Worse for Ballroom Dancing -- Master P or Len?

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
Big10 said:
My problem with Len is that he is now the most recognizable "face" of ballroom dancing to the non-dancing public in his capacity as head judge, and he went beyond mere dance critiques to declare Evander Holyfield and Master P as essentially incapable of being ballroom dancers no matter how hard they might work in the future -- and, in my opinion, those two men's abilities are much closer to the "average" man who might get into dancing either reluctantly (e.g., pressured by a significant other) or on a lark. Carrie Ann made a similar comment to Kelly early last season, but has never been as personally harsh since that time. Len comes across as very elitist and unwelcoming. Honestly, some of the Internet comments I have seen do not make his attitude appear very far from the norm in the ballroom world, either. Any positive public image given to ballroom is more likely to come more from the participation of energetic, fun personalities like Stacy, Drew, Jerry, and Ashly, rather than Len.
I haven't been thrilled with many of Len's comments either. And the fact that he will continue to be on the show far longer then P certainly could influence how people see ballroom, perhaps more than P as well. Hopefully this won't effect how the "average" guy decides to learn ballroom.
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
randomMysh said:
I don't remember what he said about Evander, but as far as his criticism of P goes, that's not what I got out of Len's comments, personally. I took his comments to mean that P will not become a good ballroom dancer, not no matter how hard he tries, but because he does not try at all, relatively speaking. Which is a fact that even you couldn't debate, not after the comparative hours of practice were revealed. What bothered me the most about P is that he talked of giving 150% and being a positive role model, yet he clearly did not put in the effort.
Let me explain that my reaction to P stems from my personal experience. In college I worked in a group home for troubled teens, and I've seen a lot of wannabe role models in those kids' lives that behaved much like P did, and I can tell you from watching the kids first hand--the effect on them was very powerful, and not a good one. At all. It angered me at the time, and it angers me now. I don't care what effect P will have on ballroom, but I really hope he has NO effect on the "kids in the hood" he said he wanted to influence.
I believe you have hit on an important point. P probably has his most effect on the very people he said he was on the show for, and it won't be a good one because he didn't demonstrate what it would take to really give it the effort he could have. Very unfortunate.
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
Chris Stratton said:
Looking at P's jive, and motivation problems aside, my immediate reaction is that nobody told him to stop over using his departing leg, and perhaps use the arriving one some instead For some reason, lots of guys, myself included, struggled with this for a long time - it's exhibited by either launching into a movement too big for the tempo, or failing to really do much at all out of fear of the former happening every time you do. The thing is it doesn't need to be a struggle - all it needs is a teacher to spot the problem, explain what you are actually supposed to do to get from one foot to the other, and reinforce that through the early practice as you are trying to get the hang of it.

Yes, P was probably a difficult student - but it's unclear if he was ever actually taught how to dance, instead of just being expected to figure it out.
Big10 said:
You've raised an interesting point, and probably one that could be the subject of its own thread on this forum. In other words, what aspects of the dancing should be attributed to the "celebrity" and what aspects should be attributed to the choreographing pro?

That was a big thought on my mind last season regarding some of the criticisms against Kelly, and it struck me particularly when Carrie Ann said about Master P's performance last Thursday night that "without a matador, there's no Paso Doble" (or something to that effect). Yet, how was Master P supposed to know how to effectively portray a matador according to ballroom standards? I think Ashly is awesome (and really cute :oops: ) but to me that was a choreography issue for which Master P should not have received all the blame.
These are good points, yet if one is spending only 5 hours a week compared to the 30 hours per week others are doing (as has been reported), I suspect there is a limitation to how much can really be learned.
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
Big10 said:
Everything I know about Paso Doble is what I saw in Strictly Ballroom....in other words, not much. However, based on Carrie Ann's comment, I got the impression that the choreography starts with the matador (whatever that means dance-wise) and moves from there. Apparently it was important enough for another couple (Drew & Cheryl, I think?) to have a "real" matador help with the instruction.

