Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dancing With The Stars, Week Six

By Lyall Bradshaw, Fred Astaire National Dance Board Member

After Clyde’s exit last week from Dancing With The Stars, we are left with seven couples to fight it out.

Joey Fatone & Kym Johnston opened the show with a lively Samba. A good Samba although the music was a little too fast again this week. Both Carrie Anne & Bruno again showed their lack of Ballroom knowledge by commenting on non-existing problems. There were a few creative foot placements near the beginning of the routine but an otherwise nice routine. They scored three 9’s for a total of 27.

Heather and Jonathan were up next with the Paso Doble. Because of her schedule, they only had two and a half days to perfect their dancing this week. They flew to England on Tuesday night as Heather wanted to be with her daughter. Heather took Jonathan to meet the actress playing Eva Peron in the show “Evita” to get inspiration for the Paso Doble and later danced on the “Evita” stage. Overall, they traveled over 16,000 miles before returning to New York. In her performance of the Paso Doble I felt that her arms were a little weak at times and her upper body posture was way too far forward. She did a good job considering her handicap but in a Ballroom dancing competition judges cannot have sympathy for that and must judge on the quality of dancing. Their scores - 7 – 8 – 8 for a total of 23 points out of 30.

Dancing third in line were John Ratzenberger and Edyta dancing the Mambo. I don’t know who picks the music for these numbers but many of the songs over the weeks have been really awful. Some songs have been really good and the performers dancing to those songs usually dance much, much better than the contestants dancing to the really bad songs. You cannot portray one thing when the music is telling you something totally different. It is a great band but the musical selections are the pits for some of the dances. The dancers need motivation and good dynamic strict tempo music is needed. It’s like trying to squeeze blood out of a stone – it is impossible to portray the mood and character of a dance with the wrong music. And I think the word “wrong” is more correct than “bad” music. The music is not bad but for this competition some of the music is wrong. The dance was a Mambo but sounded more like a Samba to me and it took awhile for me to realize that they were dancing off time on the “one” beat. Remember, I mentioned in a previous article that Ballroom Mambo can only be danced on the “Two” beat, so in a legitimate ballroom competition this couple would be placed last. But that is not John’s fault but the choreographer’s. John did seem to be having lots of fun with the performance. Carrie commented that he was on the beat most of the time (yes, but the wrong beat!), and Len said that the routine was awful (and the main reason for that was the strange music). They scored 19 points (7 – 6 – 6).

Dancing in 4th place were Laila and Maksim with a lively Cha-Cha and the music was better for this one. A nice routine well danced. Laila had some nice arm styling and good animation but one little section near the end that Laila choreographed was a little ugly and out of character with the dance. Maksim should have had the courage to not permit that. Host Samantha made her second goof of the season. You may remember that she announced Paulina had the lowest score before it was revealed who of the bottom two couples was being voted off. This time she announced that Laila & Maksim had received a score of 28 before the judges had even shown their paddles. Which brings up the disturbing thought that things are always the way that they look on screen. There is no way that she could have known those scores ahead of time. Hopefully she will still be there next week!! They received 28 points out of 30 (9-9-10).

Dancing next was Billy Ray and Karina with the Jive. A better performance than last week but way too much open work away from each other and not much Jive from his point of view. During the preview portion of their section Karina said that “I don’t think we’re going to get high scores this week”. Shows a lot of confidence in her partner. NOT!! Their scores 7 – 7 – 7 for a total of 21 points.

Carrie Anne has given Heather Mills, John Ratzenberger and Billy Ray Cyrus an equal score of 7 points although all three performances were of different skill levels.
Apolo & Julianne were next dancing the Rumba. A great performance but not quite as good as last week’s Samba. Again, he has the makings of a professional with good hip action and complex choreography well danced. Very creative. The only problem was the use of a chair in the middle of the performance. No props can be used in the middle of a routine and I would think that all professionals should know that and choreograph accordingly. They were scored 9- 9 -10 for a total of 28 points.

