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PureDWTS: Questions We’re Tired of Answering, Volume II: The Emmy Edition

I wasn’t planning on writing another edition of “Questions We’re Tired of Answering” so soon after the first edition, but after the sh*tstorm I witnessed on Twitter in the past 36 hours since Derek & Julianne won an Emmy for their “Elastic Heart” routine with Tessandra Chavez, I felt it necessary to field some of the questions I’m seeing over and over again about the Emmy’s.

Before I get into it, though, let me just say this: I think a lot of these questions are stemming from the increase in “entitlement mentality” I’m seeing from a lot of the pros – and some of the fans are starting to buy into it.  Contrary to what some seem to believe, not every pro deserves a MBT, an Emmy nomination, an Emmy win, movie roles, Broadway gigs, book deals, endorsements, etc., simply by showing up and being a pro on DWTS.  That, in itself, is a privilege; things like MBT’s, Emmy’s, etc. are rewards for merit and hard work – not entitlements.  If a pro wants these things, to quote Britney Spears, “you better work, b*tch!”. Let’s try to keep that in mind…

Why does SYTYCD get so many more nominations than DWTS?

To understand this, you have to understand that there’s two components for success in the “Outstanding Choreography” category at the Emmys: the strength of the choreographic content, and the strength of how it was performed.  Therefore, you’re much more likely to get nominated if a) your choreography is strong, creative, and innovative, and b) you’ve got a skilled dancer performing it. Thus, it’s kind of easy to tell why it’s easier for SYTYCD routines to get nominated: all of them are performed by professional dancers, and because the choreographers (usually) aren’t limited to tailoring their choreography to the skills of their dancers, they can take more risks and do more off-the-wall stuff.  Choreography for DWTS, on the other hand, tends to be limited by the skill set of the celebrity – which affects what exactly the pros can include in the routine, and how well it gets performed on show night.  On top of those two factors, the Academy voters tend to be more from the contemporary style than from ballroom – and thus have a bit of a bias towards contemporary routines (of which there is usually quite a few on SYTYCD) and a bit of a bias against ballroom (which is the bulk of what we see on DWTS).  Most years, the best that DWTS can hope for is (1) nomination, against usually 4-5 from SYTYCD.  So for me to see some people complaining about [insert pro here] and [insert another pro here] not getting nominated as well, I feel like puking – cause the fact that DWTS was actually able to get TWO nominations this year is HUGE…whining about them not getting more is a tad greedy, I’m afraid.

Why wasn’t Sharna nominated for an Emmy for her choreography for Noah? It was awesome!!!

The explanation above kinda explains this one, too – Sharna likely didn’t get nominated because the routines she created for Noah were rather limited in their choreographic scope, and were not performed by a skilled dancer.  Let me repeat for good measure: it is incredibly hard to get nominated for a routine that isn’t performed by a dancer with a high level of skill.  It’s not impossible – Derek did get nominated last year for some of his choreography for Amy, who wasn’t quite as physically limited as Noah – but it’s certainly not probable. While the choreography Sharna did for Noah was great for someone as physically limited as him, I’m not sure it would stand up as great choreography for someone that was completely able-bodied.  Would you still be as wowed by choreography if, say, Alfonso danced the same routine? I doubt it.  Remember, when DWTS is up against dynamic routines danced by professional dancers on SYTYCD, they’ve gotta bring their A-game – solid routines danced by skilled dancers.  This explanation in particular seems to be one that Sharna & Noah fans just can’t seem to wrap their brain around – I’ve gone blue in the face explaining this one, only to have the people asking say “Well, I still think she should have been nominated. That choreography was incredible!” That’s great – their routines were awesome and Sharna did an incredible job showing what Noah could do.  No one can take that away from her. But just understand that it was incredible choreography FOR NOAH – not necessarily incredible choreography, period.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Why wasn’t Mark nominated for his choreography with Sadie and/or Willow?

