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DWTS – Paso Week!

October 19, 2009

Yes! It’s Paso Doble and Argentine Tango week on DWTS this week. I love the Paso, especially on this show, it just suits the theatrical nature so well.

The Paso Doble

Surprisingly, this actually originated in France, but was always modelled on the sound and atmosphere of a Spanish bullfight, and of course, has the Spanish name, meaning double-step. In the traditional paso, the dance is fast and march based, but the competitive style is slower, and has a more fixed, wider frame. Generally, the man represents the matador, and the woman is usually the cape. The dance is rarely seen to be done socially.

It’s hard for me to pick a single favourite, because I have loved so many, so I am going to cheat and have my favourite four! Only one features a female celeb, and there are three different pro partners. Two are traditional, whilst two have a very modern take.

Mel B and Maks

For me, this dance really captured Mel B’s personality, and it suited her down to the ground.

Gilles and Cheryl

Incorporating a couple of flamenco accents, Gilles and Cheryl got a standing ovation from Carrie-Ann and Bruno, and it still gives me goosebumps now.

Cristian and Cheryl

Another example of why Cheryl is my favourite professional. This routine was very different to Gilles’,  because Cristian is a lot bigger, but she still made him look fantastic. The shapes he makes, whilst walking at about 2.12 in the video show that she has paid attention to every last detail, and it paid off.

Warren and Kym

One of my favourite contestants ever, for the sheer joy he brought to everything he did. He did not have the technique to rival Gilles, Mel or even Cristian, but the performance is spot on. Although the music is traditional, it has a very modern feel to the arrangement, and the choreography references The Matrix, at 2.10, which adds to the modern feel.

Argentine Tango

A recent addition to Dancing With The Stars, following it’s success in Strictly, the Argentine Tango is a highly technical and very controlled dance. It derived from the classic tango, and developed throughout South America. In competition, it is traditionally danced in an ‘inverted Y hold’, so the dancers are touching from chest to waist, but their feet are apart. This allows for the complex steps, such as the barrida, where the man pushes the woman’s foot along the floor, using his foot, ochos, which are figure-of-eights traced on the floor by the woman’s foot, and the famous ganchos, where one partner hooks a leg around the other dancer’s leg. Len always likes to go on about “Buenos Aires brothels” and the seedy atmosphere of the dance, but in reality, it is danced by all ages.

My favourite from the show is an easy one for me, Gilles and Cheryl again.

This was her first time choreographing this dance for the show, and it hit all the right notes. The style of the dance suited Gilles in much the same way that it suited Mark Ramprakash when he and Karen Hardy knocked everyone’s socks off, dancing on Strictly.

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