November 14, 2007
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars is my guilty pleasure. It’s like smoking: you know it’s bad for you…but you do it anyway. If you’ve ever danced or watched a legitimate competition, you know as well as I do that Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) is a farce. An entertaining farce, but a farce nonetheless.
I try my best to look at the positives (I’m an optimist through and through). DWTS has elevated ballroom dancing to aphenomenal level. Before DWTS, ballroom was a relatively mundane subject. Sure, Antonio Banderas and Richard Gere tried their best to lure audiences back to the dance floor, but those movies were fleeting and (let’s be honest) a bit contrived. DWTS combines audience favorites all in one show: glamour, glitz, celebrities, sex, danger (trust me those heels are weapons) and drama.
Here’s my problem. It’s not real. Half those moves are illegal, and even if these dancers were in Open, they botch the legal moves as well. Let’s take my favorite dance, the Paso Doble, after watching Joey Fatone turned it into spousal abuse, I lost all respect for the show.
It’s as though they try to hard. Ok, ok, I know it’s all for ratings…but for those of us who have loved and sweat ballroom day after day, it’s border-line degrading to our sport. The judges never seem to catch the huge errors: you can’t break hold in International Standard, the timing is off in the rumba, the samba’s essential pelvic motion might as well be non-existent. It’s the little things that frustrate me about the show.
In any event, ballroom studios around the world have DWTS to thank for flooding their floors with new students. I’d like to hear your thoughts… Does the good outweigh the bad? Does DWTS serve its purpose?