Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dancing With The Stars - Week 8

A Teacher's Perspective

By Debra Stroiney

I really loved her Quickstep - the dress, the song, the routine. She carried herself well throughout the dance. Maybe there wasn’t as much going on with the facial expressions as we have seen from others but there isn’t all that much more you can do while you are in a frame at her level of training. That is the difference between a professional dancer and a student who has been dancing for a shorter amount of time. It’s learning to put the emotion and spunk into the dance even if it is a dance that is more conservative such as the Quickstep. I too was disappointed with her Cha-Cha. There was something off throughout the dance. They had a great song, great costume, some fun tricks but the attitude wasn’t there. I wanted to see the attitude that Shawn and Gilles brought to the Cha-Cha when they danced it. That’s the best I can define what was lacking.

She really is coming along as a dancer but the most important part is that she is learning to portray the dances through emotion which can be hard in ballroom dancers who are that young. Sometimes you are displaying emotions you have never felt before at that age and it can be hard to get right. I was watching her Jive thinking the judges could go either way with this… either they will praise her for putting so much personality into the dance or they will criticize her for not having enough Jive patterns. You never know with the judges: one week, they like a showy routine and the next time they like you to stick to the book. I think Shawn’s two dances last night reflect where she has improved throughout the season. Shawn now knows how to go out there and put on a show without adding fancy flips!

We all knew that he would not match up to the others in this semi-final but it was great to see someone who has improved so much be rewarded by staying around for another week. Honestly though, his Samba is probably the best Rhythm dance (not counting the Lindy Hop) that he has ever done. He has improved because the Samba would have been a total disaster for him in the first month of the show but now it was kind of fun to watch. He did a good job against the competition he has and Len was correct: Chelsea has been a great teacher. That is a huge factor that you forget when watching this show. Having a teacher who knows how to teach you the way you need and create choreography that looks good for you can be more important than natural talent.

Well, now, here is a case of natural talent. I don’t know what else to say. I am glad we are seeing the Gilles that we were first exposed to in the beginning of the season. These two dances definitely highlighted his strengths again but they also stepped it up for the semi-final. He is going to be very tough to beat with scores alone and we don’t really know who is the most popular with the voters.

I could be very wrong again but I don't think that Ty will make it to the final. But who knows? Melissa, Shawn and Gilles need to be there. If that is the case then it will be a very tough final for all involved.

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