Lesson Two. And DWTS 20.

Hey dancers,

Not much to report this time. Aside from trying not to fangirl or be creepy today when I saw Emmanuel and Liana in the studio, I had a great lesson today where I learned something I never knew before: how to actually keep balance. It’s something learned about the first time around, but back then no one told me how to actually do it. Now I know. It was slightly life-changing; everything I’ve ever been taught about Latin dance now makes sense to me.

Then I worked on my Sixteen. And messed around with a separation. After the lesson, I did my crossword puzzle and ran to my cross-train place (I’ll talk about that another time; it’s kind of not for everyone), put my Karinas on, and started practicing what I had just learned. Because my teacher threatened me with Therabands if he didn’t see progress on my left side (my right side is multiply stronger). I have no idea what he does with them – he mentioned something about tying them to my upper thighs and making me walk, but I think I conveniently blocked that part out – but I’m determined to not allow it.

Maybe I’ll take this time to watch the Dancing With the Stars premiere and see what’s going on there. Let’s be clear: throughout the years, this show has become very difficult for me to watch because it becomes glaringly obvious to me that the “people upstairs”, meaning whoever is behind the scenes, try to write the outcome for us. So last season, I would just watch the rehearsal packages because they’re funny, watch the dance because that’s why we’re here (and to quiz myself on syllabus steps), and skip the judges’ critiques. It doesn’t infuriate me as much that way.

Willow & Mark – haha on the intro. I think what’s going on is she’s having trouble balancing and keeping her shoulders down, and because she doesn’t yet know how to have her center collected, her movements are losing a lot of power. Not so charismatic, but she can easily get better. She’s cute.

Robert & Kym – ahh, THAT DRESS!!! Okay, the amount of energy and range of motion this man has is really surprising! He was a lot of ball-of-the-foot-so-static-hips, but that happens when you don’t have the endless time to learn the Cuban motion properly. But I love him already! He and Kym give me the warm fuzzys πŸ™‚

Riker & Allison – I’ve nothing against her, I adore her and think she’s fantastic, but I wonder why they brought her back. Last season, it looked to me like she pictured the biggest ballroom stereotype she could and that’s what she put out there. Maybe she spent some time studying in the offseason, though. OH MY GOD, HE’S GOOD!!! HE CAN LEAD! His natural whip turns! Energy out the wazoo! His technique was actually fantastic. I already like him, so I hope this isn’t one of those occurrences where the stars align and it just happens to be a good song for the person and the dance style happens to suit them.

Charlotte & Keo – their package was HILARIOUS. And I kind of have the same issue she does, if you catch my drift. The band sounds awesome. But it was kind of cruel to give her jive her first week out. She doesn’t move very much at all; it looked like she was deliberately trying not to break a sweat. No bounce and it looked like she forgot half of it. Hopefully she comes back and does better next week, and I’m praying he dresses her better. But they seem to have a good partnership.

Patti & Artem – I love this woman’s mindset! She’s walking through it and thinking too much, you can tell because her face kind of freezes, but this woman is absolutely stunning.

Chris & Witney – where do I get Witney’s boots, is my first question. You can tell he works hard. The thing is he lacks conviction and he’s trying instead of letting it flow out of him! He’s a young, charming man and if he just learns to let go, he could really show us something.

Michael & Peta – how cute are they?! And I love this song. Hopefully Michael can learn to turn his feet outwards. WHOA, his booty. I hope he can learn to keep up with Peta’s energy.

Nastia & Derek – why did he even come back? He’s too good. Hopefully he doesn’t get injured. But at least I can watch his mad choreographies. Stunning gown. Okay, not my favorite routine of his, but I can appreciate that he did something different and this girl held it down – this was not an easy routine by any stretch of the imagination. On the other hand, her frame/top line was a little too angular and not as round as it should be.

Redfoo & Emma – I think this was the pairing I was most looking forward to. I love Emma. These costumes are so typical, but not in a bad way. Strange, he doesn’t have the ease of movement I thought he would, and he doesn’t yet know how to stay grounded; everything he does looks very airy. Hopefully he’ll learn that, cause he may get really good if he does.

Okay, I have to ask, WHO is that new handsome devil in the troupe?! And so glad Brittany Cherry is on the show! She was magnificent in Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” video; the first thing I thought when I saw it was, “I bet she’s a ballroom dancer”, then “I hope they put her on DWTS!”

Noah & Sharna – this guy is royally hot and I’m glad Sharna got him; she is a class act.Β  I love his heart and hers; I think just given that, they will go far. Her dress is beautiful. Oh, he is getting some hip action! They have a great connection. Okay, I might cry. He DEFINES “no excuses”. So I’ll just pipe down and learn my stuff.

Suzanne & Tony – I feel bad for him in that outfit. Well, I did until I just spat my yogurt all over my room watching him enjoy these leotards way too much. Well, she’s way better than some women I’ve seen thirty years her junior who have been dancing pro-am for years. Foot speed could be better, and she could relax the shoulders when she does rolling off the arms. But I’m 26 and my thighs don’t look like that so I should probably just STFU.

Rumer & Val – I LOVE Val’s dancing. I actually trained with him a little bit. Rumer looks like she’ll have a lot of natural talent, so if she stops freaking out and apologizing so much, she will be great with Val because he’s a fantastic teacher. Love that dress. She hits her accents a little too hard. Is it me, or was there not much actual dancing in this routine? Whatevs. She’s going to get good REALLY fast. Good on her. But her frame was the best of the night and she is absolutely GORGEOUS on the floor.

But it was actually overall a great premiere – no one looked like they were bored or not trying and I’m actually anticipating next week’s. What did you all think?


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