So I think it’s been established that, as a professional dancer, Heather is pretty ringery, in terms of DWTS. I would even go so far as to say she’s the ringiest ringer the show has ever had – although judging from some of the chatter I’ve seen here, on Twitter, and on Facebook, some of you don’t agree. And there’s also those that don’t really seem to understand what some fans of the show are so upset about – “So Heather’s a dancer? Big deal, so was Nicole/Shawn/Amber/etc.” And it’s those comparisons to other previous ringers on the show that seem to contribute to some of the misunderstanding of just how ringery Heather really is – so I put this together to address some of the questions I’ve gotten about “Well what about [insert previous contestant here]? He/She was a big ringer, too!”
Let me start off by recapping Heather’s background for those who don’t really know it: Heather’s been dancing since she was 9 years old, and has trained in jazz, tap, and contemporary, primarily. She tried out for season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance, and made it through Vegas week to the “Green Mile” (the stage of the competition where the judges select who will and won’t advance to live shows) but was not chosen as one of the final top 20. She landed a gig dancing backup for Beyonce in 2007, and also nabbed a number of small dance roles in various TV shows and movies. She was eventually brought to the Glee set in 2009 to help teach the “Single Ladies” dance to some of the cast, and was so well-liked by the cast & crew that Ryan Murphy actually created the role of Brittany for her. So to be clear: Heather started off as a PROFESSIONAL DANCER – she only dabbled (only semi-successfully, I might add) in acting & singing as a result of her role on Glee. She is a dancer that (kinda) acts and sings – not the other way around. Yes, this is an important distinction to make – and generally the biggest factor that sets her apart from previous ringers. Read more..
Special thanks to Maria (@chilosa2004)! She sent us video and photos of Anna Trebunskaya, Dmitry Chaplin, Charlie White, and Meryl Davis performing in “Shall We Dance On Ice” in Las Vegas. They also sent us some fun photos. Maria said the show was “fantastic….all the amazing dancing and ice skating!” It’s so good to see them all again….and in such beautiful form too.
So with the Olympics in Rio drawing to a close this coming Sunday (and the pros starting to meet their partners later this week), there’s obviously been speculation that we’re going to see some Olympians on the show this season – seems like Ryan Lochte & Simone Biles are the two most talked-about when it comes to casting rumors. Which got the Pure Angels thinking about all the previous Olympians we’ve seen on the show, and how well (or not well…) they did. So why not take a look back at every Olympian (from both the summer AND winter games) that’s ever done DWTS, and see how they stack up?
The main rankings are mine, but Heidi, Vogue, & I all had slightly different rankings when it came to the top 10 – so you can see their individual top 10’s at the bottom. I’ve included videos of a few of the dances we mention, to jog memories – lord knows ours needed jogging from time to time 😯
Interesting patterns? Gymnasts and skaters seemed to fare the best, and tennis players and boxers tended not to leave much of an impression on any the three of us. I think we all universally agreed on at least the bottom 2 on the list – they were THAT bad 🙁 Read more..
Former Dancing With The Stars pro, Cheryl Burke, has a new dance show premiering in Japan called “Love On The Floor. You can read all about it at US Weekly. It stars Charlie White, Meryl Davis, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Daisuke Takahashi. Cheryl also talks on Dancing With The Stars and why she left which you can read about in the take below as well as how she’d like to bring “Love On The Floor” to Las Vegas and Broadway next. I so hope she can.
“Another reason why I felt like my time was up was because I wanted to achieve my goal as a performer. … I’m 32 years old. I felt like, ‘How about me? What can I do to make myself as a performer think outside the box and grow and motivate and inspire myself before my hips stop working?’” she continues.
“Now I’m dancing with kids — and now I know how the celebrities feel!” Burke says. “Not only am I directing, I’m creating, I’m editing the music, I’m coordinating everyone’s schedule — I feel like I’m running a start-up company!”
