Dancing With The Stars Final offers Inspirational Story: Richard “Steelo” Vasquez


DS boxshot

DS boxshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I waited to watch the DWTS final a day. I didn’t know the results, so it was a surprise. I expected Melissa Gilbert to go, but it was one of my favorites, Jaleel White.

Not only do I like Jaleel’s dancing, but I like his persona. First of all, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He seems like a really good guy. And his dancing is pretty terrific. How else could he have played Urkel?

But, what really touched me was this week’s “AT & T’s Spotlight Performance” featuring Richard “Steelo” Vazques. He was a top B-boy dancers before he suffered a brain aneurysm in 2011. He lost the ability to walk and speak.

After spending six months in the hospital, he now spends his days going to physical rehabilitation. They showed him recovering, and it was almost too pathetic to watch. He was in a wheelchair, wearing a helmet and  learning to function again.  It took him a year, but he was debuting on “Dancing With The Stars”.

Somehow, he managed to get himself together to make a debut dancing with his group the Groovaloos. He came out 2/3 of the way through the performance. He was on a lit box. He looked terrific, no helmet.  He did some difficult steps. How inspirational. His wife was in the audience crying with joy.

Why is it some people have that inner strength to overcome all odds? Someone who is willing to work so hard is truly inspirational!

Do you have anyone who inspires you? If you have a story to share,  please do.

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DWTS Classical Week: It brought me real joy!


Hofball in Wien. Aquarell, 49.8 x 69.3 cm

Hofball in Wien. Aquarell, 49.8 x 69.3 cm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week Dancing With the Stars had classical week. This is exactly what classical music needs. Making  this fabulous music  relevant to today, and that’s what this episode of DWTS did. They also added 18 musicians to the Dancing With the Stars orchestra. Harold Wheeler, the orchestra leader, seemed so happy to be the conductor for the night!

The show opened up with Joshua Bell playing a tune from Vivaldi’ Four Seasons. In case, you aren’t a classical devotee, Bell is one of the best violinists around these days. The professional dancers dressed in really cool 18th century type costumes. It was very artistic.

Katherine Jenkins was the first contestant up, dancing the rhumba to The Canon in D by  Pachabel. wow! style and elegance!  She was wearing a gorgeous grecian urn type costume. The judges love this woman with good reason. She is the most talented dancer, and she is a professional opera singer.

Melissa Gilbert and Max danced the Argentine Tango. They danced a great dance to Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. Exciting way to bring out the music. The judges thought there were too many lifts. I thought they were wrong, wrong, and wrong!

Jackie Evancho is a young prodigy opera singer. She did an unbelievable job singing Ave Maria  for a Viennese Waltz. William Levy did a masterful job dancing to the song. Not only is he great looking, but he moves in an elegant way.

Roshon Fegan Did a tango. Great job! Carrie Ann gave him a hug. She liked it.

Donald Driver did a  Viennese Waltz. Vittoria Grigolo, an opera singer, sang! Driver has a work ethic, and did a great dance.

Maria  Menounos did a Paso Doble to Montagues and Capulets . It was very dramatic I loved Maria’s gorgeous red dress, and her fangs. (She was a vampire) Wow, Fabulous ! She was convincing vampire! Bruno said, she was  “Queen of the damned was the queen of the night.” PERFECT 30

Jaleel White In the rehearsal Jaleel comes across as a really nice guy. Did a competent Viennese Waltz. I liked it. I A beautiful  song I Made the Most of Loving you. Judges liked the story he conveyed, but not his technique.

They put the dancers on teams to get some extra points for each of them. More Vivaldi for Team Tango. They were up first. They were wearing very cool black and white costumes. It was so entertaining! 27/30 They got 27 points added to their individual scores.

Team Paso They did the Paso Doble. Danced to Carmina Burana  It was dramatic! They had all the muscle men together. They did a neat thing with their capes. It was absolutely beautiful! “Fire and ice,” said Len. 26/30 He had that right. I enjoyed this Dancing With the Stars

Maria was first and Melissa was last! We’ll see who gets the shaft tonight!

Any comments? There must be some devotees of this entertaining program.

Dancing With the Stars Motown night is a winner!


Smokey Robinson and The Temptations were featured guests. They brought me back to the good old days. They alternated singing their famous songs while couples danced. They both sounded just the way I remember them. I felt 16. How about you?

