DWTS 10-17-11

80s week. Strange strange strange. Carson tried leading a cheer and it didn’t quite work so he got voted off.

My analysis:

Hope and Maks. Tango. My mark 7.
Well, after the flashy red coat and great beginning (an 8), I found myself focusing almost totally on Hope’s bare middle. As the music pounded, words like pedantic came and went. I could see how Len thought Hope willowy because her middle was so long. I marveled at that and kept seeing that lengthiness while feeling an underlying marching thing going on from the rest of her. I saw tango steps and yet it all failed to gel as tango. So, what to do? I’m not a costumer and yet I feel like the costumes detract from this beauty. They emphasize her bigness and awkwardness. That’s #1. Maks is doing the best he can in coming up with routines, but I don’t feel he understands this athlete, and somehow the bravado, class and gifts she has as an athlete get undermined in the presentation. I come away feeling like choreographing for Hope is hard because of how simple the steps need to be and Maks is perhaps not invested enough this time around.

Nancy and Tristan. Rumba. My mark 6.
Week 5 and Nancy is musical, yes. She often steps as though she is walking barefoot on rocks though and this is not good. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing improvement or growth. Nancy must show us more and I know it’s there. Why she’s not giving us everything she’s got is puzzling. She’s too contained. She needs expressiveness, joy, and enthusiasm that is conveyed beyond the one inch space around her.

JR and Karina. Samba. My mark 9.
Wow can JR groove and shake! I loved it. He’s incredibly flexible and so musical. His Latino roots flood out of him and that exuberance and generosity is contagious. I love how involved he is. When he extends his arms some times, he goes off his center and distorts the line. So that’s something to take a look at. He also needs to remember to continue the performance to the very end. I felt he dropped his energy when he got to the top of the steps. What a delight though!

Rob and Cheryl. Rumba. My mark 8.
His best dance. Sexy and sensual. Romeo helped him. This seemed like the first time Rob felt something and allowed it through his body. Cheryl’s choreography helped to cover his limitations pretty well. I don’t feel that his rumba places him in the same league as JR and Ricki though. Karina’s choreography for JR and Derek’s choreography for Ricki is far more complex than Cheryl’s is for Rob. I also see a discrepancy between the shy Rob that snares the ladies, and the guy who has everything and may only have to signal with his pinky to have the servants come running.

Chaz and Lacey. Samba. My mark 7.
Lacey’s father really worked magic. Chaz enjoyed what he did and seemed lighter and more involved. I’d like to see this freeing up of Chaz continue next week.

David and Kym. Tango. My mark 8.
I can see that David is really enjoying himself. When he needed to flow, he flowed. However, he still doesn’t understand how to attack in sharp staccato movements nor that dancing is always about keeping the body alive, present, articulating. Though I enjoyed David more this time than before, I can’t seem to enjoy him as much as the judges because I keep seeing a stiffness to much of his movement. He doesn’t know how to fill the stillness yet either.

Ricki and Derek. Foxtrot. My mark 9.
I actually loved the weird weird weirdness of this dance. How they slid from repressed 80s to the staid held-in foxtrot! It was like a funky extension of Psycho. Their technique and expressiveness keep them beyond many of the beginning level dancers this time.

I loved this dance even more on second viewing – Derek and Ricki’s flow and connection are amazing. A strange well-executed dance.