Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the heat is on

as they say in all good 80's movies. Or maybe it was just that one. the one with Eddie Murphy. the red jacket. the laugh.
either way, the heat is definately on. tomorrow we go to the carlton for the first time to rehearse for cameras and do costume fittings and hear the band and everything - before the big day. holy polony.
all we did today in rehearsals was the waltz. over. and over again. it's a tough nut to crack that whole ballroom vibe let me tell you. so held, so poised, so controlled and yet when done properly the waltz just floats. at the moment i feel like i am wading more than floating. but hey at least i'm not drowning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

the jive is monstrous. a dance for people whose feet move quicker than their brain. we started putting together a sequence for it today and it made me feel dizzy and inadequate. really frustrating. it got better eventualy though, the feet started to find the pattern and i got into the vibe. when i finally do get it properly i'm going to gooi it so hard the floor is going to have bruises.
we also recapped the group mambo (lots of fun - seems easier than the other dances and feel like i can hang loose and be kiff without having to try so hard) and the quickstep (which is also a lot of fun - similar principles to the waltz - but when it goes, it really flies and seems to happen without too much thought).
the day ended with lock-off's, which basically means we filmed the waltz so that the director can plot shots to the choreography for the live broadcast on thursday night. it's close now, and i felt my first butterfly's today in anticipation for the real deal. the dance feels good (in fact i really feel like i stepped up a couple of notches today after Mary's note to attack the dance - found that it gave me more confidence specifically going into turns and that our contact was on point throughout as a result) but i must admit that the idea of doing it finally in front of a ball room full of people (let alone the entire tv nation) gives me a bit of a skrik.
above all though, i am amped to get into the competition for real and get the first episode behind me. i feel like i can lift the bar a couple more notches over the next two days waltz-wise as well so that's what i'm going to do.
watch the tv on thursday and vote vote vote.

Friday, September 26, 2008

thank god its friday

this has been by far the toughest week of training so far. we have earned a well deserved day off tomorrow and i will spend a good deal of it applying arnica to my aching body.
the old knee is feeling a bit wobbly after a week of intensity.
too tired cant think, just want to bath.
thursday looms in a haze of chiffon and lycra on the horizon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

fatigue is a biyatch.
this show is not supposed to be easy. it's designed to test you to your limits, both physically and emotionally and then at the end of all of that they dress you up like a toilet roll doily cover and put you on national television live just to see how you cope.
and that's fine, that's cool. i signed up for the thing, so hey, who am i to complain? and i'm not. i'm just saying. what the hell!?

one week to go before we go live. our waltz is looking good, still working on the frame, and we started doing the quickstep together today which was fun. i get taught the steps over a period of time, dancing alongside mary (pretending that i am actually holding her) until she feels like its time to join hands and do the thing together. today was such a time for the quickstep, which we are doing to mark ronson and amy winehouse's 'valerie' (what a rocking track) and despite a couple of knee collisions and toe stomps it all went pretty swimmingly. the quickstep is quick. quicker than you imagine. or dream. or believe. but not quite as quick as the jive.
the quickstep is quick, but the jive is deranged.

will get some pictures up soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


the true horror of the shoes of death can only really be appreciated the day after.
that is all i am saying on this subject.

today, Mary's boyfriend/longtime champion dance partner Kagiso came in today to check out my waltz. he said the footwork is looking good and helped out with framing of my arms in the hold. also knee tips, posture and chest vibes. the help was invaluable and reminded me of how unique this opportunity is. if somewhat strange. i mean, how else would i be given two to three months of five hour a day private tutelage in ballroom and latin dancing with some of the countries best dancers and teachers? it's totally flippen amazing. and weird. and rad.
mary rocks. both as teacher and partner. i dig her determination and work ethic.

enough for tonight. i hurt. all over.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

shoes of death

today was our first group rehearsal. basically all the male 'shelebs' and their partners got together to learn the mambo. there we were, five okes, nervously stretching before embarking on a five hour mambo odyssey in shoes that look like they've been stolen from Liewe Heksie's cupboard.
The costume lady asked me not to say bad things about the shoes that have been so kindly sponsored, and hey - thats super rad of them, i mean i wouldnt want to have to buy these shoes, but let me be quite clear when i say that Latin American dance shoes are right up there with those ridiculous Japanese shoes for ladies which make their feet into square planks of painful pain. The only difference is that with these shoes you dont end up walking like a concubine in an Ang Lee movie. oh no. it's more like Jesus, the greesy ten pin ball licking bowling alley psycho from the Big Lebowski. That's what i feel like at least.
My only consolation was that Suga Smax from Skwattakamp ( i hope i spelled that right , i'm not so hot with hip-hop spelling) had never worn his shoes before. Yup, he was a virgin. We all made it very clear what he was in for though. all the pain and the suffering we had experienced in breaking our feet in swept through the studio in a short outburst of nervous banter.
Ha ha, you gonna kak off bru
What? His first time? Shame.
Just wait till you really wear them in and the heel starts going. Yoh.
Shame man.
And then to the dancing.
The before lunch session was pretty chaotic, we were all pretty kak, and i'm sure i saw fleeting panicked looks sashay across the choreographers face at regular intervals.
It was cool to hang with the other couples a while, get a sense of who you think your main competition is, and also just get to know them a little bit and see how they are coping with this strange circus we have thrust ourselves into.
Post lunch we seemed to get the hang of things a little more and actually nearly pulled off some almost half decent group mambo vibes. The fact that we have world class proffessional dance partners does help in this regard. They are very good at hiding how kak we are.
A highlight of the afternoon was the post pizza symphony of creative digestion that Garth (Granite from Gladiators) launched into with unabashed gusto in a quarantined back section of the studio. I gladly provided some of my own accompanyment. I mean what were they thinking? Pizza, mambo and toit pant just don't mix.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The beginning

A very good place to start.
So this is the vibe; i am competing in Strictly Come Dancing Season 5. Yes, that's right, i am going to be cha-cha-cha-ing up a storm on national television in all my spandex, sequined, puffy sleeved glory. So that's the vibe.
My partner is none other than the glorious Mary Martin who has represented SA as a dancer and who has also appeared in three previous season of Strictly. I think we rock together. She has a great sense of humour, a great work ethic and and even greater whip which she has no problem cracking when i slack off.
We have been rehearsing between three to five hours a day, six days a week for about four weeks now(on and off) and my belly has shrunk while my feet have swollen and bled. Seriously, i had no idea what i was getting myself into. The pain, oh my word the pain. But i can safely say with a great deal of pride that i can almost waltz now. How rad is that? Oh and i've seen people jive. On a video. Madness.
I am going to be documenting my rehearslas and the whole crazy process on this blog and keep you all updated.
Apparently it doesnt matter how well you dance if you dont have the votes so here i am saying vote for me. No really. Vote for meeeeee!!!! Tell everyone and tell them to vote as well. The show airs on Thursday Oct 2nd. So soon and so much dancing to come. So hold on tight cos i am bringing the cheese and the glitter. Cheesy glitter. Awesome.