Gladys Knight did a competent job. She has real class, and this is the best she’s done. You could tell she was remembering that she is a star!

I thought Roshon Fegan did a classy job, but the judges didn’t agree. What do they want? Geez!

Maria Menounos She’s a terrific dancer and lived up to her other dances tonight. The judges liked her too.

Katherine Jenkins  did an expert job. Almost a triple score. She looked perfect. I’m starting to be so jealous of her. Beauty and grace. It’s just not fair. Oh, and she’s an opera singer too.

Don Driver Don kept his shirt on this week. Surprise! This guy looks great when he dances. Len gave him a big compliment. He told him he “exploded.” Len sees him as becoming a great dancer. Apparently, he doesn’t follow football, and doesn’t know he already picked a career. Don is frustrated because Len hasn’t given him a 10 yet!

Melissa Gilbert did a  Viennese Waltz. Half-pint looked glamorous and beautiful in her green gown. I thought she danced beautifully. She looks like she’s got a thing for Maks. Bruno thought she has a thing for Maks too. Who wouldn’t? They gave her 8’s. One of them should’ve given them a 9. Give me a break.

Jaleel White  did a Cha Cha Jaleel and was in his element. He reminded me of the old Erkel. He was sharp and precise. He showed what a great dancer he is. I hardly noticed Kim this time, and she’s a terrific dancer. Len said, “You’re back.” Bruno “Biggest sizzler of the season” Carrie Ann” A Game. Jaleel’s mom was all excited.

William levy  Smoky Robinson sang. Levy did a Rhumba. OMG this guy looks fabulous just standing still. He did a lot of shaking and gyrating. Not the best dance moves.

Carrie Ann said, ” On Behalf of all the women, thank you, but not enough dancing” Len said, “ On the raunchy side.” All right! I agree with Len and Carrie Ann.I suspect Bruno is a little in love with Levy. Who can blame him? 

Smokin' (Smokey Robinson album)

Smokin' (Smokey Robinson album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia

Smoky Robinson sang “Tears of a Clown.” Two pros did a great dance to it.

All the dancers did a Cha-Cha Motown dance marathon They were all very entertaining in their colorful costumes, and sexy moves. Gladys and Tristan were the first to go! Boo, age discrimination. William Levy came in next to last. He moved his feet this time, and even slid across the floor! Katherine and Mark won.  They earned 10 points.

Dancing With the Stars is the most entertaining show on TV. Agree or disagree. I’d appreciate your comments.

A Humorous Update on DWTS Week5


I like to watch “Dancing With the Stars”. I thought I’d give those of you who missed it a birds eye view of what what happened half-way there.  My qualifications: I know what good dancing looks like! Can I dance? Not really.

Jaleel White and Kim Johnson /Samba

Erkel must work out in the gym.  He was showing his six-pack, and wearing an orange outfit. He also moved with skill and rhythm.

I thought he was underrated. Maybe the judges just can’t get the nerdy Erkel out of their minds.

24/ 30

Melissa Gilbert and Maxim/ SALSA

Melissa must be desperate for attention. She’s dancing with a concussion and whiplash. She hit Maxim’s leg last week with her head.  She asked him to put some of the same moves back in the routine. Maybe the concussion affected her common sense.

She was wearing a yellow and pink outfit. He put her between his legs. I hope she doesn’t have to go back to the hospital because he dragged her head on the floor. I’m still rooting for Half-Pint.

Dancing with whiplash and a concussion doesn’t impress these judges.

21/30

Maria Menounos and Derek/Salsa

If only she could change her laugh, I would really be rooting for her. Her costume was really cute. She looked like a Las Vegas dancer with a big head-dress.

She did a really good job. I know this because I didn’t spend the entire time watching Derek.

Derek took off his shirt and kissed her at the end. Carrie Ann thought that was too much.

I don’t know what they have to do to get a 10.

27/30

Katherine Jenkins and Mark/Argentine Tango

While they were rehearsing she hit Mark in his private parts more than once. Did we have to know this?

She was wearing a beautiful pink outfit, and looked gorgeous. She danced with perfection, no doubt about it.

Grumpy Len gave them a 9, but the other two judges gave them 10’s.

