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'Ballroom Bootcamp'

Premieres Friday, October 7 on TLC at 10 p.m.

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'Ballroom Bootcamp'

Ever found yourself riveted to a dance film where the hero or heroine undergoes a dramatic transformation from "two left feet" to elegant ballroom dancer? Or wonder what it would take to transform your husband, boyfriend, brother or self into a dancer of that caliber?

Of course you have. And that's why "Ballroom Bootcamp" is a television program you just can't miss. "Ballroom Bootcamp" is the series where three "Average Joes or Janes" from all walks of life undertake a rigorous five-week training program.

Top ballroom dance professionals Susannah Cuesta, Gocha Chertkoev and Christian Perry will attempt to give the participants the physical, mental and social tools necessary for success, and stop at nothing to transform the participants from ordinary to extraordinary.

The "Ballroom Bootcamp" participants will learn one of five dance styles

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Ballroom Dancing Takes Center Stage

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Premieres Friday, October 7 on TLC at 10 p.m.

The next workout outfit you buy may look more like a tuxedo or gown than a sweat suit. That's because ballroom dancing is catching on across the U.S. as a way to burn calories and have fun. Who knew? Apparently, a lot of amateur hoofers.

ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" was the surprise runaway hit of the summer. Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" searched for the best amateurs around the country. Now, TLC brings you "Ballroom Bootcamp" every Friday at 10 p.m. beginning October 7.

How can dancing be good exercise? Experts say the muscle exertion and breathing rates of ballroom dancers performing in one dance competition are equivalent to those of Olympic-level cyclists, swimmers and runners. As the phenomenon continues to catch on, the dance style has become more accessible to people-with Americans across the country signing up for ballroom classes.

Fortunately, you can still learn about ballroom dancing, even if you have no room on your dance card for lessons. For instance, the television show on TLC called "Ballroom Bootcamp" teaches everyday people the ins and outs of ballroom dancing - but with a twist.

Participants are pulled from their comfort zone and subjected to a scrupulous and intensive five-week training program in preparation for a face-off in a professionally judged competition. Each week, viewers can watch and learn as master dance instructors - Susannah Cuesta, Gocha Chertkoev and Christian Perry (see bios below) - attempt to give the participants the physical, mental and social tools necessary for success.

The dancers will learn five styles-the cha-cha, waltz, tango, jive and rumba. Then, each participant will pair up with a professional dancing counterpart to take training to the next level-and to show off his or her newly acquired skills.

Each participant must also juggle his or her personal life and career during this short-yet-intense training period. There will be emotional hurdles to overcome, conflicts to resolve, ballroom blunders to fix and lives to change. Michelle Yahn, one of the competitors, vents her frustration as she cries, "It's like trying to learn French in three weeks. It's impossible."

You can watch "Ballroom Bootcamp" on Fridays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on TLC. To learn more, visit The Learning Channel.

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'Ballroom Bootcamp' Instructors

Gocha Chertkoev

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Gocha Chertkoev is a world class ballroom dance competitor, choreographer and performer. Gocha with his dance and life partner, Shorena Gachechiladze continually raise the bar for technical excellence and artistic presentation of ballroom dancing in the USA and abroad. Gocha and Shorena were the first ballroom dance couple to immigrate to the U.S. from former USSR.

Always innovative and ground breaking, Gocha and his wife, Shorena, won the honor of representing the U.S. at Blackpool, England, the most prestigious dance competition in the world, in the team match competition.

Gocha and Shorena also represented the U.S. at the World Professional Latin Dance Championship in South Africa. For five consecutive years, they were featured performers on the highly popular and widely broadcasted PBS Program, "Championship Ballroom Dancing."

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Gocha Chertkoev

The precocious Gocha began competitive ballroom dancing at the age of six in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. He and Shorena were seven times undefeated Giorgian Champions in Latin, Standard and the combined Latin/Standard category, Ten Dance.

As a young Georgian, Gocha studied theater, drama, and film. At the age of eighteen Gocha began producing choreography and teaching in the Theater School of Liberal Arts College. Gocha, the consummate artist completed his college degree in art, specializing in painting, graphic design, and costume design.

Now, an internationally acclaimed choreographer, Gocha's brilliant coaching and choreography have produced many successful amateur and professional couples in Dallas, L.A. and throughout the U.S.

