We spent our day watching Ballroom Blitz on TLC, the new ballroom dance reality TV show. The show featured numerous ballroom dance competitors nationwide and in Chicago. The show reveals behind the scenes in our ballroom dance industry and how competitors prepare for upcoming ballroom dance competitions.

The Truth About Ballroom Dance

With hard work, dedication, and a financial investment, you can participate in competitive level dancing! After watching the show, I could see how many would get the impression that it’s a very expensive sport, but it’s no different from taking up golf or hunting. With any hobby comes other expenses. For example every time I have gone golfing I spend between $100 and $200 dollars. Why? Because I always have to buy a new glove, golf balls, and a few beers! Know anyone with a deer lease? Yes that’s an investment. At the end of the day, our hobbies cost money. You can easily ballroom dance at an affordable cost. These elite hobbyist are traveling the US to the largest comps and are paying top dollars. You can always start small with local comps. Renting costumes can save you lots of money in the short-term. If you need more floor time, try supplementing your private dance lessons with dance classes. By practicing more you can enhance your skills at a quicker rate.

Our Thoughts on Ballroom Blitz TLC

It was fun to see our ballroom community on TV. Both Stephan Krauel and Kristiina Illo were both coaching at Windy City Wedding Dance in the last 2 months in the heart of downtown Chicago. Both are competition organizers, judges, and ballroom dance coaches and will be hosting their upcoming competitions in 2015. For more information on the Sunny California Competition organized by Stephan Krauel, check out the SF Open Dancesport Championships. If you want to stay in the midwest and then head over to Kristiina Illo for the Indianapolis Open Dancesport Competition. World champion and ballroom coach Tommye Giacchino, who appeared on the show with Richard Weinberg, train weekly in our studio and their presence and dedication to the sport makes our studio that much sweeter.

We really liked the slow motion effects when the pro-am couples were dancing. We think the music could be improved. We thought the audience didn’t get a complete feel for the dance styles because we couldn’t hear the real competition music. It’s always the music that dictates the dance style. That’s a very big part of it. I’m sure there are licensing hurdles, but when TLC put their own music into the dance scenes it made it look like everyone was dancing off time. Oh No! For a dancer this is very tough to watch. As you noticed the judges kept saying they watch for musicality, timing, and more. I hope they film again and the next time Ballroom Blitz puts the right music in behind the dancers.

The TLC show did a very nice job setting up the expectations for grooming and more. Obviously the women have a few more hurdles than men, but getting your hair done, makeup, and having the right ballroom costume all plays into a judges final decision. I also liked the episode that showed the young lady who had a costume malfunction. You must practice dancing in the costume before the ballroom competition. If you need to change costumes you can switch. Why spend thousands of dollars preparing for a competition and possibly risk you performance with a costume malfunction.  if you can eliminate your foot getting stuck and dance your best, do it? You could certainly see the professional instructor’s frustration. Sometimes it just happens and you have no control over it. Because women are dancing in heals we always have a risk. It would be quite disappointing to lose because of something silly.

It just so happened that we watched the show with my mom, someone who has never ballroom danced. It was very interesting to get her feedback and opinions. Although she wasn’t crazy about the hair do’s, she was very surprised about all the different body types and ages of dancers. We had a long conversation about getting your hair done. I am not sure I have convinced her yet, but wearing your hair down usually doesn’t work so well. I also explained that we come in all different ages, shapes, and sizes. We all share the same passion! We just love to dance. Dancing with the Stars is loaded with hot babes! Sometimes this can lead us to think only perfect people with perfect bodies dance ballroom. I think the show will inspire new people to try a few ballroom dance lessons and you can bet we will be waiting with open arms to embrace you in the world of ballroom dancing.

One of the episodes shows Tommye Giacchino and Richard Weinberg training in the Fine Arts Building at 410 S Michigan Ave. Windy City Wedding Dance opened after the show was filmed and we are located one floor directly below where the filming took place. Its fun to see a room where you spent numerous hours trying to perfect the craft of ballroom dance. We look forward to seeing the next marathon and wish all of the ballroom dancers best of luck in their upcoming competitions. See you on the dance floor!

Ballroom Blitz TLC Tommye Giacchino Richard Weinberg

 

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