IMO, because he focused a bit too much on production value…at the expense of choreographic content.  These past two seasons, Mark has choreographed a LOT of routines that were very set and costume-heavy…and it seemed to dominate those performances, to the detriment of the actual dancing being done.  His Halloween paso doble with Sadie kinda sticks out in my mind as a good example – I enjoyed it, but even I can admit that the OTT costuming and set kinda distracted from the actual dancing.  The set and costumes OVERWHELMED the dancing, rather than working with it.  Derek’s “Walking on Air” routine with Jamie Goodwin is a good example of the set working WITH the dance – the set itself was almost like a 3rd dancer, with all of the moves choreographed with it in mind.  Ditto for “Elastic Heart” – the set itself was actually choreographed into the dance.  I think if Mark would focus more on the choreography itself instead of the set & costumes, we might see more nominations for him in the future – especially if SYTYCD kicks the bucket after this season, which is looking evermore likely from their dismal ratings.

Why was Witney nominated??? IT WASN’T EVEN HER CHOREOGRAPHY!!!

This is me emphatically rolling my eyes.  To those of you still repeating this tripe started by a few disgruntled pros (and one rather scheisty-seeming outside choreographer) on Twitter/Instagram, please stop – we’ve already talked about it at-length here, but here it is again, once more, with feeling: if you don’t have a formally-written contract with an outside choreographer to help with a certain routine, the Academy will not give them co-choreographer credit in the event of a potential nomination.  Academy rules, fools. And judging from what SYTYCD choreographer Spencer Liff said in the link I posted above, ghost choreographers are well aware of this rule – so for this Alan dude (and most of “The Fam”) to suddenly be crying foul is kinda…d*ck.  If you’re of the camp that is trying to claim that she shouldn’t have been nominated because the choreography “just wasn’t that good”, hehe…ok.  Whatever you say.  Nevermind that it was choreographed for possibly the most skilled male celebrity that we’ve ever had on DWTS, and he KILLED IT – and the Academy agrees that the choreography was outstanding.  And then it gets even weirder – I’ve had more than a couple people try to write off the Carlton jazz routine because “it was derived from a dance that Witney didn’t choreograph”.  The fact that people are (probably pretending to be) genuinely upset that about 15 seconds of a nonsensical dance with TWO STEPS was used in the routine makes me not want to live on this planet anymore.  So, were you guys expecting her to give Alfonso credit for “the Carlton dance” or something? It ain’t even really his dance, either – he cites Courteney Cox & Eddie Murphy as his inspiration for it.  Should they have been given credit? Do you people now see how ridiculous you sound?  At this point, you may as well just admit that you just don’t like Witney…cause this is really reaching, kids.

Why wasn’t Allison nominated???

I have to kinda eye roll at this one, too, because it seems like some are drinking the “Allison was awesome on SYTYCD; therefore, by default, she is also awesome on DWTS” Kool-Aid.  For as stellar as Allison is as a contemporary dancer/choreographer, she is still a mediocre-at-best ballroom choreographer.  And again – the bulk of the routines on DWTS are still hardcore ballroom.  On top of that, her first season with Jonathan didn’t really have any standout routines, and some of her strongest routines with Ryker were a bit derivative (i.e. their paso – it was good, but how many Pirates of the Caribbean routines do you think the Academy has seen in the last 10 years?).  Maybe we’ll see some nominations for her once she steps up her ballroom game, but right now? Just not cutting the mustard as a ballroom choreographer yet, though she is improving.  She’s probably more likely to get nominated for any pro-dance collaborations she does – particularly if she does them with Derek.

September 14, 2015 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!

America’s Ballroom Challenge is Back – Mary Murphy talks DWTS, Ballroom, and Derek and Julianne Hough

Mary Murphy’s not on So You Think You Can Dance anymore – she says there will be very little ballroom, which is a damn shame – but she’s talking America’s Ballroom Challenge. Honestly, one couple on SYTYCD attempted a Cha Cha the other night and butchered it badly – worse than some on DWTS – so maybe the change isn’t so bad. From Yahoo TV (thanks to Motisima):

“On So You Think You Can Dance, most of the time you’re seeing two people who have never ballroom danced, and it’s kind of all smoke and mirrors,” Murphy tells Yahoo TV. “Honestly, they can edit everything to get the best vantage of every step. And Dancing With the Stars is the same thing, too — you’re dancing with a celebrity, sometimes they have danced, sometimes no dance. For these people [on America’s Ballroom Challenge], dance is their life. They are professionals at the highest level. You will see the best of the best.”