29/30

Gavin Degraw and Karina/Samba

They showed Gavin asking for votes at his concert. It’s like he’s trying to cheat.

He was wearing a white outfit and white hat.

He’s a weak dancer. Everyone likes the guy, but he ought to stick to singing and playing the piano. Isn’t that enough for him?

19/30

In the middle of everything, Carlos Santana does his masterful guitar playing.  I think everything he plays sounds the same, but what do I know? Two Dance-Pros did a beautiful Latin dance and showed us how it’s supposed to look.

William Levy and Cheryl/ Argentine Tango

During rehearsal they show that William is all stressed out. He doesn’t want to disappoint his new American fans. He is one hunky cute guy. When he comes out, we’re informed that he had an accident. His ankle is a mess.

His dance is a wow! Sexy and perfect.

Judges say “wow” Of course, grumpy old Len gives him a 9 instead of a 10

29/30

Gladys Knight and Tristan/Samba

Gladys is wearing a way too short green outfit.

Tristan  looked like he was really leading  her around the dance floor. I felt embarrassed for Gladys.

The judges didn’t agree with me. They were kissing up to Gladys. Even Gladys knew it wasn’t so good, but she said she “enjoyed it.”

They showed their true feelings by her score. I got to admire this lady. She ain’t no spring chicken, and I know what that’s like!

22/30

Roshon Fegan and Chelsie/Salsa

Roshon is a Disney star, and dances great. He’s no William Levy and he knows it. He brought in a picture of William Levy to the rehearsal, and asked him how to make sexy moves. It was cute.

He was wearing  all black with a blue shirt.

I knew he was good because I watched him the entire time.

The judges apparently go for hunks because they underrated him.

26/30

Donald Driver and Peta /Angentine Tango

He watches the dance moves on a video screen, and acts like he’s training for a football game. He’s a tough guy, but seems gentle too.

She’s wearing a red dress, and he’s wearing a black outfit with a red shirt.

He’s carrying her around the dance floor like she’s as light as a football. This guy is strong. He is sexy too.

He got a good score, but wasn’t happy with it. I guess they teach those football players to kill and win!

27/30

Update: Gavin had a dance-off with Jaleel in front of the judges. It was a foregone conclusion who would win. Ingratiating yourself with your fans will only get you so far. Congratulations Jaleel.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Jack Wagner Exits and dancing questions for you?


Standard dancing (prechampionship final) at th...

Standard dancing (prechampionship final) at the 2006 MIT Ballroom Dance Competition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just as I predicted, Jack Wagner is going!

During the show, Anna and her dance partner husband did a gorgeous dance together. They were honoring their friend, a dancer, who is fighting stage 4 cancer.  Their emotions really came out in the dance. It is really a beautiful art form! It was touching to see her friend’s grateful reaction.

I wish that people would start ballroom dancing, and we would all start doing it on the dance floor.

The way baby boomers  dance is so basic. Getting up and shaking is kind of silly. We wanted to give up structure, but maybe we got carried away. It’s all a hangover from the casting away of tradition of the 60’s  and 70’s.

I remember taking dance lessons, and it had something to it, and a place to go. Remember the jitterbug, Cha Cha, and slow dancing. (That hasn’t changed that much)

I didn’t get into the disco movement? Did you? .

Have I lost touch? What are the latest dances? Where do you go to learn them? What’s your dance experience?

Do you wish dancing had more structure?

Dancing With the Stars Week 3 Emotions Abound


This was a great week on Dancing With The Stars. I enjoyed every moment of it. The so called “stars” shared their most private and emotional moments. It is true that this group of stars seems the most naturally talented.

Jack Wagner and Anna

In 2011 star “Jack Wagner”  met his daughter Kerry for the first time. It was his most memorable year, and event. She looks 17 or 18. It’s not clear whether he knew she existed, or just left the mother. (I have taken an instant dislike to this guy).

The good news is that he’s accepted her now that she’s a grown-up, and was dedicating his dance to her. He was also choked up.

To make me dislike him even more, he was dancing to one of his own songs.

They liked him more than I did. I suppose they were judging him on his dancing, not his personality.

