Pro-Dancer Traits

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Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  CaledonianCraig on Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:57 pm

Each of the pro-dancers are superb at what they do - dancing but how do they match up when it comes to teaching celebs to dance and how do they handle their students? Each have their own traits and differ in their methods. Here are some of my observations.

An.ton Du Beke seems to enjoy training in a light-hearted and laid back manner and tries to bond with the partner. Mainly, any errors by his protege he will try to dismiss them and be fully supportive of them even if they have had a stinker of a dance. Rather than training regimes he relies on bonding with his partner more than anything and trains in a light-hearted manner without having a really competitive streak - as far as I can see.

Ro.bin Windsor really is a rock in training and on the night to his partners. Often he is landed with far from the best prospects but can get great results. He exudes confidence and seems to pass that on to his partners and gets the best out of them. He seems to train his partners hard but mixes the training with fun. He never ceases to amaze me how he gets the best out of his partner.

Jam.es Jordan and Artem seem to be tough taskmasters who really push hard in training and choreograph tough dances. For Ja.mes and Artem it almost strikes me as a 'sink or swim' mentality. If they get a competent dancer then it works but if not then failure is imminent. Art.em also seems to like training regimes introducing exercises to combat problems his dancers have.

Anything else you have noticed about pro-dancers and their traits then feel free to post them here.

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ProdDancer Traits

Post  mauveangel09 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:37 pm

Really interesting post CC - As we have seen consistently over the years, some pros are brilliant dancers but can't translate that into teaching or working to get the the best from their celebs with clever but entertaining choreography. Ian Waite was a sublime teacher and choreographer consistently, every year. I think that the best pro teachers from the current crop are B rendan, Robin, Kristina and Nathalie Lowe - even though she isn't in the show at the moment. I think that what you say about A nton is very true - I think he perhaps needs to get a bit tougher with his partners but suspect he is a bit out of practice at working with someone who is not a lame duck or 'character' type . I think he would be a good teacher in a dance class situation as he would be very upbeat and encouraging.

I didn't used to like J ames but although I agree he is on the hard side - I think he has improved as a teacher over the last few years and now does attempt to try to understand his partner and get the best out of them - although he does have a few 'stock' dances that look the same each series (unless dancing with DVO of course!) A rtem is tough and it clearly works for some partners and not for others - Holly for example. I was surprised however that last year he was better with Fern than I thought he would be as she was his first weaker contestant - P asha unfortunately is not acquitting himself so well with his first weaker partner this year IMO but may get there.

Mrs Jordan does well with the myriad of beefcakes that she has had over the years - I'm not over keen on her choreography though. I think out of the girls - E rin and F lavia are real losses in terms of teaching talent.

There are so many newbies amongst the pros this year that I will reserve judgment on anyone else but watch with interest for how they emerge. Sometimes it takes a whole series and then some to see who is 'good' at 'Strictly' amongst the pros, because for me it is about consistency over time.


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Re: Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  Tina Sparkle on Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:57 am

Interesting post. I think that Ian Waite was possibly the best teacher that Strictly had. I've no personal experience of him, but I'm told that he's a great teacher who's very good at matching his teaching style to the student's abilities/aspirations. After Ian, I'd say Brian Fortuna. I have been lucky enough to have had lessons with Brian (when my then partner and I had aspirations to compete in American style). He's a great teacher and a super person. His descriptions of the American ballroom scene (fiercely competitive) versus the British scene (just as competitive, but trying hard not to show it) had us in stitches.

I think that James, Artem and Brendan are all similar as teachers in that if you're prepared to put the effort in they'll work like crazy to get you where you want to go. I think that was the problem between Artem and Holly - Holly just wasn't that bothered and Artem struggles to work with that. He had no problems with Fern last year, because although Fern might not have had as much ability as Holly, she was a tryer and Artem appreciates that. I suspect that was a problem for Brendan with Lulu as well. I'm a bit disappointed that Pasha doesn't seem to be adjusting to Rachel, he doesn't quite seem to know what to do with someone who can't keep up technically.

