To the Stars on Dancing with the Stars:

March 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

STOP WHINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, second week into Season 10’s competition and already most of you stars are fighting with your pros. Honestly? You look and sound like a bunch of stereotypical, spoiled, Hollywood brats!

For those of you that have not seen the show yet this week, almost every practice clip showed the stars yelling at their pros, whining, crying, and generally being difficult. And the pros, for the most part, well… handled it like a pro!  It’s hard enough to teach, to try to find the right way to convey your message to your students.  But to also have to come up with a well-choreographed routine in just a couple of days, and teach it to a beginner dancer – not just the steps, but style, technique, and polish – adds a whole new layer of difficulty and pressure that most people do not even realize. Then, to top it off, to have a spoiled brat that knows nothing about dancing or dance competitions, yelling at you and trying to tell you not only how to teach, but how to do your job…. well, I don’t think that’s really part of the contract. And they definitely do not get paid enough to have to deal with that crap. A very reliable insider informed me that while the stars get paid regardless of how long they are on the show, the pros are only paid for the weeks they are in the competition.

I was happy to see that judge, Len Goodman, finally said something while critiquing Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s Foxtrot: “A lot of the couples are really having a go at your professionals, and I’ve got to say we’ve got some of the best pros. Three key words – TURN UP, KEEP UP, AND SHUT UP! Get on with your dancing, trust your pro!”

“Turn up, keep up, and shut up.”  Those are words to live by – dancing or not.  Anytime we learn something new, we need to respect our teacher. Be it in a school classroom, a training session at work, in learning a new hobby, or out on the dance floor.  Our “teacher,” or “leader,” or whatever the title is of the person you are following, is the expert in that particular subject. They don’t care if you own your own business, if you’re a big CEO,  a multi-million dollar athlete, or a big Hollywood star. Just because you’re good in one thing, or perhaps know a lot about a certain subject, does not mean that you are an expert in everything. I think we all need a reminder of that every now and then.

Swallow your pride and listen to your teacher. They know what they are talking about.  They’re teaching because they have an appropriate amount of experience in their field. You don’t – that’s why you need a teacher. Remember that. Don’t whine and try to change things to your advantage just because something is hard. Embrace it! Enjoy the challenge! Strive to do something new and better yourself in the process!  As Len says, what’s the worst that can happen? “You go wrong, you fall over, so what… Don’t go down as a wimp – go out fighting!”

And to the current and future stars on DWTS – Remember your pro wants to win just as much, if not more than you. They’re not going to do something to purposely make you look like a fool out there. Everything they’re making you do in practice is so that you can look as fantastic as possible on that dance floor. They’ve been doing this much longer than you.  They each have a list of credits a mile long, and awards to prove it. They are ranked some of the best dancers in the entire world.  Believe it or not, they know what they’re doing. Give them a break. Understand that they have a job to do, and listen to what they’re saying. You may not like it, but it’s the only way to get you one elegant step closer to that mirror ball trophy.  Otherwise, on top of adding extra stress and drama that no one needs, you’ll be going home. It is an ensemble dance show, after all. If you want the show to be all about you, then you need to get your own reality TV show (oh wait, some of you already have…).  How long you stay on the show is ultimately up to the viewers. And frankly, we don’t want to see you harassing the pros. We just want to see some entertaining dancing – So suck it up and just dance!

For more SP blogs on Dancing with the Stars:
-Season 10 Gets Underway
-A Day with Maks & Karina

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Dancing with the Stars Season 10 Gets Underway

March 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

The new stars and their partners have been announced!  This year’s lineup is a slightly different mix of stars that are already creating headlines. Not to mention, Brooke Burke, former DWTS contestant is now the new co-host.  Should be interesting to see where the show goes this year. Will it still be as popular as usual?  Or, is America starting to move on?

We’ll find out as the season premires March 22nd on ABC.

The Lineup:

(Continue Reading)

A Day with Maks & Karina

May 14, 2009 § 2 Comments

Sometimes people can surprise you.

Jenna Caputo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Jenna Caputo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

I think we all have felt at one time or another that we’re just rolling through life, doing our own thing, and no one else really notices. And sometimes that is the case. We are so caught up in our own lives and worries that sometimes we forget to take a minute and pass on a compliment to tell someone else how much they mean to us.

I was reminded of how important it is to do this a short while ago when I received a very unexpected and fabulous surprise myself.

A few students from one of my dance classes knew I had a birthday coming up, and as an early birthday gift, they surprised me with private dance lessons with Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff from Dancing with the Stars. I was so floored & in such disbelief when they told me that I walked out of the studio that night without my IPOD, notebook, or shoes with me! I couldn’t believe that someone would go through so much trouble just to get me a gift they knew would be really special. To say that I felt touched would be an understatement. I was so honored that someone outside of my own family would think enough of me to do that.

Karina Smirnoff & Jenna Caputo

Karina Smirnoff & Jenna Caputo

I was beyond excited throughout the upcoming week and I could hardly keep my mind focused on anything. Finally the day came and it ended up being a perfect day. I didn’t get stuck in massive traffic like I had feared. I managed not to get lost. The weather was fantastic. Maks and Karina were both very nice without a touch of the “celebrity air” about them. It was a dream come true to be able to dance with two dancers that are ranked so high on the top ten list in the world. I learned a whole new way of looking at my dancing in just the short amount of time I had with them. My only regret was that I could not spend more time with them to get in a good full day of training. (And, that my students could not be there to share in the fun!)

The timing of this little adventure could not have been more perfect. The two weeks prior to my day with Maks had been horrible. It was one of those weeks when everything was going wrong and I was about to my breaking point. But when I heard about my unexpected gift, it suddenly made everything more bearable. Instead of getting crankier and crankier every time something else happened, I would just shrug and say, “Whatever, I get to dance with Maks on Friday!” and it didn’t seem so bad. It just goes to show that everything happens for a reason. And, my heart fills with joy everytime I think of my students and what they did for me.

So the next time you are thinking about someone, tell them. Don’t forget to take that moment to be kind to someone else or to let someone know they are appreciated. It will likely mean more to that person than you will ever know. And yes, it does pay to be nice.

Photos Courtesy of Silverpen Productions (c) 2009

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