Thursday, December 31, 2009
Former Boy Meets World star and current The Dish host Danielle Fishel aspires to be on Dancing With The Stars in 2010.
“I’ve told them really straight forwardly that I really want to do the show, and unfortunately they’ve got thousands of other celebrities that feel the exact same way,” she tells me. “There are so many people who want to do that show because it’s a real classy show, especially for reality TV. I told them I’m interested, they know I’m interested, and hopefully one day they’ll think I’d be a good fit for the show. “
Her dream partner is Maksim.
“He is the biggest, manliest dancer they have on that show, and I think for me to have a male dance partner, I would want someone that I felt very feminine next to. I think he’s the manliest dancer on the show.”
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Because "So You Think You Can Dance" aired two back-to-back seasons for the first time -- with 6 starting in September, barely a month after 5 finished -- and Season 7 auditions beginning in just a couple weeks, no tour is planned for Season 6's top 10 finalists.
Step Up 3-D will premiere on August 6, 2010
Now that America is unabashedly in love with dancing (thank you, America's Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dancing with the Stars), you don't have to hide your excitement for yet another Step Up sequel! Next August, Step Up 2 the Streets director Jon Chu takes his crew to the mean rues of Paris, where MSA nerd-popper Moose (Adam Sevani, who battled Miley Cyrus in an online dance-off last year) has been left behind like Kevin McAllister in Home Alone 2 and joins forces with his new French pals to win an international dance competition. Former Step Up stars Briana Evigan, Robert Hoffman, and Channing Tatum show up, along with SYTYCD alums Twitch, Katee, Joshua, and Ivan.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Many people set goals to work toward in the coming year. If you are a dancer, perhaps you can think of a few ways to improve your dancing. Here is a list of new year's resolutions for dancers...write down a few and get dancing. Good luck!
A dancer can't be too flexible. All styles of dance require excellent flexibility to perform steps and jumps correctly. If your flexibility could use some improvement, make it a habit to stretch each night before bed and each morning before breakfast. You'll be amazed at how quickly you become more limber. And you'll love what it does for your dancing.
Dancers need to be strong. Strength allows a dancer to move quickly and protects against injury. Try adding a few strength-building exercises to your daily routine. Incorporate a variety of exercises to strengthen the entire body.
Try a New Style
All dancers can benefit from trying out a new dance style. Trying a different type of dance not only challenges the body, but also the mind.
Challenge Yourself ***
Don't be afraid to give yourself a challenge this year. Maybe you've never had the confidence to enter a dance competition or perform a solo routine. You'll never know what all you can achieve if you don't try.
*** Live out your dreams in 2010 at a Fred Astaire Dance Studios National Competition! Go to www.fredastairedancestudiocompetitions.com for more information on the exciting events we've got planned for next year!
The holiday season is already upon us. The party mood will soon set in, and our palates will be ready for good home cooking.
As a dancer, however, and for some of us, the thought in the back of our minds will be ‘TO INDULGE OR NOT TO INDULGE!”
As a professional who has experienced the dilemma of absorbing the proper amount of food for ultimate performance, I agree that overindulgence is not the way to go. However, without restraining yourself too much, you may take pleasure in savoring your holiday meal by being a bit selective.
One of the way to be efficient as a performer is to prevent the onset of iron deficiency in one’s body.
To paraphrase Nicolette Aisen, an expert dietician in the dance field, as a dancer we should attempt to:
- Eat more iron rich foods such as lean red meat, skinless chicken, fish, eggs and legumes.
- Include Vitamin C rich foods or drinks at each meal.
- Eat more wholegrain breads and iron-fortified cereals.
- Drink tea and coffee between meals rather than with them.
If you are vegetarian or restricting certain food groups from your diet, obtain further dietary advice to suit individual requirements.
If you manage to eat satisfactorily by enriching your body with the right ingredients as per the above tips, congratulations… If not? Forgive yourself and try to get back on track as soon as you can after the holidays.
Meanwhile my best wishes for this Holiday season and a happy new dancing year.
