Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dancing with Hope Solo - Round Three

This week, our #1 shirt was assigned the Cha-Cha. Like most any Latin-style dance form, many of the moves are re-purposed or re-imagined throughout the various forms of break dancing. Among these similarities with the female partner are body and arm waves, which we've already seen Hope be a little stiff with - let's see how she did...


Okay, so there's some great stuff and some not-so-great stuff. Let's switch up and tackle the negatives first. Unlike last week, there were definitely times out there were she dropped performing the moment and could be seen thinking of what comes next. And, of course, she remains a bit stiff when it comes time to let it flow.

How do I put this... ? Hope is trying so hard to make her hips and arms move right, instead of letting her hips and arms move her. She even discussed why that is a challenge for her on Ellen before this round. If she can let go and find that lady groove, she could definitely win this thing. As is, it pops up just when you're about to marvel at how well she's doing.

Now, the good news. Her footwork remains next to flawless. It's quite impressive, especially with a dance like the cha-cha where you have to change speeds with the steps so often. And with no game cutting into rehearsal this week, she was actually hitting steps - not just landing them in the right place. Her body positions also remain quite admirable. When it comes to the actual dancing, she works very hard and gets it down, always remaining on good balance.

The Distracter noted how painful it can be to watch her during the rehearsal snippets, and then she pretty well handles the performance. It's no surprise, as Hope is accustomed to drilling and to putting it all together at game time. She absolutely picks up the dancing and the routine. Now, we only need that last layer of performance to come out.

This week, Hope got 8's across the board from the three judges going next to last in the dancing order. In an episode with several high-scoring dances, her 24 put her in a four-way tie for fourth from the judges (one dancer scored 27, two others 26). I am going to give her a 7 - which also happens to be her average mark from me over three rounds.

She's done well, but like the judges, I think there's better to come. What style she gets thrown next round, I do not know. But I get the feeling she has not had her last Latin dance, which very well could somewhere down the line be the thing that either knocks her out or makes her the champ.

- Greg Seltzer

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