The dancer says performing with younger artists has also inspired her again after the lack of time to do anything new led her to think she wasn’t a great dancer. But she isn’t blaming her time on DWTS for creating the self-doubt.
“I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t done DWTS, and I love DWTS,” She says. “But everything is meant to be. DWTS has given me a platform to be able to do something like this.”
And after her Tokyo residency? Burke says she’d “love to take the show and do a residency in Vegas! I could see it on Broadway as well.”
@Idolxfactor1 was able to catch some video highlights of Paul Mitchell’s Shall We Dance that aired on ABC yesterday. Below are a few videos. To see more, go to Idol XFactor here. Thanks Al! I missed it and cant wait to watch!
Be sure to watch Paul Mitchell’s Shall We Dance on Ice this Saturday, February 13th or on Saturday February 27th on ABC. It includes Dancing With The Stars pros Chelsie Hightower, Dmitry Chaplin, Anna Trebunskaya and Damian Whitewood. Rumer Willis, Meryl Davis, and Charlie White are also part of the show. Below is a fun promo.
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.
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.
So I was eating my lunch outside today (since it was the first day in quite some time that wasn’t rainy) with some coworkers, when the topic of my favorite DWTS contestant of all-time, Alfonso Ribeiro, came up. We had been talking about the celebrity golf tournament he was in this past weekend (Vogue reported on it here, if you haven’t seen it yet), and the fact that he did the Carlton, and I think I said “He’s probably the best male dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” To which another coworker replied “Nah, Corbin Bleu was the best dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” And of course, a debate commenced over who was the better technician, who was the better entertainer, who was more athletic, etc. etc. etc. We ended up agreeing to disagree, but it got me thinking: really & truly, out of the 20 seasons we’ve had – who is the best guy we’ve seen, and who’s the best girl?
I did a bit of a snap poll on Twitter, but I figured “Why not make it a bit more official?” and do an actual poll here? So below, I picked the most likely candidates for who would likely qualify for “best dancer” on DWTS – most would probably fall under the “ringer” category, but that’s kind of expected when we’re voting on dance skills alone. Keep in mind that it’s not about popularity, or how well-known they were when they did the show – just dance skills & presentation, period; and independent of any previous training they might have had – so no “Well so-and-so was better because they had no previous experience and were great and that’s what DWTS is all about!!!” Strictly voting on dance skills/showmanship alone, kids.
Obviously, I voted for Alfonso for the men – I think he was the most consistent of all the male ringers we’ve had, and also the best showman; I also think part of his appeal was that he was a really organic, natural mover that seemed to really get into the pocket of whatever dance was thrown his way, even if he had no previous experience with it. While I agreed with my coworker that Corbin was more athletic and likely had more refined technique than Alfonso, I think he wasn’t as much of a natural as Alfonso and had to work harder to appear at ease with the movement of some of the dances – which didn’t always work, and made him a lot less consistent throughout his season.
For the ladies, it wasn’t as cut-and-dry for me – my knee-jerk answer was Nicole, but then I remembered she had some ups-and-downs and some dances that she wasn’t naturally good at (her first rumba and her samba come to mind); then I thought of Meryl, but while her technique was usually flawless, I remember thinking she sometimes lacked in the showmanship department, and could be a timid mover at times. Then I thought of Kristi Yamaguchi, who was a strong dancer AND entertainer, but I remember thinking that she seemed to always have that skater’s “perma-smile” that made her look a tad cheesy at times. As surprising as this may be for some of you, I actually ended up picking Zendaya as the best female dancer we’ve seen on the show – for a lot of the same reasons I picked Alfonso: she was consistent, she was a showman, and she was a very NATURAL mover. Granted, I thought Val failed her in the choreography department on multiple occasions (which may have eventually prevented her from winning, I think), and I didn’t love every single dance; but I do think she probably had the best skill set to work with, and seemed the most comfortable out on the floor.
So what do YOU guys think? Vote in the polls below, and then tell us how you voted & why 🙂