Do any of you know, or have even heard of ballroom dancing before? Some of you are probably contemplating why on earth I am writing about ballroom dancing, of all things, for the music section – why not just create a separate section dedicated to dance alone? However, dancing has a lot to do with music, especially ballroom dancing.
Although I’m a dance enthusiast, I admit I’m no expert when it comes to ballroom dancing – but the new Dancing with the Stars show, which is broadcasted on RTÉ 1 every Sunday night at 6.30pm, has completely lured me into the very special and unique art, so much so that I have begun to consider placing all my energies into pursuing a career as a professional ballroom dancer, in the hope that I’ll be saved from the endless amount of study that is creeping up on me. However, what I do wish to accomplish is to learn how to ballroom dance, and I don’t just mean the waltz that is so commonly performed at every wedding: I endeavour to learn as much of the Latin-American dance list as possible, from the energetic rumba to the romantic Argentine tango. Believe me, if you love to strut your stuff on the dancefloor and are an absolute music maniac, you’ll soon find yourself in parallel with my thoughts on ballroom dancing even after watching at least one episode.
Dancing with the Stars is a ballroom dancing competition between various well-known celebrities where some have little dancing experience and others have literally never danced before, and are required to work extremely hard under time pressure to learn a new dance to utter perfection on a weekly basis. It becomes clear from watching the show that it is not only footwork and steps that matter in becoming an elite and competent dancer, but the celebrities must learn to listen to the music and connect with the beats and rhythm, which is not all that easy at times! The list of celebrities includes Aidan O’Mahony, the Kerry Footballer whose sexy abs have literally taken over Twitter discussions; Dayl Cronin of the boyband Hometown; comedy stars Des Bishop and Katherine Lynch; RTÉ’s sensational news reporter Teresa Mannion; and the queen of Operation Transformation, Dr. Eva Orsmond, along with a few others.
All the contestants are paired with professional ballroom dancers who teach them the necessary skills and techniques that are essential to ballroom dancing. Each week a dance pair with the lowest combined judges’ score and votes is eliminated from the competition. The show is co- presented by Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne, and there are three judges by the names of Julian Benson, Brian Redmond and Loraine Barry who all have very impressive backgrounds in ballroom dancing – Loraine, for example, has over fifty national and international titles for ballroom dancing, and is one of the most successful ballroom dancers Ireland has ever produced. The judges not only act as critics of the performances, but they offer a source of support and advice which drives the learner ballroom dancers to work harder and improve every week.
I would highly recommend this show for those of you who are in any way fascinated by not only dance, but by the thoughts of being able to confidently show off your startling salsa and foxtrot moves and grooves in front of your peers and family. How cool would that be?