RIDER: Derek Hough
“Julianne and Derek are about as good as you’re going to get,” Murphy said. “Derek, especially, I’ve been watching that kid since he was 7 years old. For me, the pinnacle was that Argentine Tango the other night [on Dancing With the Stars]. I just was so impressed with him. There was just such maturity about him. I feel like I’m seeing him as a young man now, as opposed to looking at him always as a kid.”

July 29, 2015 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. :-)

Spring Update On “Dancing Pros Live” And “Ballroom With A Twist”

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Hey, just an reminder! “Dancing Pros Live” only has 5 shows left. If you live or are travelling to the east coast in April, try and see the show as Drew Lachey, Karina Smirnoff, Edyta Sliwinska, and Chelsie Hightower are dancing as well as dance champions from all over the world. It’s a MUST SEE! You can read my personal review and experience of the show and go backstage with Edyta Sliwinska and Karina Smirnoff at this link. I had such a blast. If interested in tickets and scheduling information, see the official site of “Dancing Pros Live”.

Also, we updated the schedule for Ballroom With A Twist. Their Spring and Summer Schedule is starting to take shape. To read more about it, see this post.

March 25, 2015 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.

Karina Smirnoff Talks To WTSP Studio 10 About Dancing With The Stars And Dancing Pros Live

Karina Smirnoff talked to WTSP Studio 10 about Dancing Pros Live, Dancing With The Stars, her partners, and more. She also teaches the reporters some salsa! Read more..

February 17, 2015 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.

HQ Photos Of Dancing Pros Live – Edyta Sliwinska, Karina Smirnoff, Chelsie Hightower, Benji Schwimmer, And More

I loved loved “Dancing Pros Live”. Below are some photos from Sandler Center from the Virginia Beach, Virginia show. You can view more at Getty Images. For tickets in your area, see this link.

Read more..

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.

Edyta Sliwinska, Karina Smirnoff, And Chelsie Hightower Interviewed About “Dancing Pros Live”, DWTS, And More – Video

Today Edyta Sliwinska, Karina Smirnoff, And Chelsie Hightower were interviewed by 13NewsNow about Dancing Pros Live and more. Lovely as always! If you haven’t seen the show, be sure to get tickets here.

February 13, 2015 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.

Edyta Sliwinska Interviewed About Dancing And “Dancing Pros Live” – Video

WCNC in North Carolina interviewed Edyta Sliwinska. They ask her about her show “Dancing Pros Live” and what it’s about. Edyta also teaches them some fun dance moves. She looks so pretty as always. If you haven’t seen the show, be sure to get tickets here. Also, and if you haven’t done so, you can read my personal review of the show in this previous post. It includes lots of pictures of Edyta, Karina Smirnoff, and the entire cast. I had the time of my life that day. I highly recommend the show if you haven’t seen it yet!

WNCN: News, Weather, Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville

February 11, 2015 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 5 Champ Helio Castroneves To Join “Dancing Pros Live”

Oh, this is too fun!! If you are living in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area, be sure to see “Dancing Pros Live“. Dancing With The Stars Season 5 champion Helio Castroneves will be joining the cast. Here is some more info from Broward Center. You can buy tickets at the same link.

For the first time together on stage, see professional dancers from “Dancing with the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and dance champions from around the world compete with one another for your vote in Dancing Pros: Live! Using electronic voting remotes attached to every seat, the audience will become part of the show and vote for their favorite couple. Prepare to be dazzled by amazing caliber celebrity and professional dancers, singers from “American Idol” or “The Voice,” a glamorous set, stunning costumes, group numbers and unbelievable dance moves! This amazing cast along with Karina Smirnoff (Head Judge), Alan Thicke (Host) and starring Edyta Sliwinska and Chelsie Hightower from Dancing with the Stars, will be joined in South Florida by Dancing with the Stars Season 5 winner and 3 time Indy-500 champion Helio Castroneves.

