Old – DWTS 4-26-10

I remembered the Samba from past seasons and so was thrown off quite a bit when I didn’t immediately see what I expected. In fact, I began to think I was remembering the wrong style dance as Samba is not one I personally dance.

Jake & Chelsie. Samba. My mark 7.
Well danced. Didn’t have the Samba flavor but I felt part of the problem was the music. Jake punches what he does and isn’t musical sometimes, which seems so common with beginning men. Jake needs music he can hear and get into. He also seems to think dancing means high intensity–that constant knocking it out of the ballpark–but dancing is much different than that: it’s connectivity, fluid motion, nuances, contrasts in tempo and tension. I don’t see Jake in the top 3. Maks and Erin are better in my book. And sometimes I think Maks has good reason to be exasperated with the judging.

Anna & Evan. Samba. My mark 8+
Fantastic. Creative ways to move his hips. That being said, Evan doesn’t get this dance and it’s hard to say why. He’s so tall and thin and so he did this dance the only way he could. Anna has to choreograph a true samba and she must convey the flavor of the dance to him. This seemed more like last week’s rumba.

Niecy & Louis. Tango. My mark 7.
Loved the idea of it and it was comedic. Niecy’s feet are better but sometimes this didn’t feel like dancing. It was step, flip flip, step into another move. The dance lacked attack, speed, intensity and the catlike passion that’s tango. Instead of having comedy competitors, I wonder about simply having a comedy dance team give viewers a break sometimes, though I love getting to see Niecy and Louis interact in rehearsal.

Erin & Maks. Samba. My mark 9.
Sexy. Well-danced. I loved it up until Maks ripped off his sleeves and then his shirt. It wasn’t necessary. They’d both already sold it. I enjoyed their aggression and connection. Their best dance so far. Erin’s body reminds me of Evan. She’s long in the middle and doesn’t always know how to control all she has. She also has a great sense of humor and I wonder about using that more in some other kind of dance.

Chad & Cheryl. Tango. My mark 10.
Wonderful choreography and Chad looked great. Cheryl uses his gifts, which for an athlete might appear to be a bit opposite of what is called for in tango. Chad was elegant and soft. Cheryl was electric. The tango’s attack and sharpness came from her. He partnered effortlessly. Their best dance so far.

Nicole & Derek. Samba. My mark 10.
Nicole felt this and danced it with feeling. Very enjoyable samba if not as creative as other dances. One place near the end, Nicole dropped her energy, but this couple has such quality and great dynamics, those things that Jake doesn’t understand. I did find Nicole’s floppy top distracting. Because Nicole talks in rehearsal so much about getting into her head, which I relate to, I pay special attention to her. All that thinking makes her tense. Her dancing is better, but she has less range because she’s already so taut. If she were as laid back as a pussycat, like she were wrapped in fur, easy, languid, soft, she’d be able to play and blossom. Derek is a magical choreographer. I don’t know, however, if he can work the kind of magic I’m talking about.

Pamela & Damian. Tango. My mark 6.
Started off pretty bad with stuttering and awkwardness. The choreography made her look big and not sensual or graceful the way I expected and was looking forward to seeing. Pamela showed a dismal quality of movement which may have been hidden in previous dances by her great ability to embody a character. This was like a modern dance piece of a psycho tarantula and her oddly mismatched mate… Oh man. Writing this I feel like I just channeled Bruno.

SWING.

Difficult to watch so many dancers the way it was filmed. I would have pulled Pam and Damian way earlier. I felt Nicole/Derek and Erin/Maks were equally matched. I couldn’t really choose between them.