Stanley McCalla, Dance Board member and examiner, National Champion and adjudicator
Monday, December 21, 2009
Monday, January 18, 2010 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
1300 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132
Monday, January 25, 2010 at the Manhattan Center
311 W. 34th Street
Between 8th & 9th Avenues
New York, New York 10001
Dancers must be either a US citizen or legal permanent resident of the US, possess a current legal Employment Authorization Card enabling him/her to seek employment freely in the US (i.e., without restrictions as to employer) by the date specified in the eligibility rules. Dancers must be no younger than 18 or older than 30 years of age on the first day they register for auditions. Any dancer who is a minor in his/her state of residence must also have a parent or legal guardian sign all required documents. Dancers must provide legal, valid proof of age when they register for auditions. Check Fox.com/dance for full eligibility rules.
By Elita Clayman
I am not ashamed to say I love soap operas. I have been watching them since I got married 49 years ago. I first started viewing one of them at 1:30 in the afternoon. Here is why.
My husband had a grandmother when I married him. I never had any grandparents because they were all deceased before I was born. My new grandmother Annie loved to watch one particular soap called As the World Turns. So in order to have something to converse with her about, I would turn on this show. Then I would call her on the phone the next day and we would talk about the storyline. I adored this little old lady who was my grandmother-in-law.
It was fun to talk to an old lady who was about 88 then about the silly storylines on the serial. We would conduct a lengthy discussion on the day’s happenings, and I felt good knowing I shared a little moment in her life. I loved her so much.
We can all find a person in our lives that came into our life at a later time and who influences us a bit and we in turn influence them and we have something in common, even a soap opera story.
Many times when we are out dancing at a competition or a social dance or even a group dance lesson, we will meet a stranger that appeals to us either as just a friend or maybe something romantic could happen. We talk, we dance, we mingle, we socialize, and we dream of what could be taking place.
Once, when we were social dancing on a Saturday night at the dance studio, there was a very short man who was dancing with a very short woman. We assumed they were married; they danced beautifully together and were very coordinated and enchanting in their movements. I was told after seeing them many times and thinking they were a darling couple that they were actually brother and sister. I then could see the resemblance after hearing that. So two siblings, each single, had taken up ballroom dancing. They had no other partners and they enjoyed their dancing and their activity so much that they appeared to be a married couple or a dating couple to the average person who saw them dance.
Another time, a father brought his teenage daughter to the dances. She danced with her dad and a few younger men and then sat a lot. I found out that her mom had died and her father wanted to go out on Saturday to dance and did not want to leave her alone so soon after the demise of the parent. She came often but, after several months, she stopped. This was not a place for a teen with all adults, and so he ceased to bring her and let her be with her own age group. She had become an excellent dancer.
One day, a fellow walked in with long hair, and he reminded me of a singer named Tiny Tim. He came with an Asian lady and they danced very well. He looked quite weird with his long hair for this time in his aged life but when he danced you forgot the ugly hair and saw the two meld as one and dance the night away. They were a married couple. His hair was longer than hers and once you got past the mane, you saw him as a different person. So looks can be deceiving and not an accurate noting of a person and who they really are.
Soap operas depict people who are often like ordinary people. Other times, they depict people who are wealthy and powerful and who try to demean the every day person and from that evolves stories that go on and on. Many times, a story will be relevant to life as it is now and of illnesses people have and emotional problems between members of a family and social contacts too.
People with long hair, brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters, grandparents-in-law and just regular folks ballroom dance and when they dance, we do not know what their job or profession is. A short guy can be a revered physician or lawyer, a father can be a successful business man, a long haired fellow can be an accomplished certified public accountant and a granddaughter-in- law who found the love of a soap opera through her new husband’s grandmother can be a writer of dance articles.
Ballroom dancing brings together people of all walks of life and in doing so we examine our hearts and our souls and we find ourselves addicted to this inspiring activity that nurtures our every moment with hours of excitement and exercise. We do not need shows like Dancing with the Stars to enhance our days.
Real ballroom dancers do not take seven hours of lessons six days a week to learn as these people do. They go about this in a manner that a normal ballroom dancer does not. We do not take forty hours a week (we could not afford the cost and our bodies could not take the rigorous activity). We, with our teachers, do not do the show stopping routines even with a competition. We do not learn one dance a day for the whole seven hours. If we did, we would not survive and continue on. We would be bored, tired and restless.
