The ballroom drama continues in Week 3 of Dancing Queens! Sabrina, Donie, Colette and Gaëlle have travelled to New Orleans for their next competition, New Orleans Open, while Leonie prepares for American Star Ball in Atlantic City. We also meet the sixth lady of the show, Pooja.
Like Episode 1, this episode follows the ladies during the final days and hours before they step onto the competition dancefloor. As the countdown progresses, preparing to dance becomes less about rehearsing steps and more about the mental game.
Episode 2 of Dancing Queens showed us the real drama of a ballroom competition, as students and their teachers put everything they have into their performances in hopes of being noticed by the judges, making the final and ultimately winning their event. It also provided some fantastic examples of the dynamics of the pro-am relationship and how they trigger tension and conflict.
Dancing Queens, a new reality show on Bravo about pro-am ballroom dancers, premiered last Tuesday. There was a lot of anticipation leading up to the first episode, after the trailer riled some people up. Personally, I was so curious to see how Bravo, a network known for melodramatic reality shows like The Real Housewives franchise, would portray this world. There is plenty of drama naturally in pro-am ballroom, but would it be enough for television or would Bravo’s producers need to amp things up a bit?
Your initial reactions are probably similar to mine. My eyes rolled a little at the extreme push to overdramatize, like every good reality show does. I don’t like reality shows in general for that reason, but I admit I was also curious and wondered where I’d be able to stream the show (Peacock+, if you’re also curious).
I turned 40 this past Thursday! During the last week of my 30s, I set an intention to finish my 30s and begin my 40s with as much joy as I could find in each day. On this 4th day of being 40, I’d say it’s been a success. That joy included dancing, of course. I also enjoyed four different birthday cakes, which felt appropriate to celebrate each decade.
This week, I’m pleased to welcome Gabriele Baldocci to the blog! Read on to get a sneak peek into the life of a concert pianist. I love how his descriptions of practice and performance sound so similar to our journeys as competitive ballroom dancers.
Hi, I’m Gabriele Baldocci. As a concert pianist, I have been performing for over thirty years now all around the world. From Seoul to Berlin, from London to New York, I have been fortunate enough to share the stage with some of the greatest musicians in the world, such as my friend Martha Argerich. In between my concerts, I also manage the London Piano Centre, the Milton Keynes Music Academy and teach at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich, so life can be quite hectic! Here’s a glimpse into what it’s like being a traveling musician.
Being a classical concert pianist is a wild ride. It’s full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and enough drama to rival a soap opera. But, through it all, the music is always there to guide me, to lift me up, and to remind me why I do what I do.
I didn’t dance much in the first month of 2023. Modern dance class was on a break, and I missed a couple Saturday Zumba classes. It starts to affect my mood when I don’t get my dancing on. Throwing on a 90s hip hop station on Pandora and doing a little kitchen dancing helps, but it’s not the same as going into the studio. I start to miss the challenge of class, testing myself with different exercises and routines. Dancing for fun is great and always a good mood booster, but in the long term, I need more for my dance soul to feel fulfilled.
I kicked off the last day of 2022 with my regular Saturday morning Zumba class. All of my new friends here have come from that studio, which makes it a special place for me. Like my ballroom studio in California, it feels like a home away from home. A place where I can go and let my dance freak flag fly without fear of judgment or rejection. The final Zumba class of 2022 was no exception. I left with a tired body and a full heart.
We just had our first snowstorm of the season this weekend. It only dropped about 3 inches here, but other parts of Maine and the rest of New England got more. In Maine terms, it was rather mild. Local businesses stayed open, despite warnings prior to the storm that they may close. The studio where I go for dance and fitness classes was no exception. I didn’t feel like braving the downhill slope of my snow-covered driveway though, so I signed up for the livestream of Saturday morning’s Zumba class.
Dance is often referred to as an art/sport because of the athleticism required to produce beautiful and inspiring performances. Dance is a full-body workout; we all know and have experienced that. It’s also a mental and emotional workout as we try to remember all of the choreography and technique required to move our bodies in beautiful ways while also adding on style and expression that will connect us with our audience. I’m a little tired just thinking about it.
The sport half of dance always came easier to me. It was more black-and-white and scientific. Technique had rights and wrongs. I could muscle my way through the movement, which made me feel strong instead of vulnerable. When teachers started talking about arm styling and suggesting I do what feels right, I balked. What felt right to me was doing nothing with my arms, but that’s not what they were trying to get me to do. They wanted me to feel the right way to launch my arm over my head or out to the side in a way that looked graceful and effortless, or in the case of tango, strong and confident.