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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It Ain't What You Do It's The Way That You Do It



              Dancing With The Stars

                     Begins A New Season Tonight

I don't know why I watch this show. I've seen enough bad dancing to last me the rest of my life. Well, yes I do know why. I love to guess the scores and see if they match with the judges scores. I especially like to match scores with Judge Len Goodman, the old guy in the center. He's a purist and from the old school of Ballroom Dance, the same as I am.

Ballroom dance doesn't leave room for much creativity. There are standard figures and you dance them. DWTS allows more creativity within the dance as long as the steps are done in the rhythm of the dance. The professional dancer teaches the STAR ( the Celebrity)  their dance in a week. If the star has had previous training, the dance can go fairly well, as figure skater Dorothy Hamil's went tonight. If they haven't had dance training (like Wynona Judd, who just sings), well, that is the type of dancing I said I've seen enough to last the rest of my life.

Ballroom dance is difficult, difficult and ditto. I'm referring to competitive Ballroom Dance and the high standard that is expected on DWTS. Social dancing is a way to have fun but even the social dancers begin to look at dancing differently after they indulge in a few private lessons.

 After competing 25 years in Ballroom Dance, belonging to a Flamenco Troupe (and keeping up a family and marriage),  I couldn't begin to count the hours spent in practice.  As the old song says,  
"It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it."
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53 comments:

  1. Can't say I buy into so called reality tv, but dance sure takes some amount of skill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John
      I danced absolutely all of my life but now I'm brittle and afraid I'd break. Did I ever tell you old age sucks?

      Delete
    2. It DOES suck--VORACIOUSLY!!

      Delete
  2. Dancing is something I always wish I'd learned. Unfortunately it requires the wearing of high heels, another thing I've never done and I don't think I'll start now. I value my knees and ankles quite a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River,
      You can protect your knees if you always dance on wood floors and it's really dancing on heaven if there is a small air space under the wood, and they are called floating floors.

      Delete
  3. If you ever seen me dance, you would run laughing from the room.... or maybe crying. I am BAAAADDD!!

    I don't watch Dancing With The Stars, but I watch other reality TV that I have no idea why I watch it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terry,
      I wouldn't laugh (or cry) at your dancing .... If you wouldn't laugh or cry at watching me in the kitchen trying to cook. I'm such a mess in the kitchen, I wear all the aprons at once, that you gave me. I wish I had your cooking skill and could whip things up like you do. So, we all do our own thing that we do best. Ha ha ha

      Delete
  4. haha even not being screwed up as I am, I'd fall flat on my face and prob throw out a hip, as well as break a leg and probably poke out my own eye. That is how good I am, and thats sober hahaha hate reality tv, never watched at my sea.

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    Replies
    1. Pat
      Sorry if I laugh but it's not at you, it's the sequence of events.... the face, the hip, the leg and eye. You better stay off the dance floor, for sure. We need you .... and where would we gather to do rhymes if you were all wrapped up like a mummy in traction.

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    2. Well I am usually two months ahead, so even if I end up in traction you'll still have posts for 2 months or so haha

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    3. LOL You're a fast healer so 2 months should do it. OK...Offenze dansk floor mitt der Pat. Ha

      Delete
  5. Sheesh Manz...I can't even skip anymore!

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    Replies
    1. turquoisemoon,
      Tain't so funny. I guess I can't either, anymore. Is that also supposed to be one of those bike cliches?

      Delete
  6. I've actually wanted to take ballroom dancing lessons - but unfortunately I have the cocordination of a newborn pony LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keith,
      Pshaw. Too bad I don't live near Kentucky. I could teach you to dance. You know the old story, those who can't dance anymore..... teach. LOL

      Delete
  7. Ooh, do you have any video of you dancing. Would love to see that.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I have is all on the old VHS and I got tired of packing them around so tossed most in my moving last summer. If you want a good laugh, some day I'll take some now, of me learning tap dancing. Ha ha ha

      Delete
  8. Since I embraced sobriety 35 years ago, I learned all my illusions of being a dancer lived in a bottle.
    I do love ballroom dancing but am content to let those really good take the floor while I watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patti
      I've noticed that alcohol does give the illusion of confidence to dancers. Ha
      Now I love teaching but not beginners as much. I love to work with the couples who just need a little tweaking here and there.

      Delete
  9. Hi Manzanita .. it's a lovely 'sport' to participate in - I imagine you have loads of tales to tell ... but the swirling skirts, beautiful music ... and so sociable, as well as being competitive ..

    Wonderful you can still enjoy it so much ... hope the competitors fulfil your distant memories ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary
      You live in the right spot for ballroom dance. All the great dancing comes from England.
      Now I enjoy dancing in a different way. With all the sweat and hard work behind me, I love judging and spotting the teeny mistakes.

