America's Ballroom Challenge - Coming to TV

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by reb, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. Me

    Me New Member


    That was... VERY... painful.
  2. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl New Member

    I imagine it would be hard to be in Tony's position--knowing so much about dance, but not allowed to be critical. But he can do it. I thought that what he said about the woman's role in floorcraft when he was talking about Shalene was thorough enough to be understood by non-dancers and an interesting point they certainly never would have noticed otherwise.

    Maybe they should do a focus group with non-dancers and see what their questions are when watching.
  3. chachachacat

    chachachacat Well-Known Member

    Those young kids were absolutely incredible!!
    The best I've ever seen. Wow.
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Commentary

    I think what many are failing to realise, is this-- commentary is a skill AND an art. It comes with yrs of trial and error, and sometimes , not at all !

    The very common mistake ( in all sports ) and dance related fields, is the assumption by the network, that because you are at the top of your game ( past or present ) it automatically qualifies you , for broadcasting events .

    There are numerous e.g. of people being "placed ", in that sometimes , unenviable position , that have failed to live up to the expectations of the powers that be .
  5. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member


    I don't think it needs to be critical (or criticizing is probably more what I mean). I guess I'm thinking of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade where they talk about the costumes and the floats and the musical numbers and who's who. Make it fun for pete's sake!

    No one really commented on Carrie Babcock's dress in the final. (It was different from all the rest by a lot). Or even the style differences of the women's dresses. And WHY that matters. That would have been an interesting moment for people who have never seen ballroom and cannot fathom why we would put on costumes like that. (although once you try it...) :)

    I also don't think they described the differences between the final and the show dances only to say that the point system allowed the winner to move on to the challenge at the end of the show.

    And, I don't think that the whole show needs to be geared to the new viewer but ya gotta provide some content. Describe steps, athleticism, training, the level system, the difference between amateur and professional.

    I'm guessing that a number of people watching didn't know that the "youths" performing were amateurs and the "adults" were the pros. That could also have been a point of discussion.

    Just my $.02 that turned into a dollar's worth of feedback. ha ha
  6. hamstersphere

    hamstersphere New Member

    I agree - one of the first things anyone (men *and* women, oddly enough) asks me when they hear about this whole dancing business is 'you mean you wear all those costumes and everything'? Didn't Marilu Henner spend a tiny amount of time on the first broadcast going around and showing off the vendors? I would have enjoyed more about that, AND (a) I'm not dress-nuts (b) I already know about costumes. So I venture 'civilians' might enjoy that kind of background stuff too - btw, DWTS didn't really venture into that territory either, though Strictly Come Dancing did a decent job with their weeknight broadcasts (they did a half-hour update show every night between the big weekly episodes, with interviews and 'news').
  7. VinceraVivere

    VinceraVivere New Member

    I taped it and rewatched it today (about 3 times!) and am highily irritated with the commentary. I just DO NOT like tony's TV personality at all, it's WAY too canned. And the inane commentary just really detracted from the whole show.

    Kiki Nyemcheck was an AMAZING dancer (he was the 15 year old who did the samba with the 13 yr old in the white-ish dress.); I've never seen him dance before, though I've heard a LOT about him from his uncle. I was absolutely wowed; he was so quick!

    I was disgusted with a few of the showcases, though - the 2 foxtrots in the beginning I didn't like at all. Too jazzy, too broadway, not enough actual dancing. Maybe I'm just old-school, but I want to see some actual in-frame dancing. Not that the whole thing has to be frame, but just a few seconds? And Yulia Barinovsky' gloves were falling completely down....body glue, maybe? I just thought she should know better at her level.

    Ben and Shalene's routine I LOVED - I actually cried when I saw it in person, it was so good. They are my absolute favourite in the world.

    Mazen's martial arts routine I actually liked a lot - it was very creative, and there was some good dancing in there. The ending pose was a bit much, but I did like it overall.

    The goth tango I was kinda indifferent about - it was very original, got lots of points for creativity, but I didn't like the costumes or the music.

    And wth was that cowboy thing? I was looking forward to their routine a LOT and was disappointed. I'm not really sure what they were going for there.

    anyways. I just felt the need to comment to people who would actually understand what I was saying, haha. My mom was sitting there all confused while I'm yelling at the TV....