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'Ballroom Bootcamp' Instructors

Christian Perry

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Christian Perry grew up surrounded by film and television in Los Angeles, California. While he was studying to be an architect, Hollywood suddenly took hold of him. Christian Perry has competed in and taught ballroom dance for over 10 years.

Since then, Christian has worked as a choreographer to the stars, including Will Smith, Shaggy, Vanessa Williams, Bebe Newirth, Mario Lopez, Nikki Cox, Jamie Foxx and the TV series, "Murphy Brown."

This "Bootcamp Ballroom" judge started his career by choreographing and starring in the well-known GAP commercial that helped ignite the immensely popular swing craze. As a professional dancer, Christian was featured in one of the top ten commercials of all time, the Gap's 'Khaki Swing' commercial.

Christian has also been seen in many other national commercials, including ones for Dr. Pepper, Coke, Sprite, as well as Visa, Ferrero Rocher, Sunrider and IBM. He went on to study and compete at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Los Angeles.

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Susannah Cuesta and Christian Perry

After a few years, Christian moved to England to compete in the worldwide circuit, where and his partner were the United States' International Latin representatives. Christian now travels the country coaching other ballroom dance professionals.

Christian can be seen as a principal dancer in many commercials, music videos and films, including "Mona Lisa Smile" and "Be Cool." Christian has also lectured at the World Social Dance Congress in Moscow as well as Black Pool, which is the most prestigious dance competition in the world.

Christian's expertise includes Jitterbug, Salsa-Mambo and International Latin. He was both United Kingdom Professional Latin Finalist and three-time Blackpool lecturer--and much, much more. Christian now calls DanceSport home, and he enjoys teaching students of all levels, from social dancers to competitive International Latin Dance students.

'Ballroom Bootcamp' Instructors

Susannah Cuesta

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Susannah brings more than 10 years experience teaching ballroom and Latin dance to her role on "Ballroom Bootcamp." She has competed professionally in International Standard, American Smooth, American Rhythm, Theater Arts and Show Dance. Teaching beginners and working with students competing at the Pro-Am level is her specialty.

She continues to compete at the American Smooth level with her partner, Eddie Alba. Finalists in the National Rising Star American Smooth Competition, they were victorious in Rising Star competitions in Palm Springs and San Francisco. Susannah is certified with both the U.S. Terpsichore Society and with the Imperial Society of the Teachers of Dance.

Susannah Cuesta was the Rising Star American Smooth Champion at California Star Ball, Holiday Classic, Empire State Dancesport Championships; and Open Smooth Champion at Florida State Dancesport Championships. She won first place in the American Smooth category at the Wisconsin State Dance Sport Championship. Susannah currently owns her own studio, Ballroom Blitz, in Los Angeles.

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This was spotted on a dance web site about the instructors on the new TLC series, "Ballroom Bootcamp." The source was an insider on the production staff of the upcoming show which premieres Friday, October 7 at 10 p.m. on TLC.

Gocha Chertkoev

Reportedly Gocha, (who in reality is really a nice guy), takes on the role of a particularly tough instructor and had to be warned that excessive use of bad language requiring extensive bleeping out.

He was also apparently asked to leave the Arthur Murray Studio in Pasadena and had to relocate to one in Glendale because of his teaching methods so disrupted the studio. And one of his contestants quit on him and left the show.

Susannah Cuesta

It seems Susannah selected to remain herself and is the nice instructor Several of her students have decided to continue with the dancing instruction after the show ends.

Christian Perry

Christian appears to be the All American boy and all business.

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I may be the only one watching this one but I'm officially hooked. This is REALLY a look into ballroom dancing. Of course, it's the Reader's Digest version but it really does show a more realistic picture of the struggles of ballroom beginners. I wish it wasn't compressed into one hour but it's probably just enough for the average reality show viewer.

This week, they featured three average people learning the Cha Cha Cha and competing against each other at the Yankee Classic. The transformation of the winner was amazing and won hands down over her competition. What was nice is how friendly the competitors were with each other. In fact, at the end of the program, I thought a love connection might have been made between the first and third place winner.

It was nice to see some familiar faces among the professionals. I haven't been able to get to many ballroom competitions lately and it's good to see some of the same dancers still on their feet in good form. Ballroom is really harder than it looks. That's the entire secret of a great performance by a top-notched trained dancer . . . make it look easy and effortless.