Ian & Cheryl performed last with the Paso Doble. Again, no motivation from the music whatsoever; it sounded more like a Hustle. Not one of his best routines but considering the music it was to be expected. His posture was not good and his head was low and not always in the right position. Carrie Anne’s comment was to “Watch Billy Ray”! They received a score of 24 (8-8-8).

The group swing was next and was a lively creative number danced well by all.

The way it stands now Billy Ray should go next followed by John, then Heather but we all know that this show is mostly about popularity and little about skills so the results cannot be accurately predicted.

Tuesday's Results Show:
Monday night’s bottom two were Billy Ray Cyrus and John Ratzenberger but by the time the audience votes had been counted in, the bottom two on Tuesday night were John & Edyta and Heather & Jonathan. At the end of the show Heather & Jonathan had been voted off saving John and Edyta for another week.

Heather must have realized that she was going tonight because she had her written exit speech with her. Heather was an inspiration for handicapped people and I compliment her for taking on this challenge.

I wish I knew exactly how the voting works and how they combine the Judges votes with the audience votes. I always wonder why they don’t display the percentage of votes from the audience and I also wonder if the producers have any say in the results.

My thoughts at this time are that Apolo should win but any of the other contestants could give him a run for his money. In the future, Ian will have to step up to the task a little more but Cheryl needs to work him harder and challenge him a lot more like she did with Drew.

I will be on vacation from next Monday so some other kind soul will be reviewing the next few weeks but before I depart I would like to rant a little more about the judging.

I mentioned in a previous article that I didn’t blame the Judges for doing a job that they are paid to do, but I did blame ABC for hiring non-ballroom judges. Len Goodman is the only qualified judge in “International” style but he has no knowledge of “American” style. Would Fred Astaire Dance Studios hire a Ballet expert to judge a ballroom competition? NO! Would a Ballroom judge be hired to judge an ice skating competition? NO! If I were offered a few thousand dollars a week to judge a Ballet competition, would I do it? Hell yes! I would run and buy a book on Ballet, learn what a plie is and I would be ready to go, and I guarantee that I would come up with some profound comments after each performance. But would I be doing a good job? Hell no! Without years of practical experience and study, without certification in Ballet at the highest level, I could never do a competent job.

Seriously though, neither I, or any other Fred Astaire Dance Council Member, would commit to do a job that we were not qualified to do, especially when it affects peoples lives, and this show and the Judges comments AFFECT peoples lives. Anyway, I have ranted enough. Time for vacation. Until later – Happy Dancing!!

Editor's note: Mr. Armando Martin, Fred Astaire National Dance Director, will be filling in for Lyall for the rest of the season. Thank you, Lyall, for sharing your insight and knowledge. Check the blog next week for Armando's article.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Watch This Amazing Video Clip!

Heather Mill's appearance on Dancing With The Stars has generated a lot of discussion about dancing with disabilities. In this uplifting video clip, you can watch a dancer give it his all - with only one leg.

Fred Astaire Teacher Featured On "Little People, Big World"

Kristi Lemos, a teacher at the Fred Astaire Studio in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, will be in an upcoming episode of the hit show Little People, Big World. Kristi's scene was shot on a cruise ship during a high school formal where she teaches one of the Roloff boys and his girlfriend how to dance. The episode is called "Roloffs In The Snow" and will air some time in June. Check back soon for more information!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dancing With The Stars, Week 5

By Lyall Bradshaw, Fred Astaire National Dance Board Member

Last week we saw the departure of Leeza Gibbons & Tony Dovolani from the line-up of Dancing With The Stars, leaving two ladies and six gentlemen to fight it out. So far, the elimination list on Dancing With The Stars has included former supermodel Paulina Porizkova, former Miss USA Shandi Finnessey, and former Entertainment Tonight fixture Leeza Gibbons. And there's still plenty of opportunity for a couple of others who deserve to dance their way out of the competition this week.

