Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dancing With The Stars - Week 2 Commentary

Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars is finally upon us. Each week Syracuse, NY FADS co-owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Natasha Oreshkina will be sharing her thoughts on the competition and giving us her take on which celebrities had the best week on the dance floor and which ones should be getting ready to pack their bags.



[Natasha] Because there was no elimination last week, this week still had eleven couples dancing in the competition. The two dances the teams could choose from were the quickstep and the jive, and it was interesting to look at the couples compete.

1st Place - Ralph Macchio (W1:24 + W2:21 = 45 points)
Ralph and Karina Smirnoff danced the jive. They didn't have the same energy as they had in their first dance, but it was still a high-energy performance. Sometimes Ralph's kicks weren't as sharp as they should be. Still, it was fun to watch.

2ndt Place - Hines Ward (W1:21 + W2:23 = 44 points)
Hines Ward moved into second place with his quickstep performance with partner Kym Johnson. Hines really stepped up this week. Very good choreography and a well done routine. He needs to improve his frame and position, however.

3rd Place - Kirstie Alley (W1:23 + W2:20 = 43 points)
I really loved so much what Kirstie and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy did last week. This week wasn't as enjoyable as last week. Most of the dance was very light on the floor, but she lost energy at the end of the routine. Still, it was high energy, and I also like the connection between Kirstie and Maks.

T-4th Place - Chris Jericho (W1:19 + W2:23 = 42 points)
Chris and his partner Cheryl Burke tied for 4th place with their quickstep. It was an easy and beautiful dance. Chris was smooth, elegant, charming and had a nice smile throughout the performance. Even judge Len Goodman complimented him, which is a hard thing to get from him.

T-4th Place - Romeo (W1:19 + W2:23 = 42 points)
Romeo danced the quickstep with partner Chelsie Hightower. Romeo had a... interesting style. He needs to be more formal. He was a little flat-footed and needs work there. He also lost some energy towards the end of the dance.

6th Place - Chelsea Kane (W1:21 + W2:18 = 39 points)
Chelsea Kane danced the jive with partner Mark Ballas. I cannot say that this was my favorite. There was not much jive in this jive routine. The choreography did not work for her in this performance.

7th Place - Kendra Wilkinson (W1:18 + W2:19 = 37 points)
Kendra Wilkinson and her partner Louis van Amstel danced the quickstep. The biggest thing about this dance was that Kendra messed up her footwork. She couldn't keep up with the choreography. Kendra doesn't have enough confidence in the routine to perform it well.

8th Place - Petra Nemcova (W1:18 + W2:18 = 36 points)
Petra danced the jive with pro partner Dmitry Chaplin. I thought it was a good performance. Petra had some good kicks and flicks. She needs to work on her body position. She's a beautiful lady and I'm always looking for her to do more.

9th Place - Sugar Ray Leonard (W1:17 + W2:17 = 34 points)
Sugar Ray danced the jive with partner Anna Trebunsakaya. [Laughing] He definitely looked like he was boxing out there. The routine was high on energy and low on dancing. He needs better footwork - what he's doing is not good enough.

10th Place - Wendy Williams (W1:14 + W2:17 = 31 points)
Wendy danced the quickstep with partner Tony Dovolani. She was definitely in a better emotional place this time around. She showed more personality in this dance and there was good choreography, but she still needs better movement. Even so, it's a step in the right direction.

11th Place - Mike Catherwood (W1:13 + W2:17 = 30 points)
Mike danced the jive with partner Lacey Schwimmer. Sometimes he looked good, but mostly it did not look nice. He had said earlier it was either "jive time or die time," and he turned out to be correct.

After two weeks one couple was eliminated out of the original eleven, and that was Mike Catherwood. Ralph and Karina are still in first place with their 45 points out of a possible 60. There were some interesting results and they're getting more experience, now, so we'll see what happens next week.

- Natasha Oreshkina

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Tonight's Dance Selections on DWTS

The website has a listing of the dances that each couple competing on Dancing With The Stars has selected to perform on tonight's episode. (They got the listing by following the celebs & pros comments on Twitter.) According to the site, they are:

Wendy Williams & Tony Dovolani
Chris Jericho & Cheryl Burke
Kendra Wilkinson & Louis Van Amstel
Kirstie Alley & Maks Chmerkovskiy
Romeo & Chelsie Hightower
Hines Ward & Kym Johnson

Sugar Ray & Anna Trebunskaya
Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff
Petra Nemcova & Dmitri Chaplin
Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas
Mike Catherwood & Lacey Schwimmer

"Both of these dances require dancers to be light on their feet," reports Zap2it, "and because the footwork must be clean and neat, expect the judges to make foot placement and technique a focus of their commentaries."

