Dancing With The Stars - Week 1
As this being my first blog for Dancing With The Stars, this may seem a little vague and varied on topics. The first week is overwhelming with the 3 nights, 2 dances and 2 contestants being voted off. Everyone had to learn their steps, how to dance, how to perform and how to wear ballroom dancing shoes and costumes! What we want to see is who picked up the steps the best, which one has a great stage presence, who may get by on votes alone?
So what level would the contestants be at if they started at a Fred Astaire studio with an introductory offer? If they danced 4 hours a day for 6 weeks that would be 24 one-hour lessons; on average this would put the student at the end of Social Foundation, and early Bronze level. Wow! Can you imagine your instructor asking you to be in a dance competition on national TV at the Social Foundation or Bronze level!
Ever since the first season, I do view the male contestants on the show differently. I think of the male students in our studios when they do their first competition. The male contestant must develop their leading skills, have good posture while also trying to remember the routine, clean footwork and having a presence out on the floor. The female contestant must also do many of these things but they do not have to worry about leading as much. They have a strong male lead to put them in the right spot, to highlight them in the correct character, and yes they still have to do it well but there is something about it that doesn’t seem as difficult as it is for the men.
And, of course, this week on the show 2 male contestants were eliminated. In their circumstances, I feel that Ted did well in his Fox Trot when you consider that he had to do feather steps, telemarks and pivots in his routine! Fox Trot can be one of the hardest international dances to learn. But at Fred Astaire we start by teaching the Fox Trot because it is an opportunity for us to get the students to do what they already know…walking. I know that Dancing With The Stars is a competition and you have to do competitive moves to feel that you have a chance, but what happened to teaching some simpler moves, doing some easy tricks and teaching the stage presence, the posture, and the ability to go out there and present yourself well? I feel that some of the weaker dancers on the show may hear better comments from the judges if they were to start this way. Regardless of how they did perform they also have to get the votes… So when you pair a low mark with the fact that they haven’t won over the viewing audience and are not a well known star, then we have eliminations. This is also what can be said happened to Jeff Ross. He went out there with a great attitude but there were others that got higher marks and I have never heard of him before making it hard for him to last very long on the show.
I feel that this season of Dancing With The Stars could be very exciting. On the first night I felt like there were many great performances and dancers. I could see the contestants that had previous training versus the ones who have not. Not everyone always sees this as fair but this is how it works in any ballroom dancing competition. There will always be the ones that have had more experience in one way or another. There will always be the ones that learn faster than others. There will always be ones that will get better marks for unknown reasons. But unlike ballroom dancing competitions, audience votes count! So if you see someone who you think did great but got low marks, vote for them! Trust me - it’s a great feeling that the audience loves you even if the judges don’t!