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What would Fred think of Dancing with the Stars?

Originally from England, Tim Brooks is the owner of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Menomonee Falls. With over 20 years of competitive Ballroom Dance Experience he can give a unique insight into the performance of all the celebrities.

Week 1 Review, Who will win the mirror ball trophy ?

So the waiting is over, week 1 is finally here and all 12 celebrities have been working hard for their first performance.

My first review is for Zendaya who is the "shake it up" star, dancing with Val they performed a contemporary number. My first thought was that this was a little unusual for the first week of a ballroom dance competition but Zendaya showed her balance, control and co-ordination to produce a confident performance. I will be interested to see how she progresses when doing more partnership as that is another skill required and to have two people dancing together as one rather than a large amout of side by side and solo work. At 16 she may be the baby of the stars but this was a very mature performance.
 
Total judges score - 24
 
 
Next up is Dorothy Hamill dancing with Tristan. As a former ice skating champion she demonstrated beautiful poise and grace. I was impressed that even though the routine had some lifts Dorothy always managed to keep a smile on her face. She has good qualities that provide a good foundation for future performances.
 
Total judges score - 21
 
 
 
The country music singer Kellie Pickler is no stranger to competition having previously been on American Idol. She has returned to our screens being partnered by Derek and joked that they have the same haircut! They performed the Cha Cha Cha and had a high energy routine with lots pulsating body actions. Her leg action need work to make it more natural but for her first performance I thought it was very good.
 
Total judges score - 21
 
 
Gymnast Aly Raisman took to the floor with Mark and showed good posture and fun personality. Her footwork requires work as often her feet were not as articulated as they could be. The disadvantage female dancers have is that there feet and legs are so much more visible when wearing a dress or skirt than a mans. Mark has previously partnered gymnasts in the past so should have a good idea of what is required to help Aly vault to the top of the leaderboard.
 
Total judges score -  21
 
 
Ingo Rademacher is an actor from "General Hospital" and may make some of the ladies at home faint with this performance. He demonstrated courage and skill in executing several lifts with partner Kym. This shows trust in the partnership already as it is unusual for the celebrity to confidently lift his partner in week one. The contemporary number had some good qualities but lacked some of the technique of Zendaya. Definitely worth keeping you eye on Ingo to see how he progresses in the ballroom style.
 
Total judges score - 20
 
 
Superbowl Champion Jacoby Jones began practice a little later than his competition due to an injury but immediately went on the offense with his lively cha cha cha. Partnered  by Karina he showed a showmanship in his performance. He needs to work on ensuring he doesn't 'dance down' to Karina as there is a huge size difference between them and he should maintain his posture and work on the bending and straightening action in his legs to make improvement.
 
Total judges score - 20
 
 
Bachelor Sean Lowe took to the floor dressed like a young Hugh Hefner and showed a foxtrot with partner Peta. Foxtrot is the dance I think about when thinking of Fred Astaire and his many classic performances. This had some good parts and some parts that looked disconnected. Posture and  frame were generally good but the transition from one movement to another need to be enhanced to produce a smoother performance. As a male celebrity there is an expectation that you are leading the dance and at this stage that is unrealistic. He looked a little like he was along for the ride rather than being in control.
 
Total judges score - 19
 
 
Hoping to deliver a knockout blow to the competition was Victor Ortiz champion boxer who was dancing with new dwts professional Lindsay Arnold. As a boxer you naturally want to tuck in your chin to avoid the punches but as a dancer you have to display good posture which means standing tall. This will be a challenge for Victor but I was very impressed with his arm extension. Being a boxer he has very quick footwork which should be more of an asset in the faster rhythm dances rather than the Foxtrot which they displayed this evening.
 
Total judges score - 18
 
 
Lisa Vanderpump came out with another new professional in Gleb Savchenko and used one of the cutest props I have seen on the show.... her dog Giggy sporting a canine tux. Unfortunately for me that was the highlight of the dance as I was surprised to see a very difficult routine requiring a real technical competence to be able to perform it well.  Lisa seemed a little pre-occupied with this. When performing the goal is to show what you can do, not what you are still working on. However, I did see some good aspects to her dancing and her musicality was good. 
 
Total judges score - 18
 
 
Last seasons mirrorball winning professional is Tony Dovolani who has a special relationship with the Wisconsin Fred Astaire Dance Studio organization. He is back dancing with American country music singer Wynona Judd. The dance was the Cha Cha Cha again and Wynona performed with nice clean lines and arm styling. As a dancer I strived to never be 'nice' because usually this meant my dancing wasn't memorable or didn't have enough  dynamics and changes in speed or energy that made it stand out. For week one it was a good job overall. Naturally when not holding on to Tony, Wynona had a tendency to look down only looking up when Tony placed her back in frame which showed a lack of confidence. As this improves hopefully she can relax and "let go a little".
 
Total judges score - 18
 
 
Comedian Andy Dick was paired up with our final new professional Sharna Burgess and they danced the Foxtrot getting mixed reactions from the judges. I actually saw a lot to be optimistic about, his arm styling was matching Sharna and it was a fun number. Andy's frame needs work and the movement could have been smoother but these are things that take time. Using a prop (in this case a cane) always require extra thought and are something else to think about during the routine.
 
Total judges score - 17
 
 
Last but not least (other than in score received) was D.L. Hughley dancing Cha Cha Cha with Cheryl. The judges were correct in marking him the lowest score of the night but I think his score was a little low. Let me say to get up and dance in front of anyone let alone millions of people takes guts. It can often be a fine balance for the professional to choreograph something that challenges the celebrity to show off what they have learned in the short timeframe available. Unfortunately D.L. appeared stiff and wasn't really producing the quality of the other contestants. On the positive side he was rehearsed which shows that there was sufficient rehearsal and hard work can take you a long way.
 
Total judges score - 12
 
Overall an exciting first night with new faces and rhinestones everywhere. There is to be no elimination this first week so that will give all the contestants a chance to dance again. Of course the judges scores are only part of the total score for each couple as the rest is left to you the audience to cast your votes. 
 
If you cannot wait until next week for your next 'dance installment' you can always visit www.fredastairewisconsin.com to find your nearest studio and start to experience the many benefits of ballroom dancing. See you next week, Tim 
 

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