24/30

Maria Menunos and Derek

I liked Maria’s story because it was so American. Her family immigrated from Greece, and worked as janitors in Boston to make ends meet. When Maria would accompany them, if she found a quarter she’d put it in the jukebox and dance to the “Material Girl.” Okay, the part about pilfering quarters off the floor wasn’t exactly honest.

Maria has already proven she is a good dancer. She has a perfect body, and knows how to move it. It helps that she’s dancing with Derek, one of the best dancers on the show. He gave her a simulation of a kiss during the dance. I would say this girl danced beautifully. She was wearing a very pretty white sparkly dress

It was surprising to learn that she had a broken rib because the night before she’d participated in “Wrestlemania.” Apparently, she is still insecure about padding her bank account.

As Len Goodman put it,”it was bedroom to the ballroom technique, and a fabulous dance.

27/30

Gladys Knight and Tristan

Gladys went back to 1957 when she was 13. She was excited to be with super artists. “They taught me how to walk, talk and treat an audience.”( I was glad to find out that Gladys was older than me.) I was wondering why she wasn’t attending school at 13.

She was wearing a pretty peach-pink dress with lovely sequins on the back and front.

After a long career, you would expect her to have stage presence, and she does. She did a Fox Trot, and she improved from last week. The judges agreed, although I thought they went overboard complimenting her.

Tom, the host, referred to her as “the elegant empress.”

24/30

Roshon Fagen & Chelsie

In 1996, Roshon—a Disney star— was 6  years old, and saw Michael Jackson live. MJ inspired him to get into show biz. He got to  work with MJ’s choreographer at rehearsal. He wanted to make MJ proud.

He did the Samba with MJ moves.  This kid has proved that he is an extraordinary dancer already. I thought he did MJ perfectly. He touched his private parts and everything.

Len wanted a traditional Samba, but he was glad the kid gave 100%.

Bruno saw the real MJ practicing in the 70′s and thought Roshon could’ve been him.

25/30

Gavin Degraw & Marina

He doesn’t seem confident when he’s dancing. Compared to everyone tonight, I found him the least natural dancer. He gave a touching story about the unconditional love and support his family has given him over the years.

I think the judges are giving him higher marks than he deserves because he tries hard.

24/ 30

Katherine Jenkins and Mark

Maybe because this woman is a British opera star, she has a natural advantage. Not only is she gorgeous, but she is a fabulous dancer.

She had a sad story of her dad dying from cancer. In 1996, they called her home from school to say “goodbye.”

She said she was dancing for her dad, and by the tears in her eyes, you believed her. She did a touching waltz, and it was beautiful.

Carrie Ann noted,  ”it was magic, you could imagine her father’s arms around her.”

29/30

Sherrie Shephard and Val

When her son Jeffrey was born, he was only 1 pound and 10 ounces. He’s her miracle baby and she was dancing for him.

Sherri danced the Rumba.

She was wearing a white dress that I didn’t think flattered her. To me, she looked a little heavier on her feet than last week. The judges didn’t agree with me. They thought she did a great job.

She kissed her son after she was done, and he looked thrilled. it was touching.

24/30

Melissa Gilbert and Maks

She revealed that she’d broken her back in 2010 while doing a musical version of “Little House on the Prairie.” I guess she couldn’t get another acting gig. Anyway, she cried because she was so happy recalling the fact that she wasn’t paralyzed.

She did a “jive”. She was wearing a cool purple outfit, and I thought she did a terrific job keeping up with another of my favorite pros, Maks.

The judges were complimentary.

24/ 30

Jaleel White and Kim

Jaleel’s moment was when he played cool suave “Stafan Erkel” on “Family Matters”.

That meant a lot to him because he got choked up about it. I guess he really didn’t like being known as nerdy Erkel.

He did the Rumba and moved with elegance. He looked spiffy in his white shoes, and white outfit.

Carrie Anne said, “You have a unique style and you glided.”

Len thought he was a little stiff in the arms.

25/30

William Levy and Cheryl

William Levy’s most memorable year was in 1995 when he got out of Cuba. He didn’t appreciate having 8 people in the same house. When he got to the USA he was excited about eating apples. Apparently, they don’t have  butter  in Cuba because  he thought it was melting ice cream when he saw it on pancakes for breakfast.

