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DWTS16: Introducing our NEW TROUPE MEMBERS!

Well DWTSers, it looks like they’re expanding the Troupe this year, from 6 dancers to 8! Sharna was promoted out of the troupe this season, so we knew we would get at least one new pro troupe members. Instead, we get THREE!

First, ELENA SAMODANOVA… She comes to us from Australia’s DWTS, like Gleb, who is one of our new teaching pros.

Elena was born in a dance family so she started dancing before walking. Since her infant years Elena has always been on the dance floor dancing to all different styles of music..

During her youth Elena has won many Russian championships and awards in Latin American and Ballroom genres internationally.
Elena became a professional dancer at the tender age of 16 and she became the “World Youngest Professional Latin American Dancer” and soon after such, Elena was ranked the Top 20 dance couple in the world ranking in Latin American genre. Even since she has been performing, teaching and competing all over Europe and Asia.

The next decade marked further special achievements in Elena’s career in which she won many more international competitions and championships around the world. In 2009 she hit the Top 10 professional dancers in the World ranking of Latin American. Elena’s titles include being the Asian Professional Champion, Hong Kong Champion, Japanese Champion, Singaporean Champion and England Champion.

Elena has obtained her official certificate as a professional Latin American and Ballroom professional dance teacher and has the highest credentials and qualifications to teach in Russia, Hong Kong, England and Australia.
At this moment Elena Samodanova is the National Australian Professional Latin American Champion having won the 4 major dance titles down under and as a result she will now be representing Australian on the next World Dance Championship this November. This year Elena also makes her DANCING WITH THE STARS debut.

ADDING: What fun! I finally realized that I could possibly find more about our new troupe dancers on You Tube! Elena WAS on DWTS Australia, but my computer wasn’t cooperating with me to play any of those videos! However, I DID find one of her dancing the Paso with Gleb! And, since he’s a New Pro, and one we HAVEN’T seen dance yet, here’s our opportunity!
Elena and Gleb dancing Paso at a private function, 2009(ish)

Second, WITNEY CARSON… Witney competed this past summer on So You Think You Can Dance along side her friend Lindsay, who is now one of our new teaching pros.

Witney Carson was born and raised in American Fork, UT. Witney has been dancing since the age of 3; training, performing, and competing has been her life. Her specialty dance is Ballroom. She recently graduated from American Fork High School, and is ready to start her new adult life!

ADDING: A video from SYTYCD, which seems to be the first week of competition?? (I didn’t watch) She’s dancing Samba with her partner Chehon.
Witney and Chehon, “So You Think You Can Dance” 2012

Third, JULZ TOCKER…

Unfortunately, my search has come up scarce, and all I could find on Julz is what’s on his twitter bio, Dancing With The Stars season 16 cast member. International Ballroom and Latin American Champion, Dance Teacher/Coach, Model, Actor and a whole lot more people. That, and he has Gleb and Jason Gilikson on his facebook friends list.

ADDING: Julz was dancing in Australia on the show, “Everybody Dance Now 2012” which ran only one season, and was cancelled. I did find one video with him dancing with his partner Annalisa. He’s in the first 5 minutes of the video…
Julz and Annalisa, “Everybody Dance Now” Australia 2012

If you know or can find anything more on Elena, Witney or Julz, PLEASE let us know in the comments, with url or documentation, and we’ll add it and credit you. Unfortunately, all 3 are new to me.

Rounding out the troupe are returning members SASHA FARBER, EMMA SLATER, HENRY BYALIKOV, OKSANA DYMTRENKO, SONNY PEDERSEN.

ADDED: A couple videos from @ButterflyWhirl, thank you!

Witney, Lindsay and Nick doing a ballroom trio, SYTYCD 2012
Elena and her partner Shannon Noll, DWTS Australia 2012

March 15, 2013 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dancing with the Stars Season 16 – PRO WATCH!!

The post started getting long and confusing, so I decided to move the current standings up to the top of the page. There are supposedly 12 couples, so things can still get interesting. :-)

Current Standings:

Male Pros
Derek
Val
Tony
Mark
Gleb Savchenko
Tristan

Female Pros
Cheryl
Lindsay
Sharna
Peta??
Karina
Kym

Out For the Season
Chelsie
Anna
Maks (???)
Lacey
Louis

ETA: See Karina’s facebook and Lacey’s twitter for the source of my latest updates. Late on Saturday before the announcement and we still have some HOLES in our roster. Hmmmmm…
ETA2: DWTSGossip tells someone that Tristan is in, but doesn’t actually tweet it outright. Uncertain?

