Official site | Toni Redpath, ballroom dance champion and choreographer

DWTS Season 16 Week 3, Wow Andy Dick!

Sean: Nice frame but I think it’s lucky there was a bunch of fog hiding the footwork since it looked like it was a bit clunky under the mist! The Viennese was very slow and that’s quite difficult to pull off gracefully (since you miss out on the benefits of using centripetal force).

Victor: Super cool Paso Doble concept! It was a very dramatic number that they performed well; it almost distracted me from the fact that he is slightly bow legged and pigeon toed. He lost the plot a bit towards the end of the routine when is arms started just flapping around by his sides, however he has great stage presence, for someone who isn’t dance trained.

Jacoby: This is what I’ve been waiting for: seeing him dance an actual ballroom dance. So far he’s had numbers that have played up to his strengths. I felt the (country?) Foxtrot would really put him out of his element but I was pleasantly surprised with how graceful he was. Obviously he has a lot of footwork errors and he’s a bit hunched in the shoulders, but overall I was impressed by his performance.

Alexandra: I’m no expert on contemporary, but I thought it was really clever choreography. Obviously hers was one of the best solo performances of the night because she to played so much up to her strengths (as she should).

Andy: Andy still continues to be one of the big surprises of this season’s competition. He seems to be taking it so seriously and putting so much effort into improving every performance. Except for some moments of uncertainty and an awkward line in the shoulders, I found it to be a touching and heartfelt routine. Also, he has quite tidy footwork, which is a surprise.

Zendaya: Self composed and so sure of herself, I find it hard to tear my eyes away from her! On a separate note, I felt it was a very uninspiring song choice, so even though she danced the routine really well, I felt disconnected musically to the performance.

Ingo: When somebody who isn’t dance trained tries to get into the emotion of the dance, they always put the energy up into the shoulders. This works in life but not in the Viennese. Also, if you’re going to wear bright white shoes your footwork better be impeccable, and unfortunately, he had so many heels (where there should have been toes) the shoes were like beacons calling attention to them. A pretty routine though.

D.L.: This is probably one of his better performances, as he got to tap into the strength of his funny personality. However, he is still the weakest dancer in the field. If he hadn’t looked at Cheryl the whole time they were in closed dance position, his frame actually would have been quite decent.

Kellie: It’s the first time I haven’t loved her performance. She looked locked out in her back and legs, tense and unsure in her whole body and face. I just couldn’t get into it because I felt nervous watching her. Obviously, her flexibility and her beautiful posture is a strength, but relaxation and softness would have made it a beautiful routine.

Lisa: Andy Dick had improved way more than Lisa (who has dance training in her background). Gleb taking his shirt off (again) is not going to distract me from her weak performance. It’s time for her to go.

My thoughts on DWTS Season 16, Week 2

Here’s my take on the week 2 performances on season 16 of Dancing with the Stars…

Ingo: Really good quickstep. Lots of tricky closed choreography that he managed really well. He looks at ease in the ballroom division. If he could keep his elbows stiller and wider and pick up his chest a bit, his frame would be really quite good. Like all beginners he tends to stick his head forward as he does lowering actions but other than that he moves really very smoothly across the floor.

Dorothy: Quite an uncomfortable performance she missed a lot of connections and messed up her chicken walks and generally looked really uneasy out there. She should have such an advantage over the other competitors with her performance skills but I’m not seeing it yet.

Jacoby: Loved this jazz number. Talk about having loosey goosey daddy long legs! And boy does he know how to use them well! This number really played to his strength and he was lucky he didn’t have to do a lot of partner dancing except for lifts and tricks. This really gave him an advantage over the other competitors.

Victor: This was a good dance for him to do because it hid his hunched shoulders and showed up his athletic abilities. He had quite a bobble head in this number and that could be a weakness in the other dances. I love his personality on the floor though!

Wynonna: Talk about going from one extreme to the other last week she could only look down at the floor, this week she could only look up at the ceiling! Her frame was in the correct position and even though the routine was a bit boring she did it quite well. She is not going to win this competition being careful, she has to cut loose and have more fun out there!