Zap2it reports that Cheslea Kane and her partner, Mark Ballas, should do well in their jive performance, as it's one of Mark's favorites. But, they report, celebrity Mike Catherwood might have trouble keeping up with his light-on-her feet pro partner, Lacey Schwimmer.

* *

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dancing With The Stars - Twitter Updates

There's a lot going on now that Dancing With The Stars has finally fired up its 12th season. Beyond the usual storylines and online news blurbs, there's also a fair amount of chatter going back and forth over on Twitter - and its coming from the stars and pro dancer themselves.

Below is a listing of Twitter comments made from celebrities and their pro dance partners going back to DWTS's premier night, last Monday, March 21.

March 21 (Premier Night)

Chris Jericho
Checkin out my costume and psyching up w some Tenacious D b4 the show. The competition is lookin STIFF!

Karina Smirnoff (Celebrity partner: Ralph Macchio)
This is it, guys! 15 min away! So nervous and equally excited! Can't wait! We r dancing 8th!

March 22
Kirstie Alley
GOOD MORNING!!! ONLY four hours sleep...yikes...I need to go back to sleep...I'm such an early bird..I should marry a farmer...a HOT farmer

Kirstie Alley
gonna get some more five hours I am at the MERCY of @MaksimC...and speaking of MERCY...GOD have some for me today in M's arms..xo

Ralph Macchio
What at night! Thanks for all the support. I felt every one of you out there. Back in rehearsal tomorrow!

Louis Van Amstel
Thank u for all your sweet tweets. I'm very proud of @KendraWilkinson I gave her a full on routine, because she can do it. She delivered!!!!

Lacey Schwimmer (Celebrity partner: Mike Catherwood)
errand errands errands. then getting @mcatherwood JIVIN hard core!

Louis Van Amstel (Celebrity partner: Kendra Wilkinson)
Off to the gym....chest n triceps....gotta look good next to @KendraWilkinson

Lacey Schwimmer
Thank you to my @ctgnyla family for the flowers

Lacey Schwimmer
Omgomg! @MCatherwood got me flowers too!

Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Celebrity partner: Kirstie Alley)
Quicksteping with @kirstiealley is going great! Trying to get M to 'haul ass in ONE trip'.....LOL

Kirstie Alley
WOW..what a difference a DAY makes. Last night so happy feeling like, started quickstep..feeling like smashing pumpkins.

March 23
Chelsie Hightower (Celebrity partner: Romeo)
Good rehearsal today, quickstep is coming along! Gonna be a super fun dance!!

Louis Van Amstel
Kendra is so cute. Check out this article from people magazine where she talks about how nervous she was. But...

Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Ola Twitterverse! Let's get 'quick and steppy'! Oh, wait....I need my M for that....LOL. Where r u @kirstiealley ???

Dmitry Chaplin (Celebrity partner: Petra Nemcova)
Done with our rehearsal, @pnemcova did great and learned all the steps for our jive! Time for the pro number

Louis Van Amstel
Just finished fitting my suit now off to see @KendraWilkinson for rehearsal...quicka di quickstep!!!

Dmitry Chaplin
@pnemcova drew her first blood! [foot] Who said that dancing is not dangerous!

Chelsie Hightower
Good rehearsal today, quickstep is coming along! Gonna be a super fun dance!!

Romeo Miller
@ChelsieKayH trying to turn me into a real ballroom dancer Haha

March 24
Louis Van Amstel
Had a great rehearsal today with @KendraWilkinson! Already looking forward to next week to show those judges a thing or two ;-)!

Chelsie Hightower
Hit a pot hole and got two flat tires...

Kirstie Alley
I talked to Maks.... He's IN!!! We will "Flap" you on DWTS during bumpers!!! To acknowledge u as our Twittter Friends.. WOO HOO.. Watch 4 it

Chelsie Hightower
Man things get so much more difficult without a car haha

Cheryl Burke (Celebrity partner: Chris Jericho)
Our quickstep is coming along....violently! Already scratched @IAmJericho's shoulder. And he loves whining about it too! ;)

Chris Jericho
Had a great rehearsal today but @cherylburke scratched me! She has sharp nails and It really hurts! WahWahWah...

Maksim Chmerkovskiy
My brother (@iamValC) and I grew up in Jewish dad/Christian mom family. My best friend (@TonyDovolani) is Muslim. THAT'S how I'm blessed!

Kirstie Alley
@MaksimC Ya tebya lublyu.....Mozhete na menya raschityvat....:)

Lacey Schwimmer
Rehearsal with @MCatherwood jive time baby!

Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Stop fishing for compliments M! You look fantastic :) RT @kirstiealley: getting hair and make up for LENO.....thank God for hair and make up

Lacey Schwimmer
Off to bed loooong day tomorrow! Fitting rehearsal w/ @MCatherwood interview and then rehearsal with @dmitry_ch for a special number! Xo

March 25
Louis Van Amstel
Having a little too much fun w @CherylBurke and @LaceySchwimmer in rehearsal w @MaksimC

Kirstie Alley by iluvssw
@MaksimC You can ACCIDENTLY end up at practice tomorrow morning on time........sorta like me calling the kettle black...hehe

Ralph Macchio
Body soreness has reached a new level this morning. Working on wk 2 and 3 dances. Drawing off ur energy to deliver another strong perf Mon!

Kirstie Alley
It always makes me laugh to see who's team people are on.. We are creatures of competition... Myself included

Louis Van Amstel
Can u believe it at one point we had 37.000.000 million viewers monday night!!!wooohooooo.....w an average of 23.000.000

- -

DWTS returns with its 2nd performance episode on Monday, March 28, and its first elimination episode on the following night, Tuesday, March 29.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dancing With The Stars - Week 1 Commentary

Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars is finally upon us. Each week Syracuse, NY FADS co-owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Natasha Oreshkina will be sharing her thoughts on the competition and giving us her take on which celebrities had the best week on the dance floor and which ones should be getting ready to pack their bags.



[Natasha] On the premiere episode of Dancing with the Stars we had 11 different celebrity couples coming from many different areas – from athletes and talk show hosts to models and even a Disney star. Having seen them dance only once, it’s difficult at this stage of the competition to give an accurate prognosis. But here’s a brief list of what I saw from the first show.

1st Place – Ralph Macchio (24 points)
Ralph Macchio danced with pro partner Karina Smirnoff. They danced the foxtrot, and I thought he had the best routine of the night. His dance was very smooth and elegant with nice lines, and the judges saw that, too. It was a very good performance.

2nd Place – Kirstie Alley (23 points)
Kirstie Alley danced the cha-cha with professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and they finished one point behind Macchio. I was surprised by Kirstie’s performance – I didn’t think she would dance so well. Before she danced, I was asking myself, “How is she going to move? How is she going to keep up with Maksim?” On the first night, celebrities usually don’t have good technique. But she was very balanced and her timing was very good. Maksim is a very experienced professional, and he picked a routine that was not too complicated and enough to make his partner look good. She has a lot of chances to win the competition.

T-3rd Place – Chelsea Kane (21 points)
Chelsea danced with professional Mark Ballas and they did the foxtrot. I thought Chelsea also looked good. Her routine was progressive and flowing, with good movement. She needs to work on her footwork, but she’s got good potential.

T-3rd Place – Hines Ward (21 points)
Hines Ward danced the cha-cha with dance pro Kym Johnson. It was a very nice dance. His lines and balance were very good for a first dance. I look forward to seeing what they can do in the future.

T-4th Place – Chris Jericho (19 points)
Chris Jericho danced the cha-cha with pro partner Cheryl Burke. I always like to watch Cheryl’s choreography and I had a lot of fun watching their routine. Their cha-cha showed a lot of energy – I liked the leather and Chris tearing off his sleeves! He needs to concentrate more on posture, though, and there was too much bending of his legs. Perhaps because of his wrestler training, he was also too tight in the shoulders.

T-4th Place – Romeo (19 points)
Romeo danced with professional Chelsie Hightower and they also did the cha-cha. I thought it was… okay – not so much fun and excitement as [fellow 4th Place finisher] Chris. You could see he was not ballroom dancing. Chelsie had a hard time with him – he doesn’t feel comfortable dancing ballroom style, so we’ll see how he does. He needs work.

T-5th Place – Petra Nemcova (18 points)
Petra Nemcova danced the foxtrot with pro partner Dmitry Chaplin. I was expecting a little more from Petra. As a model, I thought she would be a little more graceful on the floor. She was a little too closed – she needs to dance more openly and show her personality. She can do better than her first dance.

*On the question of whether or not Petra’s pelvic injury will affect her ability to compete: It might happen – especially the Latin dances might bother her. But it’s also a good opportunity for her to develop her body [through therapy] and pick up her self-confidence.

T-5th Place – Kendra Wilkinson (18 points)
Kendra Wilkinson danced the cha-cha with professional dancer Louis van Amstel. She was not bad, but I can’t say she was one of my favorites. Her footwork was not so good. The dance showed a lot of energy, but she looked a little too nervous in all of the excitement. When someone is dancing a routine, the audience should not have to worry or think about trips or falls. The dancers should be having fun and enjoy what they’re doing, and so that way the audience can enjoy it, too.

9th Place – Sugar Ray Leonard (17 points)
Sugar Ray Leonard did the foxtrot with pro partner Anna Trebunsakaya. What Sugar Ray did didn’t look like the foxtrot. The foxtrot should be smooth, elegant, with nice lines. He was so messy I couldn’t tell what it was.