My main concern with shows like this is that they do not portray the reality of learning to ballroom dance. They portray a specific and intense manner of learning that is really not productive for us as regular people. I think that when we see someone in our group or our studio or our dance class who is really trying hard to become excellent, then that is who we should emulate.
The kid with her dad, the brother and sister, the long haired man and the soap opera addict (who loves to dance - me) are the ones people should imitate. They are the true and meaningful ballroom dancers who will inspire others to dance. That way, ballroom dancing will survive because real people like us are expanding the public’s notion on who ballroom dancers actually are. We dancers are special people performing a delightful performance of outstanding learning and happiness.
Ballroom dancing is something meaningful to us. We are the panorama and the view is beautiful and we are ever the brightness of the dance floor. We continue on and we are constantly evolving into the best we can be.
We are the bright lights in the dancing world and no one can extinguish our joy, our delight and our spirit in what we do.
We are on 52 weeks a year. Nothing can stop us. We are excellent and we know it.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Following the success of the 2009 STORM Dance Clinic, local choreographer Tommy Radon announces STORM’s first 2010 fundraiser, which he promises will be bigger and better than this year’s event. “Dancing for a Dream” will be held on January 16, 2010 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel, 120 Church Street, Buffalo, NY. The goal is to raise $40,000 with all proceeds benefiting the Variety Club of Buffalo.
From 9:00am to 6:00pm, there will be a series of twelve 45-minute dance workshops in styles comprising Ballet, Ballroom, Belly Dancing, Break Dancing, Hip-Hop, Jazz and Lyrical Jazz. Each class will be taught by professional instructors who hold some of the most prestigious titles in the world of dance. Andrei and Anastasia Abrashin, from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Williamsville, NY, are three time US Nine Dance Champions and Theatrical Arts Champions. Vladimir and Vera Kosarev, from the same studio, are US National Fred Astaire Smooth Champions.
Local instructors will be joined by Anna Trebunskaya, whose titles include 2004 US Rising Star Latin Champion and 2008 US National Dancesport Latin Finalist. Anna is also one of the professional instructors on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”. She will be teaching two Master Classes at “Dancing for a Dream” and, for an additional fee, is also available for private lessons during the day.
Tommy hopes to sell over 1,000 tickets for the event, which runs from 9:00am to Midnight and includes a Professional Dance Show at 8:30pm followed by general dancing. “This is a great opportunity for the dance community of Buffalo to donate to those less fortunate while learning from some of the best in the business”, says Tommy. “Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience and ability. You can join in every workshop or just come to watch but, once you see what’s happening, it will be hard to sit still.”
An all-day pass to the event, which includes all workshops and the evening entertainment, is $40. Reservations can be made at www.stormbuffalo.com or by phone at 716-310-8027.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" - A 1970 television special starring Astaire as the narrator and Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle/Santa Claus. The film tells the story of how Santa Claus and several Claus-related Christmas traditions came to be. It is still played every year on television.
"The Man in the Santa Claus Suit" - A made for TV movie. Fred Astaire had eight different roles and sang the title song.
"Holiday Inn" - A 1942 film starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. An original song from this movie is "White Christmas."
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
By Brian Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org
Nita Smeddon ended up with two instructors for her regular afternoon dance lesson at the Crestview Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Her usual teacher Scott Seip’s expertise was supplemented by an acknowledged expert in the art of the dance, Edyta Sliwinska.
Sliwinska, best known for her nine seasons on TV’s “Dancing with the Stars,” was in town last Friday and spent most of her day at the Main Street dance studio working with Fred Astaire’s clients. That evening she offered a group lesson.
Smeddon wasn’t Sliwinska’s only pupil during the lesson, however. She had several others, who just didn’t happen to be out on the dance floor at the time.
“The staff is listening and watching and learning,” said studio owner and manager David Colón. “It’s awesome. It’s a good chance to learn from the best.”