Next week is the Tango with three new contestants. I will be in front of my TV screen with my dance shoes on.

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I couldn't remember when it was on..... but caught a re-run of the Cha-Cha week.

You said - "In fact, at the end of the program, I thought a love connection might have been made between the first and third place winner."

I caught that hand connection at the end of the show and was wondering too ;)

The gal that won sure did make a complete turn around.... amazing !

I did see last nites Tango competition .... and it was good... but not as good as the other week.

I didn't think the Tango gowns were very flattering.

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I agree totally Slowpoke. And I didn't agree with the judges decision on the Tango competition either. I really feel the second contestant should have won first place. In my opinion, she was far better than the last contestant who took the prize. I saw several missteps in her routine and I didn't enjoy her dance posture or choreography as much.

As for the Tango gowns, I thought the best one was also the second competitors but that's not saying much. I really thought none of them flattered the women at all. I've known several larger women who dance and compete in Ballroom and Latin. They can make flattering fashions in all styles and for all shapes.

Of course, in the real world of Ballroom competition, it doesn't usually guarantee you a win. There is a predominant prejudice against people of size in competition. One of the best Ballroom dancers I knew was a lady with only a slightly larger bulk to her frame. Her downfall was a pair of thick legs. She was so good that the judges couldn't deny her a spot in the finals.

However, they would never reward her for her talent by moving her up in the medals. Once in the finals, she would almost always come in last place. She eventually got discouraged and quit. However, she always looked fabulous in her Ballroom gowns which were tailored made by professionals like the ones represented on "Ballroom Bootcamp."

This week's episode is mixing it up with three men learning the Jive. I have a funny feeling this might be the episode that one of the contestants walk out on one of the instructors, Gocha. I know it happens during the season and the previews are hinting at someone being called a jerk. I know I'll be watching. I miss my Ballroom Dancing days and this show brings it all back again.

The part I NEVER liked was the severe hairstyles and inch thick makeup. My poor Ballroom instructor used to tease me by calling me the anti-frou frou. I never allowed the costumer to put feathers or excessive lace or beadwork on my gowns. In fact, I seldom went to the professional costumers. I preferred buying semi-formal dresses and formal gowns from department stores and altering them for competitions.

And the only thing I would let them do to my long hair was french braid it. I threw my poor instructor a glimmer of hope by allowing him to put glitter in my hair and on my body paint. And I totally vetoed the extreme high heels they want you to compete in. I would buy my shoes with the lowest heel possible and then take it to the cobbler to have even more shaved off. If they would have let me compete in jazz shoes, I would have done so.

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'Ballroom Bootcamp' Instructors

Gocha Chertkoev

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Gocha Chertkoev

h8s...

Did you catch the show last nite?

Won't post about it in case you didn't catch it yet.

(I think we're the only 2 watching this show :rolleyes: )

I would watch it if those guys didn't look so dayum creepy

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Actually, that's just one guy and I so agree. I guess I'm just used to the look especially from the Russian imports. It's more a Russian thing than an American thing. If you noticed, even Gocha's wife, who danced in the competition with Gocha's Jive student, is on the extreme side with her appearance. Even more than Russian, it's the European style.

Again, if you notice, neither Christian Perry or Susannah Cuestra have extreme looks. They adhere more to the laid back appearance of most American Ballroom dancers. However, if you see them in a professional dance setting, they have to put on their 'competition' face or 'face' losing to the other dancers. Dancing ability is only one part of the judging equation. However unfair, appearance is also looked upon as judging criteria. I've known dancers to be disqualified because of costume infractions.

And, if you're wondering why each year the women and men tend to have similar looks in dress, hair and make-up, there is a reason. The dance world actually gets together 'informally' and pretty much set a 'standard' style. One year, you may see the women's hair short and severe in style while the next year, you'll find their hairstyles loose and long. One year, you'll find a plethora of blondes while another year will find a bevy of brunettes or redheads among the female dancers.

Costuming varies from year to year as well for both men and women. For the women in Ballroom, it varies from sleek, smooth lines to over fussy use of feathers, beading and sequins. The men in Ballroom usually don't vary much. It's either tails or 'catsuits.' In Latin, the women's costumes can either be almost non-existent with so much skin showing that it defies comprehension how they even stay on their bodies. Other years are more demure with sexy slits and peek-a-boo cut-outs instead of overexposure.