So, if it's that essential, then my guess is that Ashly should have spent the first part of the instruction time dealing with that, or at least making sure it was something she could give the illusion was there (like Edyta's dancing circles around George's "matador").
This presumes Carrie Ann's comment was correct. ;)
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
Big10 said:
I have also repeatedly stated that Master P's dancing during this season sucked/was not good/was bad, etc.

I've started a couple of discussion threads in this sub-forum asking questions about people's opinions, and I've responded with my own opinions when people asked questions of me or otherwise addressed the topic of the thread. If you have a different opinion, that's perfectly fine. But why such hostile tones in the writing from several of you, whenever Master P is discussed?

In any event, does anyone care to answer the question about whether the choreographer or the student should be blamed for failing to include the matador in a Paso Doble? Or is Carrie Ann just clueless about that concept, as ACtenDance suggests?
Big10, just wanted you to know your contributions are appreciated. :cool:

Regarding your question, I'm sure it would be the choreographer's initially, yet if the student only spends 5 hours the previous week, and technique is taught before styling, under these conditions it could be difficult to get the "student" to look like a matador.
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
justdance said:
Morning, everyone...that's an interesting question about the choreography and where to rest the blame so to speak.
One thing I've learned through the years is that when it comes to teachers, the old adage "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" is the perfect answer to the question.
It doesn't matter how good the teacher is in explaining, demonstrating and guiding the student. At the end of the day, the teacher cannot do it for the student. Therefore, I don't believe anyone is to "blame". When you look at it that way, you can understand the teacher's frustration for the student if they struggle, and their joy when the student has a breakthrough. The bond between the teacher and student is wonderful and in most cases, I would hope, both view it as a journey they are taking together.
:D
 
Hi, I new, both to dance and to this forum, but I have to put in my two cents worth here if you don't mind. I have had a passion for dance that after retiring fromthe military I can finally indulge.

After thinking this issue through and looking over the 11 pages of posting and all the flack that was brought about via the press and radio, etc. I have to say who is worse?? Neither one.

Why? They both have everyone tuning in to see what is going to happen on the show. So they are watching what? DANCE! Something that I am passionate about.

My teenagers are now asking me if they can come to my classes, but they are FULL! There is no room in the ball room classes. They are signed up for the next session WHICH IS ALREADY BOOKED SOLID.

So yes, Len and P have had some heated words, they got harsh, they made ABC's day by having the ratings soar. They made other peoples tempers fly off the handles. They got people screaming about race haters etc. But they got people watching DANCE. Ok, so the professionals here of whom I bow down and kiss your feet and hope one day to be 1/3 as graceful and skilled as you can see all the goofs and errors and can pick up on everything and cringe. But please be honest, be passonate about the one thing that I am that people are still talking about DANCE!

It truely is the heart of the show. Please save me from ever becoming less passonate about dance than I am now. I might be a blundering Firsttimer just trying to remember to step out on my toes and not my heels like the Army trained me to do for 20 plus years, but God I LOVE to DANCE.
 
saludas said:
Master P's result (what he looked like) is typical, to me, of a beginner student.
That has been exactly my view all along, and has been underlying every comment I've made about Master P. There's a big difference between being disrespectful versus simply being "new to the game."


saludas said:
it appears to you, like most folks, that dance somehow is a thing they can do if they just 'try' or 'wish'. Like learning self defense by painting a fence from "The Karate Kid". Or showdancing in one week from "Dirty Dancing". etc. Those are MOVIES.
:roll:

I have absolutely no idea how you could make that particular assumption about me. I have admitted that I know very little about ballroom dancing, but I do know more than the average person about dancing a choreographed routine, including partner dancing, and I have great respect for the amount of time it takes to perform something well.

I also know that learning the steps involves a different process than learning the styling. Carrie Ann commented after two different dances (Quickstep and Jive, I think) that Master P appeared to follow his choreography, even if he didn't execute it with much flair. I agreed with that assessment, and it also looked like Master P was adhering to Ashly's choreography for the Paso Doble, too. In other words, he at least had to ability to remember when to get to a certain spot on the floor and then have Ashly backlead the rest (like Edyta did with George).