Maybe, because they don’t spend a lot of time eating in Cuba, they have those sexy moves down. He enjoyed doing the salsa, something that reminded him of Cuba. Before  starting the dance he hit the bongo. (Remember Desi and Lucy?)

He was wearing a blue bandanna, and a white shirt, showing his  chest. He knows how to move and shake  his hips. He’s got it all!

Sexy, sexy, and sexy.

Len said, “you conquered the salsa.”

Bruno said, “amazing.”

Carrie Ann said, “ridiculously hot.”

28/30

Donald Driver and Peta

Donald’s story was so touching. In 2010 he lost a friend to cancer, and right before he died a tear rolled down his cheeks. He took another breath and died in Donald’s arms.

He did a very passionate dance, and he was wearing a pink shirt, and black pants. He is also sexy, sexy, and sexy.

Carrie Ann said, “I’m truly touched.”

Len said, “you dance was filled with warmth and emotion, really top-notch performance.”

Bruno said, “you push yourself to the limit.”

26/30

My guess about who is going to go: It’s either Jack Wagner or  Gavin Degraw

What do you think?

Dancing With The Stars Week 2


 Hosts

Brooke and Tom were as fun as ever. Is Brooke starting to look a little shop worn? Today she was wearing a yellow sequined gown with a peek-a-boo slit  showcasing her very fake breasts.

Dances and Dancers

Roshon Fegan and Chelsie (Quickstep)

Roshon is a Disney Star and mega talented. He did a professional job. He seems like he has the natural talent to win by a mile. She was wearing an elegant white dress, and they looked so great together.

Score: 26/30

Sherrie Shephard and Val (Quickstep)

You gotta hand it to Sherrie. She is overweight, and shouldn’t look good, but she does. You figure she’s going to make a fool of herself, but just the opposite. She shows you that self-confidence can make worlds of difference in how you come off to others. She has some talent too.

Score: 23/30

Melissa Gilbert and Maxim (Quickstep)

Melissa is a pro all the way, but she isn’t a perfect dancer. I thought she did a competent job, but it was a little awkward. She will probably stay on the show for a while because people like me are fond of her from her TV days.

Score: 20/30

Jack Wagner and Ann (Jive)

For some reason, this guy turns me off. He seems conceited. “ I don’t have much bum to shake” he says in rehearsal.

He did do a good job dancing. I was hoping he’d fall or something. No chance.

Good news: the judges weren’t crazy about him!

Score: 21/30

Gladys Knight and Tristin ( Quickstep)

In the rehearsal segment they showed, I noticed Gladys looked old. (Maybe older than me?)

I was disappointed in her dance this week. Her dress was beautiful blue and silver but she seemed a little tentative. She does have good musical rhythm. Surprise! But her posture, not so good!

Score: 19/30

Katherine Jenkins and Mark (Jive)

British opera diva was embarrassed to shake her rear. (She’s had tea with the Queen). She got over it. Nobody deserves to be this beautiful and talented. I can’t even hate her cause she seems modest.  The judges loved her! She’s first.

Score: 26/30

Jaleel White and Kim (Jive)

He did a very competent job, but not as good as last week. He let us all in on a secret: he had to be coordinated to make his character, Steve Erkel, look like a  klutz.  This guy has talent! But he still looks a little nerdy.

Score: 22/30

 Maria Menounos and Derek (Jive)

They were super together, and she has an injured  rib. I’d give her a good chance of staying in the competition for a while. But, her laugh is really annoying.

Score: 25/30

Martina Navratilova  and Tony (Jive) 

I admire your work ethic, but stick to tennis. At least she was wearing pants today, but I wasn’t crazy about the bra covered with net. I think she was truer to who she is by giving both Len and Carrie a kiss.

Score: 17/30 I thought the judges were generous! She’s last.

Dan Driver and Peta (Quick step) 

Those football players make fabulous dancers. At least “Quickie” did a great job this week. It was practically perfect.

Score: 24/30

Gavin Degraw and Karina

Gavin proves that you can be musical and not be a great dancer. Karina did a great job. He did gave an extra 13 hours, but it wasn’t worth it.

Score: 21/30

William Levy and Sheryl Burke (Quickstep) 

Sexy, sexy and sexy. Sorry ladies, it looks like he has a woman and a small child in the audience. He is a very good dancer. Wow!

Score: 25/30

What do you think?

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