January 31, 2015 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.

Exclusive PureDWTS “Dancing Pros Live” Report: Review, Photos, Backstage Information, And Lots More

Below is a report from the “Dancing Pros Live” shows this past week! I hope you enjoy!! You can click on any of the pics to see them in a bigger size (sometimes you have to click it on the next page too. sometimes you have to click the arrows in the gallery a few times too depending on your computer). If you want more, let me know. Be sure to see this fun and exciting show! I can’t stress this enough!!! Tickets and Cast information HERE!

DANCING PROS LIVE Report and Review:: “You will be touched, you will smile, you will laugh….and you will also “Oooo” and “Awwww”

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Wow, what a week it’s been….and a magical one at that! I was so blessed to see “Dancing Pro Live” in Cheyenne, Wyoming and then in Denver, Colorado. I am so glad I saw both shows because each had different dances and mixed things up. That’s why I think it always pays to go more than once to a dance show if you can because you never know what’s going to happen and such is true for Dancing Pros Live.

I was struck immediately with the fabulous “state of the art” light show. It set the tone for the whole show for what was to come…..a show of professionalism, high entertainment, royalty, and class. Also, with the additional times of the stage smoking and steaming combined with the lights, it made one feel as if time had stood still. It made you feel as if you were in a dream.

I can’t rave enough about all the dancers and cast. They were carefully selected with a fun mix of personalities. For instance:

-Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo couldn’t have been more elegant, flawless, powerful, gorgeous, sexy, classy, and romantic as everything they are known for. Edyta is a Princess and she is as limber as the day when she was on Dancing With The Stars. They took my breath away and left me spellbound like always. True Dancing With The Stars Legends!

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-Benji Schwimmer and Torri Smith’s choreography couldn’t have been more entertaining, dynamic, clever, show stopping, and fun for all of their numbers. Benji beats to a different drummer. He’s phenomenal. So much so, I would love to see him be a Pro on Dancing With The Stars now.

-Chelsie Hightower and Dmitry Demidov had wistful, beautiful and athletic routines. Their extension and lines were so beautiful. Every time Chelsie came on stage, she would light it up just like on Dancing With The Stars. She was like a “ray of light”. Read more..

January 26, 2015 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.

Chelsie Hightower Interviewed On The Dynamics OF DWTS And SYTYCD

What an interesting interview with Chelsie Hightower. She talks about the differences between doing Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance…and lots more! From The Souix City Journal….

Both shows, she says, have given dance enormous attention but their goals are different.

“So You Think You Can Dance,” Hightower says, “is really about the art form of dancing. It’s about dance in its rawest, simplest form. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is about the celebrity and his or her journey.”

Personality, then, becomes a key factor, particularly when it comes to the audience vote. “They’re going to vote for the person they relate to the most,” Hightower says. “You’ve got to be sell-able.”

Injuries, romances and fights are all part of “getting attention.”

“After 19 seasons, people start to catch on as to what works and what they think the audience wants to see,” she adds. “I’m not like that. I’m not going to be someone to put on a show or create drama.”

Instead, the 25-year-old pro has focused on the work that lands on the dance floor and, in the process, she netted an Emmy nomination for choreography.

Crafting dances, though, is only part of the “Dancing with the Stars” assignment. In addition to working with the celebrity, the pro has to help design costumes, choose the music and decide what props to use.

“You get your music Sunday night. You have a costume consultation on Tuesday and you have to rehearse five to seven hours a day.” Add in press interviews and it’s clear the job is more difficult than it looks. Even when a celebrity is voted off, the professional stays, performing in group dances and “bumpers” – dance turns before and after commercials.

“There’s so much that’s out of your control,” Hightower says. Gunning for the mirror-ball trophy, then, is almost impossible. “You try not to keep score. You’re a cast. You’re supportive of everyone. But, at the end of the day, it is a TV show.”

To read the full interview, see The Souix City Journal. If you’d like to see Chelsie Hightower on tour with Dancing Pros Live, see this link.

December 12, 2014 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.