“I think Scott’s having the most fun,” observed studio co-owner Erica Moreno as Sliwinska propelled him along the floor in a sultry tango to demonstrate the steps for Sneddon. “He’s in her arms a lot. He is going to have nice dreams tonight!”
Moreno said Seip wanted to make sure someone took his photo with Sliwinska because his buddies didn’t believe he would be spending the day with a television personality, let alone being frequently embraced in a dance with her.
Also watching from the sidelines was Crestview High School junior Yumi Terrell, whose lesson followed Smeddon’s. She was looking forward to learning a few extra pointers from the out-of-town celebrity guest—until she went online, looked up Sliwinska’s impressive credentials and started feeling a bit out of her league.
“Now she’s a little nervous,” chuckled Krickett Goutreaux, another Fred Astaire instructor, who, turning to the student, indicated Seip and said, “C’mon, Yumi, you dance with a star every day.”
But as Smeddon’s lesson came to a close and Yumi got to observe how personable Sliwinska was with the pupil, Yumi was ready to hit the floor herself. As for Smeddon, her eyes sparkled as she headed for a chair.
“That was so much fun!” she said. “I had a wonderful time. She (Sliwinska) is darling.”
The Polish dancer, who on the most recent season of “Dancing with the Stars” was partnered with writer/musician Ashley Hamilton, found her visit to the Hub City a welcome change. Instructing ordinary people was more relaxing than teaching celebrities, she said.
“When you work with some stars, you have to brace yourself for moody people who are late all the time,” Sliwinska said. “Dancing with regular people is more pleasurable.”
After a quick break for some fresh fruit and water, Sliwinska was ready to hit the floor once more with Seip and his next pupil, the now-eager Yumi.
“For me, the effort is pretty much the same,” Sliwinska said. “I give each student I take 100 percent, whether they’re movie stars or regular people. There’s no difference.”
For budding dancers such as Nita Sneddon and Yumi Terrell, however, their 45-minute encounters with the famous dancer indeed made a difference, and created memories they will always remember.
Monday, December 07, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
We have television to thank for a serious dance renaissance. TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars have introduced a new generation to the joys of the samba, the waltz, and the quickstep, while High School Musical (and now, Glee) brought song-and-dance production numbers back into vogue. Suddenly it seems like the world's gone dance crazy. Of course, geeks like me, who grew up watching the great movie musicals, have been dance crazy for most of our lives.
On this week's episode of SYTYCD, show producer/judge Nigel Lythgoe lectured a pair of dancers about the importance of telling a story through choreography, instructing them that technical proficiency isn't enough --the audience wants to understand who the characters are, what the relationship is, and what they're trying to convey. Well, if he'd wanted to illustrate that concept, Lythgoe could do worse than to point his young contestants at 1953's The Band Wagon, starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Directed by the great Vincente Minnelli, the musical tells the story of an aging hoofer who hopes to reinvigorate his career by starring in a hilariously awful musical interpretation of Faust, which turns out to be such a disaster that he and his comely co-star, along with the show's writers (Oscar Levant and Nanette Fabray), have to create an entirely new show on the fly to replace it.
The whole thing is a classic MGM-musical device -- the "let's put on a show!" plot, which allows for a number of disparate songs and dance sequences, from the comic ("Triplets") to the typically ambitious Astaire routines ("Shine On Your Shoes"). The major set piece of the new show is "Girl Hunt," a lengthy modern-ballet piece modeled on Mickey Spillane's 1950's detective fiction, starring Astaire as the private-eye and Charisse (who, by the way, Nigel Lythgoe danced with back in his chorus-boy days) as an irresistibly mysterious dame. It's the sort of supposed Broadway number at which MGM musicals excelled -- utterly impossible to stage in an actual theater, of course, but brilliantly entertaining on the big screen.
The entire sequence is pure joy to watch, and justly famous (not just because Michael Jackson used it as inspiration for his "Smooth Criminal" video, either.) In this too-short excerpt, Charisse is beyond stunning in a red sequin dress, with legs that go on for days -- be sure to notice how Astaire's gun comes to attention when she drapes herself across him. Better yet, rent the whole movie on DVD. There's not a moment of The Band Wagon that isn't magical.