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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.

BBC/DWTS Productions Reportedly Files Suit Against “Ballroom With A Twist”

Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the BBC and DWTS Productions have filed a complaint against Scott Stander and Associates of “Ballroom With A Twist”. Below you’ll find an excerpt from the report that describes the situation and Stander’s response. Heidi, Courtney, John, and I have some personal thoughts on this which you can read below (Note: We’re not attorneys. We do love DWTS and dance tours.). Let us know what you think in the comments too.

BBC and co-plaintiff DWTS Productions have a problem with the defendant’s advertising, asserting that “Ballroom with a Twist” is written in the same color, font and design in promotional materials as DWTS. The plaintiffs have also flagged advertisements on the websites of theaters describing the show as “a non-competitive spinoff of Dancing with the Stars, featur[ing] sizzling performances by jaw-dropping ‘DWTS’ celebrity pros.”

The lawsuit alleges unfair competition and trademark claims, raising the theory that by using DWTS in this manner, Standler will be “likely to cause confusion among ordinary consumers as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or approval of the BWAT show, and to dilute the value of the DWTS Mark.”

What takes this lawsuit that extra step is the note by plaintiffs that they have locked up contracts with all of its DWTS dancers including Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Emma Slater, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd, and Jenna Johnson that guarantees, according to the complaint, they “shall not not render services or appear in any other dance related program in any medium, or authorize the use of the DWTS Dancer’s name, voice, or likeness in connection with an endorsement for any such program.”

Standler gave us this comment:
“We just received a copy of a complaint, and our attorneys are reviewing it. Our show has been in existence for over five years now without any previous objection by DWTS, so it is quite surprising and very suspect that they are now suing us. However, we are, and have been, just fair and open competition performing in live theatrical venues with different and unique entertainment elements in our show. There are also several other live dancing show productions out there. Our attorneys will respond in kind and protect what we have created and developed over the years and if necessary will file a counter lawsuit.”

Vogue: This makes me sad. Scott Stander is one of the most sweetest and giving people. I know this personally. He has gone out of his way so that many fans like myself could see the show, meet the pros, etc. In my opinion, Scott and Ballroom With A Twist have only HELPED to promote Dancing With The Stars in the off season not the opposite…as well as promote ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ And ‘American Idol’. Also, why is the BBC and DWTS productions making such a big deal on taking issues now when ‘Ballroom With A Twist” has had this show going in the way it has for a such long time (5 years)? Sad… I hope they can work it out somehow because I don’t think a suit is necessary especially when Ballroom With A twist has done so much for Dancing With The Stars and vice versa. Why not work together for the good of “dancing”, dancers, and dance fans everywhere instead?

Heidi: Well, unfortunately, anyone can sue. I think that the huge success of MOVE, selling out in 98% of the 50 or so shows they did across the country woke the owners of DWTS to the fact that they might be able to mount an equally successful tour next summer. This suit could well be the first step in eliminating the competition. Not only are they complaining about the marketing, but they specifically mention the pros who have long term contracts with DWTS and who also performed in BWAT.  I think it’s pretty clear that if they lose the lawsuit, they can still eliminate BWAT by preventing those pros from performing in it.  As for MOVE, I doubt they can touch that tour, because I doubt that Derek is still under long term contract. With all he has going on and the length of time he’s been on the show, he’s got to have a sweeter deal.  The question is Sway. Sway is of much shorter duration, but from the sound of this suit, they can certainly put the kibosh on that one if they want to. Or at least, take out a lot of the dancers.   The reason why the lawsuit bugs me is that it harms the income of the dancers if DWTS decides not to go forward with it’s own tour. Not only that, but it does indeed seem short sighted of DWTS to sue a production that does serve to promote the show’s professionals and, in turn, the show itself.  If you want to mount your own tour, just do that and prevent the dancers from taking part in BWAT – not sure why the extra step is needed.

Courtney: Heidi is spot-on when she mentions this suit having the potential to hurt the livelihoods of some of the pros.  I’ve referenced this before, but the bf actually interviewed for a pro spot on DWTS about 5 years ago – and while the salary ain’t bad, it’s certainly not handsome enough to live off of year-round if you’re a fairly new pro like Sharna, Sasha, Emma, etc…especially in a city with such a high cost-of-living as Los Angeles.  There’s a reason why these pros stay busy in the off-season – not only does it keep their skills sharp, but it’s often much-needed supplemental income.  And in the cases of dismissed pros like Anna & Chelsie – it’s often their primary source of income, and if this lawsuit basically shuts down shows like BWAT or Alec & Edyta’s “Dance Pros Live”, that’s one less opportunity that ballroom pros have to earn money.  I give DWTS a lot of credit for bringing ballroom to the mainstream and turning professional dancers who had toiled in relative obscurity into household names, but this just seems like a bit of a d*ck move – shutting down a show that has been around for more than a few years now, likely because they’re looking to start their own show back up. I don’t even think BWAT would offer up much competition for a new iteration of the DWTS live tour – BWAT has mainly stuck to smaller venues, and tickets aren’t exorbitantly priced; I can only speak for myself, but if both shows came to my hometown, I’d shell out for both. But I get that the head honchos at DWTS are basically trying to protect their assets by keeping their pros to themselves.  It’s just such a sticky situation – and since there are no guarantees that an official DWTS tour is going to happen, this just seems like bad news for both fans AND some of the pros.