ETA3: Louis tweets that he’s not going to be on this season, which is not too big of a surprise.  An ambiguous tweet from @DWTSGossip makes us wonder if Maks really is out or not…and it appears as though Lizzie Grubman may have flown to LA yesterday.  Emma confirms she’s in the troupe again this season (and is not a pro), which leaves us wondering: who is this mysterious 12th pro??? 😯

ETA4: And the mysterious fourth pro appears to be Gleb?? It is very obnoxious of me to say this just cuz I’ve never heard of the guy…but is this a joke??

ETA5: And I must give props to Miss Sally for picking up on the suspicious “What a beautiful day!” comment Kym tweeted at 4:26 AM Sydney time – which is actually 9:26 AM Los Angeles time…because DWTSGossip is reporting Kym is IN as the last female pro 😎 Looks like Tristan has also been confirmed as the final male pro, which leaves Maks & Henry out in the cold.  Interesting…

Confirmed Sooper Troupers
Witney Carson (according to Grant’s source)
Sasha Farber
Emma Slater

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Read more..

February 17, 2013 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Mark Ballas Interviewed About Provo Show, Dancing With The Stars, and More

ABC 4 interviewed Mark Ballas today about his gig, “An Evening With Mark Ballas” tonight in Provo, Utah. Derek Hough, Oksana Dmytrenko, and some dancers from Strictly Come Dancing will be dancing tonight as well. Mark also talks about his longtime friendship with Derek, his music, and Dancing With The Stars. You can listen to this new three part interview and listen to him perform a song at ABC 4.

January 28, 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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

DWTS Season 15, Week 1 – The Cheesecake Awards!!!!

Well kids, we’re back & snarky/juvenile/perverse/etc!  😛 And for those of you not accustomed to our particular brand of humor – consider yourself warned.  We swear, we get innuendo-y, we make fart jokes, and we call people out for being stupid on the show.  If you are hypersensitive/lack a sense of humor/are a prude/whatever, you probably should just skip this post altogether…and you sure as hell better not comment on it.  Because any Debbie Downers/Bobby Buzzkills lurking in the comments section will be deleted without a 2nd thought.  Consider this the party post – party poopers need not apply, because we have plenty of fellow freaks who love to party along with our special brand of humor.  Party on, Wayne 😉

The “C U Next Tuesday” Award: Carrie Ann Inaba, for repeatedly calling out Tom for cutting her off

Courtney: We learned pretty quickly on Monday whether we’d get cool Carrie Ann or bitter, angry Carrie Ann this season – and I think she made it pretty clear it’s definitely the latter.  Look, CAI, I get it: your fairytale engagement didn’t result in a fairytale wedding, and you’re probably not too happy about that.  But did you really have to repeatedly heckle EMMY AWARD-WINNING HOST Tom Bergeron for cutting your commentary on Joey & Kym’s cha-cha off early? It was pretty obvious the show was moving at breakneck speed in order to fit everyone in, and I daresay that, being the EMMY AWARD -WINNING HOST of a LIVE reality tv show, Tom Bergeron knows a thing or two about effectively fitting into a time frame while still being entertaining – plus he probably had the Muppets upstairs screaming in his earpiece to move things along.  I highly doubt whatever long-winded critique you were going to offer up was all that insightful, CAI – it seldom is.  Yet your excessive self-importance forced you to interrupt things not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES to remind everyone that Tom cut you off – who’s the asshat now?

Heidi: My brother texted me during the show to call CAI names….then commented that her tampon is in sideways. :-)  Yes, that is my family…we tend toward gross at times. But also very apropos.  But seriously, don’t heckle The Berg, biotch. It’s not all about you. Hard to believe, I know.

Courtney: Looks like someone had a bad case of Emmy Envy.  😛

The “Deeerrrrp” Award: Chelsie Hightower, for getting confused over the native languages of Brazil & South America; (dis)honorable mention – Val Chmerkovskiy, for not really knowing what Kelly did for a living

Courtney: “Wait…they speak Spanish in South America???” I’d like to think this was taken out of context, but from the puzzled look on Chelsie’s face…I doubt it was.  And by the earnest expression on Val’s face as he asked “Oh, you work in a hospital?”, I’m gonna venture a guess that “catching up on the soaps” is not on Val’s list of hobbies 😛

Heidi: Both were hilarious…but I was yelling at my TV, saying “Chelsie, STOP talking, yer makin’ it worse”, while laughing at her.  Val I thought was just endearing…and for Kelly, humbling. 😀

Couple’s Schtick That is Most Likely To Get Old VERY Quickly: Sabrina & Louis reminding everyone that Sabrina was voted in and this season is “all about redemption”; (dis)honorable mention for Derek’s short jokes and Kelly & Val’s pattycaking

