old – DWTS 5-17-10

When dancers grow on this show, it’s like they’ve heard my comments and listened to the judges. It’s wonderful to see.

Erin & Maks. Viennese waltz. My mark 8.
As I’ve said before, when these two dance together, they’re like one person. It camouflages anything that might detract from the performance. I loved the connection and romance at the end. I can’t really find anything technical to comment on except that there was a tiny stumble. Erin is willowy and easy to look at. I think that’s what most people are responding to. She’s extends her leg and it’s graceful. She leans into something with such ease.

Nicole & Derek. Argentine Tango. My mark 10.
Nicole seems more fluid and at ease than before. She looked free. The contrast of quick/sharp and languid–the catlike quality made this an unforgettable tango. We all know Derek can choreograph and this dance proved it. It’s one I’d love to learn for my showcase! Great difficulty, wondrous quality of movement.

Chad & Cheryl. Waltz. My mark 9.
Very romantic, well executed. The waltz showed off Chad–his elegance, ease, naturalness. He doesn’t have nuances when he dances and this is similar to what I often see in Erin. In this case though, it works better because the woman–Cheryl–is the melody. She carries the dance with lots of style and contrast. Wonderful partnering and carriage.

Evan & Anna. Foxtrot. My mark 10.
A lightness and buoyancy that made me wonder, how does he do it? A whole different Evan. Spirited and fun, gracefulness and sparkle. I really saw a difference and this was definitely a performance rather than a technical showcase. Impressive.

ROUND 2.

Erin & Maks. Paso Doble. My mark 9.
The choreography showed her off. It seemed like a show dance style more suited to her. The pair were connected and exciting. Couldn’t tell what kind of dance it was at the beginning and it’s too bad there was that collapse at the end. I marked down for it as any of the judges would have were it earlier in the season. Don’t understand how they let it slide, when they might not have let it slide for anyone else.

Nicole & Derek. Cha Cha. My mark 9.
Knowing how Len doesn’t like props, I was concerned about the use of the chair for Nicole’s solo. It worked though but I didn’t see why it was necessary to have a chair. Derek and Nicole are extremely well matched. This dance was so innovative but I did mark down because I did not see much cha cha cha. The freedom, nuances, exuberance, line, and sensuality kept this couple right at the top.

Chad & Cheryl. Rumba. My mark 8.
He could do this, his hips and chest can move on him; however, lots of times he didn’t do the upper body and he was too still in the chest. For a beginner though, he did very well. His personality glows.

Evan & Anna. Paso Doble. My mark 10.
Another new Evan! Great embodiment of character, attack, line. Evan was so into it, so seamless in execution. I am so impressed by the growth he showed in this dance. The use of emotion, moving it, holding it in and then allowing it to burst forth. I am so proud of Evan that if I could I’d give him a 12.