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Waltzing back into the spotlight

By Arielle Kaplan

Section: Arts

October 26, 2007

I love Dancing with the Stars. There, Ive said it. As a general rule, Im not one for reality televisionIll take my Greys Anatomy and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation any day over Survivor or Americas Most Smartest Model. But I do love those two hours every week when I get to see a multitude of famous people doing the Paso Doble, Cha-cha-cha, and Jive in sparkly costumes.

What began five years ago as a way for washed-up stars to reignite their careers has now become a dancing phenomenon. The stars have gotten younger, hotter, and more noteworthy as being on Dancing With The Stars has become a status symbol.

In season one of the show, the
“stars” werent particularly big in the latest pop culture and very few names, like The Bachelorette's Trista Rehn and Joey MacIntyre stood out. Look how far theyve come. Season 5 of the show now boasts such superstars as Jane Seymour, Marie Osmond, Wayne Newton, and Scary Spice Melanie Brown.

For those who dont spend an hour each Monday and Tuesday night practically salivating over the dancing, heres a quick rundown of Dancing with the Stars.

The show runs about one hour, two nights a week. Monday is for competition and Tuesday is for special dances, guests, and ultimately, the elimination of one couple. Six male and six female stars are each paired with a professional ballroom dance partner.

Over the course of the show, the stars have to perform the following dances: Cha-cha-cha, The Foxtrot, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Mambo, Samba, Jive, Quickstep, Paso Doble, Tango, and Rumba. Each week, the stars are judged on their dancing by three judges, whose scores, as well as the scores gathered from the audience (and viewers at home via computer) are tallied up to see who goes home each week.

So back to reality (television, that is). What makes this reality show different from all the others? Maybe my fascination is due to the fact that these stars are learning something useful and entertaining, or perhaps because every other sentence doesnt begin with so and so is such a &#*%^, or maybe it's just because Im a big fan of dancing and rhinestones.

In fact, Dancing with the Stars inspired me to attempt ballroom myself. I enlisted the help and a few lessons from a friend who is pretty proficient with the dances. Needless to say, we ended up Cha-cha-cha-ing to The Pussycat Dolls and doing the Rumba to N*Sync. However, old pop music aside, learning ballroom is a great deal of fun.

If youd like to see what the glitz and glamour is all about, tune into ABC on Monday nights at 8pm for the competition dances and Tuesday nights at 9pm for the results show.

Even though Im a die-hard Meredith/Derek fan and Im distraught over the news that Jorja Fox is leaving CSI, I still have a special place in my heart for reality TV which is completely filled by Dancing with the Stars.

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