John: I think there’s probably a lot more to this lawsuit than we realize. I bet more details will come out on it that we don’t know about yet. Plus, DWTS actually has to enforce its trademark if it wants to keep it. If it doesn’t enforce any violations of its mark, then it will lose its mark. It does make you wonder what took them so long to do it though. I don’t think MOVE or Edyta’s “Dance Pros Live” will have an issue, because I don’t think they’ve used the DWTS mark to promote their tours. I don’t think they used any of the pros that were under DWTS contract either. My guess is that those tours will be fine. Plus, BWAT can probably keep going if they remove the dancers under contract and the DWTS and Dancing with the Stars reference. Although, the look at past damages (or benefits) would be an interesting and challenging one. I think there are also laws and penalties for violation of trademarks even when you can’t show any damages.

It is pretty sad that the dancers kind of get screwed by their contracts. Of course, they’re the ones that chose to sign the contracts. All of the dancers should have chosen to never sign an exclusive contract and then this wouldn’t have been an issue. Of course, it’s a game or Russian roulette if you go that route. I’m reminded of an interview with Nigel Lythgoe, producer of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), where they asked him his feelings about SYTYCD dancers dancing on DWTS. He responded “These kids need to work.” Basically, he understood that life as a dancer was hard and there’s a limited time period where you can make money dancing. He didn’t want to stunt their careers. It’s not like music (see American Idol) where you can sing for a long time and so they can give you a terrible contract up front and you’ll be fine if your name is Carrie Underwood.

Anytime a lawyer gets involved it’s not pretty and everyone loses. Although, DWTS has the right to protect their trademark. We’ll see what happens with the case.

October 21, 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.

Dancing Pros: LIVE” Going On Tour, Features Karina Smirnoff, Edyta Sliwinska and Chelsie Hightower

Do you remember when we told you about a new “Dancing Pros: LIVE” show a month ago or so? Well, it’s now going on tour. Below is more information from Broadway World. For additional information on the show, tour dates, tickets and casting, visit www.DancingProsLive.com.

Dancing Pros: Live!is thrilled to announce its 2014-2015 national tour. Hosted by Alan Thicke, star of the hit TV show “Growing Pains,” and featuring Karina Smirnoff, Edyta Sliwinska and Chelsie Hightower from “Dancing with the Stars,”and Benji Schwimmer and Ryan Di Lello, from “So You Think You Can Dance,” the best dancers from around the world will thrill and dazzle audiences coast to coast!

The national tour will launch in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. The tour will play over 50 cities nationwide through April 2015, including Indianapolis, Indiana; Flint, Michigan; Providence, Rhode Island; Schenectady, New York; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Fort Myers, Florida; Dallas, Texas; and San Diego, California. For a complete list of tour cities, visit www.DancingProsLive.com.

The 2014-2015 Tour will star Alan Thicke, Edyta Sliwinksa and Chelsie Hightower. Joining them on stage will be actor and dancer, Oscar Orosco, and vocalists Joanna Pacitti, from “American Idol” Season 8, and Angel Taylor, from “The Voice” Season 2.

Karina Smirnoff will join the tour for the January and February engagements with Benji Schwimmer. Ryan Di Lello will perform during the Fall and Spring engagements. The remaining competitors on the tour are dance champions Artur Adamski, Paul Barris, Tess Buchatsky, Sasha Chernositov, Dmitry Demidov, Denys Drozdyuk, Arina Grishanina, Regina Maziarz, Antonina Skobina and Anastasia Trutneva.

September 17, 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.

DWTS Season 19: Who Are Pro Dancers Keoikantse Motsepe And Allison Holker?

