There is more to dancing than just 1-2-3, 1-2-3.
“Ultimately, what we do is not just about dance steps. It’s about the power of two people showing that they love what they are doing,” dance master Val Chmerkovskiy says. “It’s about people reaching a common goal, willing to make sacrifices, growing and connecting with each other.”
And the kicker: “Perfection has proven, time and time again, does not always lead to winning.”
The man who co-founded Dance With Me studios at Tivoli Village Las Vegas with his older brother, Maksim, and “DWTS” pro Tony Dovolani, is characteristically on point. He and partner Normani Kordei of the pop ensemble Fifth Harmony were among those left apoplectic at last Monday’s semifinal results of “DWTS” on ABC. U.S. Olympic gymnastics star Simone Biles and her pro partner, Sasha Farber, registered perfect scores of 40 in two dances from the show’s four judges.
But as Biles soon learned, acing this competition was not the same as scoring a perfect 10 in floor exercise. In “DWTS,” the team receiving the highest score is not always spared elimination. The audience vote is factored into the results, meaning that technically inferior performances can score higher than even perfection.
As it was Monday night, Chmerkovskiy and Kordei scored 36 and 40 in two dances, former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross and pro partner Lindsay Arnold scored 34 and 36, and NFL running back Rashad Jennings (late of the New York Giants) and pro partner Emma Slater scored 38 and 39.
The remaining three couples – including Chmerkovskiy and Kordei – advance to the finals, airing Monday and Tuesday nights. The perplexing outcome in the semifinals marked the second time a couple who had recorded a perfect score — former “Glee” star Heather Morris and pro Maks Chmerkovskiy were also voted away earlier this season. (One lesson from this show: It’s a bad year to face a Chicago Cub in a popularity contest.)
But Val Chmerkovskiy remains devoted to the show, a national phenomenon for a dozen years, and his craft.
“When you are teaching someone to dance, you are giving them the attitude to walk out as a different person with better body language and more confidence,” he says. “I have seen this happen – I had a student in our Soho location in New York, who was very successful on Wall Street but came in and his posture was not good. ”
After a few lessons, Chmerkovskiy says, “He is now front and center. Even if he was the the only student we had, the whole thing would be worthwhile.”
It’s tempting to give the effort a perfect score, but we won’t wish that on anyone on “DWTS.”
Reliably hearing that John Fogerty will return for more shows at Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. Look for him to be back in September and January. Dates yet announced, but it is always a good time for John Fogerty.
Viva Jewel Vegas
During Friday night’s INSPIRE charity show at Palazzo Theater, headliner Jewel told the audience that she has moved to Las Vegas. She plans to raise the her son with ex-husband Ty Murray, 5-year-old Kace Murray, here.
The Lon Bronson Band (he’s dropping the “All-Star”) is finished with lounges — and not necessarily by Bronson’s own decision. His efforts to work a deal with Station Casinos, where he had headlined on alternate Thursdays at Sunset Station’s Club Madrid, stalled in November.
Bronson wound up taking a shot at a monthly residency at Cabaret Jazz,
where his shows, including Saturday night’s, have been consistently selling out.
“I was really nervous about this, because we had never sold a hard ticket for basically 23 years before we played the Smith Center,” says Bronson, who is also leading the band at Melody Sweets’ “The Sweets’ Spot” show Monday. “I guess I have a more solid and enduring fan base than I thought.”