“Dancing With the Stars” pro Louis van Amstel blogs on season 16 of “DWTS.” The three-time world dance champion and creator of LaBlast fitness-based dance DVD workouts has starred on seven seasons of the hit ABC show and weighs in on the dances, the judges scores and who will be eliminated each week. You can find him on Twitter @LouisvanAmstel.
By Louis Van Amstel
WOW. Where has the time gone?! It feels like yesterday we were finishing up the amazing “All-Star” season! I’m excited to be able to write my weekly blogs again for GoodMorningAmerica.com. This season, I will take a different approach to my weekly blog each week, so you’ll have to tune in to get the ins and outs! This week, I’m focusing on the five things to look for in tonight’s show.
You guys must be so excited that tonight is the premiere of season 16 of “DWTS.” Well, I’m ready when you are!!!
1. Welcome the three new pros with open arms and give them a chance to enter your hearts. While Anna Trebunskaya, Chelsie Hightower and I are disappointed not be dancing again this season on the show, we are far from bitter about the decision to give three new pros a chance on the dance floor. I wish Sharna, Lindsay, and Gleb the best of luck this season. Go get ‘em!
2. Wait two weeks before you choose your favorite dancer. This week, half of the celebrities will do a Latin dance and half will do a ballroom dance (unless they’ve changed that format on me!). Latin to ballroom is like comparing apples to oranges. Some celebs will excel at one over the other. In week two, the celebs who danced Latin in week one will do ballroom in week two, and vice versa. On “DWTS,” it’s about being good at all the dances, so try to wait until week 3 before making any snap judgments and to see if the celeb if the full package!
3. Watch for illegal lifts. Are you ready to be the lift police? A lift is when the lady lifts both feet off the floor with the support of her partner. Even if it is an inch, it’s technically not allowed. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba is constantly calling them out. Early on, the couples take the “no lift” rule lightly, or wipe their behinds clean of that rule. It’s always risky because it can lower your scores, but it’s more entertaining and shows off more skill, so it tends to pays off with you guys at home. We’ll see if Carrie Ann keeps being the “lift police” this season.
4. Look out for how the costumes fit. The costumes the pros and celebs design are just as important as the dance since it’s part of the whole package. Do they enhance the body? Are both costumes cohesive? Are they in character with the dance? Are they “less is more,” yet carefully thought over? Are they very theatrical and thematic, but still classy? I have my own active wear clothing line called LVA coming out at Sears very soon, so I’ll be watching what the couples wear this season.
5. Look for dance ability and what each celeb brings to the table — besides dancing. After all is said and done, we know that “DWTS” is not just a dancing show. It’s also a contest between the celebs’ fan bases. It’s very important for the pros to choreograph a routine for the celeb that is challenging on one end, yet easy enough on the other so the celeb can show off his or her personality. The more personality that is shown, the more you guys respond. In my opinion, it’s a balancing act between both. Please don’t forget to take in consideration if a celeb starts a season with any experience or none, especially in the earlier weeks!
I hope you’re as excited as I am to watch tonight’s episode!!!! The two-hour “Dancing With the Stars” season premiere airs TONIGHT t 8 p.m. ET on ABC .