Most of you might know Allison Holker. She is most famous for her work on “So You Think You Can Dance”. She was a dance contestant in Season 2 and an all-star in Seasons 7 through 11. She started her dance training at only 4 years of age at “The Dance Club” studio in Orem, Utah (the same city where Derek began his dance and ballroom training). She began teaching at the same studio when she was 16. In other accomplishments, she’s performed with Earth, Wind, and Fire at the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2002 Olympic Games in 2002. She also starred in ‘High School Musical’ and ‘High School Musical 2′. Last year, she was nominated for “Outstanding Choreography” in the 2013 Emmy Awards (Heidi’s Note: She was nominated WITH Derek). You might remember the dances below when she danced on Dancing With The Stars in the past and the 2013 Emmy Awards last year. More on Allison at Wikipedia.

As for Keoikantse Motsepe, he was an undefeated South African Latin American Champion in every age category for 8 years. His formal dance training includes Latin American, Ballroom, and Contemporary. He has also performed on South African Idol and in the highly acclaimed dance show “Burn The Floor”. You can read more on Keoikantse at Afridiziak. Videos below. Fascinating and good luck to Read more..

August 13, 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.

Variety Interviews Tom Bergeron and Nigel Lithgow About “Good” Reality Shows

Sorry, I can’t come up with the titles that Vogue can. :-) This is a pretty darn good interview – I’ve put an excerpt below, but I recommend reading the whole thing over at Variety.com. Click teh link! Of course, there is a whole lotta IRONY in the very first paragraph… ;-)

 

Variety: What makes for a good reality show?
Lythgoe: Honesty.
Bergeron: I agree. In the case of “Dancing” being a live show, the camera is very unforgiving. If there’s a dishonest emotion attempting to pass itself as sincerity, you’ll be found out. Honesty is what will endear you to and connect you to the viewer.
Lythgoe: And I think the more that stars now are going on to be judges, it’s tougher for them to be as honest as a Simon Cowell, for instance, who really didn’t give a damn if you liked him or not. You weren’t going to buy his records and you weren’t going to go to his concerts. Now I think when some of the celebrities go out there, they’re frightened they’re going to lose fans.
Bergeron: I think that’s true.
Lythgoe: None of your judges are worried about that. Len (Goodman) is always honest.
Bergeron: And Bruno (Tonioli), God knows what he’s on.
Lythgoe: He’s gotten more flamboyant!
Bergeron: I told him one time on the air, you’re about one emotion away from living in Pixar.
Lythgoe: That’s a great line.

Variety: What’s the hardest part of your jobs?
Bergeron: Waiting to do it again between seasons. Seriously. I’m never happier than when I can go on to that stage on a live TV show knowing that anything can happen. An Osmond faints, you go with it. This is going to be terrible for my next contract negotiation, but there’s no real hard part to my job. I love it.
Lythgoe: Being live and not knowing what you’re going to say until you see the kid dancing. And then realize that your mouth is a lot slower than your brain. And then the second hardest thing is sitting next to Mary Murphy. My ears bleed sometimes.
Bergeron: And our hearts for you.

June 16, 2014 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. :-)

DWTS Season 18: Rumor, Speculation and Wannabe Dancer Round Up!!

It’s time, once again, to take a look at the casting rumors we’ve seen for this upcoming season and rank them according to how likely they are to happen. I was thinking we really didn’t have many rumors for this season, but it turns out there’s more than I thought.  But there are also a lot of people saying they would LOVE to do it, which is not the same thing as a “rumor”.  And I also have NOT included who OTHER people would like to see dance – that’s not even a wannabe. Anyway, here we go….

ETA2: Lots of updates! Read our complete list below…and here’s to the Cast Announcement on Tuesday! Read more..

February 24, 2014 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. :-)

DWTS Gleb Savchenko And Wife Elena Samodanova To Choreograph For So You Think You Can Dance

The Herald Sun is reporting that Dancing With The Stars Gleb Savchenko and his wife Elena Samodanova will be choreographing for the new reboot of “So You Think You Can Dance” in Australia. Below are a couple of takes from the link. Does this mean he won’t be back for the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars (Oh man, if so, this is so making me cry as he is one of my very fave male pros along with Derek and Henry! :( :( )? Stay tuned. We’re going to contact him and see if he can let us know something.

ELENA AND GLEB

Both appeared in the 2011 series of Dancing With The Stars Australia and regulars on the US version (last year he partnered with Real Housewives star Lisa Vanderpump). Married with daughter Olivia.

Dance means “seeing stories come to life from inside the body. With the two of us, it’s not just the power of one, it’s the power of two.”

Russian-born ballroom stars Gleb Savchenko and his wife Elena Samadanova leaped at the chance to return to Australia, after appearing in the 2011 season of Seven’s Dancing With The Stars.

Savchenko, who recently partnered Real Housewives favourite Lisa Vanderpump, hopes the popularity of Channel 10’s reboot of the show continues to grow “so people see the best of what these (local) dancers can do.”

