passion is the most important element in any performance art, and it’s a very difficult tightrope walk to achieve that balance between technical and emotional prowess. Nevertheless, this couple certainly delivers in those aspects.

The connection between them is strong and expressive, while maintaining enough subtlety to perform the more sensitive moments of the routine. From the opening move to the closing, their portrayal of opposition, and yet desire for one another, was a highlight of this performance for me.

Looking into the future, from my perspective, I would be focusing on Meryl and Charlie’s extensions and posture.

For Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev:

An expressive image to start and end with, she breathes life into her creation only to have her life taken away by the very thing she conceived. This was a brilliant story and piece of choreography, both coming together seamlessly to deliver the perfect platform for art.

The first major lift was executed flawlessly, with a spectacular dismount emphasizing Ekaterina’s stunning flexibility. I feel this routine highlighted Ekaterina’s expressive ability, exceptional flexibility and charisma.

Dmitri demonstrates his partnering ability strongly and his expression, although at times his posture and arms may benefit from a balletic approach to convey more of a finished look to his lines and movements.

Since they perform pseudo pirouettes en retire or sur le cou de pied positions quite often, they should try to match each other, as well as improve the visual appeal of the turn, by choosing the same level at which to connect the free leg to the standing leg, i.e. at the knee or at the ankle, a similar position they utilize before the performance has even started.

You can read the full article and more of Henry’s thoughts and advice for them at The Ice Network. Fascinating!!

For those interested, be sure tune into the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ontario March 10th – March 17th to see how these couples fair out. It’s going to be an interesting year for sure!!

February 15, 2013 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.

Former DWTS Pro Elena Grinenko Choreographs For The World’s Top Ice Dancing Pairs

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!


Meryl Davis & Charlie White – Progressive… by GrinyasEntertainment

For those interested, here is a TV Schedule of the ice skating events taking place in the next couple of months where you can watch these couples and other ice skaters dance.

December 2, 2011 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.