The first performance of the evening was a Samba by Ian & Cheryl. First of all, the music was a little too fast at 56 bars per minute. Sambas nowadays are usually played no faster than 52 bars a minute. But even so, I think that this was a good performance even though Len Goodman said that it was merely competent. Ian seems to be relaxing more and more and loosening up his body each week. But he seems to have a little trouble getting into the character of each dance and he must overcome that if he plans to make it to the finals.
Their scores - Carrie 8; Len 8; Bruno 8 for a total of 24.

Clyde & Elena were next with a Rumba. Unfortunately it wasn’t the greatest routine with lots of heel leads and no attempt at Hip action. It was mentioned that he had a trip to China for a previously scheduled commitment, which certainly has taken time away from his practice sessions. I do think that he is doing his best but that will not be enough to keep him in this competition. He still needs to take the advice of the judges to take advantage of his long legs and open up on the dance floor. Clyde alternated between walking and standing still while Elena danced around him.

I mentioned last week about Constructive Criticism instead of Destruction Criticism and I felt that Carrie Anne’s statement that Clyde “was the worst dancer in the show” was totally destructive and unnecessary. That kind of criticism may work in “American Idol” but never in a dance competition. Their scores – Bruno 4; Carrie Anne 4; Len 5 for a total of 13 points.

Heather and Jonathan were next with a Samba preceded by Jonathan’s removal of his chest hair. I am not sure why we were privileged with that procedure but I suppose it is all Show Biz. Heather captured the fun carnival spirit of the Samba although she looked totally off balance while dancing some Reverse Rolls, but after that I thought that she danced well even though she was not at her technical best. The upbeat, lively dances are proving to be her strong point. Unfortunately, she did fall at the end of her performance but she got right back up. Heather scored a total of 21 points – a 7 from each judge.

Joey & Kym were next with a Rumba. Not a bad routine but for most of the performance I couldn’t read the timing at all. The judges commented that his arm movements were a little bit feminine. Joey wanted to shed his goofy style and get into the sexy character of the dance and I thought that he did that. The Rumba seems to be a difficult dance for the Male contestants.
I felt that Kym was smiling a little too much throughout the routine and did not follow the theme of the words of the song. It is more of a love song and not a happy smiley theme. They scored 25 points, 8s from Carrie Anne & Len and a 9 from Bruno.

John Ratzenberger and Edyta followed with a Samba. John was having a lot of fun with his Samba and it was energetic and enjoyable to watch. John is obviously not the best dancer in the group but he has a great attitude and his constant smile was great. He may end up in the bottom two this week but I think that his personality might save him. I think that Bruno described it best: “One of the best worst sambas I’ve ever seen.” A 6 from each of the judges for a total of 18 points.

Up next were Laila & Maksim with the Rumba. It was a good basic routine and - even though they were a little careful last week - they brought their sexiness back into the performance. Laila’s fiancĂ©e made an appearance during their practice sessions and kept a close eye on the “sexiness” and re-adjusted Maksim’s hands at times. Their Rumba was hot and flirtatious and Len thought that it was their best performance while Bruno called it “smoldering”. They scored 28 points (9 – 10 – 9)

Apolo & Julianne were next with an exciting Samba. This number looked like a professional routine, complex, well choreographed and well performed. They really attacked the Samba with a Tiger-like ferocity. Apolo and Julianne really get into the spirit of every dance that they perform and no doubt they will be asked to dance the encore performance at Tuesday’s results show. It is very likely that this couple could go all the way and take the grand prize. They received a perfect score of 30 points.

