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Posted by Deborah Nelson on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 @ 15:10 PM

It was “Famous Dances Night” on Dancing with the Stars this week! I confess: I LOVE to watch dance and I have watched each and every iconic dance that was portrayed this week. I have watched all the classic movie musicals, all the current movie musicals and also many dance presentations during the awards shows, not to mention as many Broadway musicals as I can manage to get to. So yes, I had in my mind, all the original costumes that were worn for each of these iconic dance performances.

There were many outstanding dance performances this week, but unfortunately many of the recreated dance costumes were very lack luster. In spite of all the 10’s awarded for dancing, I gave no 10’s for costuming. My highest score was a 9 to Alek and Lindsay for their Elvis inspired costumes, and a 9 for Sharna’s green disco dress.

Hayes and Emma danced a Jazz dance to ‘Grease’. The musical is set in the late 1950’s but with a 1978 fashion perspective for this particular dance performance. Hayes looked every bit the young John Travolta with his black rhinestoned rolled up T-shirt with black jeans. Emma was a beautiful Olivia Newton-John in her black tight, shiny spandex leggings with dropped shoulder black top and rhinestoned belt and buckle. We are all so familiar with these costumes, and they were done well.


Andy and Allison then performed a Jazz routine to the ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ classic movie with Andy in gray trousers with rhinestones on his matching vest. Allison’s reproduction of Debbie Reynold’s sunburst pleated skirt costume changed the location of the waistline on this 1952 costume. (Yes, I can thank the popularity of this actress for my name!) The accompanying photo shows the color blocking on the bodice, along with the specially pleated skirt. I prefer the elongated waistline of the original costume rather than the natural waistline used on Allison’s costume.


I was really disappointed with Mark’s costuming for his and Alexa’s Britney Spears VMA performance inspiration. Sometimes Mark gets totally carried away with costuming. Their Cha Cha performance was OK, but I was distracted by Mark’s animal-inspired costume, accessories, hair and makeup. Oh, and I was VERY distracted by the snake ‘accessory’ for Alexa, although I did really like her Spears inspired costume and was happy to see a close-up of it to illustrate this blog.


Bindi and Derek did a fabulous Rumba to the iconic ‘Dirty Dancing’ movie song. I admit that I was never impressed with Jennifer’s costume for that performance, so I actually liked the dress that was created for Bindi better than the original, and Derek channeled Patrick Swayze beautifully with his retro, early 1960’s ensemble. The corset seaming and modest cut of Bindi’s white chiffon dress, with lace applique edging and of course lots of rhinestones, was very flattering for her.


Paula and Louis copied the Marie Antoinette, 18th century costumes that Madonna showed off in her VMA performance. Presenting a Jazz routine (with mostly hand movements, a la beginning show choir), the costuming was fun, even with the shorts for Louis. My favorite? I loved the flowing ruffles on Louis shirt – yes a copy of Madonna’s dance men. Paula’s costume at least was much more flattering for her than last week’s. Of course the costuming is a bit much for a ballroom dance performance, but they fit with the theme of the show – that of reproducing the original dance performances. Will I miss Paula – no, not really. I’m glad that Alexa will have another chance to shine!


The producers couldn’t have picked a better celebrity to dance a ‘Magic Mike’ Rumba, but I really don’t think that it was appropriate to insist that a religious guy needed to do a potentially raunchy performance. I hope Carlos and his wife, Alexa were OK with the results, as of course the audience was (me too, I will admit). Not much costuming to critique, although I did like Witney’s top and thigh-high boots. Her skirt was OK. After all, it was all about Carlos for this dance!


Nick and Sharna performed a Samba routine to another John Travolta classic dance performance, this time for ‘Saturday Night Fever’. And no, don’t let your youngsters see this movie, assuming it is similar to ‘Grease’. It had some risqué story lines, but it had fabulous music and dances. Nick’s dark gray shirt with scattered stones on the shoulders that dripped down the front and back emulated John Travolta’s look and could be worn for any current men’s ballroom performance. Thank you, costume design department for not doing the white suit! I LOVED Sharna’s bright green dress which was covered in green rhinestones and had added godets at the hemline to create a very flirty hemline. As with several other costumes this week, utilitarian elastics were added, to her halter dress with a deep, open back, but they didn’t mar the design lines. This iconic movie did give us all a fever for the music. And it brought back memories of Plexiglas dance floors!


Alek and Lindsay then danced a Jive performance from Elvis’ ‘Jail House Rock’.  Alek’s black jacket with white top-stitching, over black pants and his black & white striped shirt were fitting, and fitted Alek well. I LOVED Lindsay’s cropped striped top with stoned stripes, suspenders and modestly cut, retro rhinestoned black briefs and bolero style jacket. It was my favorite costume from this week, when paired with Alek’s.


Tamar, as Janet Jackson with her Rhythm Nation togs, along with partner Val, danced a Jazz routine, reproduced Janet’s performance, which I’m happy to recall that I saw live, during her touring show, back in the day. Leather and metal trimmed both unisex jumpsuits and were not overdone, with just a little more glitz on the ‘girl’ costume.

This week was a wonderful trip down memory lane, for me, so even though many of the costumes were not really exciting, the dance performances were!

Tags: Past Seasons DWTS Costume Critiques


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