      Delete
  10. I remember seeing competitive ballroom dancing on PBS way before the Network got a hold of it for more of the hideous 'reality' television.

    It was much better on PBS...

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  11. Mark
    Yeah, PBS does some great work. Last season they did a documentary (I guess that is what it would be called?) on my granddaughter's band. It was exceptional.

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  12. Had a relative short stint in competitive ballroom dance- about 5 years and then a back injury cut things short, but I was good and practiced about 15 hrs. per week. My partner was great and was able to maximize everything I learned in my short time. I probably looked a lot like some of the worst dancers when I started.
    I tune in to the show as well on occasion. I annoy my husband because I see all the flaws and agree with Len most of the time.
    I love that you were a dancer for so long. That's a big reason why you're still getting on so well physically, I'm sure.
    I still belong to a dance club and my friend shocked the heck out of me the other day by telling me she would be 90 this year. Dancing is truly the fountain of youth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jasmine
      I'm so happy to meet you and the fact that you too are/were a ballroom dancer. In my opinion, dancing is the most moral, healthy, friendly hobby there is. I don't even dance socially anymore because I moved back to Helena and the dancers are just romp'n stomp'n cowboy dancers and I can't waste my feet and hips on that. And the floors they dance on are usually cement. That will ruin anyone's hips in a short time. I still teach a little. I also danced flamenco for 60 years and that is really my main dance. I have a few really great flamenco students that have been with me for a long time.
      Have fun in your dance club. Sounds like a delightful group.... with a 90 year old too. We had a gal who was 105 and she could still dance and in her 3 inch heels. I haven't been with them for a couple years so I don't know if she's still alive.
      You are right, it's the fountain of youth.

      Delete
  13. It's a thrill to watch really good dancers, so I used to enjoy watching the international competitions when they were on TV, but I don't watch Dancing With the Stars. (Must be something on at the same time that my hubby likes to watch.)

    I was never much of a dancer, but I did enjoy it. My one claim to fame was winning first place in a jitterbug contest many years ago, but it wasn't because of any great talent on my part. My partner was an AMAZING dancer, and very easy to follow. He could've won with an ape as his partner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Susan
      LOL.... I doubt if he could have danced with an ape. Ha ha But it's true, a lady can never be better than the gentleman. She may very well be a better dancer but she can never lead and has to follow her partner so she is as good has he is.

      I just bet you were a good dancer. Swiping your cousins tap shoes and practicing in the basement. You're a born dancer. You can't fool me!!!!

      These old guys who were in the end of WW2 are the most fantastic swing dancers. I had a favorite guy until just a couple years ago who I loved to jitterbug with. He was into his 90's and he won all the jitterbug contests on the west coast during the war. These young kids couldn't hold a candle to him. Bet he died. They are all dying. I was moping around so my granddaughter wrote a song about him and called it "Alan's Song." It's on her new CD.

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    2. Your granddaughter is a special young lady. (Not that you need ME to tell ya!)

      Delete
  14. I haven't watched this too much (usually because I can't wrestle the remote from my husband) but I do admire those that can dance. I have two left feet, LOL. Enjoy watching it for this season :)

    betty

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    Replies
    1. Betty
      Many of the celebs on DWTS are not good dancers, but a few of them are already great dancers so It really isn't much of a contest and half the score is counted for phone-in votes so it's really a popularity contest. 2 left feet make it tough.... means two pair of shoes. LOL.
      Thanks for dropping in.

      Delete
  15. My aunt and uncle were long time ballroom dancers. They absolutely loved it. Me? I have no rhythm apart from the "White Guy Overbite Thumbs Up" school of dance.

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  16. Al
    That is so nice to find a married couple who enjoy dancing together. I noticed that dancing couples seemed happy and they were always in a dance group and surrounded by other happy dancers. My husband never danced nor did he have an interest in dancing. I danced long before I met him and I always had dance partners. He was very supportive of my dancing, though.
    Well, at least you had a School of Dance. Ha ha

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  17. share words of motivation
    What did you do today, is also key to good or ruin your tomorrows. Do the best for today.
    may be useful and can be received: D I wait behind the visit: D

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dancing with the Stars--one of the Mama's favorite shows. I peek over the railing at her TV downstairs when I'm curious about someone. I enjoyed watching Kirstie Alley when she was on. She was a joyful dancer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Su-sieee
      I think you said the Mama and your father used to dance. She is probably reliving those days, How sweet.

      Delete
  19. Dear Manzanita, my favorite dance program is "So You Think You Can Dance," which airs in the summer. I like to watch the new choreography each week. DWTS is of less interest, but like you I so want to hear what Len will say. I wonder how often he and you are in agreement? Some of the athletics have turned into really good dances--or so it seemed to me, but I truly know nothing about ballroom dancing. So I'll be interested whenever you post about what's happening on that show. Thanks. Peace.

