Dancing On Wheels  permalink

Professional v Amateur

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Messages: 1 - 8 of 8
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Julian Hall (U2873105) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    Hi All,

    Perhaps someone who knows the rules can answer this for me. In programmes such as SCD and DOI, 'celebrities' are paired with professional dancers/skaters to aid them in their performance. In DOW both partners are amateurs as far as the dancing is concerned.

    Having seen the *very brief* clips of the European Championship it struck me that at least one of each couple looked to be professional standard. Is it a rule in the championship that one has to be a professional, or even the norm that one generally is? If so I would question the programme format of putting two amateurs together.

    On that note, I'm also curious as to the selection of the celebrities themselves. I don't recall seeing at least two of them in SCD (although they could have been in the first two series which I missed). However the ones I do remember were the ones who were knocked out early doors, so it begs the question why it is now thought possible that their dancing skills might be good enough to represent the UK?

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by salsaboy (U14166961) on Saturday, 13th March 2010


    One of the fundamental flaws of the programme has been that the non-disabled dancers are unfortunately not up to the mark for competitive wheelchair dancing. You're right - they all left SCD pretty early. This isn't dissing them - they all threw themselves into the programme, but most of the non-disabled people in the competition will be pretty serious and seasoned competitors (though probaly amatuers), perhaps having competed in non-diabled competitions before partnering a wheelchair user.

    Combining two projects - a SCD-type programme and a search for a proper competitive couple - has created a bit of a mess when the couple elave this format. The standing partners are just not good enough, and the couples have no experience at all of dancing on a floor with lots of other dancers moving around independently.

    I'd have preferred a programme about finding a serious couple who would be into cometition for the long-term. No celebs, and somebody who commpetes in a wheelchair involved in choregraphy and juding.

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Julian Hall (U2873105) on Saturday, 13th March 2010

    Thinking about it since, Diana mentioned never having thought she would dance *again* which suggests she did dance prior ro her accident. However we also learned that was 19 years ago. James it was mentioned was a 'trained dancer' but again the assumption is that this was prior to his accident.

    I agree with your suggested format and I would clarify it to say they should have asked for wheelchair users with dance experience - prior or post disability - and teamed them up with professional partners. I'm sure there are many male and female professionals 'between partners' who would have been attracted to the challenge of trying something new - especially if it a) enhanced their profile just being on the programme, and b) gave them international exposure competing at the European Championships.

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by SashaQ (U9936370) on Sunday, 14th March 2010

    I think the celebrities are supposed to be the 'professionals' as they have some experience of dance competitions (and reality shows in particular) but I can't remember where I read it...

    According to the biographies on the DOW website, James has danced with CanDoCo. He also wanted to do more of his own choreography in the first show. I think he has a lot of experience, but more in terms of modern dance than ballroom dancing.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Julian Hall (U2873105) on Monday, 15th March 2010

    Thanks for that Sasha - from my perspective the amount of relevant experience each person had didn't come over in the show. I don't think they should have relied on people reading the website as the URL was hardly ever mentioned.

    If they are trying to say the celebrities are the 'professionals' I think I'd take issue with their definition of the word. To my mind a professional is someone who has performed a specific function for a living, and AFAIK none of the celebrities have done that.

    If experience is an issue then I think Mark Foster may have been best suited as he not only has experience of dance competitions, but he is also very experienced at dealing with the pressures of international competition. That's academic now of course but it will be interesting to see how Caroline and James cope with the heightened intensity.

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by hossylass (U3749845) on Monday, 15th March 2010

    I have argued this from the begining.

    The arguement put forward is that the celebs might pull people in to watch.
    Maybe in future they will have professionals.

    My other concern is that there are wheelies out there dancing already who would have given their eye teeth to be taught by BF, and compete in the Europeans.

    I am a very competitive person, hugely competitive. And if I am not winning I tend to want people I can relate to winning instead. So although I dont mind who wins this program, I do mind that we should have the very best we can in order to win the Europeans.

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  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by salsaboy (U14166961) on Monday, 15th March 2010

    Agree Hossylass.

    I loved watching the dancing on the show, but think it disresprected the European Championships. That's not a criticism of the competitors or the celebs but the structure of the programme.

    If it was just a Strictly 'let's take people who have done little or no dancing before' and watch them develop then fine. But its aim was to find a couple to represent the UK. What we have is a couple who have no experience of dancing on a crowded floor and where one of them (the celeb) will presumably compete in the one competition only. And the championships are in two seperate parts - the properly reflect how the dance world works the programme should have looked for a latin AND a ballroom couple (which would, incidentally, in the context of the programme we got been a good result and James excelled at Latin and DIana at Ballroom).

    A bit of a mish mash really.

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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Julian Hall (U2873105) on Wednesday, 17th March 2010

    I agree with Hossylass too, and salsaboy.

    One correction I would like to make though. In (I think) the final programme Di was concerned their Latin wasn't very good. Brian specifically said to he that they would only have to dance *one or the other* not both. I particularly remember because I thought 'great so it doesn't preclude either winning'. Or did you mean they should have looked for two couples, one of each style?

    Report message8

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