Zendaya: Wow! She is the most composed and mature 16 year old I have ever seen. She has beautiful posture, stunning legs and a gorgeous self-awareness. Despite her height she rarely looks gangly or Bambi-ish. Cool number

Andy: What a kooky and really entertaining number. Andy really put it all out there and I appreciate how much effort you put into this performance. I wasn’t expecting such a good performance out of him at such an early stage in the competition. Great choreography for him!

Sean: Cutest intro! Loved the effect of the pool on the floor. If I could ever take my eyes off Peta to watch Sean (what a beautiful girl and amazingly strong dancer!) I thought that he did a good job. He looks like he’s having a great time out there and that is so appealing to watch.

Ali: She is working really hard on her frame but it is too distorted especially at the beginning of the routine. Her head was turned too far left and her right arm was locked out straight I found that really distracting. She actually got better as the routine went on and she relaxed a little bit.

Lisa: Are we going to have to watch Gleb take his clothes off every week?

D.L.: Terrible frame and musicality but I have to give him props for doing beautiful footwork on is opening sequence of progressives chasses and quarter turns.

Kellie: So flexible and precise. I thought it was the results show and watching a professional performance!
Great choreography by Derek (of course!).

If you have any comments or thoughts on my feedback, feel free to let me know on my twitter: @toniredpath

DWTS is back with Season 16

My first question to everyone is, what do you think about DWTS adding a contemporary category to the show? Let me know on my twitter: @toniredpath

D.L.: I’m afraid he is NOT going to be the first comedian to win DWTS. His cha-cha was clunky and thumpy.

Andy: Was he crying over Foxtrot!?? Wow, isn’t he meant to be a comedian? His routine was actually better than expected. Dreading seeing him do Latin though.

Wynonna: It’s interesting watching all these professional performers crying so early in the competition. Perfectionists put so much pressure on themselves that they actually just melt down and stop functioning.
Her cha-cha was OK but she has got to raise her eye level up. Looking down makes her look so unconfident.

Lisa: She (and Gleb) have got to go. Their forced chemistry weirds me out. And the dancing sucked!

Victor: I think he could be a sweet surprise. He looked quite comfortable and happy out there dancing the foxtrot. Lindsay was smart with the choreography because she designed it for him look at her a lot!
It did 2 things…

  1. Slightly camouflaged his hunched posture and
  2. Highlighted their genuine chemistry.

Sean: My favorite moment of the night came from him
“I’m not going to lie to you I forgotten everything,” then he laughed (all these crying celebs should take a page out of his book).
Her looked pretty good in his Foxtrot, but I must admit it was a crazy routine. Pinball Foxtrot? Ok?
Very dynamic though, so props for that.

Jacoby: He’s so fun to watch! What a natural mover. I can’t believe he leant that routine in a week! Karina is going to have so much fun working with him this season.

Ingo: DWTS =” DANCING” with the Stars (not specifically “BALLROOM” Dancing with the Stars) however, I think the Contemporary couple has a distinct advantage, over the other couples who are doing Ballroom, because they can do lifts. It just looks more impressive. If they are going to do Contemporary everybody has to do it at the same time to get the same advantage. I think it’s actually harder to keep your feet on the floor and look graceful.

Dorothy: What I can say is she’s obviously got such a head start over all the other competitors. Even though ice-skating is not dancing you can tell she is trained posture, movement and grace. Didn’t love the routine, but she is obviously going to be very good in the competition.

Aly: Va Va Voom! She has all the ingredients to be a top contender. She’s athletic, flexible, young and vivacious. I’m looking forward to seeing her improve in the ballroom dances.

Kellie: LOVED her interpretation of the “figure 8″ (A phrase coming we used by dance teachers to describe what a hips are doing during Cuban motion).
Lol!
If you have to pick a winner of the Ballroom dancing division (Foxtrot/Cha Cha ) from week 1 she is obviously it. She has the best technique and the best performance skills… plus she has a Derek!!

Zendaya: Obviously the best contemporary number of the night was by Zendaya. She is fluid and beautiful.. I can’t wait to see her in the ballroom dances. I think she’ll be amazing!

Why no lifts on Dancing with the Stars?


In this video blog, Toni answers the question, why are lifts not allowed in Dancing with the Stars, but they’re okay on So You Think You Can Dance? In the ballroom competition circuit, lifts are not allowed in group events with multiple couples on the floor, but they’re permitted in the showdance category, where one couple performs at a time.

Season 7 Guest Judge Interview

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