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    Replies
    1. Hey sweet Dee
      I've only see the "So you think you can dance" once. I stick with the DWTS because I know ballroom and as you said, Len is a hoot. I read that he recently got married to a gal he had been with for years.

      Delete
  20. After I saw "Simply Ballroom", I was convinced we absolutely had to take up dancing. Still haven't done so, but it was a thought...Would love to see your video, if you have one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan
      I encourage you to go through with your dance conviction. Dancing is such a great addition to marriage. I only have some old VHS videos left of my ballroom days. But I'm still trying to learn tap. Ha

      Delete
  21. Every now and then I tune in to DWTS. It is clear when you watch that show who has rhythm and who doesn't. I thought Gilles was the best dancer on the show for the big celeb dance-off, but he was cut. However, the girl who won was very good. Shawn was always putting gymnastic moves into her dancing, which was very entertaining, but it wasn't really "dancing." I was very impressed by the teenager dancing with Val who got the straight 8s. They did a Contemporary number. Contemporary Dance is a bit of a mystery to me. So we shall see if she really "has it" when she has to do actual dancing that requires her to follow "rules."

    As for Wynona, being a singer she would have an edge. I think it is likely her weight holding her back. Of course, if she lasts in this competition, she will undoubtedly lose a few pounds. Dorothy was so cute on the show Monday night. What a bubbly person she is. And she doesn't look anywhere close to her age. She must be living right!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin
      I enjoyed your comments. There is something interesting about people who write songs and play music ..... well that I have noticed. When I teach dance I try to get the students to put the music inside of them and then let it go in the form of body movement. Take my granddaughter, for instance, who writes all her own songs and they are good. She can't dance. Her movements are stiff, as if she can't feel the music.That seems odd, doesn't it? I've worked and worked with her on Latin motion but she just can't seem to get it. It must have something to do with her original music that is always inside of her..... I don't know. Can't figure it out. I've noticed the same with other gals too. Loo at that Taylor Swift girl. Her dance movements look very unnatural. I don't mean everyone.... some of the Latin singers are always perpetual motion. Haha

      Delete
  22. Great post. I would love to learn ballroom dancing.

    All the best!

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    Replies
    1. Editors At Work
      Thanks for stopping. I sincerely hope you do learn ballroom. It's a lifetime fun experience.

      Delete
  23. Greetings human, Manzanita,

    Ah yes, "Dancing With The Stars". My human sometimes watches the original British version of that show, which you might of heard of, "Strictly Come Dancing". And on the British version, the old dude, Len Goodman, is a judge on it. Me thinks he has permanent jet-lag, or with my human being so old, 'horse and buggy lag'!

    Between you and me, I think my human, Gary, wants to wear a dress and go Ballroom dancing. Although, I'm confused, I've never actually seen a 'Ballroom dance'! Arf! Arf!

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! xx

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    Replies
    1. So nice to hear from the Penny,
      I wish I could see your version of DWTS as I never have. Ballroom Dance began in your country so you Brit doggies are the best. I didn't know that Len is also judge on your Ballroom show. Oh my, all that travel and he just recently took a bride. Now that might be hard on the old gent. (ahem)

      Well, I've never seen a ballroom dance either, now that I think about it. I've seen a ball bounce in a room. Maybe that is what it means.
      Penny, your posts are divine. Super pawsts.

      Take care and good squirrel chasing.

      Delete
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  25. Don't watch any reality TV I'm afraid Manzanita - not much TV at all for that matter.

    That said, I love to dance - never learnt to ballroom though...and old bones do get a little creaky - so think it to late to learn.

    See the spammers are getting through here too - blogger used to be pretty good...

    Anna :o]

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  26. Dear Anna
    Thanks for stopping. Never too late to learn to dance but women need a good partner so that is why now I stick to Flamenco mostly. I love the movement and I can d o just as well dancing on my own, as in Flamenco. I am also learning tap dancing. I think that is difficult.

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  27. I watched the opening night of DWTS, I enjoyed Kellie Pickler and loved her sassy haircut! How have you been? I have been away from the blogosphere but hope to make time to visit you more often!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shawn
      I know you have been away and I've missed you. But sometimes we just have to regroup and take a break. I'm glad you are a fan of DWTS too. I miss occasionally but love to judge the dancing. Are you doing the A-Z?

      Delete
  28. I would love to see a video of YOU dancing! Now that would be dancing with the stars for sure.

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    Replies
    1. Galen,
      My old ballroom vids are all the old VHS and I threw most of them when when I left Florida. Now is the time to dance if you want the good pictures. No new vids.... who would want to see a 83 year old dance???? That would be a laugh.

      Delete
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