Housewives choice's a great teacher in a class situation - encouraging and a real scream. My OH tells me he's very good one to one as well. That's ballroom of course. Housewives choice doesn't teach latin outside Strictly. Robin is a sweetie and I'd like to see him with someone with talent. Sadly I'm not sure that's ever going to happen.

Of the current women I'd say that put a vest on you strumpet and Natalie are excellent teachers and Kristina is also pretty good. Erin, I'm told, is scary. Strictly also, of course, has lost two excellent teachers in Vincent and Flavia. It will be interesting to see how the new pros turn out. I have hopes of Kevin (our coach says he's good and she knows what she's talking about).
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Re: Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  jingle on Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:01 am

Interesting analysis from everyone - great question CC.  

I think Pasha has an interesting approach to teaching. Based on the snippets we've seen in VTs over the years, he seems to start off quite passive and non-authoritarian (I'm thinking of the clips of him waiting patiently while Chelsee messed around on her phone, Kimberley doing her own thing, Rachel mucking about). Can't remember any footage of him raising his voice or acting dominant. However over the weeks the patient approach appears to pay off, because his partners seem to get increasingly loyal and dependent.  I think you're right about him not coping very well with having a weaker partner this year mauveangel, though maybe the dance-off experience will be Rachels turning point. I expect their dynamic in the training room will be quite different now, and reckon she'll do her best dance this weekend.

The other pro who interests me at the moment in Aljaz. Don't think we've seen enough of the training VTs yet to know his teaching methods, but I've been impressed so far with his choreography. Even though she's a good dancer, I don't think Abbey would be the easiest pupil - so far he seems to be doing a good job.

Some of the newer female pros still seem a bit anonymous to me - I couldn't really differentiate Janette from Anya or Karen, and Iveta is still a bit of a mystery to me. It feel like they  haven't had as much attention or coverage as Aljaz and Kevin. But I really don't like that cat hissing noise that Karen makes in training though, she may as well be yelling ' wrong..wrong.' It would put me right off (if I was a pupil I'd want Robin as my teacher, he's so encouraging).
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Re: Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  saxonsiren on Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:06 am

James has improved as a teacher with his celeb.Gone are the days when he showed little empathy & reduced one in particular to tears.
B.rendan always praises & advises his cekeb not to be so hard on themself-empathy & a love of dance & progression is B.rendans trait
Ian and Matthew for me both went for calm,reassuring & making a bond very early on.
Natalie has a atrong work ethos yet she relaxes her celeb well & reads her celeb to when she needs to be firmer or softer with them
F.lavia & Vincent both excellent teachers boohoo lost them. both made their celeb secure comfortable & wanting to learn.
Artem is slowly learning to lose the sterner approach & use more empathy with his celeb.



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Re: Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  David Tee on Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:49 pm

As others have said - an interesting subject.  I m probably saying the same thing, but i've always seen a line with proficiency at one end and enjoyment at the other (basically work and play).  I think it's possible for the pros to bond with their partners whichever end or wherever on that line they choose to be but  the level of ambition, which tends to drive the later stages of the competition, is much stronger when proficiency is the goal.  I also think that the teams ambition is largely driven by the pro, not the celeb - although Susanna is singlehandedly trying to prove me wrong on that point.    

I think the best teachers are the ones who can operate successfully anywhere on that line and, for me, the pro with the best ability to do that was Flavia.
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Re: Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  CaledonianCraig on Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:01 pm

One thing I think I've noticed is that Ja.mes Jordan seems to cope/handle a mature or self-assured partner better. It brings out a better side in him whereas he is not one for molly-coddling a more fragile partner. His choreography is generally top notch and in recent times he has lost that annoying tendency to snap at the judges.
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Re: Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  hatlady28 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:18 am

Neither of the Jordans appeal to me, mostly because I don't like their choreography. O.la and Kristina both use the pole dancing effect with weaker men; ie revealing bejewelled costumes then dancing around a static male. Like others the current crop of female pros haven't yet distinguished themselves for me. Having said that I think that Iveta is doing very well by Mark.

