Former “Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Anna Trebunskaya did a live Instagram critiquing the season 30 dancers in week 2, which offered some fascinating insight from someone who used to be on the show. Here is what she had to say about each routine.
Note: Trebunskaya missed Jimmie Allen and Emma Slater’s performance because she had to speak with a dance studio client, and she missed Suni Lee and Sasha Farber’s performance due to internet issues, so there was no critique of them.
Matt James & Lindsay Arnold
Of Matt and Lindsay’s samba, Anna said, “Do some Bruno flirting! Why not? I love the way he looks. He’s a bit stiff, but honestly, good job [on] samba rolls. He’s a tall guy, right? So he has really long, lengthy legs … honestly one of those [dances] you gotta have a bit of a rhythm and also skill.”
Olivia Jade & Val Chmerkovskiy
Olivia and Val performed a Viennese waltz and Anna said that the judges obviously want her to stay in the competition based on their comments and scores.
“She’s cute. She also seems really young. … I think she definitely has potential. I think there’s definitely room to grow as well … ooh, [the judges] like her. They want her to stay, they think she’s cute,” said Anna.
She added that she wants to see Olivia shoulder more of the choreography, saying, “I have to break down their routine, it’s like 60 percent Val, 40 percent Olivia — choreographically. Obviously, he’s a professional dancer … but choreographically, I would love for Olivia to be equal to Val. Not quality, choreography. It’s different.”
Kenya Moore & Brandon Armstrong
Anna thought the judges scored this cha cha a bit low and also said, “Miss Kenya is an absolutely stunning woman … she’s a good natural dancer. I’d like to see her stay in the competition a few more weeks. Ooh, Kenya, you have good hip action! … Footwork, pretty good. I was impressed.”
The Miz & Witney Carson
The Miz and Witney performed a tango and at first, Anna was distracted by his rock ‘n roll outfit, but she said she was actually pleasantly surprised by how good the Miz is — she also accidentally kept calling him “The Wiz.”
“I was distracted by the [Miz’s] outfit, but he’s actually quite good. Agile, he has good coordination, good frame,” said Anna, adding, “I think he has wonderful qualities. So far I’m really impressed with everybody.”
Sharna Burgess & Brian Austin Green
Anna agreed with the judges that this rumba wasn’t that strong, but she did say that Brian “framed Sharna really, really well.”
But she added, “I do agree with what the judges say. He does have to step up a little bit … they have a phenomenal story, everyone’s really excited about them. They want to see them do really well … that’s why I think he needs to step up.”
Christine Chiu & Pasha Pashkov
Anna had a really interesting critique of Christine’s cha cha, basically saying that she has to stop acting like a wide-eyed fan and start embracing the fact that she’s a legitimate contestant.
“Christine is in an interesting place because she admitted that she’s a fan of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and now she’s on the show and that’s really cute, but it comes across a little bit like, ‘I cannot believe I’m here!’ … and I just really hope that if she stays, that by next week she starts to embrace that she is in the ballroom … this is her job now. Not that she’s a professional dancer, but she’s on the same level — girl, when you’re on that floor, you are being watched by everybody in the ballroom and everybody on TV just as much as Pasha is. You’re equals in your presentation, if that makes sense,” said Anna.
Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten
Anna was very, very impressed by Amanda’s dance skills on this foxtrot and said that she obviously has prior dance experience.
“She’s a ballerina! Look at these long legs! … Oh goodness gracious, that frame. … That was a gorgeous frame, beautiful lady. Legs! She’s really good. … She clearly has some previous experience with dance,” said Anna, adding, “That was a really good dance for her.”
Anna also advised Amanda not to let her frame collapse in on itself, which is sometimes a problem for taller dancers.
JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson
Anna’s biggest problem with this cha cha was that JoJo needs to work on her footwork and try to keep her energy in check.
“JoJo’s gotta work some on her footwork because she’s like throwing her legs and it needs to be placed. … JoJo has a lot of energy that sometimes gets out of control,” said Anna.
But as far as a same-sex pair goes, Anna said that is not unusual for ballroom, actually.
“Same-sex ballroom competitions have been going around for years now. I’ve coached some same-sex couples … it poses its own challenges and I’m talking about purely like physicality and technicality, who leads, who follows, but it also creates opportunities like everything else,” said Anna.
Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach
It’s a shame that Anna didn’t get to see the week 1 jive that Iman and Daniella did (she said she didn’t get to watch the premiere). Because she was a bit bored by their rumba.
“Daniella is a beautiful dancer. … Good job, good lines. OK, I’ll be completely honest with you, I enjoyed the lines. However, I was a bit bored. I lost my concentration and my focus in like 15 seconds,” said the former “Dancing With the Stars” pro.
Martin Kove & Britt Stewart
Anna was not surprised that Martin and Britt were eliminated after their cha cha received very low scores.
“OK, I’m not crazy about it. Sorry. He has a lot of personality, he’s a performer. … It’s like a solo performance at somebody’s wedding. It’s like watching your uncle dancing to his favorite tune. … It’s cute and everybody’s filming it. … He did have fun and let loose,” she said.
Melora Hardin & Artem Chigvintsev
Anna praised their figure eight and balance on this rumba, then said, “Artem just does good choreography. He’s smart like that. His choreography matches his girls, he knows how to present them.”
Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke
Anna thought this salsa would’ve been “phenomenal” in the ballroom.
“Oh wow, this is literally their rehearsal footage. Ooh, good job, Cody, he can move! Oh man, that would’ve been such a phenomenal dance because that was just the rehearsal! I love the pink shoes too. Oh man, that’s a good dance. I can’t stop watching him, he’s so good. It’s so good for rehearsal. Keep this guy in the competition,” said Anna, adding that Cody reminds her of her season 10 partner Evan Lysacek; the two got 2nd place that season.
“Cody reminds me of Evan, actually. There’s a certain star quality, a certain charisma … they’re both really good-looking guys,” said Anna, adding, “Dancing with Evan was a lot of fun, it was really high-level dancing as well.”
Melanie C. and Gleb Savchenko
Anna praised how “powerful” Melanie C. could be as a dancer but thought this foxtrot was too much posing.
“It’s a bit too much posing for me, she needs to be moving. Girl, get grounded, get into your knees in the ballroom dances and move across the floor. I mean, she’s so powerful, I wanna see the movement, I wanna see the drive from the standing leg. I’m sorry, this was not good enough for me. I’m sorry, I’m expecting way more,” said Anna.
“Dancing With the Stars” season 30 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.
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