Billy Ray and Karina were last with the Rumba. Even though his Rumba was slightly more appealing than Clyde’s, as the Judges pointed out, it lacked romance. He did try to connect a little more with the dance than Clyde did but for the most part he was standing still while Karina danced around him. Carrie Anne praised his technical skills that again spotlighted her lack of ballroom knowledge. I think that both Elena with Clyde & Karina with Billy give up on their partners thinking that they don’t have the ability for more choreography and while that may be true they should have more confidence in these guys and at least give them the opportunity to do more. I also feel that Karina tries to showcase herself more than her partner. The Pros need to teach their partners to be good. They scored 17 points (6, 6, 5)

I would say that the bottom two this week could be John & Clyde. Billy Ray’s scores put him in the statistical bottom two, but his country fans should probably save him for another week. The elimination pattern has been clear, whoever is in the bottom two the previous week gets eliminated the next week but who knows how the voting will go.

Tuesday’s Results Show: The contestants in the bottom two Tuesday were Clyde & Heather and at the end of the night it was Clyde Drexler who was voted off. He was known as “Clyde the Glide” on the basketball court, but Clyde just didn’t have it on the dance floor. He kept a smile on his face and graciously thanked the judges and the fans that kept him in the competition.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Celebrities For Next Season Of Dancing With The Stars

The season isn't even halfway over and the rumors are flying about who will appear in the next season of Dancing With The Stars! Marcus Schenkenberg, Pamela Anderson's ex, has apparently approached DWTS producers to appear on the next season. He is being considered along with singer/actress Deborah Gibson and basketball great Reggie Miller, according to Life + Style Magazine.

World Pro-Am Championships In Argentina

Congratulations to the following Fred Astaire students and professionals who competed in the World Pro-Am Championships in Argentina:

Latin 18-35
2nd place—Mariyana Nikolic and Martin Goethche, Norwalk
Rhythm Over 50
4th place—Pauline Ireland and Fabian Sanchez, Birmingham
5th place—Gloria Daniels and Dean Botting, Chattanooga
7th place—Dorree Howd and Christopher Lansford, Sun City West
Smooth 36-50
2nd place—Cecelia Gilchrist and Darius Mosteika, NY West Side
4th place—Charlotte Paulsen and Martin Goethche, Norwalk
Smooth Over 50
1st place—Kathy Hoffman and Darius Mosteika, NY West Side
Standard 36-50
2nd place—Luis Mijangos and Jolanta Mosteika, NY West Side
3rd place—Lynne Mijangos and Darius Mosteika, NY West Side

Dancing Tips - Forward Walking Exercise

By Stanley McCalla, a former US amateur champion in Latin, Standard and 10 dances; 4 times US representative to World Championships; Fred Astaire National Dance Board Member and Adjudicator; Fred Astaire Dance Board Examiner; Fred Astaire Smooth Undefeated Champion. Stanley can be reached at or 845-304-9028.

Hello and welcome back to the Tip Of The Week. In my last two articles, I mentioned how important it is to practice certain techniques that will improve your dancing and make it more enjoyable. So far you've heard about good posture and position of the feet in Latin and Rhythm.
Today, I will tell you about a forward walking exercise that will enhance your Foxtrot, Waltz, Viennese Waltz in Standard or Smooth.
Applying the good posture that was described in my first article, start standing in first position with feet parallel, and with your weight on your (L.F) left foot.
Extend your right leg forward from the hip with your moving foot lightly skimming the floor, first with the toes, then the ball, then the heel of the foot. At this point you should have your weight evenly distributed between the heel of your moving foot (the right), and the ball of your supporting foot (the left), with the legs straight. Continue moving placing your weight over your right foot and bringing your left underneath the body in the original position. Repeat with the (L.F)
You should practice this exercise before every lesson. That will improve your coordination and balance and you will develop a strong sense of movement.
In the previous article, I asked you this question:
What is the foot position used in the cross over break step?
Answer: Fourth position: forward and across in CBMP with toe turn out. If you’re not dancing this way it’s the time to start.
I will leave you now with this next question. What is CBMP?
It’s the occasion to ask your teacher if you do not know this term yet. We’ll talk about that more next time; meanwhile happy dancing!