So, for example, if "the matador" is simply a particular set of basic steps, then I think that would fall squarely on Ashly's shoulders. If "the matador" is a matter of styling, then I could understand how Ashly couldn't instill a series of intricate movements in Master P's muscle memory given his time constraints. That's why I wanted to get an understanding of what the whole matador thing was about, and why Carrie Ann (and other participants) made such a big deal about it.
 
And so, we were wondering what was going to be big and controversial when P left? Well, it looks like they're stretching to see what they can find. Apparently Entertainment Tonight is boasting the story of a "Dancing with the Stars Scandal" to be aired tomorrow. Stacy Keibler posing for a men's magazine! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Yeesh...you'd think if they were really wanting to stir something up, they'd try for something better.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
Firsttime Dancer said:
But please be honest, be passonate about the one thing that I am that people are still talking about DANCE!

It truely is the heart of the show. Please save me from ever becoming less passonate about dance than I am now. I might be a blundering Firsttimer just trying to remember to step out on my toes and not my heels like the Army trained me to do for 20 plus years, but God I LOVE to DANCE.
Thanks for keeping us honest, Firsttime Dancer. And welcome to the forums. We're here for people just like you. :D

Welcome. :D
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
Medira said:
And so, we were wondering what was going to be big and controversial when P left? Well, it looks like they're stretching to see what they can find. Apparently Entertainment Tonight is boasting the story of a "Dancing with the Stars Scandal" to be aired tomorrow. Stacy Keibler posing for a men's magazine! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Yeesh...you'd think if they were really wanting to stir something up, they'd try for something better.
Little do they know that ballroom dancers dancing salsa is plenty to keep the dance world agog. :lol:
 
saludas said:
Five hours of instruction? Look at the average Proam dancer, and look at their first competition. That's what five hours of instruction look like, with a student who, while certainly not practicing outside that five hours, at least displays heart and attempts.
At first I thought, whoa! What do you mean 5 hours? I took lessons for six months before I entered my first pro/am comp. And then I figured out that, since I danced six dances, I had probably averaged about 6 hours of lessons on each dance. That explains a lot!
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
Yes. The whole equation chages, if the beginning pro-am student practices outside of lessons. I suspect a lot of pro-am instructors find it difficult to pressure their students to practice, though. They are, after all, trying to make dance lessons appealing enough so that their adult-learner, $70+-per-hour-paying students want to come back. It's a tough balance for everyone, I think. :?
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
Medira said:
And so, we were wondering what was going to be big and controversial when P left? Well, it looks like they're stretching to see what they can find. Apparently Entertainment Tonight is boasting the story of a "Dancing with the Stars Scandal" to be aired tomorrow. Stacy Keibler posing for a men's magazine! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Which one, and where can I get a copy? :raisebro:
 

mamboqueen

Well-Known Member
Why does this not remotely surprise me? I'd be willing to bet somewhere in the article (and Joe, you *will* read the article, right??!!) she'll say she wants to be an actress.
 
mamboqueen said:
Why does this not remotely surprise me? I'd be willing to bet somewhere in the article (and Joe, you *will* read the article, right??!!) she'll say she wants to be an actress.
Hehehe! Probably.

I don't see why it matters though. Last season's winner was a former Playboy bunny!
 
Firsttime Dancer said:
I might be a blundering Firsttimer just trying to remember to step out on my toes and not my heels like the Army trained me to do for 20 plus years, but God I LOVE to DANCE.
Slightly off course but...my oldest daughter did ballet and was on the ballroom dance team in high school. Then the summer after her first year in college she joined the army and went to basic training at Ft Jackson. She got some special medal for max-ing in PT and says that all her dance training gave her the discipline, flexiblility and strength to succeed. She's at Ft Rucker training to fly helicopters now but she still joins us at as many ballroom dance competitions as she can. And she's quite the dancer!
 

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