    But yes, I think things should have been done a bit differently, commentary-wise.
  8. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i just finished watching it.

    well, kudos to PBS for getting an expanded schedule this year for OSB... having an hour for each style certainly gives everyone a fairer shake.


    i didn't see the poor production quality someone else mentioned. the camera work and editing were quite good.


    commentary - i don't even have words in english, to tell you the truth. i started cursing at the screen in several other languages at various points.


    can't wait to see Rhythm next week. i'm a little beside myself.
  9. pruthe

    pruthe Member

    Thanks to PBS, et al.

    I watched this first episode twice (so far). Looking forward to other 4 episodes. I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the dancers. The diversity in dance themes of showcases was amazing. Kids were great. Maybe the commentary could have been better, but it seemed Tony and Marilu were trying to describe more for viewers not familiar with ballroom dance. It didn't bother me that much.

    I would like to add my thanks to PBS, producer, et al., for continuing to provide and expand this TV series. I recorded in Hi Def and the video is fantasic. I saw in earlier parts of this thread that someone involved in PBS production (ABC Ballroom) was offering comments and insight on this series. I got the impression that budget may have been tight and they needed all the support they could get to continue.

    Since I live in Columbus area, I was able to attend OSB Saturday night session last November. It was great to see in-person and I could see first-hand the effort required to produce show for that one night. They had equipment and cables all over the place. The producer (Aida Moreno) did a great job of coordinating and controlling. It went like clockwork.

    Anyway, I wanted to offer my thanks to PBS and anyone else involved (ABC Ballroom, Sam Sodano, ...) for providing this series. Hopefully, it will continue next year and beyond.
  10. reb

    reb Active Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums, pruthe.
  11. JANATHOME

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    lol... I watched it twice too!!. But having such in interest in Smooth, I could of watched it many many more times.

    Although it was clear that there was a segment of planned script between Marilu and Tony I was not offended by it. My goodness, it was close to a full hour of dancing and I will take that any day.

    I have a older tape of the pros at the Yankee Classis.(International Standard) The host who was well versed in dance pointed out every single bad arm connection, sloppy feet, ect... to the point that I found it so distracting that I had trouble enjoying incredible dancing above the chatter.... It can go both ways.
  12. GJB

    GJB Well-Known Member

    That's true. I'd rather have no commentary at all. It disrupts from relating the dancing to the music.
  13. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl New Member

    The PBS website has a feedback option to send messages to the producers. Maybe we should send some of our {constructive, politely-worded, balanced with appreciation, etc.} opinions directly to them:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/ballroomchallenge/

    I did!
  14. reb

    reb Active Member

    Great idea - thanks. Now, to send something . . . .
  15. dancesportgirl21

    dancesportgirl21 New Member

    Last year I sent an e-mail asking if they would show youth showcases. They eventually responded with an e-mail and with more youth showcases this year. :D They definitely care about their audience, and I really appreciate that. Now about that commentary. . .lol!
  16. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    Yay! I found it by complete accident airing last night at midnight :) Gotta agree about the cowboy/western showcase. Definitely didn't deserve 2nd place.
  17. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link.

  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Amen. I didn't think Ben & Shalene's showdance was anything special enough to place 3rd. What's the judging criteria for showdance? Good dancing, only? Entertaining dancing? While Ben & Shalene's showdance was certainly good dancing, I wasn't as entertained as I was with the other couples. The kung-fu tango definitely did deserve first, though.
  19. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    What was that cowboy thing?! I mean what were they going for? It looked extremely unfinished, like they were fumbling around, running around for no reason. He wore a cowboy hat, she wore a disco outfit - bizarre! They're good dancers but seriously, it was a very messy routine at best... Same with Ben and Shalene - if I was there live last OSB and it took place late at night as showdances tend to do, I would have been asleep in ym chair or at least yawning... The martial arts tango and the goth tango should have been 1st and 2nd, respectively. The other numbers (Broadway-ish) were forgettable.

    I wish Larinda made the final, not just because she rocks but because her showdance would have been awesome, I am sure.
  20. alemana

    alemana New Member

    curious to see the rhythm showdances this week. last year i was similarly bored by most of the routines. the only one that was fully developed and realized was emmanuel and joanna's swing.

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