Stanley Mc Calla

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dancing With The Stars, Week Four

By Lyall Bradshaw, Fred Astaire National Dance Board member

As I will be traveling to Las Vegas tomorrow, I will not be able to report on the Results show Tuesday night but based on the dancing tonight (Monday), it could be anyone with the exception of Joey Fatone.

Head judge Len Goodman pointed out at the beginning of the show that Season 3 contestants practiced an average of 19 hours a week but that this year contestants averaged only 13 hours a week. And it really showed tonight with some poor performances.

The first dancers were Laila & Maksim dancing the Paso Doble. Nothing really exciting, just an average routine. Len Goodman said that he didn’t see enough fire or aggression, not enough content, not enough fire. Bruno compared her dancing to a blockbuster that is going into re-runs. They received a score of 21 points.

Next to dance were Apolo & Julianne dancing the Waltz. The dance was romantic, yet sloppy. His timing was off at times, his head was constantly in the wrong position, more to the right than to the left. His upper body was weak and his footwork quite sloppy. Apolo’s scores from the judges: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 8; Bruno: 9; Total: 26

Last week’s bottom two escapee was Leeza Gibbons next to dance the PasoDoble. This dance was a good interpretive dance but certainly not a Paso Doble. Her dancing was stiff. Len called it her worst dance. It is possible that she will be the next to go. Leeza’s scores from the judges: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 5; Bruno: 5; Total: 16

Dancing fourth was Ian Ziering. A good Waltz but a little out of time in certain areas. His posture was a little forward at times. Bruno gave a hilarious Grey’s Anatomy analogy: “You started off like McDreamy, but you ended like McStiffy.” Ian’s scores from the judges: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 9; Bruno: 8; Total: 24.

John Ratzenberger & Edyta were next with the Paso Doble – although it wasn’t really a Paso Doble. He is a good showman but had no body shape for the Paso. I didn’t see him being aggressive at all. Bruno hated the dance and argued with the booing crowd. Carrie Ann was confused about whether it was humorous or serious. Len thought the Paso Doble didn’t suit him. John’s scores from the judges: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 5; Bruno: 5; Total: 16.

Clyde Drexler & Elena danced next with the Waltz. A reasonable job, but no rise & fall at all. His posture is still off when in closed dance position and even though Elena is shorter he needs to stand up straight. One good thing was that he was the only dancer to keep time in the Waltz. His head position was also a little off. Len commented on his effort: “He’s not trying. He’s walking through the dance.” Bruno said there was more romance between Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump than those two. Clyde’s scores from the judges: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 4 (ouch!); Bruno: 5; Total: 15.

In the seventh slot were Billy Ray & Karina dancing another non Paso Doble. I don’t know what to call that dance but it certainly wasn’t a Paso Doble. Can’t blame Billy Ray though but the choreography was not good at all. Billy Ray’s scores from the judges: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7; Total: 21.

Heather Mills came next with partner Jonathan. She was a little stiff at times but Jonathan choreographed a nice routine suitable for her abilities. Heather’s scores from the judges: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 8; Bruno: 8; Total: 23.

Our final dancer of the night with the Paso Doble was Joey Fatone & Kym. This was the best Paso Doble of the evening and also the best dance of the evening. He was perfect, stern, and passionate. Carrie Ann felt he was on fire. Len said, “You captured the flavor of the dance.” Joey’s scores from the judges: Carrie Ann: 10 (first ten of the season); Len: 9; Bruno: 9; Total: 28.

Week 4 Leaderboard:Joey Fatone – 28; Apolo Anton Ohno – 26; Ian Ziering – 24; Heather Mills – 23; Laila Ali – 21; Billy Ray Cyrus – 21; John Ratzenberger – 16; Leeza Gibbons – 16; Clyde Drexler – 15.

Next week, all couples will take on two dances in one week. Who will buckle under the pressure? Who will rise to the top?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Dancing Through Life!

