Vanessa Williams

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#1
I don't recall the sources, but I read on two occasions that Vanessa Williams really is or was a champion ballroom dancer; I also heard the she and Rick Valenzuela really did dance together in some show or comp. Any truth to this?
 

Laura

New Member
#2
She never is or was a champion ballroom dancer. She was taught ballroom-style dancing specifically for the movie "Dance WIth Me." Can you believe that she did as well as she did in that movie with only six weeks of training! We should all go from beginner to faking it as well in that short a period of time.

I heard that she and Rick did dance in a show somewhere as part of promoting the movie, but I don't recall when or where.
 
#3
Another reason she did so well also is the fact that she is a professional dancer in classical ballet and jazz. Check out some of her work in "Stompin' at the Savoy" directed by Debbie Allen. She has also done some very good Broadway work: "Kiss of the Spider Woman" So this is probably why she did so well in "Dance With Me".
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#4
Another person who dances with a jazz and/ ballet background. I've noticed that a lot of people with an extensive jazz background seem to pick up dancing pretty quickly. There must be something to it!! :)
 

Vince A

Active Member
#5
She (and Rick) also spent a good deal of time getting training from Robert Royston and Laureen Baldovi, and any woman who can spend time, if only for six weeks (I heard it was longer) and knows something about dance, can get extremely good with Laureen's assistance!
 

SDsalsaguy

Administrator
Staff member
#6
Vince A said:
She (and Rick) also spent a good deal of time getting training from Robert Royston and Laureen Baldovi, and any woman who can spend time, if only for six weeks (I heard it was longer) and knows something about dance, can get extremely good with Laureen's assistance!
Ummm, not to mention that Rick is a multiple time U.S. Pro Latin Champion...
 
#7
I don't know whether she had any ballroom experience prior to the movie, but I do remember reading that even after the movie she continues to ballroom dance as a hobby and also in order to keep in shape :D Just goes to show that once you go ballroom, you never go back :lol:
 

Vince A

Active Member
#9
pygmalion said:
ballroomboilergirl said:
Just goes to show that once you go ballroom, you never go back :lol:
Yes! Another quote to print out and keep. :D
Nope . . . I disagree. I tried it. Didn't like it. Didn't like the "stuck-up-noses" attitude that I encountered!

The "Swing" crowd is more fun and not stuck up . . . and "yes," I know there are exceptions to every case . . .
 
#10
Vince A said:
pygmalion said:
ballroomboilergirl said:
Just goes to show that once you go ballroom, you never go back :lol:
Yes! Another quote to print out and keep. :D
Nope . . . I disagree. I tried it. Didn't like it. Didn't like the "stuck-up-noses" attitude that I encountered!

The "Swing" crowd is more fun and not stuck up . . . and "yes," I know there are exceptions to every case . . .
I didn't mean to exclude swing dancers...to me, swing is a ballroom dance, because my definition of a ballroom dance is any dance done with a partner that has specific steps that one learns either from observing others or taking lessons. And they do have swing at ballroom competitions :D So I guess what I was trying to say was "Once you've done a dance with a partner that has specific steps that one learns either from observing others or taking lessons, you never go back" :D
 
#11
I have read several articles about the movie and spoke with several people in my amateur ballroom dancing club and Ms. Williams has had training in ballet and jazz. She took lessons for the movie.

Many actors learn enough to acheive their roles, such as Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.

I enjoyed her performace and of course the Tango scene in Scent of a Woman is my favorite part of that movie. :)
 
#12
Hey golddancer, have you ever seen the VH1 special about dance movies? One of the scenes they talked about was the tango scene from Scent of a Woman...it was rather funny, they said that Al Pacino really wasn't that great of a tango-er and that if you watch really closely (and know what to look for) you can see his female co-star leading him. Too cute! Anyway, that episode had a lot of good behind-the-scenes stuff from a lot of good dance movies...Dance with Me, Saturday Night Fever, etc. and is worth a watch if you can catch it the next time it's on.
 

youngsta

Active Member
#13
ballroomboilergirl said:
Hey golddancer, have you ever seen the VH1 special about dance movies? One of the scenes they talked about was the tango scene from Scent of a Woman...it was rather funny, they said that Al Pacino really wasn't that great of a tango-er and that if you watch really closely (and know what to look for) you can see his female co-star leading him. Too cute! Anyway, that episode had a lot of good behind-the-scenes stuff from a lot of good dance movies...Dance with Me, Saturday Night Fever, etc. and is worth a watch if you can catch it the next time it's on.
It's funny because now that I know many of these dances I do see the mistakes or just how basic a step they're really doing. I used to think the salsa scenes in Dance With Me were sooooo impressive, now it's more like "oh, I can do that and that and that!" :lol: I still love those movies though!
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#14
On a similar note, the Dancescape newsletter reports that a UK-based show, called Faking It, will air in the US on BBC America Network on December 21 at 8:00 PM. It will feature a kickboxer who will be "transformed" into a competitive ballroom dancer in eight weeks. Should be interesting to watch. :)
 
#15
ballroomboilergirl said:
Hey golddancer, have you ever seen the VH1 special about dance movies? One of the scenes they talked about was the tango scene from Scent of a Woman...it was rather funny, they said that Al Pacino really wasn't that great of a tango-er and that if you watch really closely (and know what to look for) you can see his female co-star leading him. Too cute! Anyway, that episode had a lot of good behind-the-scenes stuff from a lot of good dance movies...Dance with Me, Saturday Night Fever, etc. and is worth a watch if you can catch it the next time it's on.
Hi Ballroomboilergirl,
I don't this I saw the VH1 or I might have seen a little.
I noticed that she did back lead a little... It is my favorite scene in the movie. Al just learned the steps to the dance for that scene only... He has no other training or dance experience.

I just got thru watching Faking It on BBC America with the episode where the kick boxer girl wanted to be ballroom dancer competitor in 30 days. I was surprised she did as well as she did. :shock: I went thru some of her growing pains.... getting relaxed enough to enjoy the music and emote the emotion thru dance. It was a "painful" episode to watch.
 

Dance Ads