“It’s such a great team…with Jason Gilkison…and of course Paula Abdul. this is the best you can ask for.”

ETA: We’ve heard back from Gleb!! Below is what he’s written back to us…

Me and Elena are both really excited to be Ballroom-Latin choreographers for SYTYCD here in Australia. It’s gonna be an amazing season!!!

We’ve been dancing together for more than 8 years and it’s such a pleasure for me to work and create something together with Elena again. It’s an amazing team works on SYTYCD Jason Gilkinson, Paula Abdul, Aaron Cash and Shannon Holtzapffel and we are so proud to be amongst them.

At the moment I’m focused on my work here, but if DWTS will ask me to be back for the coming season, for sure I’ll be back.

Let’s hope Dancing With The Stars will ask him back. They’d be crazy if they didn’t. In the meantime, I’m so happy he is able to work with beautiful Elena again and that they’ve landed such amazing roles on “So You Think You Can Dance” in Australia. ((((GLEB & ELENA))))xxx

February 15, 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.

Catching Up With Former Dancing With The Stars Pro Dmitry Chaplin

Special thanks to @DmitryDreamTeam, you can catch up on ‘all things’ Dmitry Chaplin at this facebook link. He’s been a busy guy since being on Dancing With The Stars from being on “So You Think You Can Dance”, to being on an episode of “Bones”, to now a web episode “Broken At Love” which you can watch below. He’s also dancing in a few of the new Ballroom With A Twist shows now travelling the country. If interested, see this link for more.

January 25, 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.

Allison Holker and Stephen “tWitch” Boss Dance The Night Away After Getting Married

A huge congratulations to SYTYCD’s and periodic Dancing With The Stars performers Allison Holker and Stephen “tWitch” Boss! The two dance stars were married this week in at Nigel Lythgoe’s Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery in Paso Robles, California. I can’t imagine what the dance floor must have been like afterwards, but, below is a hint from Allison’s instagram and some quotes from ET Online and Life & Style magazine. From all of us at PureDWTS, we wish them much much happiness and to dance forever!!

For their first dance as husband and wife, Boss and Holker boogied to Adele’s One & Only on an amber LED illuminated dance floor — which was a surprise from their managers, Nelson Diaz & Tony DiStefano of A-Team Entertainment/DMG — provided by Barker Décor Service.

…and performed a hip-hop routine to Justin Bieber’s “Somebody to Love” with Allison’s 5-year-old daughter, Weslie, who choreographed the number!

December 12, 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.

PureDWTS Season 18 Food For Thought & Poll: Possible New Pro…?

So my friend Amanda over at PureSYTYCD shot me a tweet this afternoon – she gets to go to the SYTYCD live show tonight in Atlanta, and she happened to run into some of the cast at the mall earlier today.  She apparently got to talk to Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall (co-winner of the most recent season of SYTYCD), and according to him, someone from his season “will be on DWTS next season”.  He didn’t specify who, and he didn’t specify whether they’d be a pro or in the troupe – but there were 4 ballroom dancers on SYTYCD this season, so I figure he must be referring to one of them (although stranger things have happened…look at Tyne).

Yes, it’s probably a bit early for anyone to know for sure whether they’ll be on the show next season, but it did get me thinking: maybe TPTB are already scouting out new talent for next season, and they want to go fishing in the SYTYCD pool once more…so it might be possible that they’ve at least been “in talks” with some of the ballroom dancers from season 10 of SYTYCD about coming over to DWTS.  If so…who could it be?

The four possible choices are Brittany Cherry, Jenna Johnson, Alan Bersten, and Paul Karmiryan.  Both Brittany & Jenna are part of the VIBE family that gave us Lindsay & Witney, so I’m guessing that by extension, they’ve also worked with Mark on more than one occasion.  Both ladies have also appeared in guest dance numbers on DWTS before (see below – Brittany’s the brunette on the left, Jenna’s the one on the right).  I don’t know quite as much about the guys – I know Paul actually won the Armenian version of SYTYCD a few years back and lives in California, and Alan comes from a dance family (his older brother also auditioned for SYTYCD, but the judges chose Alan) and lives in Minnesota.

If this little nugget of info is true, who do you guys think will be joining us on DWTS next season?

I’m personally leaning towards Jenna – she’s the VIBE connection, she went pretty far on SYTYCD, and she seems to have the same “big” personality on the floor that we see from Witney.  Definite troupe material, IMO.  Not sure I’d want any of these 4 to proceed straight to pro, but I think any of them would make a decent addition to the troupe.  What do you guys think? Do you think we’ll be seeing any of these dancers gracing the DWTS floor next year?

brittanyjennagroup

October 25, 2013 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!