10th Place – Wendy Williams (14 points)
Wendy Williams danced with professional Tony Dovolani and they did the cha-cha. [deep sigh] Very sad. Tony’s such a good teacher, we always hope he gets a good celebrity, but again this year not so. They didn’t look good. But Tony’s good, so hopefully he can straighten her out.

11th Place – Mike Catherwood (13 points)
Mike Catherwood danced the foxtrot with pro dancer Lacey Schwimmer. That was for sure the worst dance. Messy dance, posture not good – his shoulders were up, he looked nervous. The foxtrot should be a smooth dance, and he was awkward and stiff. I didn’t get the feeling they enjoyed dancing together. But I am looking forward to seeing what they can do in the future.


This season should be a very good season. There were three ties this week – so that’s good competition. Again, it’s hard to tell so early on how each celebrity will do, but after next week (the first elimination round) we’ll get a better idea of where they are.

- Natasha Oreshkina
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Key Dates for Season 12 of "Dancing With The Stars"

Dancing With The Stars premieres tonight at 8:00pm EST on ABC. Below are key dates that fans might want to take note of as the season unfolds. (Dates provided by and may be subject to change.)

- "Dancing with the Stars'" two-hour season premiere performance show, MONDAY, MARCH 21 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET).

- "Dancing with the Stars the Results Show" one-hour season premiere, TUESDAY, MARCH 29 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET).

- "Dancing with the Stars'" 1000th Competitive Dance, MONDAY, APRIL 18 (8:00-9:31 p.m., ET)

- "Dancing with the Stars'" final performance show, MONDAY, MAY 23 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET)

- "Dancing with the Stars'" season finale, TUESDAY, MAY 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET)

Monday, March 07, 2011

DWTS Celebrities Prepare for Showdown on the Dance Floor

As Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars gets ready to kick off this March 21, celebrity contestants are prepping their moves and hoping that what they’ve got will be enough to take home the much-coveted Mirror Ball Trophy.

Contestant and former Playboy model Kendra Wilkinson was quoted as saying she’s really just a freestyler and that other contestants such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Chris Jericho and Ralph Macchio might have an edge on her because "they’ve done choreography before."

From the entertainment website Gather, blogger Matt Clark quotes Kendra: "I'm all about freestyle and shaking my butt! That's all I got! And I think Kirstie Alley wins the popularity vote; she has the most fans, I think."

Meanwhile, contestant Sugar Ray Leonard says he’s "in it to win it, baby!" and has their own "Ten Reasons He’ll Succeed" list posted on their website:
10.) He had to deal with Don King
9.) He knows how to deal with adversity
8.) TV cameras love him
7.) He knows a thing or two about footwork
6.) He gives a great interview
5.) It’s just another comeback for him’
4.) He’s a reality TV veteran (hosted The Contender)
3.) He looks the part (whatever that means)
2.) He’s got the competitive edge
1.) He could make boxing look graceful

Outside of the boxing ring, actress Kirstie Alley says she’s probably been asked to appear on DWTS "every year" before finally agreeing to go on for Season 12. She told she changed her mind this year because, "It's sort of like a guy who keeps asking you out on a date. You say, 'No, no, no, no,' but then you think, 'He's so tenacious. All right, OK…."

As far as her first rehearsal went, Kirstie admitted to being unprepared for the workout: "I literally thought I was going to die," she told Zap2it. "I was dehydrated. You've got to drink a lot of water."

Friday, March 04, 2011

"Dancing with the Stars" Pro Lineup Announced

The entire lineup of professional dancers set to appear on Season 12 of Dancing With The Stars is listed below. (The pros are in bold, their celebrity partners are to their right.) The season starts on Monday, March 21st!

Tony Dovolani --- Wendy Williams
Anna Trebunskaya --- Sugar Ray Leonard
Chelsie Hightower --- Romeo
Cheryl Burke --- Chris Jericho
Dmitry Chaplin --- Petra Nemcova
Karina Smirnoff --- Ralph Macchio
Kym Johnson --- Hines Ward
Lacey Schwimmer --- Mike Catherwood
Louis Van Amstel --- Kendra Wilkinson
Maksim Chmerkovskiy --- Kirstie Alley
Mark Ballas --- Chelsea Kane

Check out all their bios at the DWTS website, here.

Also check out the bios of the celebrity dancers, here.


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Dancing with the Stars: Seeason 12 Celebrities Announced

Last night Dancing with the Stars announced its celebrity cast of competitors for Season 12. This season's Dancing Stars are:
- Rapper Lil' Romeo
- Retired boxer Sugar Ray Leonard
- The original "Karate Kid," Ralph Macchio
- Wrestler Chris Jericho
- Football player Hines Ward
- "Loveline" host Mike Catherwood

- Disney actress Chelsea Kane
- Model Petra Nemcova
- Reality star Kendra Wilkinson
- Talk show host Wendy Williams
- Actress Kirstie Alley

Meet the entire cast on ABC's website, here.