Pasha looks very grumpy this year. Artem is stern, having said that he was gentle with Fern and he always gives huge public credit to his partners. I don't know of another pro who applauds his celeb partner. He also spotlights his partners with his choreography, putting himself into the background. A.nton is maybe too laid back. Brendan has improved ever since his marriage a few years ago. Further, he now has a professional life outside of Strictly which I think has helped. The BBC is shoving Kevin at us Kevin from Grimsby?
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Re: Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  TANGOLERO on Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:36 pm

I like to judge how well pros are doing by their annonimity. If the celebrities are dancing well, the pros are doing their jobs. If what you see is a dance display where you watch the couple, then that's job done. If all you notice is the pro then they're camouflaging their partners. I agree some pros, male and female tend to be dancing around a totem pole at times, in which case it isn't always weak choreography, rather lost-cause partners . That the pros can actually get some of the contestants moving vaguely to music is a minor miracle.
I tend to like the Jordans for their commitment, James has more than once stepped in to help put a vest on you strumpet with a male
partner, and they also seem to know their charges limitations. A nton will get the best out of proficient partners, but maybe, due to latin limitations (in the hip-shaker sense, not mine) will lose out to younger more flexible pros. Erin's career seem ove now, but I'd like to see A nton stay around for a fair while as a ballroom coach. Aljaz, Pasha and Artem are signs of the times in a forward moving dance world. I'd like to see both Natalie, who seems a real caring teacher, and Aliona back on the scene.
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Re: Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  Littlebear on Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:42 pm

I don't think Erin's career is over. I'm sure she'll just move into a different stage of it post-babies. She's very charming and likeable and at ease in front of cameras so I think some kind of presenting or judging role is a possibility. She could aslo move into choreography, and she'll probably always teach.
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Re: Pro-Dancer Traits

Post  Wallflower on Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:36 pm

As others have said a really interesting topic CC.  As a non-dancer my favourite male professionals are Robin and Brendan.  Robin has been lovely and supportive with all his celebrities - he seems good at identifying their strengths and incorporating them in the dances.  He's not afraid to challenge them with more complex choreography either. If I was a contestant he'd be my choice pro Smile 

Brendan, as several people have said, has mellowed recently.  I love watching his dances and am glad that he has a decent partner this year.  I also saw another side to Artem last year with Fern and although he seems to push his partners I think he seems more relaxed than when he first joined the show.

Not sure what has happened to Pasha this year.  There is the view that he is struggling with a less able partner, but I thought he looked worn and tired at the beginning.  Hard to tell on TV, and I don't know much about him apart from what I see on Strictly, but he doesn't look particularly well to me scratch 

To round up the rest, can understand people's reservations with O.la and Kristina's choreography but they are both good at making the best of slightly weaker celebs.  Not keen on either James or An.ton - still find James irritating and An.ton creepy (sorry An.ton fans).  Reserving judgement on the new pros.

Finally I really miss Erin, Natalie, Aliona and Vincent Crying or Very sad , although glad to Erin's news Very Happy
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Re: Pro dancer traits

Post  mauveangel09 on Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:31 pm

Littlebear wrote:I don't think Erin's career is over. I'm sure she'll just move into a different stage of it post-babies. She's very charming and likeable and at ease in front of cameras so I think some kind of presenting or judging role is a possibility. She could aslo move into choreography, and she'll probably always teach.
Yes I second that Littlebear - I think there are many optionns for her - I liked her in the Sky documentary when she and A nton were teaching the teen Schoolkids a couple of years ago. Having seen her perform several times outside SCD she is a really good all round performer and I'm sure she and A nton will resume their professional partnership in some capacity - teaching, peforming together etc - perhaps it won't be so full-on for her but I'm sure the baby won't mean that she disappears.

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