Fred Astaire National Dance Director Antoinette Benevento, along with acclaimed writer/editor Edwin Dobb, shares the lessons she has learned on and off the dance floor in this warm and encouraging self-help book, Dancing Through Life, due out in September of 2007. Through her 25 years in the dance world, Antoinette has discovered that getting out on the dance floor is a powerful and empowering metaphor for living fully in all realms of life. Her book will be an inspiration to all!
Some of the tenets that Antoinette lives, dances, and teaches include:
  • Persistence is a form of beauty.
  • Give yourself permission to begin again - and again and again.
  • If you're not willing to risk falling, you'll never learn to walk (or dance)
  • Desire is the energy that moves us forward in dance and in life.
  • To dance well and to live fully, body and soul need to work together.

Building on the ballroom dance craze that has swept the nation, including the popularity of the TV show Dancing With The Stars, Dancing Through Life shows that what you learn on the dance floor can help you dance through life.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

From The Ballroom To A Marathon!

Congratulations to Dr. George Hill, of the Upper Montclair Fred Astaire Dance Studio, for completing the Army Ten-Miler on October 8, 2006, with his daughter Lana. This annual world-class race starts at the Pentagon, goes to the Capitol, and then returns to the Pentagon.

In addition to jogging every day, George and his wife Dr. Lanie Hill have been ballroom dancing every Monday with Carrie Babcock and Kostadin Bidjourov for over 9 years with a near perfect attendance. Congratulations George and Lanie!!!

Dancing With The Stars, Week Three

By Lyall Bradshaw, Fred Astaire National Dance Board member

Monday night saw lots of good dancing from our celebrities and ended with a four-way tie for the top score between Joey Fatone, Ian Ziering, Leeza Gibbons and Heather Mills. John Ratzenberger and Clyde Drexler were tied for the bottom. But on Tuesday’s results show it was Shandi Finnessey and Brian Fortuna who were voted off.

Shandi and Brian were first up on Monday night with a Jive danced to “Crocodile Rock”. Their performance was fun and spirited with Shandi showing lots of skin. Not as technically skillful as some of the other contestant but making good progress even though her timing at times was a little behind compared to her partner. They scored three 7’s across the board for a total of 21 points.

Next up were John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska with the Tango and even though I don’t feel they are likely to win, they did a good job. John was really into the character of the dance with his intense stare and dramatic attitude. I thought that they did a good job of portraying the intense persona of the Tango. Bruno dubbed the dance the “Mafioso Tango”. Their scores were 7, 6 and 7 for a total of 20 points.

Clyde Drexler and Elena Grinenko were third, dancing the Jive. He seemed to be enjoying the dance as he was smiling the whole way through even after receiving the lowest score of the night. Clyde doesn't seem to have quite the charm or pep that his sports counterparts, Emmett Smith or Jerry Rice, had. Still, he seems to be intent on remaining a competitor, despite the problems his height presents. Their Jive to “Bad Moon Rising” wasn’t necessarily bad, but it never seemed to take off. Carrie Ann wanted to see more from Clyde and Bruno backed that up by telling Clyde he wanted to “see the beef”. Clyde, however, disagreed with the judges and said he thought they performed a seamless procedure. They didn’t do so hot on the scores though, only receiving a total of 16 out of 30.

Laila and Maxim were up next with a Bond-inspired tango to "Goldfinger". As usual, the couple commanded the floor with their confidence and sharp presentation and I thought that it was a strong Tango. All three judges had a major problem with the contact being broken in the middle of the dance, which cost Laila and Maxim some points. It irritates me to no end that the Judges still do not understand American style dancing. Certainly we can break the hold in Tango and we can dance apart. Another irritation was on Tuesday’s result show when Laila apologized for breaking the rules. Here was the best opportunity for Maksim to speak up and set the judges straight but instead he kept silent. I think that the judges need to be given a thirty minute lesson on what American Style Dancing is all about. They received all 7s and ended up with 21 out of 30.

Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough were next dancing the Jive and started with the reenactment of the famous John Travolta dance scene from the movie Pulp Fiction. Their Pulp Fiction homage was an absolute show-stopper, and their performance featured some challenging moves, and plenty of fast footwork and was spontaneously exciting. The judges placed the pair in the middle of the pack with a 23 (7, 8, 8).

Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson followed with the Tango. They did a Star Wars-inspired Tango, complete with Princess Leia slave girl costume lightsabers, and sound effects. The dance seemed more about showmanship than technical difficulty, but no matter. These two are consistently excellent, and are tons of fun to watch. His main problem as the judges pointed out was that his derriere stuck out a little too much. Her costume was more suited to Latin than the Tango and in a legitimate ballroom dance competition would have received a penalty but the judges made no comment on that. Score: 24 (8, 8, 8),

Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke were next with the Jive. They did a very energetic and fun Jive to “Hard Hearted Woman”. These two took a lot of criticism for a misstep that I barely noticed near the end and should not have warranted a reduction in points. It was one of my favorite performances of the night. What really seemed to improve were his feet, as he executed the sort of high-speed, quick-footed dance that tends to rev up the crowd. I missed the finale due to some mess-up with the camera. Seemed like the Camera man slipped and the camera went up to the ceiling and then down again. Their score was 24 (8, 8, 8).

Leeza Gibbons and Tony Dovolani came out with a more classic Tango. Their Tango was basic but good. I think that Leeza was feeling a lot more confident about her dancing this week although I felt that she is always concentrating too hard on the steps and I thought her dress and hat aged her a bit too much. The good thing about Tony is that he dances to his students' abilities and not above them. I mentioned last week that I didn’t feel that Leeza was a really good dancer and I feel that she would have had a problem with more advanced choreography. I think that Tony was feeling the pressure a little in the practice sessions and it was probably my imagination but I had the feeling that he was being a little mean to Leeza. Just my imagination I am sure. But remember, professionals: Constructive Criticism, not Destructive Criticism. Anyway, dancers know that it is not quantity that counts but quality. Len felt it was their best dance so far and Carrie Ann gave us the jackpot quote of the night with "Leeza Gibbons just showed me her booby." after Leeza revealed a temporary tattoo that read "Tramp". Leeza and Tony also earned all 8s for another 24 for the evening. They were the second lowest score on Tuesday’s results show but survived for another week.

Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts came out second to last dancing the Jive. There was the concern that Mills' prosthetic limb couldn't handle the quick steps and bouncing motion of the Jive. A quick trip to the prosthetist offered up a new leg that seemed to respond better to the task. Their Jive had a great sock hop feel to it and I felt that she did a good job including Heather's difficult front walkover. Again the sneakers were out of costume but I believe that her new leg required a flat shoe to get the necessary bounce. Another case of broken rules but this time possibly a necessary one. Their scores 8,8 and 8 for a total of 24.

Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff came out last with a Tango. I felt it a little strange that they had to go horseback riding to get into character for their Tango especially when they would be dancing to “Rock the Casbah”. I thought that he had improved from last week although he does seem to have to mouth the timing of the steps to himself. Also he took someone's advice and pulled his hair back into a sleek ponytail, a look that suited his Tango. His posture and his attitude were better. The couple's performance did feature a few difficult moves, including a finale that had Billy Ray sliding under Karina's legs. Karina’s body was, in some places, more Latin with a little too much isolation. Those hard-voting country fans might keep Billy Ray around a while. Score: 21 (7, 7, 7).

The stars have only six days to learn each choreographed dance routine and, as the competition intensifies, this workload will be doubled. Five hours practice a day is the secret behind turning two left feet into sweet feet, though the learning process is not without pitfalls.

With the vote split 50-50 between the panel of three judges and the viewing public, the question of whether it's more important to be a good dancer or a big personality comes to mind.