The stereotype of male dancers being predominantly gay also is becoming a thing of the past. Don't get me wrong, there are gay men involved in the sport and God love them, we need them. It's often great to dance with a partner who has style and grace without the sexual component involved. I've had straight and gay partners and I find so many less complications involved in the partnership.

Also, you'll find a lot of foreign male imports like Russian and English men sign up for ballroom dancing specifically to meet women . . . a LOT of women. Some of them tend to be like the Warren Beatty character in the classic movie, "Shampoo." You have to watch yourself and your pocketbook with some of those lothario types. Some are even misogynistic. They have very little patience or tolerance for women. You might notice that type of temperament in Gocha (the creepy looking one).

If I had to pick among the three of them, I would choose Christian Perry in a heartbeat. I'm not sure what his 'preference' is but I find him a lot more natural and gentler with his students. I'd even choose Susannah because of her style and more fun-loving approach to the dance. I just prefer male dance instructors as a personal choice. Although I ADORED dancing with my dance instructor's wife when he was sidelined with an injury.

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h8s...

Did you catch the show last nite?

Won't post about it in case you didn't catch it yet.

(I think we're the only 2 watching this show :rolleyes: )

Hey, Slowpoke . . . call me qt!

I'm glad you're watching it too! I love to hear your opinion on most entertainment topics. I like they did three women last week and this week concentrated on three men. You really got to examine the differences in how men and women learn and how much more men have to grasp then their female counterparts. I've often said I was sooooo glad to be a female dancer because I don't have to learn to lead (unless I plan to teach or take on the male role).

I found it so much easier as a beginner when I first began because as long as I relaxed and allowed the more experienced men to lead me, I could do almost any dance move (within reason). I was also fortunate to get some of the top professional and amateur men to dance with me socially because I was friends with the dance studio owner and his wife. I've often been grateful for my early dance experiences.

Back to 'Bootcamp' . . . thank goodness, Gocha's student finally started taking it seriously. I thought sure he was going to be the one drop-out of the season. (I know there is one and it's one of Gocha's students) He really had a tough road to hoe to play catch-up to the other two men.

The older man was adorable and really should get involved in social dancing. There are so many ladies his age that would squeal with delight at such a dance prospect. He's just a little too stiff for competition.

However, the winner was so apparent that I would have to say 'fix' if he DIDN'T win that tacky looking trophy. He was absolutely fabulous once he got over his reluctance. His dance costume was very masculine and very 'Dance at the Savoy' 40s style. He looked hot, hot, hot!

His dance moves looked more natural and had precision to his Jive. It had all the right balance of elements to win the competition. I would love to see them bring him back to learn another dance to see if he would excel at that one too.

I missed the previews for next week so I'm not sure who the dancers are or what dance they are taking on for competition. I'd imagine they are going to take on a more traditional Ballroom dance like Waltz since they've tackled Cha Cha, Tango and Jive so far. There are only two dances left to the series . . . Waltz and Rumba (or Rhumba, in some dance circles).

I'm hoping the ratings are good overall because I'd love to see this one come back again. It really does paint a more realistic picture of the Ballroom scene than the other reality dance programs. However, I'll take all the dance shows I can get either way.

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Qt...

Only dance socially... but LOVE to dance.

I used to work with a guy that was into Ballroom Dancing Comps and loved to dance with him any time I got the chance.

My husband and I used to go to local bar/restaurant (when we could) on Friday nites where a big group of senior citizens would go and strut their Ballroom Dancing classes 'stuff'.

The ladies would all dress in clothes that would enhance their moves... and the gentlemen would dress up too.

They must have been taking Geritol... because they were up and dancing most of the time !

Bootcamp... they should be ashamed of the trophy :angry:

After all the work these dancers do... they could have come up with something a "little" classier. It could still be humorous... but what they came up with is a disgrace.

Having 3 guys on was really pretty interesting. They sure picked 3 very different types.

And YES... it sure was a 'no brainer' who was going to win ;)

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Talk about your 'Extreme Makeovers' . . . last night two of the women really transformed to a mere shadow of their former selves especially the second contestant! She went from looking like biker chick gone wild to a really genteel looking female. I was amazed at how much she was willing to change her appearance and with so little drama involved. Even the first place lab worker was truly eager to come out of her white coat shell.

