Well, hello, Dancing with the Stars, Season 26 – the most competitive season yet, featuring an all-athlete cast! This time around, ten accomplished athletes from the world of sport are teamed up with professional dancers in order to compete on the ballroom dance floor for a chance to win the Mirrorball trophy. So, what is a common denominator here? Let’s break it down. But first, let’s define what dancing is as a competitive sport.
“Dancesport denotes competitive ballroom dancing, as contrasted to social or exhibition dancing. The name was invented to help competitive ballroom dancing gain Olympic recognition. The physical demand of dancesport has been the subject of scientific research.” – Wikipedia
Make no mistake… ballroom dancing appears to be fun and jolly, but that’s just the icing on the cake, considering what goes into making this style of dancing look effortless. People often underestimate the physical strength alone required in dancesport. I find ballroom dancing as one of the most challenging exercise activities I’ve ever tried personally. I’ve never felt more fit and strong overall until I began taking ballroom dance lessons. Ballroom dancing incorporates almost all elements of various exercise types: cardio, endurance, strength training, balance, toning, flexibility, and the list goes on. What looks effortless on the dance floor from a viewer’s perspective actually takes lots of hours of practice and tenacity. Especially when it comes to male dancers, not only they must master their own balance and technique, they also have to provide support and proper frame for their female dance partners.
So, what proper ingredients do this season’s stars have in common?
- Physical strength – check;
- Competitive drive – check;
- Tolerance for being judged – check;
- In it to win it – check!
The season premier took off with a powerful intro, featuring: an all-cast first dance to “We Will Rock You,” including our favorite judges (Carrie Ann, Bruno and Len) in their referee outfits; Kareem Abjul-Jabbar, the tallest star dancer ever performed on the show; and Erin Andrews, the show host, in a splash of red dress to symbolize this season’s most powerful competition yet.
And, I already have my favorite couple to watch – Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson. Their first performance gave me major chills! Carrie Ann said to Adam, “You were born to do this show,” and I totally agree. Also, Bruno, my favorite judge of all times, called Adam an “angel of a ballroom with a hip action of a devil” and commented on how great was Adam’s synchronicity with his partner. The chemistry between Jenna and Adam was evident. Even Adam himself, the 2018 Winter Olympics champion figure skater, commented on his partnership with Jenna: “I’m not a scientist, but we’ve got chemistry!”
So, to wrap up this week, all dancers did an amazing job with their first dance performances including beautiful stage production, costumes, and overall great dancing and entertainment! Stay tuned for more on Week 2 of Season 26 of Dancing with the Stars!
by Irina McGuire