Courtney: I just think the short jokes are corny 😛 And I guess I would just rather see Kelly & Val doing something other than pattycaking…something more…intimate.  😉 Maybe if they were playing pattycake with their face.  LOL 😛 But the Sabrina & Louis “the viewers chose us to be here!” and “this is all about redemption because Sabrina left too early” poppycock is just beyond annoying at this point.  If that’s their big reason why people should vote for them – then they must not be that special, because every week that any of the couples is sticking around, is a week they are being “chosen” by the viewers, since they’re obviously getting votes.  And you want to talk about “redemption”? Gilles was narrowly beat out for the MBT by a mere 1%.  Joey & Kirstie are both 2nd place finishers; Bristol finished 3rd in her season, and was pretty unpopular.  Drew, Kelly, & Emmitt are all trying to prove that the earlier champions are every bit as good as the newer ones. I daresay any of the names I just mentioned have a greater hunger for “redemption” than a 7th place finisher who just couldn’t get the votes to stick around in season 5…and has been reminding us about it ever since.

Heidi: Eh, I don’t mind the short jokes and Derek usually recognizes the shelf life of  joke in general. (I have to say, though, that the harassment he got from one Shawn fan freak on Twitter was OTT – yo, Derek ain’t the one that looks bad here, nutjob!) Also didn’t mind the patty caking – was rather amazed by that, actually. Not sure I could do that without a shit ton of beer to relax me.  :-) But the Sabrina crap is in a whole other league from those other two because we’ve been hearing for YEARS about her (not) shocking elimination. Talk about drinking game potential. Get the fuck over it already! I’m about ready to stick a pen in my eye.  Guess what kids – you were voted in over Carson and Kyle, NOT the rest of the cast. You better hope like hell that Team Sabrina is a lot bigger than I suspect it is. Read more..

September 29, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Congratulations to Tom Bergeron, Emmy Winner!!

Tom Bergeron won the Emmy for outstanding Reality Host tonight! Very well deserved and its about damn time!

His acceptance speech was quintessential Bergeron, closing by thanking Jeff Probst for not being nominated. :-)

ADDING: Vogue here and here are some fun photos from the night of Tom and Carrie Anne in their finest at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California!

Lots more pictures of the night at Zimbio Pictures and Getty Images including judge Bruno Tonioli and former contestants from Dancing With The Stars.

Troupe member Oksana Dmytrenko also posted this picture of herself and John Birkitt going to the Emmy’s at her facebook page. What do you think? Just beautiful!

September 23, 2012 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS15 Troupe Update: Dancing In India and Australia, Black Tie Affairs, And More

So, it’s official. Dancing pros Henry Byalikov, Sasha Farber, Sharna Burgess and Emma Slater will all be returning for the new All Star Season of Dancing With The Stars according to their twitter and Facebook accounts. Oksana Dmytrenko hasn’t confirmed, but, I think she’s returning as well being nothing has been said otherwise (let us know if you know more?). Sadly, Kiki Nyemchek will not be returning. It’s going to be interesting to see who fills his spot. Any ideas or wishes? I’d like to suggest Jonathan Platero! More on that in a sec.

In other updates on the Troupe currently. Henry just got back from Australia. He helped with the new season of “Dance Academy ABC” due to air in the middle of 2013. Things are really starting to happen for this fan loving Troupe member. It’s going to be a big year for him. Don’t forget how he helped and is starring in one of the most anticipated movies of 2012 to be released soon “The Great Gatsby”.

Oksana has had a busy summer doing several black tie events. Below she danced a rumba with “So You Think You Can Dance” pro Jonathan Platero to Beyonce’s Sweet Dreams at a recent event. Incredible. Can you see why I think he might be a good replacement for Kiki?

You can also watch Oksana dance at a recent showing with Derek Hough at Pure Derek Hough. They are way steamy and so powerful.

And then there is Sasha Farber and girlfriend, Emma Slater. These past weeks, the two have been lighting up India in their version of Dancing With The Stars. According to Sasha, the episode with them airs this weekend. Check out this cool coverage of them. It’s fun to see Dancing With The Stars catching on in so many countries and how it’s different for the way they compete too.

And, last but, not least, we can’t forget about Sharna Burgess. You can see all of our recent updates with her here. She recaps her summer with us at this link. What a star as recently she also helped kids on skid row have a fun day and get them ready to go back to school. Stay tuned! According to twitter, Sharna will be filming her first commercial. I’ll be curious to see what this is all about.

September 8, 2012 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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

DWTS “Who Wore it Better?” – The Pre-Season 15 All-Star Edition, Part I!