So far, I've agreed with the judges for the most part on this series and last night was no exception to that rule. It was a close call between second and third place but I really think they made the right decision. If the brunette had just trusted her instincts a little more and relaxed her posture just slightly, I would have thought she deserved second place. As it was, she just looked stiff and overextended.

Single Mom Biker Chick had a few foibles along the way but she recovered each and every time to show how far she had come with her lessons. It was great to see how big her smile was after placing second in the competition. I think not coming in last was truly a defining moment for her. You could just see the pride in her eyes as they fought back the tears. Good for her!

Again, first place was a no brainer. Her dance style really looked more natural and just seemed to glide across the dance floor. I thought it was fabulous that she requested her ball gown be on the brighter and more flamboyant edge. Her dress couldn't have looked any better on her. I would have done her hair differently but I rarely agree with the severe or bizarre coifs most ballroom dancers sport.

Next week is the final dance and it's the Rumba. It was reported Gocha was going to lose one of his students before the final competition and it hasn't happened as of yet. By the looks of his next challenge, it's going to be the beer guzzling party girl that walks out on "Ballroom Bootcamp." Just wondering how they'll handle it . . . a two-couple competition? It won't be much of a dance-off with just two but I've seen stranger things happen at a ballroom competition.

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For ballroom dance enthusiasts, hip hop dancers or Antonio Banderas fans, here's a sneak preview of a movie, 'Take the Lead,' that combines both dance styles in a Hip Hop/Ballroom 'Saturday Night Fever.'

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'Take the Lead' Dances Old School

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Antonio Banderas and Anna Dimitrie Melamed take to the

dance floor in 'Take the Lead.'

Music video director Liz Friedlander has built a career on the diversity of her musical tastes, working with everyone from Simple Plan and Babyface to R.E.M. and Avril Lavigne. It only made sense, then, that when it came time to direct her first movie, she would set out to combine two disparate tastes in the hope that they'd taste great together.

"So much of what Usher is doing now is about how inspired he is by Fred Astaire," said Friedlander of the growing trend of combining old dance styles with cutting-edge moves. "I've been to Atlanta and seen a dance called 'ghetto swing' down there, which is kind of partnering swing and hip-hop, and a lot of the 'Chicago' stuff is like stepping, which is a partnering dance. Really old-school dance is coming back in hip-hop

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  • 1 year later...

Thought I'd post that Ballroom Bootcamp is back again.

It'll give the Dancing With the Stars fans something to watch until that starts.

TLC on Fri and repeats on Sat evenings..... it comes on at 10pm EST

http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/ballroom...camp/about.html

(There's an explanation of how the show works if you're not familiar with it)

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The other day, I was doing housework, and had the tv on. Not really watching, but just for background noise, I guess. Anyway, the show 'dirty dancing', was having a marathon, and that's what was on. This was the dance contest reality show, not the movie, in case you were wondering. I had never watched it before. Artem, from So You Think You Can Dance, was one of the 'professionals' in it. I guess there were about 4 or 5 guys, who had to pick from a bunch of girls, who they wanted to work with, eventually narrowing it down to one. I don't even remember what they won.

I was under the impression that the women weren't supposed to be professional dancers. That these guys were suppossed to pick who they thought they could train. But again -- I wasn't really paying close attention, so I'm not sure.

Anyway, last night Ball Room Bootcamp came on, after 'What not to Wear' ( LOVE that show!) so I watched it. And one of the professional women ( Allison) was a girl who was a contestant on Dirty Dancing.

I probably could have said this much more efficiently, and more sensibly, but it's early, and I'm not awake enough yet to try and figure out how.

But... I'm just wondering, are a lot of the 'reality' shows a complete sham? Or am I mistaken about the rules of 'dirty dancing'? This girl, Alison, was not picked to go to the finals by that guy, so she didn't win. But then shows up as a professional on another show? It seemed like some of the girls on 'dirty dancing' had dance experience, but others had absolutely none. At least that's what they tried to tell us. And to be honest, they really weren't that good.

Do you think the contestants are bogus, that they are really professionals, and being a contestant on a reality show is just another job to them? Are they all, or some, paid professionals, acting out a part the producers want filled?

Just something to ponder.......

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