Atlanta 2013 – Update #4


LeAnn kicked off Saturday night’s program getting us psyyyyyyched! Did you know that LeAnn is a sports freak? I didn’t! And I did not know that our girl can be rowdier and more raucous than the loudest Falcons fan! She is FUN!

She got us ramped up and ready to CHEER OUR HEADS OFF by showing a great motivational montage of famous sports movie lines – very emotional!

And the first couple out, with their new routine, was Kyle and Sarah! In unadorned solid black, dancing to “Stay” (Rihanna,) a dramatic slow song in a minor key, full of ardor and yearning, reflected in their beautiful new choreography with its round shapes, sweeps, bends, drops, spins, accents, and fast and slow. It’s exciting to see Kyle and Sarah do something this emotional, a piece with the potential to be raw, real, hit you hard. Really different from their work of recent years – it’s cool to see them go in a new direction. Loads of room here for lavish stretches of timing and of shapes, for contrasts, still moments punctuated with bursts of emotion. This was the first time out on the floor – this routine will blossom in the hands of these two phenomenal artists. Can’t wait to see it the next time and the next!

Kris and Rebecca with their lovely “More Than Words”

Ralph Marion and Gabrielle Jemison, dancing to Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered;” a fun combination of jazz, funk, and soul moves fused with west coast – Gabrielle is adorable with her floppy red hair and sexy hips. Ralph stopped on his way off the floor, pulled out his phone and snapped a picture (Robert, in stitches, had him do it a second time so he could photo-bomb it – made it to Facebook the same day)

Brooks and Alexa Macbeth, cute couple, he in black shirt and white tie, she in a sparkly pretty little red dress, above the knee (which in her case was a good idea – she has obviously worked on kicks and leg extensions) dancing to “Orange Colored Sky” (Natalie Cole) – a song which sounds very Broadway and this routine felt just that way.

Matt and beautiful Crystal Auclair with their gorgeous “You Don’t Know Me.” My problem with Matt is that he’s become, for me, like Leslie Nielsen, Steve Martin, Seinfeld, other funny guys. I can’t look at his face without laughing. His face – straining with pangs of love – instead of making me feel sad just cracks me up. But that’s all right. Crystal’s movement is so sensual I look at her to keep myself from busting out in giggles during what are supposed to be dramatic moments.

I forgot to mention – LeAnn had asked us earlier if everyone had seen Sam and Lisa West on TV, shagging away in their Kayak commercial.

Well, she told us, there were a few bits that didn’t make it past the cutting room floor and she was going to show them to us.

And we watched eight “Takes” of people we all know trying to hit that bell behind them with their foot. Hilarious.  It’s harder than it looks. Jordan (who almost fell down,) Brennar (who knocked the bell across the floor and near about killed it,) Butch Metcalf (who did the “Wet Dog Wiggle” lifting a leg looking like he was trying to pee on the bell fire-hydrant style) and others … including Jessica who jumped onto the counter and very primly sat down on the bell. It was funny, very funny.

So just after Matt and Crystal danced Robert was talking about the spoof video and he said Jordan nearly fell, Brennar did his thing, and Jessica – well, Robert says, when Jessica sat on the bell “I never wanted to be a bell so bad in my life” and then “Wait, can you censor that comment off the DVD?” and he keeps talking …

… and from the the audience comes a teeny high little voice,

“That was in-a-pwo-pwiate.”

Matt and Crystal’s 5 year old daughter Lily! She thought Robert’s comment was “inappwopwiate.”

My new favorite expression. “That was inappwopwiate!” I’m saying this all the time fwom now on.

Next to dance were Gary and Susan who won Classic this year, with their beautiful “Maybe.” Susan is an athlete dancer. She’s pristine. Her quality of movement! Stunning.

Jordan and Tatiana – who killed it once again – BUT! – they made a mistake! Tatiana lost her balance in that crazy spot where she does three pirouettes and lands with one leg across his back, costing them a first place win for the first time this year. It happens, even to them. What’s great to watch is how quickly a champion recovers and resumes dancing with as much force and commitment as if the mistake hadn’t even happened. They’re amazing.

And last Classic couple Byron Calix and Mindee Haydel, in black and turquoise, dancing to a down and dirty rap song “Lose Control” (Missy Elliott and Fat Man Scoop) – Byron has a hip-hop background and chose a song and choreography to showcase it. And Mindee – man does she have great hips. Fun!

We’re packing to leave for Michigan Classic early tomorrow morning … still so much more to tell about Grand Nationals! Next week, when we return.


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