This season, we opted to do things a bit differently – as we have with just about every other regular feature we do each season, since the format is a bit wacky, to say the least 😛 First, we’ve divided WWIB into two parts – mainly to accomodate the fact that Kirstie & Maks’ and the 13th couple’s (who we now know to be Sabrina & Louis) promo photos have yet to be released, but also to buy us some time for the labor-intensive task of finding good pictures for some of these :-) Secondly, we’ve included the couples’ promo photos from their original seasons for comparison as well.  But as always, we’ve offered up our usual snark commentary on each of the costumes, for your enjoyment 😎

Battle of the turquoise & black lace corset dress/Kelly & Alec vs. Kelly & Val:  Kelly & Alec’s season 1 promo pic vs. Kelly & Val’s season 15 promo pic vs. Edyta in the season 9 pro tango demo

Courtney: The Iceman cometh! Wow, even Alec’s promo pic screams “I have no emotions” to me.  And while Kelly is a bit better, I still wish she’d actually smile in her promo pics – the whole “smoldery non-smile” she does just seems like she’s trying too hard to me.  And I’m probably the only one that feels this way, judging from some of everyone’s initial comments on the promo photos, but I’m not really all that wild about Kelly & Val’s pic…you’ll see I’m not much of a fan of the couples that went the “smoldery” route with their promo pix.  As for the costume itself – gotta go with Edyta on this one.  Granted, it’s hard to hold a candle to Edyta in pretty much ANY costume, but I think I like it better with a lace skirt, as opposed to a fringed one.  And while I was cursing under my breath while putting this edition together about how BAD some of the costumes have gotten since Randall left, I thank my lucky stars we’re not still stuck with Designs to Shine, who costumed the first season. Can we say “tacky”? 😯

Heidi: Val sez, “You…are sooo sexy.” To which Kelly sez, “You are sexy, but I am sleeping with my cousin’s best friend’s husband’s brother and am simply toying with you as a cover to hide our true looove….” That is my long winded way of saying, Kelly is a soap actress…they only do smolder.  Sometimes well, sometimes not – and Val is a huge step up from Alec in terms of emotion and Kelly has evolved to smoldering with her mouth *closed*. :-) The dress you ask? I go with Edyta sans fishnets.  Although I think it’s cuter in the shorter length.

The verdict: Just say no to soap opera smolder.  Read more..

August 28, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Dancing With The Stars Meets Ballroom With A Twist Summer 2012 (Photos)

So many cool pics have come out of Anna Trebunskaya, Jonathan Roberts, Oksana Dmytrenko, Sasha Farber, Dmitry Chaplin, and Peta Murgatroyd while they danced in “Ballroom With A Twist” in San Francisco, California this summer. One weekend, Dancing With The Stars host Tom Bergeron was pictured with the cast when he went to one of the shows a few weeks ago (pictured above). To see a slew of pics, see these facebook pages here and here. Below are a few more pics with Peta, Dmitry, Oksana, Sasha, Anna, and Jonathan (be sure to see the “read more” link). If you are in the San Francisco are, be sure to see this show!

Read more..

August 1, 2012 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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Anna Trebunskaya Pictured In Ballroom With A Twist

Isn’t this a beautiful picture of Dancing With The Stars pro Anna Trebunskaya? Her long red hair is one of her best features, isn’t it?!! The photo was taken Thursday night in an opening number of “Ballroom With A Twist” with hubby Jonathan Roberts in San Francisco. There are more pics as well as a “mixed” review on the night at the San Francisco Gate. Dancing With The Stars troupe members Sasha Farber and Oksana Dmytrenko are also dancing in the production as previously reported. Peta Murgatroyd and Dimitry Chaplin will be dancing in it’s second week run. Let’s hope they take more pictures! For ticket information, scheduling, and times, be sure to visit MarinesMemorialTheatre.com.

July 14, 2012 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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Pros To Do Ballroom With A Twist, New DWTS Live In Las Vegas Promo

Just a few media tidbits to mention for the start of the day!! First up, if you are going to be in the San Francisco, California area in July and you are missing some of the pros on Dancing With The Stars, you might wasnt to take in “Ballroom With A Twist”. Anna Trebunskaya, Jonathan Roberts, Peta Murgatroyd, and Dimitry Chaplin will be making special appearances. According to @DWTSGossip, Dancing With The Stars troupe members Sasha Farber and Oksana Dmytrenko are also dancing. For ticket information, scheduling, and times, visit MarinesMemorialTheatre.com. Special thanks to Dmitry Dream Team at Facebook for the poster and heads up.

Speaking of some good shows to take in this summer, below is another fun promo for the Dancing With The Stars: Live in Las Vegas Show. Carson Kressley, anyone? Yes, he’s in this too.

Let’s hope this show is around for a long time to come. For more show, cast, and ticket information, visit The New Tropicana Website.

June 26, 2012 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. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.